Sunday, 22 August 2010

Linguistic Knowledge

Good morning!

I just arrived from my chorale service. That's it. And I'll be in another church activity by noon time.

To all the readers of this blog, you have probably noticed that this blog of mine is infused with different languages, particularly Austronesian, Indo-European, Altaic, and even Sino-Tibetan. As we all know, these language families have dominated our mundane society, most especially the Indo-European languages. It only proved how Europeans had explored the world. For instance, British settlers took with them the English languages in Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, and others. Spaniards took much control of Latin America, as well as my country, the Philippines. Portuguese conquered and ruled Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Macau, East Timor, and so on. French language dominated in many African nations.

Anyway, let me share to you my knowledge in some languages. And I'm going to cite some notes about those languages.

Tagalog is the basis of the Filipino language. It is also the lingua franca of the Filipinos abroad. By the way, Tagalog is my native language. And I speak it in Manila accent, since Metro Manila is my hometown. Moreover, I tried mimicking Bulacan and Batangas accent, but I never perfected those accents, since I never grew up with the people who speak in those dialects. Ayos ba tayo diyan? Wagas!

Kapampangan is also my native language, but I speak it in unusual accent. The reason is that I don't have much contacts with Kapampangan speakers. I only learned Kapampangan through my mom. Of all her siblings, she is the only one who speaks more Kapampangan. I must say, Kapampangan language is in slow decline because of the dominance of the Filipino language throughout the Philippines. When I was in Angeles City last two days ago, I heard some children spoke in Tagalog rather than in Kapampangan. And even the language of instruction is Tagalog. Sana pin, mabiye ya pa ing Amanung Siswan.

It was the Americans who brought English in our country, and not the Britons. And American English is the basis of the English language of the Philippines. And the surprising fact? Many Filipinos cannot fully understand English when spoken in any variety of British or Australian accents. And because English is more used than Spanish, English eventually replaced Spanish as one of the official languages of the Philippines alongside Filipino language. And do you know the reason why many Koreans migrate here? It's so simple. They come here to study English.

Have you noticed why most of the Filipinos' last names are Spanish? It's so simple. Spain ruled our country for over 3 centuries. And the connection? Spaniards inter-married with native Filipinos. And others had their Christian name in Spanish when they got baptised. But Spanish is not anymore one of the official languages of the Philippines. The Instituto Cervantes is perhaps the only educational institution in the Philippines that uses Spanish in teaching. But at least, I have a fair grasp in that language. And as I immersed myself in Spanish, I then knew that Spanish has several varieties, just like English. But the "Spaniard's Spanish" is my basis for my spoken Spanish. Vale, el idioma castellano es lindo como el viento suave.

Nothing can ever be as romantic as French! Whenever I hear it in Parisian accent, it feels like I'm in the romantic city of Paris. But actually, I would like to visit Lourdes, situated in the Pyrenees. And Paris is only the second. So impossible as it may seem, but I would like to gain more knowledge in that romantic language. For what? I'm just fascinated in that language. And I thought, the /r/ sound in French was challenging. But I like making the /r/ sound! Très bien, mon cherie!

It was not anymore challenging for me when I knew that German is very related to English. That is, they are both Germanic languages. I'll give you an example. Der Wasser ist Kalt. If you think the English equivalent is "The water is cold.", then you're correct! And here's another one. Wer ist mein Vater? Wo ist mein Bruder? What do you think? If you think "Where is my father? Who is my brother?" is the answer, then you are WRONG! HAHAHAHAHA! Actually, "wo" is "where", whereas "wer" is "who". And before, I got a mistake about that, hihihi! Ich will eine Reise nach Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, und Belgien zu machen. Und will ich die Deutschesprache zu lernen!

J-Pop had made success in the Philippines. The song "Sweet Soul Revue" by Pizzicato Five was a big smash in many Philippine charts. And until now, it's still one of my favourite songs. And for me, Japanese is not a difficult language. The problem is, I don't have much exposure in Japanese media. But I do believe, Japanese is not complicated to be learned. And guess what? I love Super Sentai more than Power Rangers! And through Tokusatsu series, I get a chance to acquire some knowledge in Japanese. お楽しみに!

KOREAN (한국어/조선말):
The so-called "Korean Wave" has made its way in the Philippine Islands. And the Philippine audience gave high praises for many Korean artists, such as BoA, Se7en, Rain, Super Junior, Girls' Generation, 2NE1, Big Bang, Wonder Girls, and many other more. Hopefully, OPM will also be known in Korea. Anyway, Charice Pempengco, Christian Bautista, and Lea Salonga are some of the Philippine artists who made successful crossovers in different countries. Well, what some people don't know is that Korean language exists in different dialects. For instance, the Seoul dialect is spoken in Seoul Metropolitan Area and Gyeonggi-do, and is the basis for the Korean language in South Korea. The Pyeong'an dialect is spoken in Pyongyang, Pyeong'anbuk-do, Pyeong'annam-do, and Chagang-do, and is the basis of the Korean language in North Korea. Other dialects include Chungcheong, Jeolla, Gangwon, Gyeongsang, Jeju, Hwanghae, and Hamgyeong. 힘내라!

It's not suprising why the Italian language is the closest resemblance of the Latin language. Just like all Romance languages, Italian directly descended from Latin. And Latin was once spoken in the Italian peninsula. Hence, Italian had retained most of the characteristics of Latin. Just like French, Italian language sounds very romantic! And I noticed before, I was able to understand some Italian (that is, the written Italian and not the spoken one) because of its numerous cognates with Spanish. And I started to study Spanish when I was in late elementary. But I already knew before that Spanish and Italian are very related to each other, but I didn't had yet an idea that they are both direct descendants of Latin. How about some plate of spaghetti or lasagna? Perfettamente!

Portuguese is one of the world's major languages. And Brazil is the largest Portuguese-speaking country. However, different Portuguese dialects arose as its speakers from different countries became diverse from each other. Brazilian Portuguese is now a bit different from Iberian Portuguese (from Iberian peninsula where Portugal is). Speaking of the Portuguese language itself, its written form resembles Spanish, but its spoken form may sound more like French. Anyway, that's the spirit of the Portuguese language. Obrigado!

Other languages:
MANDARIN (普通话/普通話)

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