January 4, 2007

Pinoy Learning the English Language

Filed under: Uncategorized — dakidog @ 9:27 am

Learning English as a second or foreign language is quite complicated. If you’re a Filipino like me you will encounter a lot of queer words that don’t even sound like they ought to be. But then, we try our very best to learn and use it because it is the official language here.

Some common pitfalls for Filipinos learning English include pronunciation, spelling, subject-verb agreement and preposition. Really, one will understand the difficulty given the kind of language Filipinos have.

For one, Tagalog or the Filipino language has a very simple spelling and pronunciation. If you write, “Mahal kita” (I love you), that is exactly how you are going to pronounce it. No mystery. All the a’s are pronounced like the a in “ah.” We only have five vowel sounds: a, e, i, o and u. And the sound never changes when combined with consonants.

There are also consonant sounds and diphthongs not found in the Filipino alphabet hence the production of the sound is also difficult. We don’t have the v, f, soft and hard th and other combinations. Instead of saying v we say bictory, or pace for face. We say tenk you for thank you and pader for father.

Another thing is the subject-verb agreement problem. Singular and plural subjects pose a big problem for most of us. Choosing the right verb or predicate for the subject is quite tough. Even the tense of the verb is also a big problem.

Not to be overlooked is the problem with preposition. The trouble begins when you combine the verb with a preposition. Simple combinations like look at, look into, look over, go on, go to, go over, go into, etc., really are mind-boggling for the non-native speaker.

Nevertheless, we continue to struggle and work our way into the labyrinth of the English language hoping that one day we will be able to use the language meaningfully and beautifully and enjoy its benefits.


1 Comment »

  1. hi, sorry for spamming you, I’m a Cebu native obsessed with Western civilization and wishing to meet up or speak with Peace Corps Volunteers for language and knowledge exchange. I’m a native speaker of BinisaYA’ (Cebuano), and I’m fluent in Tagalog and English. I speak English almost like an American, and I speak the basics of French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Minnan (Taiwanese), Polish, Russian, and Spanish. I’m 1 of the 2 authors (the only Filipino author) of Pimsleur Tagalog, a Tagalog audio course for English speakers. I’m trying to learn how to speak English fully like an American and also how to teach non Filipinos how to speak Philippine languages almost like a native speaker. I’m interested in Anthropology, Evolutionary Psychology, Population Genetics, Prehistory, Fitness, Nutrition and Poverty Alleviation. I enjoy sprinting, kayaking, mountaineering, boxing, stickfighting, archery, playing basketball and tennis, cooking and traveling. If you’d like to meet up or talk, please call me at 916 338 3807. Please also feel free to forward my message to your colleagues. Thank you. -IYU’

    Comment by IYU' — November 22, 2009 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

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