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The Fun In Learning Our Complicated Language (The Mother Tongue Effect)
Those are the Filipino vowels and consonants I've learned when I started to comprehend things, learned how to hold pens and read letters, and my mother was my first teacher. Our alphabets are actually just a Filipino version of English. As you can see above, they are composed of English letters but only differ in how they are being pronounced.
It may sound easy for others, but for us Filipinos, our mother language is so complicated but fun to learn.
Why complicated but fun? You'll find out as you read along.
When I was young, I always thought that our dialect and Filipino or Tagalog are the only languages in our country. So naive I was. But then our Sibika at Kultura (civic and culture) teacher taught us that there are several languages and dialects in the Philippines aside from Tagalog and our own dialect.
But even though our main language is Filipino, the most used language in the Philippines is English. It's one of the major subjects in our school curriculums. And the books, banners, tarpaulins, signage, newspapers, magazines, shows, news, contracts, documents, publications, etc., are all written in English. So if you'll step into our country you might be confused if it's the Philippines or one of the states of America due to English words broadcasted and posted everywhere.
That is because the United States rolled over our country in the past, and we have been influenced by their cultures and the English language has also been implemented and became one of the major subjects in school. It has also been used in businesses, government offices, different industries and establishments, and other transactions.
When I stepped out of my Province, I have learned different dialects and languages in our country, just like our primary teacher has said. In fact, our country has 183 languages and is on the 12th list in the countries with the most languages in the world. While walking in the middle of the crowd, you'll hear different words from different dialects, and you'll be confused if the people around you are Filipinos or aliens, lol.
In my family, we have different languages too. My mother's dialect is Waray which is mixed with Tagalog words. I have learned Cebuano when I worked in Cebu. And my father's dialect is Ilocano, but he knows Waray and he's speaking Tagalog at home.
Waray (my dialect): Maupay nga adlaw sangkay. (Good day friend)
Cebuano: Unsa imong gibuhat? (What are you doing?)
Ilocano: Siac agluto. (I am cooking) not sure about this though 😅
Chavacano de Cavite: Buen dia amiga. Adios. (Have a nice day friend (female friend). Goodbye.)
Ako ay isinilang sa ika-lawang araw ng Enero, taong isáng libó’t siyám na daán at walóng pû’t siyám.
D*mn. That phrase only means "I was born in January 2, 1989." Why make it so complicated to pronounce?
Now let's go to Math.
12,345 square root of 2
Labíng-dalawáng libó’t tatlóng daán at ápat na pû’t limá parisukat ugat ng dalawa.
I'm not even sure of this, lol.
Let's take a look at the longest Filipino word.
Wait. What does it mean? It means the most emotionally upsetting thing.
Would you rather read English or Filipino? Haha
What about Science? Can our mother tongue translate Science and medical terms?
Let's take "Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis." The word coined synonyms for the disease silicosis and the longest English word.
What about our favorite expression supercalifragilisticexpialidociouswelearned from watching Mary Poppins. That 34-letters word means "when you have nothing to say."
Okay fine, those longest English words are more difficult than our mother tongue, haha. But they are not translatable to our mother tongue.
But seriously, when it comes to difficulty, our mother tongue is one of the most difficult, yet, important aspects to learn. And its complexity is the main reason why many students don't want to learn their mother tongue. Because it is as difficult as tongue-twister phrases.
And it would be horrible if all the signage, shows, publications, or everything are using our mother tongue. You will be needing a bunch of tissues on the table the whole time of the reading session, lol. And might suffer anemia at the end of the school year, haha. Because it's nosebleeding.
Isa na naman pong nakakagimbal na sakuna ang naganap sa pang siyam napo't siyam na baranggay sa bayan ng Kabangkalan, kung saan tatlóng libó’t pitóng pû’t siyám na residente ang nabawian ng buhay.
Wait..What? How many casualties? Rewind...
tatlóng libó’t pitóng pû’t siyám
Oh okay, that's 3079.
Wooh. It's time-consuming reading pure and deep Filipino/Tagalog words, as well as absorbing their meanings. Reading is fine because you have time to analyze them, but if you just heard them from others or news, you need to ask again or rewind enable to understand well the phrases, lol.
Unfortunately for current primary students, the school curriculum has implemented the usage of the mother tongue again even applied in reading Math words. Good luck kids!
Learning mother tongue has the same thought about why do we need to learn complicated Math equations when we don't need them in our daily lives' activities.
It's easy to write the Math expression but hard to read, understand, and solve.
Two friends talking:
Man 1: Hey dude, can you help me find the limit in the sigma notation as n goes to infinity, i is equal to 1 at n, that goes like this......
Man 2: What the h*ll are you talking about? Get lost!
Man 1: lol, I'm talking about my Math sigma notation homework.
What about using the complicated Science, Chemistry, Physics, etc terms in our daily lives?
Customer: Excuse me miss, can I buy a 150-ounce soda beverage made with pressurizedcarbon dioxide and has been added with Sucrose being composed of one molecule of glucose linked to one molecule of fructose, with some amount of trimethylxanthine, and distinctive brown hue containing carcinogen and pH of 2.8? With solidified water molecules, please.
Staff (nosebleeding with mouth open): We are out of stock mam.
The only answer the staff uttered as he didn't understand what the customer has said.
Customer: I'm referring to 150 oz Coke with ice....please.
Staff (spitting profanities then fainted) lol.
Yeah, we don't need those complicated terms and equations in our daily lives. Unless you are working as Engineer, Math Teacher, Chemist, Biologist, Pharmacist, Doctor, etc. But if you'll just sitting in the office, handling paperwork, and other office-related works, complicated terms are not useful. And Math problems? The most commonly used Math formulas are only using the basics - addition, subtraction, multiplication, division. And why not use calculators? Haha.
I am not against learning mother tongue though, because learning mother tongue is a vital foundation to learning other languages and enhancing other skills.
However, let's face the reality. We are in the new Era where English is our Lingua Franca or Universal Language. Can students even use their mother tongue in their future job applications and transactions?
Nope, because everything is using English terms now. Learning new courses and enhancing skills are using English. Finding a better job needs English. Applying for a certain job needs English. Working abroad needs English.
Why make things so complicated when we can make them easier? It's like, you're making your life so complex as well.
However, learning our complicated language is truly fun. Isn't it? Did you read our mother tongue exmaples above? If not, then read it again, haha. While learning our complicated language, you will learn Tagalog, Spanish, Malay, and other words too.