Hi there! I would like to share my experiences of being multilingual. Many of you already know that I am from the Philippines especially from Bicol Region. With that, Filipino and Tagalog were not my mother tongue--- Polangui Dialect is my mother tongue, my hometown's dialect. Aside from being able to speak and understand my hometown's dialect, I also know how to speak English, Filipino, Tagalog, Bicol-Legazpi, Bicol-Naga, and a little bit of Rinconada. I can also understand some Bisaya words because some of the Bicolanos speak Bisakol.
Maybe you're wondering at this point, why are there a lot of different dialects in Bicol well in fact it's just one region? Well, it depends on the location of the Provinces. Some provinces here are located near the Quezon province and some in the Visayas or have been influenced by Visayan Culture. And some places here do not speak Bicolano words at all.
Living here in Bicol is quite difficult if you're not familiar with other dialects. Literally, every dialect changes in every town. I'll give an example.
In Filipino we say, "Tara na!'
In Bicol Dialects, "Mus na!", "Amus na!", "Mari na!"
In Filipino we say, "Mag saing ka na"
In Bicol Dialcets we say it as "Mag sapna ka na" "MAg sugang nayka"
Even the egg has a lot of translations here.
"Itlog" in Filipino
"Sugok" "Bunay" "Salag" in Bicol Dialects.
It's confusing, right? There's more that I have encountered when speaking with other Bicolanos. One time my board mate came to see me in my room and she saw some ants on the wall. And she said, "Girl, andaming tanga!" I was so confused. I thought that she was calling me noob/stupid but, tanga translates to Ants in English. Which is different from my mother tongue. We call ants in my local dialect "sirum". We ended up laughing at each other. Hahahaha. I was so grateful to her because she's really the one who taught me the Bicolano words that I am not familiar with.
Aside from the different terms that I have encountered, there are also different accents! Yes, we do have different accents here. Hahahaha. Some sound like they are sweet, some sounds like they are not buying your statement, and some sound angry. Hahaha. Just like me, my friends would always tell me that I sound angry whenever I speak. Well, that's the tone that I'm used to. But when I try to speak their dialects, I felt cringed. They would always refer to my dialect as Alien Language because it's different from others. It's not close to the words that other towns here speak.
One time I was in Cavite and I was asked to buy candies in the sari-sari store. Since I'm not used to speaking Tagalog, I'm used to speaking Tagalog with a Bicolano accent. I literally said that I was going to buy 10 candies but the store owner didn't allow me to buy from her store. I think she misheard my "sampu po" to "isa po".
Since I've always been interested in learning other dialects, I challenged my college bestie that we should speak in our own dialects when conversing with each other. It was chaotic! We didn't understand anything about what we say to each other. We ended up speaking Tagalog. Hahahaha.
There are also good things about being multilingual, (1) my brain automatically understands what the person I was talking to tells me, (2) I can have privacy since other people can't understand my dialect--- I can easily shift to another dialect, and (3) people will not able to make fool about me.
Here's an explanation about the number 3 good thing being multilingual. I've experienced being charged a high rate for a tricycle ride when I went to Legazpi City. Of course, the driver knew that I was speaking Tagalog and he decided to make a huge profit out of his service.
There are also instances that I mixed different languages/dialects. Sometimes I cannot automatically adjust my dialect. But learning and understanding different languages/dialects are always so much fun!
Anyway, these are my final thoughts... being multilingual comes with pros and cons if you used it responsibly. You can always resort to speaking in Tagalog or any dialect/language that the person you are talking to can understand. But, it's best if you learn the language/dialect that they speak.
Hey there! I hope that you are doing good in life. With the rise of COVID-19, I wish you good health and safety. Always remember to take precautionary measures. :'>
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