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  #1  
Old August 25, 2012, 10:30 AM
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Filipino and Spanish

I just wish to share a few thoughts on my experience as a Filipino learning the Spanish language.

First, the perks: Since many Filipino words were derived from Spanish (owing to our country's colonial history), Filipino speakers already have a head start when it comes to vocabulary. Here are a few Filipino words that mean the same as their similarly-sounding Spanish counterparts: nobyo, mundo, tinidor, kabayo (caballo), banyo, relo, sobre, takilya, huwes (juez), berde. Filipino speakers typically know English, too, so that contributes further to one's starting vocabulary in Spanish.

Furthermore, grammar rules that may be uncommon in English, such as the noun-adjective order and the verb-subject order in passive voice, are normal in the Filipino language. For me, this helped me "accept" these grammar rules rules quite quickly.

Of course, it does have its share of inconveniences. We deal with false cognates that others may not have to encounter. Most confusing are Sp. siempre (always) and Fil. siyempre (of course), Sp. seguro (sure) and Fil. siguro (maybe), and Sp. demasiado (too much) and Fil. 'di masyado (not too much).

And some words that are otherwise unremarkable in the Spanish language are used as offensive words in Filipino. For example, the Spanish-derived salbahe and mutsatsa (muchacha) are almost exclusively used for offensive purposes in the Filipino context.

For those whose native languages are other than English and Spanish, what were your language-learning experiences coming from your native language?
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  #2  
Old August 26, 2012, 10:01 AM
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Astonishingly good English CK! Where/how did you learn to write so flawlessly?
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Old August 27, 2012, 07:38 AM
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Thanks! English is used as a medium of instruction and written communication here in the Philippines, so we Filipinos learn the language from an early age. Plus, the English language is a major subject in the curriculum in all levels of education.

Last edited by Coffee Kitten; August 27, 2012 at 07:54 AM.
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Old August 27, 2012, 08:11 AM
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Hi Coffe Kitten!

Most of the times Spanish words are given a local meaning (in the philippines) which is very different from the original Spanish meaning. For example:
Todas = finished
Todo = to include or be included.
Sutil = Stubborn
por venir = for the future
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Old August 28, 2012, 04:58 PM
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Yes, this just flows. I mean non-natives never say things like "First the perks:" That is 100% native! Moreover it's just good writing: clear, concise, expressive. Fantastic. Just apply to Spanish whatever you've done with English and you'll sound like a native in no time I'm sure.
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Old August 28, 2012, 08:21 PM
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vita32: Not to mention the Filipino words kubeta (toilet), lamyerda (to go out and have fun), and kesehoda (who cares). I learned only recently that the latter two were derived from Spanish profanity!

BenCondor: Thanks for the encouragement.
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:01 PM
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Coffee Kitten, I had an embarrassing moment back in college (here in U.S.), when I had a classmate from South America and I asked her the meaning of some Spanish words that I heard my brothers say to their friends, I will not repeat it here but the lady was embarrassed and would not tell me the meaning. She just told me that the words were profanity. Later on I looked up the words in a Spanish-English dictionary. Now, I am very cautious about some Spanish words that start with the letter "C".
I used to hear my father say "maldad!" when we were kids and he was angry for something we've done. I just now realized that this was localized Spanish for "Mal edad" (bad age).
(Tagalog) sige (go ahead or continue) = sigue (Spanish)
It would be nice to have a list of all the Spanish Words that are mixed in with the Filipino dialects.
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Last edited by vita32; August 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM. Reason: To write more.
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Old September 18, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Just curious, is it true that Filipino language has Japanese grammar and words?
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Old September 18, 2012, 06:39 PM
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I don't know Japanese so I can't make the comparison on my own, so I did some searching around and found out that, apparently, the Filipino language does have some Japanese-derived words.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...words#Japanese

Note: There are a couple of translation errors in the article. Haba = length (width is "lapad" in our language), and tamang-tama = just right (it can be used as "coincidentally" in certain context, but, in my opinion, that's not the primary meaning).
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Last edited by Coffee Kitten; September 18, 2012 at 06:46 PM.
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Old September 20, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by vita32 View Post
I used to hear my father say "maldad!" when we were kids and he was angry for something we've done. I just now realized that this was localized Spanish for "Mal edad" (bad age)
Really? Is that so?

In Spanish "maldad" means "evilness" and it's used when something bad happens as soon as something else happens, for instance:

"Maldad que esos dos carajitos se junten para que empiecen a ladillarme"

Meaning: As soon as those two little kids meet, they start to annoying the crap out of me.

Of course the English translation is not correct, the formality is different but I am just giving you the "standard" idea.

More examples:

Maldad que vea un helado porque ya se lo quiere comer.
Maldad que me vea por la calle porque empieza a cobrarme.
Maldad que vea un celular nuevo en una tienda, ahí mismo lo quiere comprar.

So, as I said "Maldad" means, besides evilness, as soon as + negative context.

Not sure how it's used in other countries, though.
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