International Mother Language Day 2013

4:52 PM 2 Comments A+ a-

How many languages do you speak?  Me... If I were to be totally honest, I am fluent in two.  I can speak, understand, read, and write in Filipino/Tagalog and English.  I can get by in slowly spoken and written Spanish.  I've dabbled in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and French.  I'm currently studying Korean.  And I sing in nine, as per my Need-To-Knows.  Does that make me a polyglot?  To some degree, maybe.

I've always loved languages.  It's easy for me to pick up a word here and there, a common expression, and especially accents.  And I enjoy it a lot.  I like listening to/watching non-English movies.  Subtitles rock!  It gives me great joy to watch a Chinese waitress jot down my order in Chinese characters.  It fascinates me to watch G-Dragon write in Hangul.  Bradley Cooper talking in fluent French is so hot. 

During our first meetings, my Korean teacher mentioned that it was strange for her to consult a textbook on Korean language.  Being a native speaker, she never really thought much about the technicalities and rules and all that scholarly stuff.  About a week ago, I kind of had a taste of what she was talking about.

There's a Barnes & Noble near the school I go to and when I get to the area early, I pass the time at B&N.  They have a good selection of language books.  I browse the Korean books and what do you know, right beside those are Tagalog language books.  Whaaaat?!  Haha, my language school also offers Tagalog lessons.  Why?  Hahaha... in the Philippines, I met two Japanese girls who majored in Filipino language at a Japanese university (they were exchange students in UP) and they are straight up fluent.  Apart from them, I haven't really met anyone else who studied Tagalog.  (If you're out there, give me a holler!)  I remembered what my teacher told me so I decided to check out this Tagalog book.

And... wow.  Is it really that complicated?  And just when you thought you're fluent in a language, you realize that there are so many things to learn about it.  Sure we had Filipino reading and grammar subjects in school but I personally never gave much thought.  I guess you never think about the specifics if the language itself comes naturally to you.  Unfortunately, I've come across a LOT of native English speakers who absolutely SUCK at spelling and grammar.  To me, that's kind of unacceptable and quite disappointing. 

It's amusing when people try to speak a foreign language; I love the effort some give at actually learning one.  But what is up with those who "forget" their mother tongue just because they now reside in a foreign country.  WTF?  I get it if you didn't stay very long in your mother country but if you were raised there, obviously becoming fluent at whatever language is spoken there, and then uprooted fairly recently to a foreign country... there is no acceptable reason for you to "forget" your mother language.  I am one of those uprooted people.  I may acquire the "American" accent but I would never "forget" how to speak Tagalog.  Mahiya ka naman.

End rant.


(I figured since today is International Mother Language Day, this post will not be finished without me blogging in Tagalog.)

Ewan ha, mas nahihirapan akong mag-type o mag-blog sa Tagalog kaysa Ingles.  Pero kung basahin ninyo yung posting ko nung nagpunta si Sandara sa Pinas kasama yung BIGBANG, diba.... siguro kapag excited ako, ayun tuluy-tuloy siya.  Parang pag sa Ingles, kapag galit ka, ang sarap magalit in English.  Haha, Taglish na ako tuloy.  Pano, Manila dialect naman kasi ako. 

Hindi ko naman intensyon na mag-rant kanina LOL.  Pero oo, mukhang may pinatatamaan ako.  Kung gets nyo, apir!  Kung hindi, hayaan nyo na lang.  Mahilig lang talaga ako sa mga wika.  Natatawa lang ako nung binasa ko yung aklat kasi parang... "Ano? Ganun ba yun?"  Bale, ang po/opo at ma'am/sir pala.  Hehehe, pero hindi.  Honorifics siya kung tutuusin.  Paggalang.  Pero wala kasing direct translation yan sa Ingles.  At tena?  Erm, sa pagkakaalam ko, dapat tara na.  Hindi siya "shortened", kundi slang diba.  Lalo naman yung teka.  Bastos pa nga yan kung tutuusin.  Dapat sandali lang (po).

Hala, naglesson na ako!  XD

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February 22, 2013 at 5:35 AM delete

Hintay ka! = Wait for a moment?
Mamaya na = For a while?
Hahaha! I'm gonna get slapped if I say that to someone to whom I should be polite to. Hahaha!

I remember I used to keep on saying 천만에요 to say 'you're welcome' but when I learned that it's actually not correct or at least not commonly used, I stopped using it. 천만에요 is like 'walang anuman' in Tagalog. But we don't really say 'walang anuman', diba? We often use 'Wala yun/Wala po yun' which is more natural. 'Walang anuman' and 천만에요 sound 'textbook-ish'. Haha! So when I was told that it's more natural to say '뭘요' (Thank you para saan?) or '아니에요' (Wala yun), I started using those two instead of 천만에요.

I saw a documentary before. There's a uni in Beijing that offers Philippine Studies. The Chinese students were fluent and they talked about how much they loved Philippines in fluent Tagalog. I was like, "WOW!" so now I kinda understand why Koreans are pleased when they meet people who are learning Korean. It's so 신기하다 to meet someone who's learning your native language.

February 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM delete

Haha, ang laki ng issue ko dun sa "for a while" na yan. Lalo na pag sa KFC. "Ma'am, for a while lang po." Sus, di ba nila alam na ang "while" is at least 20 minutes. Hmm, sabagay... minsan ganun katagal service nila LOL.

Ah yeah... my Korean friend always says 괜찮아 or yeah, 아니에요. So pati ako, 괜찮아요 na rin haha. Besides, parati kong naririnig sa Coffee Prince from 한성.

Naging classmate ko sa PE yung mga Hapon na nag-Tatagalog. Kakatawa nga kasi when we were talking at class, English. Turns out, mas fluent sila sa Tagalog kesa English. Todo explain yung classmate ko sa kanila in English tapos, "Teka lang... pwede Tagalog na lang?" Suffice to say, lahat kami speechless. XD It fascinates me that there are people out there who actually go to school to MAJOR in Filipino. Hahaha... wala lang. I guess it's the same when you go to school to major in French or Spanish. Iba lang siguro to me, at least, kasi di naman ganun ka-popular yung Filipino. Hehehe... 대박!