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Who murdered English? (Or why English cannot be our national language)

Who murdered English? (Or why English cannot be our national language) | English | Scoop.it

Why Filipino and not Pilipino? And why not English?

 

 

The classic error of the mystery story villain is his insistence that “dead men tell no tales.” So he kills his adversary to silence him.

 

But nothing of the sort happens in the language whodunit of Filipino. As we said in the previous article, here no one dies, but the major character simply metamorphoses into a better version of itself.

 

 

So is there really a difference between Tagalog and Pilipino? Yes and no, according to the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s (KWF) Madalas Itanong Hinggil sa Wikang Pambansa.

 

 

Yes, it is different because Tagalog is the native language of the Tagalog and was selected in 1939 to be the basis for the national language as decreed by the 1935 Constitution. And not much difference “if it is considered that Tagalog did not really die while the national language was developing, the language referred to as Pilipino in 1959 still bore the qualities of Tagalog.”

 

 

The KWF’s Madalas Itanong continues: “The enemies of Pilipino did not take into consideration that a language cannot be so different from its basal language. This is what happened to English, which could not be so far from the English of London, to French from the language of Paris, and to Spanish from the language of Castille.

 

 

Huge difference 

 

 

“But if, for example, we examine the Tagalog in the ‘Diccionario Tagalog-Hispano’ of Pedro Serrano Laktaw and the dictionaries published during the American era, and compare their contents to those of the Pilipino dictionaries edited by Jose Villa Panganiban in 1972, it is very clear that there was a huge difference between the Tagalog vocabulary when it became the basis for the national language in 1938” and when it was baptized as Pilipino by the Department of Education in 1959.

 

 

In the Constitution of 1973, the “Filipino” language was only an aspiration when it provided that “The National Assembly shall take steps toward the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino.”

 

 

In the 1987 Constitution, on the other hand, it has become fact:

 

“(Section 6) The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.”

 

 

And the rest, as they say, is … well, must continue telling the history.

 

 

But why not English? All these Constitutions were being written and promulgated in English. (And translated into Filipino, which is another story altogether. Why translate the Philippine Constitution into the national language? Shouldn’t it be the other way around—English should be the translation?)

 

 

Again, much earlier in history, even the Americans were hesitant, nay, opposed, to making English the sole official language of their lone colony. The KWF’s Madalas Itanong quotes language expert Najib Mitry Saleeby, who authored the book “The Language of Education of the Philippine Islands” in 1924 and declared his opposition to the continued use of English as the sole language of instruction.

 

 

“It aims,” Saleeby said, “at something unknown before in human affairs. It is attempting to do what ancient Persia, Rome, Alexander the Great and Napoleon failed to accomplish. It aims at nothing less than the obliteration of the tribal differences of the Filipinos, the substitution of English for the vernacular dialects as a home language and making English the national, common language of the Archipelago.”

 

 

Saleeby went on to cite the huge expense on the part of the United States, because it was necessary to send in American teachers for a more efficient teaching of English and it showed that their teaching could not be equaled by the trained Filipino teachers.

 

 

Saleeby insisted on the long-term benefits of forming a national language based on one native language and its development in order to bring about a more democratic and effective manner of education for the entire country.

 

 

Part of big family 

 

 

But there was an underlying and deeper linguistic and geographic reason why English could not be recommended even by the Americans. The KWF’s Madalas Itanong continues:

 

 

“The languages of the Philippines are part of the big family of Austronesian languages. This family includes the languages from Formosa in the north to New Zealand in the south, from the island of Madagascar at the African coast to Easter Islands in mid-Pacific. Up to 500 languages are estimated to be members of the Austronesian family, which makes up one-eighth of the world’s languages.

 

 

“This relatedness is one strong basis for grouping together these languages deemed native to the Philippines. Even as they are independent languages, they have common qualities and properties in terms of grammar, sentence structure, lexicon, etc.

 

 

“This is also the reason why it is quite easy for any Filipino to learn a second language when it is a native Filipino language. In one short stay in Iloilo [province], for example, a Kapampangan may learn Ilonggo. This is also the principle for choosing a native language as basis for the national language … .

 

 

“Meanwhile, the English language family is situated elsewhere and altogether separate. That’s why it has different word forms, pronunciation and sentence structure compared to native Philippine languages. In the same manner, as the ordinary Filipino easily learns other native Philippine languages, it would be triply difficult for him or her to learn English.”

 

 

No, neither Tagalog nor Pilipino is being murdered. (And neither is English, which is alive and well, and has been going on a long-term international cruise.)

 

 

Tagalog and Pilipino are just becoming Filipino and that one letter, F—plus seven other letters in the post-abakada alphabet—will make all the difference.



Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/632557/who-murdered-english-or-why-english-cannot-be-our-national-language#ixzz3BUaM3vTc ;
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Via Charles Tiayon
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Charles Tiayon's curator insight, August 26, 2014 6:23 AM

Why Filipino and not Pilipino? And why not English?


The classic error of the mystery story villain is his insistence that “dead men tell no tales.” So he kills his adversary to silence him.


But nothing of the sort happens in the language whodunit of Filipino. As we said in the previous article, here no one dies, but the major character simply metamorphoses into a better version of itself.


So is there really a difference between Tagalog and Pilipino? Yes and no, according to the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s (KWF) Madalas Itanong Hinggil sa Wikang Pambansa.


Yes, it is different because Tagalog is the native language of the Tagalog and was selected in 1939 to be the basis for the national language as decreed by the 1935 Constitution. And not much difference “if it is considered that Tagalog did not really die while the national language was developing, the language referred to as Pilipino in 1959 still bore the qualities of Tagalog.”


The KWF’s Madalas Itanong continues: “The enemies of Pilipino did not take into consideration that a language cannot be so different from its basal language. This is what happened to English, which could not be so far from the English of London, to French from the language of Paris, and to Spanish from the language of Castille.


Huge difference 


“But if, for example, we examine the Tagalog in the ‘Diccionario Tagalog-Hispano’ of Pedro Serrano Laktaw and the dictionaries published during the American era, and compare their contents to those of the Pilipino dictionaries edited by Jose Villa Panganiban in 1972, it is very clear that there was a huge difference between the Tagalog vocabulary when it became the basis for the national language in 1938” and when it was baptized as Pilipino by the Department of Education in 1959.


In the Constitution of 1973, the “Filipino” language was only an aspiration when it provided that “The National Assembly shall take steps toward the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino.”


In the 1987 Constitution, on the other hand, it has become fact:


“(Section 6) The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.”


And the rest, as they say, is … well, must continue telling the history.


But why not English? All these Constitutions were being written and promulgated in English. (And translated into Filipino, which is another story altogether. Why translate the Philippine Constitution into the national language? Shouldn’t it be the other way around—English should be the translation?)


Again, much earlier in history, even the Americans were hesitant, nay, opposed, to making English the sole official language of their lone colony. The KWF’s Madalas Itanong quotes language expert Najib Mitry Saleeby, who authored the book “The Language of Education of the Philippine Islands” in 1924 and declared his opposition to the continued use of English as the sole language of instruction.


“It aims,” Saleeby said, “at something unknown before in human affairs. It is attempting to do what ancient Persia, Rome, Alexander the Great and Napoleon failed to accomplish. It aims at nothing less than the obliteration of the tribal differences of the Filipinos, the substitution of English for the vernacular dialects as a home language and making English the national, common language of the Archipelago.”


Saleeby went on to cite the huge expense on the part of the United States, because it was necessary to send in American teachers for a more efficient teaching of English and it showed that their teaching could not be equaled by the trained Filipino teachers.


Saleeby insisted on the long-term benefits of forming a national language based on one native language and its development in order to bring about a more democratic and effective manner of education for the entire country.


Part of big family 


But there was an underlying and deeper linguistic and geographic reason why English could not be recommended even by the Americans. The KWF’s Madalas Itanong continues:


“The languages of the Philippines are part of the big family of Austronesian languages. This family includes the languages from Formosa in the north to New Zealand in the south, from the island of Madagascar at the African coast to Easter Islands in mid-Pacific. Up to 500 languages are estimated to be members of the Austronesian family, which makes up one-eighth of the world’s languages.


“This relatedness is one strong basis for grouping together these languages deemed native to the Philippines. Even as they are independent languages, they have common qualities and properties in terms of grammar, sentence structure, lexicon, etc.


“This is also the reason why it is quite easy for any Filipino to learn a second language when it is a native Filipino language. In one short stay in Iloilo [province], for example, a Kapampangan may learn Ilonggo. This is also the principle for choosing a native language as basis for the national language … .


“Meanwhile, the English language family is situated elsewhere and altogether separate. That’s why it has different word forms, pronunciation and sentence structure compared to native Philippine languages. In the same manner, as the ordinary Filipino easily learns other native Philippine languages, it would be triply difficult for him or her to learn English.”


No, neither Tagalog nor Pilipino is being murdered. (And neither is English, which is alive and well, and has been going on a long-term international cruise.)


Tagalog and Pilipino are just becoming Filipino and that one letter, F—plus seven other letters in the post-abakada alphabet—will make all the difference.



Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/632557/who-murdered-english-or-why-english-cannot-be-our-national-language#ixzz3BUaM3vTc 
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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BBC Radio 4 - English language becomes more Americanised

BBC Radio 4 - English language becomes more Americanised | English | Scoop.it

National and international news from BBC Radio 4. Aired 26 August 2014.


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ESRC's curator insight, August 27, 2014 5:49 AM

Programme discussing the changing English language, featuring Robbie Love of the ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science

Starting at 28:00 and concluding at 30:05

Ms. Brin's curator insight, August 28, 2014 2:23 AM

Implications??

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