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"Filipino is not the language of the learned." -- James Soriano

starczamorastarczamora Sissie DaToic PEx Moderator
In celebration of Buwan ng Wika, we get THIS article from Manila Bulletin.

Language, learning, identity, privilege
Ithink
By JAMES SORIANO
August 24, 2011, 4:06am

http://mb.com.ph/articles/331851/language-learning-identity-privilege

English is the language of learning. I’ve known this since before I could go to school. As a toddler, my first study materials were a set of flash cards that my mother used to teach me the English alphabet.

My mother made home conducive to learning English: all my storybooks and coloring books were in English, and so were the cartoons I watched and the music I listened to. She required me to speak English at home. She even hired tutors to help me learn to read and write in English.

In school I learned to think in English. We used English to learn about numbers, equations and variables. With it we learned about observation and inference, the moon and the stars, monsoons and photosynthesis. With it we learned about shapes and colors, about meter and rhythm. I learned about God in English, and I prayed to Him in English.

Filipino, on the other hand, was always the ‘other’ subject — almost a special subject like PE or Home Economics, except that it was graded the same way as Science, Math, Religion, and English. My classmates and I used to complain about Filipino all the time. Filipino was a chore, like washing the dishes; it was not the language of learning. It was the language we used to speak to the people who washed our dishes.

We used to think learning Filipino was important because it was practical: Filipino was the language of the world outside the classroom. It was the language of the streets: it was how you spoke to the tindera when you went to the tindahan, what you used to tell your katulong that you had an utos, and how you texted manong when you needed “sundo na.”

These skills were required to survive in the outside world, because we are forced to relate with the tinderas and the manongs and the katulongs of this world. If we wanted to communicate to these people — or otherwise avoid being mugged on the jeepney — we needed to learn Filipino.

That being said though, I was proud of my proficiency with the language. Filipino was the language I used to speak with my cousins and uncles and grandparents in the province, so I never had much trouble reciting.


It was the reading and writing that was tedious and difficult. I spoke Filipino, but only when I was in a different world like the streets or the province; it did not come naturally to me. English was more natural; I read, wrote and thought in English. And so, in much of the same way that I learned German later on, I learned Filipino in terms of English. In this way I survived Filipino in high school, albeit with too many sentences that had the preposition ‘ay.’

It was really only in university that I began to grasp Filipino in terms of language and not just dialect. Filipino was not merely a peculiar variety of language, derived and continuously borrowing from the English and Spanish alphabets; it was its own system, with its own grammar, semantics, sounds, even symbols.

But more significantly, it was its own way of reading, writing, and thinking. There are ideas and concepts unique to Filipino that can never be translated into another. Try translating bayanihan, tagay, kilig or diskarte.

Only recently have I begun to grasp Filipino as the language of identity: the language of emotion, experience, and even of learning. And with this comes the realization that I do, in fact, smell worse than a malansang isda. My own language is foreign to me: I speak, think, read and write primarily in English. To borrow the terminology of Fr. Bulatao, I am a split-level Filipino.

But perhaps this is not so bad in a society of rotten beef and stinking fish. For while Filipino may be the language of identity, it is the language of the streets. It might have the capacity to be the language of learning, but it is not the language of the learned.

It is neither the language of the classroom and the laboratory, nor the language of the boardroom, the court room, or the operating room. It is not the language of privilege. I may be disconnected from my being Filipino, but with a tongue of privilege I will always have my connections.

So I have my education to thank for making English my mother language.
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Comments

  • pakwanpakwan PEx Rookie ⭐
    konyo eh.

    hahahaha
  • Expecting balat-sibuyas reaction in 3 . . 2 . . 1 . . :glee:
  • boom_boxboom_box PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    ^^ Well, I can't imagine that Trigonometry and Science terminologies would look like in Filipino Language...

    Language barrier pa nga siguro effect.
  • starczamorastarczamora Sissie DaToic PEx Moderator
    jonslaught wrote: »
    Expecting balat-sibuyas reaction in 3 . . 2 . . 1 . . :glee:

    It's happening on Twitter na nga eh, as expected.

    Personally, I think this has opened a discussion on whether KWP should ditch its "let the people dictate how Filipino should grow" mindset and instead create a mandated list of Filipino terms for scientific, legal, and professional usage. It is also a question whether our government should drop English as its official language (because frankly, other non-English speaking nations like Germany and Japan are doing just fine, even without English).
  • istarbaksistarbaks PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    boom_box wrote: »
    ^^ Well, I can't imagine that Trigonometry and Science terminologies would look like in Filipino Language...

    Language barrier pa nga siguro effect.

    Dep't of Education should create a task force agency dedicated to establishing Filipino words for mathematical, scientific or any other terminologies in the subjects that are still usually taught in English.

    I don't think there will be language barrier if we have our own words for technical terms. Not all things revolve around the English language. The Japanese have their own words for scientific terms and they excel in science.
  • skye_phoenixskye_phoenix PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Ay, may ganoon!?

    Well kung "Filipino is not the language of the learned." Eh di dapat, lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng lahi at bansa ay madaling matuto ng Filipino, diba, diba, diba?
  • gs09gs09 Member PEx Expert 🎖️
    ^^ That's just a waste of time and money. We should make do with what we already have.

    Nonetheless, somebody wants to get famous. :glee:
  • starczamorastarczamora Sissie DaToic PEx Moderator
    gs09 wrote: »
    ^^ That's just a waste of time and money. We should make do with what we already have.

    It may be a waste of time and money, but the results would be worth it.

    Your argument is like saying we agree with Noynoy's cancellation of RORO contracts, but I digress.
  • Roasted ManokRoasted Manok PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Keri lang yan.

    Pampasikat lang.

    Para namang tatalino tayo dyan.
  • AbulugAdventureAbulugAdventure PEx Veteran ⭐⭐
    Ay, may ganoon!?

    Well kung "Filipino is not the language of the learned." Eh di dapat, lahat ng tao, sa lahat ng lahi at bansa ay madaling matuto ng Filipino, diba, diba, diba?

    Lagi ko ngang sinasabi, dapat pag-aralan natin ang mga pangunahing wika dito sa ating bansa at hindi yung nagpapataasan ng ihi dito.
  • gs09gs09 Member PEx Expert 🎖️
    It may be a waste of time and money, but the results would be worth it.

    Your argument is like saying we agree with Noynoy's cancellation of RORO contracts, but I digress.

    If the results are worth it, then it isn't a waste of time and money, is it?

    And I'd say the results aren't worth it. If the DepEd pushes for the implementation of Filipino (Tagalog) translation of scientific terms, then how about those Filipinos who are not well-versed in Tagalog? Should we also make translations for them?

    The evolution of language is a product of the people and the culture that use it. Rather than focusing on the language, why not focus on establishing a culture of research and higher learning that we obviously lack today? That would probably have a longer lasting effect and the language would most likely follow suit.
  • Lagi ko ngang sinasabi, dapat pag-aralan natin ang mga pangunahing wika dito sa ating bansa at hindi yung nagpapataasan ng ihi dito.

    Expecting PExer pataasan ng ihi thread in 3 . . 2 . . 1 . . :glee:
  • starczamorastarczamora Sissie DaToic PEx Moderator
    gs09 wrote: »
    If the results are worth it, then it isn't a waste of time and money, is it?

    And I'd say the results aren't worth it. If the DepEd pushes for the implementation of Filipino (Tagalog) translation of scientific terms, then how about those Filipinos who are not well-versed in Tagalog? Should we also make translations for them?

    The evolution of language is a product of the people and the culture that use it. Rather than focusing on the language, why not focus on establishing a culture of research and higher learning that we obviously lack today? That would probably have a longer lasting effect and the language would most likely follow suit.

    First off, it's not DepEd who should be responsible in introducing Filipino terms for scientific terms. It is the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF).

    If these "Filipino scientific terms" are bothersome for non-Filipino speaking Filipinos, then perhaps they can translate it to their native tongue, just like what we normally do.

    (You know, like Earth is to English, Daigidig is to Tagalog, Yatu is to Kapampangan, Kalibotan is to Cebuano, Daga is to Ilokano, etc.)

    Besides, many of these advanced sciences were not written in English when they were first developed and discovered.

    We also have the mathematical basics in Filipino (dinagdag, binawas, pinarami, hinati). I don't think it would be a waste translating trigonometry and calculus to Filipino (and in other regional languages) because language is meant to be understood, as a means of communication.

    Now if we let these advanced subjects in English, then we are merely proving Mr. Soriano right.
  • Expect an apology from the author in the next few days.

    @gs09: I agree, he'll get his 15 minutes of fame.


    Why should he? He is stating a fact. Ours is a society of rotten beef and stinking fish. We have abandoned our identity by abandoning our own language. We speak English in our schools, courtrooms, offices, etc. We think English can be a language that could be universally spoken in our archipelago. BUt guess what, English remains a status symbol, spoken only by the learned elite. Meanwhile the national language remains to be the language spoken by the masses. Until we abandon, the hypocrisy of using English as practically our official language, we will never bridge the gap between the masses and the elite, we will continue having a dysfunctional educational, legal system and all other systems that pretends English is the better language that would facilitate our social communication

    kudos to the author for revealing and speaking about what many would not say*okay**okay**okay*
  • Keri lang yan.

    Pampasikat lang.

    Para namang tatalino tayo dyan.


    isipin mo kung gano kadali ang edukasyon sa pilipinas kung Filipino ang ginagamit. Mas tatalino siguro ang mga estudyante kung wika nila ang ginagamit nila sa pag-aaral
  • BULAKENYO1980BULAKENYO1980 PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Sa bagong official alphabet, sinama na ang english alphabet plus "enye" at "Ng".

    Hindi na ABAKADA.

    Kasi nga, allowed na sa Filipino na i-adopt ang words na walang katumbas na Tagalog word. Or kung may katumbas man, masyadong formal or old school at mahirap gamitin sa everyday use.

    Kaya nakaka asar minsan makita sa tabloids ang paggamit nila sa headlines ng salitang "TINEDYER" instead of "Teenager", "DYIP" instead of "Jeep".

    Pag accepted na widespread ang word, kahit foreign or regional, adopted na yun as Filipino.
  • It's happening on Twitter na nga eh, as expected.

    Personally, I think this has opened a discussion on whether KWP should ditch its "let the people dictate how Filipino should grow" mindset and instead create a mandated list of Filipino terms for scientific, legal, and professional usage. It is also a question whether our government should drop English as its official language (because frankly, other non-English speaking nations like Germany and Japan are doing just fine, even without English).

    coz japan and germany are where smart people live*okay*
  • istarbaks wrote: »
    Dep't of Education should create a task force agency dedicated to establishing Filipino words for mathematical, scientific or any other terminologies in the subjects that are still usually taught in English.

    I don't think there will be language barrier if we have our own words for technical terms. Not all things revolve around the English language. The Japanese have their own words for scientific terms and they excel in science.

    The only reason why Filipino can't be used to express mathematical, scientific and philosophical thoughts is because we are not using it. Other countries are using their own language as medium of instruction and they produce better mathematicians, scientists, engineers, doctors, and lawyers
  • starczamorastarczamora Sissie DaToic PEx Moderator
    dugongaso wrote: »
    coz japan and germany are where smart people live*okay*

    Because they have an education system using a language that is understood by ALL, not by some, not by a few.
  • Kapulisan . Lagi nalang napapangawa tatay ko pag naririnig ang salitang yan.

    Narinig ko rin si Korina sinabi "episyente" (efficient). :glee:
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