04 March 2017

Next Station

In the Singapore MRT trains, the announcements are all pre-recorded using exceptionally precise pronunciation; and the phrase 'next station' is spoken very carefully, with all the medial consonants /kstst/ articulated. Five consecutive consonants!

This is quite an extraordinary achievement. No speaker from Britain or America would ever do that, and it would be much more normal to drop the medial /t/. Then the sequence would become /kst/, which is far easier.

Although the way it is said in the MRT trains sounds rather unnatural, retention of the medial /t/ probably enhances intelligibility, so it should be encouraged.

In fact, one could argue that just because speakers from places such as Britain would most probably drop the medial /t/, there is no reason for people in Singapore to follow suit if they can enhance intelligibility by articulating the /t/. So the way it is said on the MRT trains is really rather admirable.