Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Which language do you think in?

clipart from Yahoo Images

Okay, for now this question got me into thinking.

I am a Filipina - born and raised in the beautiful country called the Philippines. The National language is called Filipino. Another name for Filipino is Tagalog. And alongside Tagalog are the numerous dialects endemic only to their region. And within a region, there are more several local dialects native to their local community.

Take for example, Region 2, otherwise known as the Cagayan Valley Region. It is composed of five provinces, namely: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. It has three cities; Cauayan City, Tuguegarao City (the regional center) and Santiago City ( the commercial center). In Batanes, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino, the principal dialect is Ilocano. In Cagayan, there are Ibanag, Gaddang and Ilocano dialects. In Isabela it is Ilocano, Ilongot, and Negrito dialects. Don't forget the minority dialects like Yogad and Ivatan, too.

So, this is what makes me think: if a person grew up in a local rural community where everyone is speaking a local dialect, went to school and learned Tagalog as the primary medium of instruction then studied English as a second language because almost all the books at school are written in English (!)...and say, that person became very fluent in the command of both Tagalog and the English language...in what language (or dialect) do you think he would be thinking in?

If I apply this personally to myself, I say most of the time my thoughts are in Tagalog, like 70% of the time that is. And the rest, I think in English. But it's not 70% pure Tagalog or 30% pure English! I believe I think in some sort of Tag-lish language. A mix of both.

Mahirap din ang pure English ah! Parang that's reserved fo formal school projects lang. :)

But why not in pure Tagalog? Maybe because of the heavy influence of media (TV, radio) and of course, the internet. San ka ba nakakita ng webpage na pure Tagalog ang content? There are too many English words that have no direct translation in Filipino/Tagalog. Napapahaba tuloy ang pagtranslate ng pangungusap into Filipino para lang ma-i-convey what the original sentence truly meant.

Lol. [Feeling ko tuloy, Fil-Am ako. Hahah]

But honestly, this is how it works for me. As long as I can fully express myself to other people in any language convenient for me and for the listener, then it's well and good!

Oh don't forget of couse the body language. It's one thing that will always accompany our words- the way we express them.

I don't claim to be an expert in the command of the English language. But I know when something 'sounds' incorrect. I do love my country's language - I've written and published poetry in it's form (that's another story). What I don't like these days is the 'textspeak'. Also known as 'jejemon' in this country.

Oh I've seen some young prefessionals writing the words l8r for later, w8 for wait, etc on their notes. Wow, modern language is taking some form of revolutionary transformation.

Sa sobrang high tech na, lahat minamadali na. Pati pagsulat ganun na rin. Sa pag-iisip kaya? Do you think words like 'wait' as it is correctly spelled or like 'w8'?

Hahah. Nakakaloka rin ano? Anyway, I admit I am sometimes guilty of writing those words in textspeak form when texting. It saves a lot time indeed. But do I think of those words in the same way I texted them? Ewww, I think so. :/

So, what's the bottomline of this discussion? You think in the way you speak...and write.

See you later or c u l8r?

Good day! :)

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