译⊙林方伟日本作家新井一二三（Arai Hifumi）精通中日英文，同时以这三种语文书写。她几个月前应“世界书香日暨文学四月天”活动之邀来新演讲，从本地政府官员口中获知，许多新加坡年轻华人如今对中文不感兴趣，华文学习的推广面临重重困难，让她有感回国写了篇《新加坡的尴尬》。透过精通中文的日本人的观点来看新加坡的语言尴尬，她说的有哪些只流于表面，不适合我们的国情，而哪些又值得我们借镜？夹在英语和方言之间，华语被多数学生及家长视为多余的负担，但是为了得到中学文凭，非得通过华文考试不可。这么一来，新加坡中学生努力学华文的唯一目的是：通过考试，以后不用再学。Caught in between English and dialects, Mandarin is seen by most students and their parents as a superfluous burden, one that they could not just cast away because they would still need to pass the Chinese exams in order to obtain their secondary school leaving certificates. As a result, the students work hard at learning the language for only one reason: to get the exams over and done with so they will never have to deal with Chinese again.结束后，主办这场演讲的教授说：听外国人讲热爱中文，叫我们深思，身为华人的自己有没有像她一样热爱过这门语言？At the end of the talk, the professor who organised this event asked: when we hear a foreigner share her deep love for Chinese, it makes us think hard: as native speakers, do our passion for the language come close to hers?在这个极为繁荣的热带小岛，中文正处于很尴尬的位置上：多数居民是华人，政府则推出英华双语政策；可实际上，社会上地位最高的语言是英语。如今的新加坡年轻人，在朋友之间或兄弟之间，都是彼此说英语的。然而，英语在此地缺乏传统文化的背景，即使说得不错了，也很难获得深度。尤其当中国经济日趋发展的今天， 炎黄子孙失去华语能力实在可惜了，因为他们不仅失去传统文化，而且失去工作上极好用的工具。On this prosperous tropical island, the state of its Chinese language lies in a very awkward position. The majority of its residents are Chinese. Even though the government has implemented the English-Mandarin bilingual policy, in reality, the language that is most valued in society is English, and it has become the primary language used by young Singaporeans amongst their friends and siblings. However, without an English tradition, it would be hard for these English speakers, however fluent, to acquire real depth. In light of the economic power that China is now wielding, it is a pity that ethnic Chinese are losing touch with their native language. They are not merely losing their traditional culture, but also a useful tool for work.