my sister annie, my niece joi and i were translating some english words into tagalog yesterday. why? well, we are filipinas. and even though we weren’t raised on an island in the pacific, we are still proud of our heritage and like to feature it up as often as possible.
tagalog is a very interesting tongue. children in the philippines study english from day one. (so if you encounter a filipino that cannot speak english, you are talking to a teency minority.) tagaolog is a national language as is english (thank the US military for that shite.) but here is where it gets interesting:
- there is a huge spanish and catholic population…an artifact of the spanish inquisition.
- the language is a combination of polynesian/spanish and english.
- even if you don’t understand tagalog, but you DO understand spanish…you can connect the dots. just listen for the spanish and english words you hear. you’ll be speaking tagalog in no time.
- the provincial language (of which there are thousands) of my father bears little or no resemblance to tagalog. he is from a province called pampanga. the dialect is called kampampangan. i know enough to tell my female relatives (the chefs) that i’ve had enough food and i cannot possibly eat any more; to tell a kid to “go away because i don’t like you”; and a few other phrases that keep me in the good nature of my short brown family.
- pamiliya kamay? it means family hand. the word for family – “pamiliya” has a built in filipino accent layered on top of the spanish word for family – familia. we decided we like words with built in accents (filipinos are famous for switching b/v and f/p.) with pamiliya, we don’t have to guess!
other words we like: rebolber (revolver), halo-halo (mix-mix), kili-kili (armpit),