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Tagalog fusion

Week 30, Episode 59

The language of Tagalog is now constantly developing, interacting with other languages that have great impact in Pinoy (i.e. Filipino) culture and different groups of the population. But before we refer to the foreign elements in the language, let's take a look at the specific sound variety that is innate.

Isn't it odd that the first sound of the word "Filipino"f—doesn't exist in the abakada (alphabet) of Filipinos? It gets replaced with p, and therefore, "telephone" becomes "telepono", "February""Pebrero", "family""pamilia", etc.

Same goes for the letter v substituted with b ("telebisyon" for "television"); ch with ts ("titser" for "teacher") or with ty, tiyj with dy and diy ("manadyer" for "manager"); sh with sy and siy ("masyado" for "too much").

So, by that logic, the word "tsuper" doesn't mean that something is super, rather it means "ch-u-f-er"chauffeur. Seems like Filiponos are incredible drivers, huh? :)

Now, let's go foreign. Though Phillipines were taken by the Spaniards for more than three centuries, it is the English language (brought by the British invaders in 1762) that is commonly spoken by the locals, used in the newspapers and on the radio. Thus, Pinoy English (or Filipino English) was born, which is quite different from American and British English for it has its own words and syntax.

Some examples of Filipino English:

  • salvageto kill (instead of "to save, to rescue")
  • high bloodan angry or agitated person
  • green jokesex-based humor
  • Ma’amsir—mix of ma'am and sir in one word
  • refrefrigerator, fridge
  • boldan "adult movie"
  • stuck-uparrogant
  • basteddumped
  • kindergenerous, warm-hearted

Other than that, when English meets Tagalog the resulted fusion of both turns into Taglish, or Engalog. Both names seem to mean the same thing, but Taglish, as a name for this gibrid language, is used more often and believed to have more Tagalog words in it.

Taglish speakers tend to switch between the two languages (code-switching) using Tagalog grammar as basis and English nouns and verbs (more rarely, adjectives and adverbs) as a replacement for their Tagalog counterparts. It looks something like this:

English: Please call the driver.

Tagalog: Pakitawag ang tsuper. (remember paki- prefix?)

Taglish: Paki-call ang driver.

Tagalog's slang life is quite intense and gaudy. There you have:

  • jejemons speaking in Jejenese, which alphabet contains numbers (so called leet), who elevate language to the point of complete incomprehensability turning Tagalog way to say "How are you?" ("Kumusta?") into "uZtaH?";
  • Swardspeak users ("sward" is slang for "gay male" in the Philippines), also called bekimon, bakla, dingga language, normally used, according to its name, by gay people;
  • speakers of Konyo language (from the Spanish word coño) which is, like, rich teenagers' way of talking with lots of "like so"s and "make"+Tagalog verb phrases (5 minutes):

This melange of languages is in constant debate on whether Taglish, for example, is a good trend or disrespectful to Filipino culture and purity, or whether Konyo is a language at all. Let's leave this dispute to the experts, what matters here is the diversity of the approaches to the language by the Filipinos, their mixing it with English, Spanish, even numbers and the flexibility of Tagalog itself!

If anything can make our journey any better, it is the indiginous, native exclusively to the Tagalog language words and phrases full of unforgettable and dear Pinoy sounds! Ready to speak Tagalog?

Malamig! (Mah-lah-mig) Cool!

" What a punny and pantastic article! Like! "

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