Guide: How to Say Singapore in Mandarin

Welcome to our guide on how to say “Singapore” in Mandarin! Learning how to pronounce place names correctly can help you navigate conversations and show respect for the local culture. In this guide, we’ll provide you with formal and informal ways to say “Singapore” in Mandarin, highlight any regional variations, and offer useful tips and examples.

The Formal Way

If you’re aiming for a more formal or official pronunciation of “Singapore” in Mandarin, you can use the following:

1. Xīnjiāpō (新加坡)

Most Mandarin speakers around the world would recognize and understand the term Xīnjiāpō as the formal name for Singapore. It directly translates to “New Addition” and is the official Mandarin name used by the Chinese government.

2. Shēngbǎo (圣堡)

While less common, the term Shēngbǎo is also used as a formal way to describe “Singapore” in Mandarin. It translates to “Sacred Fortress” and has historical significance from the time the British controlled the area.

The Informal Way

If you’re looking for a more colloquial or informal way to refer to “Singapore” in Mandarin, you can use the following terms:

1. Rìběn (日本)

Yes, you read that right! Rìběn is the Mandarin term for “Japan.” However, due to its similar pronunciation to Xīnjiāpō, it has become a widely understood slang term for Singapore among Chinese speakers worldwide. Using Rìběn when referring to Singapore can be a playful way to initiate conversations or show familiarity.

2. Shíyī (狮城)

This colloquial term for “Singapore” directly translates to “Lion City” and refers to the Merlion, the iconic symbol of Singapore. Shíyī is a popular informal term among Mandarin speakers when talking casually about the Lion City.

Tips and Examples


  • Practice the pronunciation of each term by listening to audio guides or native speakers.
  • Pay attention to the tones in Mandarin, as changing the tone can alter the meaning of a word.
  • When in doubt, opt for the formal terms Xīnjiāpō or Shēngbǎo to avoid any potential confusion.
  • Consider the context and relationship with the person you’re speaking to when deciding between formal and informal terms.


Formal Example:

Interviewer: 你曾经去过新加坡吗?(Nǐ céngjīng qùguò Xīnjiāpō ma?)

Have you ever been to Singapore?

Interviewee: 没错,我曾经去过新加坡。(Méicuò, wǒ céngjīng qùguò Xīnjiāpō.)

Yes, I have been to Singapore.

Informal Example:

Friend A: 最近去了狮城吗?(Zuìjìn qùle shíyī ma?)

Have you been to the Lion City recently?

Friend B: 是的!我喜欢狮城的美食。(Shì de! Wǒ xǐhuān shíyī de měishí.)

Yes! I love the food in the Lion City.

Remember, using the formal or informal way to say “Singapore” in Mandarin depends on the situation, your relationship with the person you’re speaking with, and the context of the conversation. Choose the appropriate term accordingly to ensure effective communication.

Whether you use the formal Xīnjiāpō, the slang Rìběn, or the colloquial Shíyī, your efforts to pronounce “Singapore” in Mandarin will be greatly appreciated by native speakers. Enjoy your language journey and explore the fascinating culture of Singapore!

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