Dialect taught in History Book

I happen to chance upon this blog : “History of Singapore Pioneers” or aka SingaporePioneers.blogspot and it wrote about our previous Presidents and other great people of Singapore.

I couldn’t help but remember my Pri.3 History Book “The Pioneering Years” published in 1970 by EPB;

Here is the front cover of this interesting book;

How interesting is the book content, I will talk about it in my next post. But do you remember that dialect was also “taught” in the past indirectly.

Here we can see that “Seow Poh” (small town) means North Bridge Road and “Twa Poh” (big town) means South Bridge Road. Why is it called big and small town was also mentioned in the book;

Interesting isn’t it? One book with English, Chinese and Dialect!

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11 Responses to “Dialect taught in History Book”


  1. 1 peter Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Do you keep a library of your school textbooks?

  2. 2 laokokok Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Haha, actually not me. It’s my Mum who keep are these books.

  3. 3 peter Friday, April 6, 2007 at 8:59 am

    I heard something in Cantonese about

    “Sei Ma Lo” – where’s that?

    How do you say Middle Road in dialect?

  4. 4 Lam Chun See Saturday, April 7, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Peter, for a moment there I thot you were scolding my friend Victor, the so-called ‘Gregarious Monkey’..

  5. 5 laokokok Monday, April 9, 2007 at 7:45 am

    Hi Peter,
    “Sei Ma Lo” is where the popular “Guan Yin Temple” located. It’s Waterloo Street. There are altogether 7 “ma lo”.

    Middle Road is “Hi Lam Yi Kai” or Hylam No.1 Street as there are altogether 3 streets.

    I will touch on that next time.

  6. 6 HamBearGer Monday, April 9, 2007 at 12:28 pm

    The seven “Ma Los” starts from North Bridge Rd, which is “Dai Ma Lo”. Victoria St is “Yee Ma Lo”, Queens St is “Sam Ma Lo” etc. All these streets run parallel to each other.
    Using dialects in teaching is very common. During my primary 1, my teacher has to use Hokkien to teach English, eg she will point to a chair and say “Kau-yi” and then translate into English “chair” etc…

  7. 7 peter Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 7:49 am

    Since readers mentioned there were 7 “Ma Los”, I appreciate someone write down what are the names from 5 to 7?

  8. 8 peter Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 7:52 am

    I also like to know why certain roads/streest are called in Cantonese, others in Hokkien? It seems that once the place is named in a certain dialect, other dialects continue to use the given name.

  9. 9 laokokok Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 9:17 am

    OK Peter, this is for you;

    South Bridge Rd – 大坡 大马路
    New Bridge Rd – 大坡二马路

    North Bridge Rd – 小坡大马路
    Victoria Street – 小坡二马路
    Queen Street – 三马路
    Waterloo Street – 四马路
    Bencoolen Street – 五马路
    Prinsep Street/Short Street – 六马路
    Selegie Rd – 七马路

    As for why certain roads or streets are called in Cantonese or certain dialect, that I’m not sure…

  10. 10 peter Tuesday, April 10, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Terok man!!! Can you write the anglised version of those street names please

  11. 11 laokokok Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 7:53 am

    OK Peter, let me try;

    South Bridge Rd – Da Po Da Ma Lu (big town big road)
    New Bridge Rd – Da Po Er Ma Lu (big town second road)

    North Bridge Rd – Sio Po Da Ma Lu (small town big road)
    Victoria St – Sio Po Er Ma Lu (small town second road)
    Queen St – San Ma Lu (third road)
    Waterloo St – Si Ma Lu (fourth road)
    Bencoolen St – Wu Ma Lu (fifth road)
    Prinsep St / Short St – Liu Ma Lu (sixth road)
    Selegie Rd – Qi Ma Lu (seventh road)


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