Should Filipinos Go Back to Pursuing Excellence in English?

Through the years, I have witnessed the steady decline of Filipinos in about almost everything they used to be good at, and one area is in their command of the English language.

While neighboring countries like Korea and Japan have only recently realized the great value of this de-facto language of choice in today’s highly interconnected world of global trade, business and media; and have been working hard to catch up to our level (like coming over to learn English here), here we are as Pinoys (true to stupid form) going in the direction of the dodo bird in finding new ways to achieve self-destruction and eventual extinction towards obscurity. Is this really our fate?

Our degradation in English competency has recently been aggravated by our becoming the texting capital of the world (cge c u ltr ha) – further bastardizing and perverting the hardly respectable FUBR level of Taglish we are left using in classrooms to teach the next generation. What a big blow on Filipino pupils’ capacity to spell correctly.

reading_philippines

People! English is about the only clear leverage we have in this region of the world even as we struggle to advertise the Philippines to be a major tourist destination and a location foreign investors would consider setting up shop in and here we are flushing this pearl of a competitive advantage we’ve been blessed with down our stinking clogged sewers.

Every now and then, we get some clamor for the use of Tagalog on this blog site. One commenter Mr. Salamat in the midst of our discussion on a previous article respectfully questioned us on why we were using a foreign language here if our objective was to reach the masses. And recall that Mr. Grimwald some time ago even went to great lengths writing articles in Tagalog for this large but rather marginalized audience. This gave me the impetus to think deeper about what we stand to gain or lose in keeping English as our primary medium of formal communication. Let me air my views (to mention a few):

1. Personally, I prefer to use English to communicate in and outside this site owing to its far richer and superior depth of vocabulary. Tagalog doesn’t even have words for “cute”, “convenient”, “precision” and “quantum electrodynamics”. How am I supposed to express myself effectively and accurately?

2. I don’t know about my fellow citizens (like in U.P. where they are translating entire science courses into Tagalog – looks like a waste of time/effort to me; focus on fixing your research instead guys), but I am a proponent of bringing back Filipinos’ level of English to that in the glory days of our parents a generation ago (Marcos’s era) – boy, were they good grammarians back then (subject-verb agreement, appropriate use of articles, etc.). Wouldn’t that be beneficial for our Call Center industry and for fuelling the competence of our OFWs, sectors through which we rake in billions to keep this domestic-consumption-driven economy largely afloat?

3. Lastly Tagalog has its place. It is a beautiful language suited for singing and poetry with the softly rolling “…ang”, “…hay” and “nga…” sounds not present in rigid-sounding languages like German or Japanese and that just blends perfectly with the beautiful intonations of Filipino singers/poets gifted with so much innate emotional firepower. However, Tagalog is not a language designed for written text. I mean – what a chore to write all those repeating syllables like “sa pamamagitan ng” – when you can simply and compactly say “by” in English. Sa totoo lang nakakaduling at nakakahilong basahin ang Tagagagagalogogogogog. By its sheer overall efficiency, we just have to concede that English is simply more concise and loaded on a per letter basis. Time (for typing) is gold; paper is expensive – so why use a slower medium that occupies more space when a faster one exists.

Hey don’t accuse me of being pro-colonial-imperialism – I’m just following the national hero’s example: Noli and Fili were in Spanish right? I still love Tagalog and use it extensively for casual verbal communication with loved ones and friends. So Filipinos who simply have the practical common sense to use English shouldn’t be categorized as the “stinking fish” Rizal was talking about.

Singapore being a society composed of a mixture of Chinese, Malays and Indians adopted a very smart policy we ought to consider following: to make English the official language for business, government and education, and to keep it that way rather than vacillating like a woman’s mood in her monthly cycle attack. Let’s make a stand.

And that policy didn’t keep Singaporeans from maintaining their sense of national pride and patriotism. It’s about time we Filipinos wake up by emulating our smart neighbor if we want to follow its tested and proven path of success, unless of course we are simply content on continually eating the dust of every other country that has zoomed past us.

Mabuhay ang wikang Ingles!

[Photo courtesy New York Times.]

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Post Author: zaxx

Zealous revolutionary advocate of bringing back common sense for the common good in a land of dysfunctional and delusional zombies.

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270 Comments on "Should Filipinos Go Back to Pursuing Excellence in English?"

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AG
Guest
Yes, English is a lingua franca, but there are times that using Filipino is better. However, what language to use in different situations is a case to case basis. Dipende sa kausap kasi eh. So rather than pursuing excellence in English or Filipino, why not both? Why choose one over the other kung pwede naman parehas? Makakabuti naman di ba? And just my two cents, since this blog is about Filipinos and for Filipinos, wala naman problema kung mix ng English at Filipino yung articles di ba? Wag lang naman yung sobrang bastardized na mix. Buysit yun. Pero basta ang… Read more »
Pallacertus
Guest

Bastardize both languages, why don’t we? If we can give birth to Chabacano (despite Spanish prejudices) and Taglish (if not without high-handed snarking from linguistic puritans), why not even more? It can only benefit us expressively in the long run.

AG
Guest
It is unavoidable. Language evolves and adapts to the needs of its users. But it does not mean we should be content with that. As said before, rather than excel in English alone, why not both? Can we not use what we know appropriately? It’s one thing to master a “bastard” language, but to master both its parent language, is it not an entirely different matter? But still, reading ChinoF’s comment: “It’s one thing to get Filipinos to pursue excellence in English. It’s another thing to get Filipinos to pursue excellence at all. Many Filipinos just want a free ride… Read more »
Jerry Lynch
Guest

AG, if you think Filipino is “most prevalent among the people of the Philippines” you need to get some more of that vaunted Filipino “education.” Various Visayan dialects are spoken by far more people than is Filipino/Tagalog.

When my wife and I were in Bukidnon for about 6 weeks the only people she could speak to were the few who spoke English. It isn’t as if she has no language skills because she speaks English, Filipino, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, French and Japanese.

AG
Guest
@Jerry Lynch I concede that the statement I had said may have been wrong as I do seem to have a bias for Tagalog as I am from Metro Manila. (I’ll be using Tagalog rather than Filipino for now as it is confusing to alternate between Filipino language and Filipino people. It may be wrong, but I think there is this thing with the Filipino language where it is mostly Tagalog. I apologize in advance just in case.) Going on, how about I rephrase what I mean by prevalent? Hmm… How should I say it… Tagalog is more utilized? And… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

Are you trying to convince us, or yourself, with your speech?

AG
Guest
There are many points being raised here so I’m not actually sure. =D Though I would want to reiterate and clarify my stance: I am not against the pursuit of excellence in English. I support it and would also want to pursue better ways of improving it for everybody. But still, what I am against is the total, I repeat, TOTAL elimination of Filipino education. But lately, I am having second thoughts. For the past few days, I have been thinking about it and had discussed it with some of my classmates who came from the provinces (Most from the… Read more »
Jerry Lynch
Guest
The ONLY place on earth where a claim MIGHT (MIGHT)be made that “there are times that using Filipino is better” is The Philippines. It is spoken nowhere in the civilized world. Without English your economy would be on the level of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Zimbabwe and Burundi. Your education system is among the worst in the word and you have absolutely ZERO work ethic as a nation. That means you are basically lazy as shit and unable or unwilling to do anything to make a better nation. You had best keep learning some kind of English so… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

AG,

To keep from “bastardizing” English and Tagalog (including Tag-lish), Filipinos should just adhere to using each language (English and Tagalog) in its purest and correct form.

In other words, stick to the respective grammar rules for both language. If anyone is caught breaking those rules, they should be made to look like idiots and penalized by being called as such in their face.

Aeta

Jerry Lynch
Guest
There is only 1 place on earth that speaks Tagalog so it, like Latin, is almost a useless language. Latin has the advantage of being a “dead language” in that it is not spoken in conversation by anyone so no new vocabulary or meanings come about. That is why Latin is used in medicine and law. A word will mean the same thing a hundred years from now what it means today. English is universally recognized as the lingua franca of business and should be taught and learned properly. For the past 18 years I have taught ESL to Koreans,… Read more »
74Toro007Hayden9999.9997
Guest
74Toro007Hayden9999.9997

English is my first language. I use also Tagalog. I can speak and write, several foreign languages.

English made me, be educated in good Universities in the U.S. It gave me higher education. With higher education; I was able to be employed in a good company.I need the English language ; because, my field of work is in the Technical/Scientific field. Most of the advanced books, literature, and articles in my field are written in English language.

Besides, I am married to a British girl. She cannot understand Tagalog. But, with English, we understand each other. My children all speak English.

Aeta
Guest

74Toro007Hayden9999.9997,

English has served you well, and was well-worth learning it.

Aeta

OnesimusUnbound
Guest
I do agree with the article overall but there are few things that don’t ring true to me. For an example, even if tagalog is written quite longer, it’s more phonetical than English. In English there’s a spelling bee, in Tagalog, none. why b in “doubt” silent? To be fair, English has one of the easiest grammar in indo-european languages? Do you know how to conjugate a Spanish verb? Do you know how German adjective changes? English is far easier than these two languages, but its orthography is a huge mess. Without a speller checker, mine will br littered with… Read more »
Jerry Lynch
Guest
English is the lingua franca of business and travel worldwide. Yes, the spread of English was the result of colonialism, but not of the Americans, but of the British who at one time said, “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” Regardless of how or why English came to The Philippines, it IS the language of international business and tourism. To ignore it and lose competence for the sake of some childish “national identity” is simply stupid. The English used here is abysmal & even for someone like myself who has been here for 12 years (I teach English),… Read more »
OnesimusUnbound
Guest
To be clear, I wouldn’t mind if English becomes the only national language in the Philippines. I just don’t think that its so called efficiency is a major reason it’s a good medium of communication. From a design perspective, its spelling is a huge mess. Tagalog is way easier to spell. Of course, tagalog is complicated when it comes to its verb form. At the end, debating the efficiency of a language will not get us somewhere. English is the lingua franca because USA exerts a economical, social and political influence globally. Also, majority of literature in the world is… Read more »
Jerry Lynch
Guest

English is the Lingua Franca of business because the British spread English around the world. It has BECOME the language of business because the largest market speaks English, so I essentially agree with you, but not as far as the “why” English is used
world wide.

OnesimusUnbound
Guest
@zaxx Nya, in spoken realm, homonyms are disambiguate by context in the sentence. The same goes for Japanese. The written form is a different matter. Japanese, with it’s limited consonant-vowel combination, has to rely on Kanji + hiragana to disambiguate it’s meaning. Admittedly, the written form in English helps in disambiguate it. Nonetheless, English spelling is still a challenge that non native speakers struggles, but thanks to speller checker, it’s a less problem, “convenience store”? When at night and speaking to someone, I’ll say “tindahan” and be done :-). Of course, I can speak in Taglish achieve my objective. I… Read more »
Vagoneto Rieles
Guest
I had written a piece related to the topic..to myself..earlier. I check this ‘column’ now-and-then, and,  sure enough, something about ‘English’ comes on. “Singapore and India have two remarkable things in common. They, both, have  ‘tiger economies’ and have ‘English’ as their official language. Japan, China and South Korea have a similar kinship themselves. They are industrialized and aggressive economies; and, all three are pursuing programs that would install English as their second language. All these Asian countries accept the fact that English is the ‘lingua franca’ of today’s world. The Philippines, for her part, seems to be going the… Read more »
DR
Guest

Competency in English is essential. I am sorry but tagalog is not worth learning and my children will be English only. Coupled with the removal of the foreign investment restrictions would lead to a much more vibrant ecomony

Pallacertus
Guest

Very well. Are you planning on enrolling them on expensive exclusive schools then shuttling them out of the country and into an English-speaking nation when they step into college, just to shield them from corrupting native influences?

Good luck with that.

Serge
Guest

Not like those natives have anything of real value to echange, unless you count “cultural experience” from a study abroad program.

TOM SOLSKI
Guest
I agree with your article and would state that it is because of the English Language in the Philippines that many foreign nationals opt to retire here and to many visit as tourist for that reason. Presently it is one of the easiest countries in Asia to communicate in. It seems that the younger Filipino’s are not as willing as the Filipina’s to learn & to communicate in English. Being in the Tourism Business I would like to stress the importance of being proficient in English if you wish to work in Tourism, the Colleges teaching Tourism need to stress… Read more »
Angela Markel
Guest

@ T. Solski: So, how are things on Camiguin? Has it been completely ruined by the housing development behind Mambajao yet? 400 houses behind a sleepy little town with no traffic lights, 3 operating ferries on/off the Island…and one road going around the whole Island,OMG! it will be ruined soon if it is not already, yes?

Edward
Guest
To misquote Bones from Star Trek “It’s English Jim, but not as we know it”. As far as I can see, the standard of English teaching here is very poor. I have had to correct the text in my step-son’s English book and also the answers in tests. His English teachers cannot differentiate he/she, come/go, bring/take, on/to and the use of salvage to mean murder. Their use of English has a lot of slang in it, and they are surprised when I correct my step-son. Their view is that English is a foreign language and as such we should accept… Read more »
Pallacertus
Guest
The fact of the matter is that even with our linguistic hoity-toitiness and puritanism, the English language will always lend its hand to local conditions. If the Americans bastardized British English with liberal helpings of slang and cant and neologisms and whatnot to suit their expansive tastes (and I have my Menckens at hand to prove it), why can’t we? So the fact of the matter is that among us natives sufficiently immersed in the English language to play ball with it, the emergence of different words (or emphases, as the tasty redifinition of “salvage” highlights) that suit local fancies… Read more »
Serge
Guest

Simply because the “local” flavor gives off super cringey stench for one thing? The unintelligible gibberish that is jejemon is but the tip of the proverbial shitberg.

Pallacertus
Guest

I don’t like jejemon myself, but short of giving ourselves a Hawaiian Special (and would you just look how the Hawaiian language is flourishing stacked beneath molding notebooks and whiting bones !) or else taking Swiftian satire (A Modest Proposal, more like) and/or Defoesque pretension seriously (The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, anyone?), I can’t and won’t want to stop non-English speakers, us included from playing with English as they see fit.

Serge
Guest

Simply put, the way Filipinos mutate English is equal to the same “Kalye” level as Ebonics. It sounds classless and displeasing to the ear. This seems to be a problem with anything foreign they touch on from Jeeps to Catholicism. Yes, they put their own spin on things in more tacky ways than one.

Pallacertus
Guest
Well, of course if we must lambast Tagalog, we do it in total ignorance of the near-extinction of yeoman Middle English in twelfth-century Britain, pinned as it was between ecclesiastical Latin and royal French (and I’m willing to bet there were a lot of odious snobs who evidently felt the English they so loathed will die in due course). If we must lambast Taglish, we do it despite the fact that English took its sweet time to assimilate Norse, French, Latin, and other influences well before Chaucer then the Elizabethan men of letters, that the process took goddamn centuries despite… Read more »
Jerry Lynch
Guest

A friend of mine in CDO tells me that he was constantly finding mistakes in the English curriculum of his biological son born in The Philippines. The child’s English teacher would get offended when she was corrected in her grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. At some point she was asked who Shakespeare was and even though she had a degree in English Literature from Ateneo University, had never even HEARD of the most famous author in the English language.

andrew
Guest

honestly the country needs native English speakers as teachers. if I’m the president I would hire English teachers from the west to correct the mistakes in our educational system.

Aeta
Guest

andrew,

What the Filipinos need is to go back to the basics of English education: a thorough understanding of the 8 Parts of Speech, punctuation, reading comprehension, writing, speaking and listening.

Aeta

Dave
Guest

@andrew You would have to pay considerably higher salaries for it to be worth native English foreigners getting out bed in the morning. Unless you’re happy with a influx of experience-seeking gap year students who’ll work for beer and board.

It would make more sense to raise salaries to the point where decent Filipino English speakers could stay at home rather than heading to Japan and Korea to be employed by thrifty schools that can’t afford their favoured caucasians.

Jerry Lynch
Guest

Get elected and hire me.

Aeta
Guest

Jerry Lynch,

That is typical of Filipino English teachers who don’t understand half of what they are teaching their students. My own children have also suffered from a lack of solid English education, even though I paid good money for a private school education in the Philippines. It is a classic case of “the blind leading the blind” when it comes to Filipinos teaching English to other Filipinos.

Aeta

Pallacertus
Guest

How awfully convenient, even for an anecdote.

Aeta
Guest

Pallacertus,

I cannot think of a better way to describe the truth, when it comes to English usage in the Philippines.

Aeta

Pallacertus
Guest

There are a few questions that went unasked here before the dubiously specific case of the Filipino pedagogical ignoramus was exploded into a generalizing verdict of Pinoy insipidity.

No one bothered to ask because, what the hell, to question is hell.

Aeta
Guest

Pallacertus,

It’s not true. That’s just your Pinoy Pride preventing you from accepting the truth laid out before you.

Aeta

Pallacertus
Guest

No, that’s my skeptical side kicking in. With accusations this grave, you’d expect something other than prima facie assertions to bolster this anecdote, but nope.

Kung Amerikano o Pranses o Mozambican EngLit prof ito ganoon rin ang magiging reaksyon ko. I’d supposed that kind of stance was the usual one to take here, pero nakalimutan kong GRP pala ito. Sorry if I offended your sensibility — I should’ve accepted what Jerry Lynch narrated without reservations, and if I did have them, I’d rather not comment, for to dissent is hellfire, eh, Aeta?

joeld
Guest

Tagalog, as a national language only served to inhibit, to be divisive, of this country instead of unifying it.

Decades ago, you can communicate with anybody even in the remotest places of the Philippines in english. Might not be textbook perfect, but it works.

With regards to tagalogizing this site, well, there you again with the bobopinoy attitude, the world should adopt to pinoys and not the other way around. Bobopinoy! And oh, to add, tagalog is not the only dialect in the Philippines.

Pallacertus
Guest
If asserting our linguistic prerogatives is a hallmark of what you call a “bobopinoy”, then what of our erstwhile North Asian neighbors (e. g. the Chinese and Japanese)? Of course, I know the CCP has been and is ramping up efforts to educate its billions in the rudiments of English so that millions of the most talented can partake in scholarships and entrepreneurial opportunities and whatnot given China’s economic ties to the United States (aha! caveat!) — but what of Japan? It’s been greatly Westernized since the Meiji Restoration and especially since World War II, but no one would deny… Read more »
Serge
Guest
You’re obviously out of touch with what’s going in Japan. They are starting to realize that English is vital to remaining competitive globally and have been pushing efforts to bettr their program, be it by inviting more native English teacher or studying abroad to English speaking countries (PH being one of them. Shocker, I know.). And despite Japan’s place as a soft power titan, it doesn’t even come close to America’s. Japan asking the rest of the world to conform to its language and culture? What crockery is this? East Asia is in a better position than Philippines that’s for… Read more »
Carmicheal
Guest

“Japan asking the rest of the world to conform to its language and culture?”

Aren’t they?

Serge
Guest

No, they’re just doing their own thing. It just so happens their culture is perceived as cool to outsiders hence “Cool Japan.” A more passive approach. It’s the opposite to America which it actively imposes its own culture and values outside its borders, whether people like it or not.

Pallacertus
Guest
“And despite Japan’s place as a soft power titan, it doesn’t even come close to America’s. Japan asking the rest of the world to conform to its language and culture? What crockery is this?” Of course with America everything is bigger than life, especially in terms of soft power (save those ding-a-lings of course — Russia is the clear winner, yes?), but a well-informed casual visitor to the Land of the Rising Sun doesn’t usually expect the Japanese man on the street to speak fluent English, or even prolonged streams of English beyond the usual courtesies and loanwords said casual… Read more »
Jerry Lynch
Guest

That is why I teach English to Japanese students online.

joeld
Guest
Think of it this way: I am a father of two kids. I have been trying to insulate my kids from mainstream media. I let them watch shows from other countries. We visit other countries when we can. I want them to be ready, what’s the word, GLOBALLY. I do not want them to just work within the confines of the Philippines. Hell, I do not want them to settle in the Philippines. This is not a matter of patriotism, it is a matter of being productive citizens of the world. I can ask you now, what has Filipinos contributed… Read more »
AG
Guest
@joeld Language is one big barrier that we need to overcome? Can I ask then how other countires that perform worse than us in English like China, Japan, Singapore, S. Korea, or any other non-native English nation overcome that? Regardless of their capabilities in English, they seem to be doing quite well… I’m not being provocative or anything but your point really did indeed make me wonder about that… As you seem to be much more well-traveled than I am, I’m wondering about what your take is regarding what I have said above. And given this “Globalism” stuff that is… Read more »
Nargazoid
Guest

China is now crazy about learning English.

joeld
Guest
@AG The countries which you have mentioned, non-native english nations, are not immune to this language barrier. As it is, these countries are giving extra effort to learn english. The language barrier for them may not be that obvious since they have something to offer big time. They are industrial giants, compared to the Philippines. What has the Philippines have to offer? I agree that the Philippines has been reduced to just being mere consumers in the global scene. We need to change this. We have brilliant minds in technology, the government just needs to create a place that these… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

joeld,

With so many dialects spoken in the country, Tagalog being one of them, the Philippines should adopt a language that everyone can practically use, to eliminate the disparity and division among Filipinos. If everyone talks the same language, they can understand each other better.

Aeta

Taga-ilog
Guest

Bilib na sana ako sa pasikat mo sa pag-iingles, nang bigla kong nabasa ang mga katagang “with regards” …OK kuya, regards to you!

Taga-ilog
Guest

^para kay joeld din

Sean Akizuki
Guest
OnesimusUnbound
Guest

Spanish – I’ve heard that Spanish is a in demand language in the call center, catering for the growing Latin Americans in the US, though I’ve quite doubted it considering south America got a bunch of Spanish speakers, though the wage difference may give Philippines an edge. anyway feel free to refute this, I haven’t thoroughly verified this claim.

Mandarin and Nihonggo – Not sure about this considering one needs to overcome cultural hindrances to succeed in these nations, but it wouldn’t be bad at all.

Serge
Guest
Sorry but Spanish is a language of the poor. It’s not a business one in the sense that you’ll be using it to speak with others at a board meeting or a conference. The most you’ll get out of it is probably going to the Americas and talk your way out of being shanked if you end up in a slum or something. Japanese is a bit limited now that it has lost a bit of its appeal ever since its economy has been in the doldrums in the past few decades. Mandarin is probably the best bet. Philippines is… Read more »
Proud Pinoy
Guest

“Ang Di Magmahal Sa Sariling Wika Daig Pa Ang Hayop At Malansang Isda” — Jose Rizal

Kiatan
Guest

Yeah tell that to Visayan and Mindanaoan! We love our own language more than your Tagalog.

Cossack_25A-1
Guest

Debunked; Rizal couldn’t have written the poem where that attributed quote came from, specially when he was 8-years old.

Get past your idiotic “praydist” mentality, it just makes you an imbecile.

Pallacertus
Guest

Rizal being Rizal being a polymathic polyglot, I would think he could’ve — but then I do think exceptional talents, especially those like Rizal’s, can and will manifest themselves very early in life.

Need I say I don’t think you believe that?

Pallacertus
Guest

Of course I’m not saying Rizal was a polymathic polyglot at 8 years old — but he did have the talent, yes?

T
Guest

“Live long and prosper” – Gandalf

saboteur
Guest

I think Spock said that, not Gandalf.

Serge
Guest

I think you missed the joke, bro.

Grimwald
Member

“And di lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay may STIFF NECK.”

~Ogie Alcasid, Bubble Gang

Proven true, actually. My neck still hurts right now. Really, I should remind myself to sober up before sleeping.

OW! Dangit.

Gagong Lipunan
Guest

Mali. “Ang di lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay may tinatakbuhan.” LOL.

Grimwald
Member

Na-experience ko iyan ng hinabol ako ng mga aso ng kapit-bahay ko…

OnesimusUnbound
Guest

Dude, Rizal authorship of the poem you’re quoting from is questionable. I used to think Rizal said it until I’ve learned it wasn’t the case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa_Aking_Mga_Kabata#Authenticity

domo
Guest

Are you implying that non-NCR Filipinos are not Filipinos at all you pinoy ultranationalist?

Jerry Lynch
Guest
Spanish is spoken as a first language than any other language on Earth. You do not just pick a language to learn because a lot of people near you speak it. You learn English because it is spoken world wide and almost exclusively in the business world. Go to a business meeting in Hamburg, Germany where are the following nationalities: German, British, Dutch, Greek, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Saudi, American and Filipino. The language spoken at that meeting will be English, and the people at the most serious disadvantage are the Filipinos because they learned it incorrectly as children, and are… Read more »
Paul Jeremiah
Guest

I agree with the author all the way.

d_forsaken
Guest

I’m bilingual, speaking English and body language. I prefer the latter, because I can speak it silently and without listening and while my back is turned.

MMX
Guest

Yes. Yes! At all costs, yes! Even that of our national identity!

Presidente Emilio
Guest

Not just English. It’s also high time to bring back Spanish. Let’s rectify the mistakes of the 1987 constitution and reclaim our lost heritage.

I’m sure Rizal and others would be happy with that move.

Pallacertus
Guest

I can see sense in trying to shore up English instruction here — but Spanish? It’s, like, how many of us really need Spanish in our day-to-day lives? How many of us will go to countries where Spanish is the dominant language?

Let Spanish instruction be the province of pedagogues seeking to mine the prejudices of the peninsulares, and of bibliophiles and cineastes (like me) who hanker after a Dario or a Dali. If anyone wants to learn Spanish, let him; otherwise, let him be.

Manang Mambobola
Guest

Well.. in call centers, they give higher pay to those who can communicate in Spanish.

Gagong Lipunan
Guest

Well, newsflash, fella. Spanish speakers are now increasing globally, while English speakers are slowly decreasing. Don’t get me wrong though, English is still the world’s lingua franca for the years to come.

If you’re still skeptical, use Google.

Domeng
Guest

lots of demands for spanish speaking reps these days with salaries so high a lot of my colleagues are already inquiring about instituto de cervantes. so no, as far as spanish language is concerned, it’s gaining traction in the philippines.

OnesimusUnbound
Guest

As I’ve heard, this is to cater for middle class to upper class Latinos in USA, hence the demand.

I’m studying Spanish, but not primarily for economic reason, but for enjoyment of learning it.

Your friends may supplement their study of Spanish with Duolingo, a great way to study foreign language by gamification.

Jerry Lynch
Guest
This country has no cultural heritage, or culture for that matter. Before the Spaniards arrived this country was a mishmash of small tribal entities with no shared culture. That Filipinos think there is a “national Filipino identity or culture” proves the failures of the so-called “education system” in this place. Had it not been for the Spanish this country would still be a random grouping of islands and tribes with nothing but brown skin in common. As for Spanish language being taught…it probably SHOULD be taught in America because it is the first language of more people than any other… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

Jerry Lynch,

Exactly! This country were all tribes and fought with each other. Evidence of these warring (feudal) nature is still evident today among Filipinos. Whatever culture Filipinos boast were adapted from the Spanish first, the Americans second; and, they use their Spanish aristocracy and American ties to create disparities and divisions amongst each other.

Aeta

Pallacertus
Guest
“Before the Spaniards arrived this country was a mishmash of small tribal entities with no shared culture.” Maybe. Maybe not. The fact of the matter is that we know next to shit about precolonial Philippines — the various languages and dialects do bear the imprint and influence of various civilizations even before Magellan’s arrival, and it is true that there never was a political entity hegemonizing over what we now call this country before the Spaniards came, but apart from those and a few other incidental clues as well as estimations from jaundiced if not biased colonial observers written after… Read more »
Gagong Lipunan
Guest

What’s wrong with Spanish? Isn’t it better if a person knows more languages. Some friends of mine told me that persons that is fluent in more than 2 languages gets a job faster than those who knows English and a random native language only. Why not add Spanish to your language arsenal? Heck, I wanted to learn French.

Serge
Guest

French is more useful in the long run since a lot of international organizations (EU ones at that) use it. I personally prefer German or the Nordic languages because I like their culture and plan to visit there.

ChinoF
Member

It’s one thing to get Filipinos to pursue excellence in English. It’s another thing to get Filipinos to pursue excellence at all. Many Filipinos just want a free ride to sarap ng buhay.

Aeta
Guest

YABANG PA!,

There is no need to be mayabang (have too much “Pinoy Pride) and defensive about the Tagalog language. Just because Filipinos pursue excellence in English language doesn’t mean they have to give up their native tongue. In fact, it makes our people a better communicator worldwide, and can accurately back up their claim that English is the second most spoken language for the Philippines. That is if we use the correct forms of the English language, and not “Taglish” crap that does nothing but make our people sound more stupid.

Aeta

YABANG PA!
Guest
“Should Filipinos Go Back to Pursuing Excellence in English?” YES!!! But not at the expense of the Unlearning of our own Filipino Language! GRP’s MidwayHaven kind of sums it up better! “I believe that Tagalog is a beautiful language, but its full beauty is hidden underneath the barrage of “Taglish” that comes to us everyday. The local languages can culturally connect us to each other, while English can connect us to the rest of the world.” I don’t subscribe into other people’s thinking that learning our own language is unimportant and therefore irrelevant: “I am sorry but tagalog is not… Read more »
YABANG PA!
Guest

The Pride, Power and Prestige Of The Philippines 【The Babayin Language】

YABANG PA!
Guest

Filipino Lesson 201: A Brief History of the Filipino Language

Edward
Guest

The trouble with Tagalog, is that it is a very limited language, there is no differentiation for brother/sister, he/she, husband/wife etc. My wife, a Filipino, prefers English to Tagalog because of its limitations and the fact that one has to use Taglish in order to communicate effectively.
Ultimately, most languages will die out to be replaced by another, more dominant, language; that is the way of evolution and globalisation. whilst English may be the dominant language now (due to the influence of the British Empire), that could well change with the passage of time.

Aeta
Guest

Edward,

Compared to the richness of English, Tagalog is very limited in the depth of its descriptive words (adjective and adverbs), and often have a different translation for the same word in English.

For example.

When you say, “The coffee is strong” in English. In Tagalog, it goes, “Matapang ang kape.” “Matapang” means “Brave” in English and not “Strong,” which is very confusing.

Aeta

OnesimusUnbound
Guest
The same confusion goes with a Filipino learning English. Bakit malakas ang kape? Languages have ways of expressing thing that’s wierd from another speaker. – Te llamas Aeta (you call yourself Aeta, your name is Aeta) – No tengo hambre (I don’t have hunger, I am not hungry) – me duele la cabeza (the head hurts me, my head is hurting me) The literal translation of these Spanish sentences are wierd for English speaker. For Spanish speaker, thet are nornal. It won’t do good to ask why a language expresses thing different from another language. These are just how native… Read more »
Aeta
Guest
OnesimusUnbound, “The same confusion goes with a Filipino learning English. Bakit malakas ang kape?” So it comes down to who came first? The chicken (English) or the eggs (Tagalog), or vice versa. So if in Tagalog, Filipinos used “Matapang” (“brave” in English) to describe the strength of their coffee, and doesn’t parallel the specific English’s description of “strong” to describe the strength of coffe in English, are you implying that some of the words in Tagalog serve more than meaning? If “Matapang” describes the coffee’s strength, and the same word is used to describe a brave person, then why does… Read more »
OnesimusUnbound
Guest
Aeta, So it comes down to who came first? The chicken (English) or the eggs (Tagalog), or vice versa. It wouldn’t matter. English and Tagalog have different history. Tagalog is part of Austronesian tree, hailing from Taiwan, spreading to the Philippines then to Indonesian archipelago, then to the pacific islands. Tagalog’s grow by incorporating words from Indian, Chinese, and Arabs by trade. Eventually, Spain came and colonized the Philippine island and Spanish influenced Tagalog. English is part of the Indo-European languages, coming from the Germanic main group. Thanks to the Norman conquest, English now got a loan of French words.… Read more »
AG
Guest

@Aeta
What you are saying is not exclusive to Tagalog.
When trying to understand the meaning of statements, context is very important regardless of language. If a statement is without context, it will be ambiguous at best. That is why you’ll have people imagine coffee lifting weights in English, or coffee falling through the air bravely in Tagalog.

It can and will be used for fun. (fun intended)

comment image

Aeta
Guest
OnesimusUnbound, One thing you are still refusing to acknowledge is–for all intensive and practical purposes—is the lack of richness of Tagalog over the English language. We are not talking about supporting your argument by citing the history or origin of Tagalog. We are also not talking about other version of English except for the modern type that everyone in this contemporary world are already using–what you and I are using–to communicate with one another. I do not think anyone who is interested in learning about the origin and version of either English or Tagalog (unless they are in academia), nor… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

AG,

Unfortunately, Filipinos had too much fun with English and Tagalog and decided to combine them together in one version in their everyday language–Tag-lish–and further complicating the correct way to learn both language in their individual forms.

Aeta

OnesimusUnbound
Guest
Aeta, For the record, I **never argued for** the richness of Tagalog – never. What I’m arguing for is that one language has way of expressing things that sounds weird in another language when translated literally. Taking your example: When you say, “The coffee is strong” in English. In Tagalog, it goes, “Matapang ang kape.” “Matapang” means “Brave” in English and not “Strong,” which is very confusing. This is basically what you did: strong [eng] -> matapang [tg] -> brave [eng] Let us look on how “strong” can be translated to Tagalog by context, remember the keyword: C-O-N-T-E-X-T. * strong… Read more »
Aeta
Guest
OnesimusUnbound That is exactly my point. You points on the translation of the synonyms “Matapang” and “Malakas” stop right where it began. A couple of definitions in a Pinoy-Tagalog dictionary (or in Tagalog-to-English phrasal books) on how these words are used interchangeably to mean the same thing, without so much as ‘an explanation’ as to the ‘why and how’ these words became to mean the same thing, is the examples I used to support my initial contention that English is a much richer language than Tagalog. English gives its users a thorough explanation in its manual on “why [it] absorb… Read more »
OnesimusUnbound
Guest

Aeta,

Ah, I see. The issue here is the few number of thorough language resources for Tagalog. For our case, the dictionary I was able to use online is a phrasal book where I don’t get a detailed explanation on when to use a word. Well, on this respect I also agree with you that Tagalog has less thorough and less accessible resource than English.

andrew
Guest

“The coffee is strong” and “Matapang ang kape” – as long as the idea is expressed then it’s fine. if we use: “malakas ang kape” then it’s called transliteration = literally translating word by word and grammar structure, therefore the idea is destroyed. if I were to translate “stand in line” in tagalog, it means “pumila”. so, get the idea then translate it base on the structure and word usage of the language. so “matapang ang kape” is correct.

Aeta
Guest

“The trouble with Tagalog, is that it is a very limited language.”

That it is, Edward.

Vagoneto Rieles
Guest
The official languages of the Philippines today is Filipino, (aka Tagalog), and English. At the turn of the 19th century, it was English and Spanish. So, I can’t see why we have endeavored to gradually erase English from our schools and from our daily lives. ‘English’ whether the ‘Queen’s’ or that of the ‘Americans’, like the USDollar, has been legal tender all over the world for over a century now. The Americans, from the time they took over from the Spaniards in 1898 up until their granting of independence in 1946, did an arduous but crucial job in making all… Read more »
Aeta
Guest

Vagoneto Rieles

The correct usage of the English will not only broaden the Failipinos’ narrow mind, but will also make them look less “cheesy” (corny) and more “world class” material in the eyes of the international community.

This “Taglish” (bastardization of the English language) bullshit is just a half-ass effort to appear socially regal (“sosyal”) in other people’s eyes, while doing little to nothing of increasing literacy, uniting the Failipinos as one people, and moving the Failippines forward as a nation.

Aeta

Angela Markel
Guest

To answer the question: NO, keep speaking Tagalog and Cebuana, a language that no one outside the Philippines speaks and wants to learn to speak even less.

An idiotic question for sure. Keep being ignorant of English and see how far it gets you, both inside or outside the country.

domo
Guest

Are you saying that because you’re a peenoise who wants to show off the world how “great” pinoys are?

shebang
Guest

Bakit mo ikahihiya na magtagalog?

Pallacertus
Guest

Dahil ang mga gumagamit noon ay mga tanga, ika nila. Of course technical words (especially those of Latin or Greek origin) have no place in Tagalog, pero hindi naman magkapamilya ang Ingles at Tagalog, ipipilit mo pa? Kung kailangan mong ipaliwanag ang “torque” sa akin, gumamit ka na lang ng visual aid — Latin iyan, ultimately from torquere, to twist (same with the words “tort” and “torture”), pero walang equivalent niyan sa Tagalog o sa kahit anong Malayo-Polynesian language o dialect na alam ko — anong magagawa ko? Pumatay ng di nakakaintindi?

Ricardo_Diaz
Guest
The answer is ridiculously simple if you want the common Filipino to be masters of English. It’s to stop tagalizing everything. Back in the 90s, everyone to some point has a grasp of English. Because all of the media was in English. You either learn it or get left behind. You want to watch a cool Hollywood movie or show? YOU BETTER LEARN ENGLISH! However, thanks to the people up in the food chain, tagalogization became a standard. Thus robbing the local Pinoy of their desire to learn the language. I know their reason behind it is for a wider… Read more »
Aeta
Guest
Ricardo_diaz, I agree with “Tagalization,” or, more commonly known as “Taglish.” Taglish is the cheesy and lazy way for Filipinos to use English in daily settings, so they can appear socially regal (“sosyal”) to their fellow Filipinos without putting forth much effort. It’s not that Filipinos disdain English. In fact, they love everything about Americans and British. This love and hate relationships for the English language came about because there are no effort from the Philippines educational system, to require the correct usage of the English language in their schools. The primary reason for the lackadaisical approach on emphasizing English… Read more »
Serge
Guest

Which is ironic seeing as how the the nation is most know for its accessible English. One would think the government would capitalize on this, build language schools and export English teachers instead of domestic help, but that’s giving them too much faith.

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