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Singapore Languages

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The national language of Singapore is Malay, while English is the language of administration and commerce. Tamil and Chinese are also official languages. Mandarin is increasingly encouraged as the lingua franca for the Chinese in place of dialects like Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, Hainanese and Foochow. Among the Indian community, apart from Tamil, other languages spoken are Malayalam, Punjabi, Telegu, Hindi and Bengali. Most of the literate population is bi-lingual, and domestically English and Mandarin are the most commonly used languages. In parliamentary debates, members may speak Malay, Mandarin, Tamil or English and simultaneous oral translations are provided.