Ever been called a banana or labelled jiak kentang? Well, TikToker Jessica Chan has a decidedly cooler term for those of us who aren’t the best at our mother tongue — #byelingual.
Rather than being ashamed of her ‘broken’ Mandarin, Jessica’s made it the focus of her TikToks, amassing over 191,000 followers to date.
In fact, one of her skits, where she plays a #byelingual pilot struggling to make an inflight announcement, has even been recreated by TikTokers around the world in an impressive array of languages, from Hindi to Tagalog.
Confidence is key
Her viral fame was purely accidental, the 25-year-old Singapore-based Canadian tells us over a Zoom call.
“Even my handle (jimmy12345_jim) is just a spam name. Because my real name is so common,” she laughs. “Seventy thousand…