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Old 08-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
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Ger mimic 4 languages mrt announcement and Smrt vp claim she a fan of Smrt

My Paper
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
A marketing assistant's ability to mimic public-service announcements in all four official languages, as delivered at MRT stations, has made her an overnight sensation on YouTube.

A video featuring 20-year-old Nurhafizah Hatman has garnered over 41,000 views by 9pm yesterday since it was posted on Sunday. It was re-posted on citizen- journalism website Stomp and shared on Facebook.

Her uncanny impersonation has even earned the kudos of rail operator SMRT, which said it might consider her for a job. In the 47-second clip recorded last Sunday, a bespectacled Ms Nurhafizah, who was filmed by a colleague, says in English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil: "Dear passengers, for your own safety, please stand behind the yellow line."

She prefaces her act with a tongue-in-cheek message to SMRT: "I think you should hire me as your train voice-over because you can save money:

I'm one person, but I can do it in all four languages."

Ms Nurhafizah, who works at radio station Hot FM 91.3, told My Paper yesterday that she has been quite overwhelmed by the response.

"I'm just glad that I entertained people with it. I'm thankful I didn't have anything stuck in my teeth (when I did the video)," she quipped.

The bubbly Ms Nurhafizah said that she memorised the announcements six years ago when she was in secondary school. While she mastered the English, Mandarin and Malay versions easily, a friend helped her with the pronunciation for the line in Tamil.

Despite not having done the impersonations for awhile, her colleagues asked her to do it for the camera recently.

One YouTube user said she displayed the "Singaporean Spirit", and another admitted to watching the video more than three times.

Ms Kalai Natarajan, SMRT's vice-president for corporate marketing and communications, said: "It's great knowing we have a fan like Ms Fizah. She's extremely talented. We really enjoyed her rendition of the announcements and we don't see why we shouldn't consider her for a job at SMRT."

However, not everyone is impressed. A netizen known as pcofmind said on Stomp that such renditions were child's play. He wrote: "I heard other children repeating the announcement... This is really nothing great."

Mr Gui Kai Chong, a National University of Singapore instructor at the Department of Communications and New Media, said that despite the video's seeming ordinariness, it possesses interesting features which helped it to go viral.

For one thing, Singaporeans can readily identify with what is being shown, as commuting by train and listening to the announcements is part and parcel of everyday life, he explained.

In the clip, Ms Nurhafizah also appears to be able to speak the four languages fluently.

He said: "Although we live in a multiracial and multilingual society, this does not happen so often, which is why...audiences might want to forward it to their friends on social media."

adrianl@sph.com.sg
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:14 PM   #3
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