Body to develop, preserve RP’s other languages

Last year, reported that the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) was rethinking its purpose and was aiming to preserve RP’s other languages. This is a welcome news since we are slowly losing our identity as our culture is slowly swallowed by the different colonizers that came to ‘teach’ us the proper way. The alibata is almost extinct while there are some dialect that are slowly becoming a dialect only spoken among the senior generation. So, the move by the KWF is welcome news. Personally, I believe if we know our language well, then we have a chance for development and better understanding of other languages. Filipino is based on the Tagalog dialect, strictly speaking if we follow a pure Filipino language not everybody will be able to understand it. My Filipino teacher back in High School pointed out that in Tagalog, month and moon are spelled the same–buwan, so, how do you differentiate month from the moon? In Filipino, (if my memory serves me right), month is buwan and moon is bulan. Some of my Bicolano readers might say–ei that rings a bell. Well indeed it does because the Filipino language, ideally, is a mixture of all the dialect of the Philippines.

The Philippines had an advantage, being a colony of the US, of being one of the best English speakers in Southeast Asia. This advantage landed most of us jobs in various levels of government and organizations around the world whether be it managerial or a modest school cleaner. Our grandparents could speak fluent Spanish back then and our parents are fluent in English. When most Filipinos decided to abandon English, they were doing it as a nationalistic act–well some at least. The move to focus more on Filipino, however, became a disadvantage to some X and Y generations as the quality of English proficiency in the Philippines started deteriorating (just as the world ranking of our leading universities).

As I turned on the radio this morning, I was surprised to hear a seemingly familiar accent–a Filipino speaking English. As it turned out, it was an excerpt of the question and answer segment of the Binibining Pilipinas 2008. Here’s a video of that fateful Q&A:

I was smiling while the radio hosts were flabbergasted and laughing their hearts out–“why can’t she complete the sentence?!!” It was funny at first then I also felt embarrassed as it was a topic over the radio in Perth! I also had some grammar slip-ups both in writing and speaking (whether Filipino or English, that is) but to highlight it like this is like Spongebob under the bright sun.

Well, my whole point for this post–I do agree that we should develop our language, our culture (as in preserving our alphabet, scripts among others) but we should also be ready for the world–it’s a global village becoming smaller and smaller each day and it is inevitable that we compete head on.

Mabuhay ang Filipino!



7 thoughts on “Body to develop, preserve RP’s other languages

  1. Thank you Jim, for dropping by my blog today and for welcoming me ( into WPP. I agree with you, but you know what, whenever we Filipinos are in a country aside from the US, UK, or Australia, we stand out among the rest with regards to spoken English. Even that poor Bb. Pilipinas lady contestant would still stand out – what she lacked was self confidence, obviously.

  2. Coming from the Visayas, I was more comfortable expressing myself in English than in Tagalog. The medium of instruction in my grade and high school were mostly in English and some in our own (Visayan) dialect except of course in the subjects, Pilipino and Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies). Even the latter one used to be taught in English. My grade six Pilipino teacher used to translate the lessons in English for us all to understand them.

    My first few months in Manila was awkward as I my Tagalog was not very good. It took a bit of time for me to fluently speak the language.

    It’s good to know there is a move to preserve our dialects. But there should be balance. Filipinos should strive to speak English and Filipino languages functionally if not fluently.

  3. Filipino is a lingua franca. But basically it’s Tagalog. But the constitution says Filipino is our national language although a lot of us still say, it’s actually Tagalog. Blame the confusion on politics, trying hard not to exclude Visaya, Cebuano, Iloko, etc.

    It’s a good move, but I wish it push through. I have totally forgotten about our alibata. Sana may pantapat na tayo sa sanskrit ng mga Thais at Khmers.

    You are (so) right. We must first learn to use Filipino effectively and appropriately before trying to learn any other language.

  4. tama dapat mahalin muna natin ang sariling wika. ang mga hapon nga eh karamihan hindi naman marunong mag-ingles.

  5. Salamat sa comment ninyong lahat! 🙂 Patunay lang na may pag-ayon sa pangangailangan na maging maayos muna tayo sa sariling wika at saka natin pag-igihin sa ibang wika, lalo na sa Ingles. 😉

  6. Filipino ang lingua franca ng mga Filipino na isang dialect (pa lang) ng Tagalog. Tungkulin ng KWF na idevelop ito para maging ganap na wika. At ang Tagalog ay dapat din ipreserve ng mga Tagalog, gayun din ang Bikol ng mga Bikolano, Ilokano ng mga Ilokano atbp. Patuloy na magiging Tagalog ang tingin ng mga Tagalog at mga Pilipino sa Filipino at kung iisang wika ang tingin nila sa mga ito.

  7. Salamat Filipinayzd. Kung tutuusin ang imahe na ninanasa ng KWF sa tunay na anyo ng Filipino ay isang wika na binuo ng sari-sari nitong dialekto, na iyong binanggit, mula Tagalog, Ilokano, Bikolano, Bisaya, Waray atbp. Kung ‘di ako nagkakamali ay iyon din ang ninanais ng KWF–ang pagyamanin ang iba pang dialekto natin at sa kinalaunan ay maging ganap na wika ang Filipino, mula sa mga Filipino at gamit ng mga Filipino. 🙂

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