March 20, 2011

American vs Singaporean Terms

Don’t be alarmed to discover that your American friends and other non-Singaporeans may have difficulty understanding what you are saying, as they may not be familiar with our British/Singaporean way of life. That being said, while it’s important to be cognisant of cultural differences, please don’t feel that you have to “accommodate” to the American culture and lose your Singaporean identity!

Here is a guide to help you distinguish between American and British/Singaporean terms:

Measurement Conventions

Firstly, do note differences in measurement conventions:

  • Degrees Fahrenheit (US) vs Degrees Celsius (rest of the world)
  • Ounces/Pounds + Gallons/Pint + Ft/Yards (US) vs the Metric System (rest of the world)

American vs British Spelling

While autocorrect can be useful, it does not always work. Click here for a comprehensive guide on differences between American and British spelling.

American vs British/Singaporean Terms

Here is a table containing a list of common American terms and their British/Singaporean equivalents:

American English Singaporean English
bandaid plaster
bike cycle
cell phone hand phone
commercials advertisements
counterclockwise anticlockwise
drugstore pharmacy
elevator lift
fall autumn
freeway/interstate expressway
garbage can dustbin/rubbish bin
gas/gasoline petrol
glasses spectacles
Kleenex facial tissue
line queue
movie theater cinema
napkins tissue paper
parking lot carpark
parking space carpark lot
period full stop
q-tips cotton buds
sidewalk pavement
soccer football
subway MRT
having here eat in
takeout/to go takeaway/dabao
trunk boot