Monday, September 1, 2008

Sinabon Ako ng Bonggang Bongga ng Boss Kong Hipon, Dude

Kindly translate: Hipon naman ang mga model ng Bench e! (Bench models are shrimps!). When I first saw this in an online forum, I was quite lost guessing what the poster really wanted to say. Well, hipon (shrimp), just like any other seafood, is malansa (fishy) and I think that adjective is associated with being gay. So maybe the poster was insinuating that Bench models are gay. It was not until a classmate presented a monologue in theater class that I found out what it really meant. The character she played said something like, “Hipon siya (He is a shrimp), (referring to invisible boyfriend) delicious ang katawan pero patapon ang ulo (the body is delicious but you get rid of the head)” Eureka!

Apparently when someone is referred to as hipon (shrimp) in modern Tagalog slang, that person has a hot body but face value is zero. So again when I encountered a post in another online forum saying, “Hindi dolphin si Michael Phelps, isa siyang dambuhalang sugpo (Michael Phelps is not a dolphin, but rather a giant shrimp)” I was not lost in translation anymore, unless they were insinuating that a quartet of shrimps could outmaneuver four dolphins in a 4x100 meter relay.

On the contrary I was able to find out the meaning of sinabon (lathered) earlier in life but it still continues to weird me out. See, when someone tells me, “Sinabon ako ng boss ko kanina e (I was lathered by my boss earlier today)” what really comes to mind is not that of a person being given a dressing down by another. My brain somehow draws another scenario which makes me want to ask, “E binanlawan ka naman ba? (But did he rinse you too?)”

As for bonggang bongga (fabulous fabulous), I have been encountering it more frequently now in online forums. If you really think about it, the legitimate Tagalog word used to intensify the effects of an action should actually be labis (extremely). Unfortunately, this Tagalog cousin of the Malay lebih (more) has been dethroned early on by Tagalog adverb/adjective wannabe sobra (Sp. sobrar = to be in excess), which is originally a Spanish verb transformed into an adjective/adverb in our very own Tagalog. Of course the coup d’état would not have been successful without the help of another corrupted Spanish word that we could hide under the pseudonym grabe (Sp. grave = serious).

So where is labis now? Perhaps you can find it in text books and Filipino literary works. Who knows, sobra and grabe might just join the high school textbook hopping if bonggang bongga manages to gain enough popularity and eventually dethrones the reigning king of verbal Tagalog intensifiers. If I am not mistaken, this new threat apparently came from gay lingo.

It is fun to witness how a living language evolves through time, but sometimes they just evolve too fast that you just could not help but get lost in translation. Words become more versatile and they are not confined to just one meaning anymore. Take for example the expression, Kamusta (How are you). This expression is actually another corrupted Spanish adaptation meant to express a greeting and could also be used as an ice breaker. But nowadays people usually utter these words to express disbelief, coupled with naman. So how do you know when to respond ok lang (just fine) or just shut up? Perhaps you should just shut up. Besides, I do not think people care about how you really are anyway.

I am not saying that inventing new words and expressions, or giving new meanings to already existing ones, should be punishable by lethal injection. I am just curious as to what effects this would have on our language in the long run. In any case, this is actually better since the mutating words are Tagalog anyway, or at least mistaken to be Tagalog. What really sucks is how English and coño (and Taglish) are invading Tagalog like a bunch of malignant cancer cells. Who really speaks straight Tagalog nowadays, huh?

Even I cannot speak Tagalog well anymore. We have a Rizal course necessary for graduation and because of that I have been trying to speak Tagalog and avoid the entire borrowed lexicon from English and Spanish. But what I have realized is that the costs of efficiently pulling off a straight Tagalog sentence far outweighs the benefits of coherent Tagalog speech, as opposed to just saying the same sentence in Taglish. I could not believe how much effort it now takes to avoid the comforts of just speaking in Taglish.

If you want to convert your Filipino sentence into Tagalog by exorcising it of its Spanish and English loanwords, people will just think that you are trying to be poetic or corny. That is what you get after exerting much effort to speak your native language well. The fact that you are exerting effort is already a problem in itself. Is it not strange how we find it more convenient to speak in Taglish rather than in Tagalog? But of course you would ask, “Come on, you can’t speak fluent Tagalog? Give me a break.” Break yourself, idiot.

And then we have the coño federation of the Philippines. Coño speech is actually a great way to facilitate easy communication between stubborn foreigners who insist in learning our language and the rest of the local population. Instead of teaching them the rudiments of Tagalog grammar, we could just ask them to memorize a list of verbs and locatives that they could insert in their English sentences to make it sound coño. Besides, who really wants to learn how to insert prefixes, suffixes, and whatever -ixes necessary to conjugate a Tagalog verb? I know, right? It is so kaka – kakainis (annoying), kakalito (confusing).

Teaching English speakers to speak coño instead of Tagalog would cut the learning time maybe up to half. So if someone wants to say, “Let's eat pizza at Pizza Hut,” instead of translating the entire sentence to Tagalog we could just teach them to rely on the basic tenet of being coño – the “make + Tagalog infinitive” construction, hence, “Let's make kain (eat) pizza at Pizza Hut.” This sentence alone is already coño to a certain extent. To authenticate it further, they could insert the corresponding Tagalog locative instead of the English: “Let's make kain pizza sa (at) Pizza Hut.” So we could actually formulate an effective coño curriculum starting with the memorization of Tagalog verbs, then the locatives, then the nouns. Of course the focus on nouns would be less since they could always make use of English nouns and still be understood.

I am just kidding! Do not take me seriously. If we decide to follow this suggestion then we might as well just forget that Tagalog ever existed. What coño could actually do is bridge the gap between English and Tagalog to facilitate easier transition between the two. Actually, even before English launched an attack against Tagalog, the latter has already been long invaded by Spanish. Nowadays we use words that we believe to be authentic Tagalog words but are actually cloaked Spanish intruders. If you thought that asul (Sp. azul = blue) and berde (Sp. verde = green) are legitimate siblings of pula (red), dilaw (yellow), itim (black), and puti (white), then I would not really blame bughaw (blue) and luntian (green) if they make you tampo (hold a grudge against you).

If you were given the chance to learn Spanish in school and all the while you thought that your professors were just unemployed jerks in their native countries sent here to torture you, perhaps you should think again. The incidental by-product of listening to those jerks could actually be the key to the improvement of your Tagalog proficiency. Even common expressions like: Pwede na ba ko mag-almusal (Can I have breakfast already) and Anong regalo ang gusto mo sa birthday mo (What gift would you like for your birthday) are full of invaders. Feel free to guess.

Ok, what the hell is my point in writing all these aside from attempting to give you a nosebleed? I really have no point. I am actually just bored so I decided to share the boredom. But honestly, think about it. Are you still fluent in Tagalog? Let us define it first to make it clear. I am talking about Tagalog, not Filipino. Filipino is technically based heavily on Tagalog but is very free to borrow from English, Spanish, and any other language out there. Sometimes I am confused if Taglish qualifies as Filipino because there is still borrowing involved but mainly of English words.

On the contrary, Tagalog could be defined as that deep Tagalog they speak in the province. Okay, I am confused. I think I am trying to refer to the colloquial Tagalog that at least uses genuine Tagalog words when they actually exist, instead of using the popular Spanish posers (e.g. pogi vs. gwapo (Sp. guapo = handsome); bahagi vs. parte (Sp. parte = part); upuan vs. silya (Sp. silla = chair); nais vs. gusto (Sp. gustar = like; maari vs. pwede (Sp. puede = can); etc.)

Well, I think this is nosebleed enough for all of us, specially on a Sunday afternoon. Just think about it. If the new generation of Filipinos can no longer speak fluent English and they are not fluent in their own native tongue either, where does that leave us? Maybe our official language in the years to come would either be the Taglish or coño idiolects. Di ba (right), dude?

1 creature(s) gave a damn:

Water Lion said...
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