Learning Language
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Hi expats.

Have any of you been able to become fluent, or at least conversational, in one of the languages here? I know there are good resources available for Tagalog, but not so much for some of the other languages.

If you did manage, how did you do it? How do you recommend going about it? It gets harder as we get older, our brains aren't as plastic as when we were young. As a native english and spanish speaker, I guess I am a bit lazy. I can get along pretty well in a lot of places. But even though english is spoken after a fashion in the PH, I think it would be helpful to learn one of the local languages.

 

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9 minutes ago, Reboot said:

Hi expats.

Have any of you been able to become fluent, or at least conversational, in one of the languages here?

 

Me being a balikbayan (returning Filipino citizen), I never did manage relearning my tagalog 100 percent.  There are so many street slang, itself a different learning curve.  I usually hung out with Judy's nieces in Makati with their giggles on my attempts to even learn the basic alphabet and numbering system.  So I resort to Taglish with a few jokes thrown in. Of course, I explain my stupid jokes like pulling my finger (with realistic sound and aroma) and purposely reversing some common terminologies.  

For example, when you're knocking at the front gate, you normally announce "tao po" -- notifying the occupants inside that there are visitors outside.  To the shock of my nieces, I turn it around and announce "tae po".  Eventually, they realize my silly behavior and they themselves place some jokes on me.  Overall, it breaks the ice and they come out with more confidence with their English and their street slang.   

Just basic greetings and courtesy in their dialect and culture really goes a long way.  And the locals will soon realize that you are trying and that will spread (tsimis) like fire.  

 

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3 hours ago, Reboot said:

Have any of you been able to become fluent, or at least conversational, in one of the languages here?

No, I was not able to but from being able to speak Spanish, I am able to understand much of Illongo with it's mixture of English. I find it a hard sounding language with too many consonants and not enough vowels.

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ID: 4   Posted (edited)

9 hours ago, Reboot said:

Have any of you been able to become fluent, or at least conversational, in one of the languages here?

:hystery: Sorry my friend but I just had to laugh for a moment,  Have you ever stood behind an Expat who was trying to hold some sort of conversation with a Local in a shop or Resto/Bar? I was at a Local shop with a Friend Last week and he ordered (He thought 2 beers) the Girls was in stitches with him (Yet he is quite good at Visiya. In the end he said Give me 2 beers sweetheart and whoops up they come.

Learning any of these Local languages is only as good as the person that hears what you say. With the Movement of people for work and the never ending of their own Slang within their language gives us really no chance to learn/use it, For me, Learning the Local & I mean Local Dialect is OK until you go to the City. Then even there they will not understand you so what's the Point, Learn a Language in Dumaguete, it will be useless in Bayawan. As with the other :smile:JP My Spanish gets me where I need/want to be with it all. So after all these years I will stay with English cos that don't really change much Although I have to Admit the US/Canadian members are probably understood far better than we Brits. & of course, they actually do want to talk English to you.

 

Jack:smile:

Morning All:morning1:

Edited by Jack Peterson
added a little
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1 hour ago, Jack Peterson said:

Have you ever stood behind an Expat who was trying to hold some sort of conversation with a Local in a shop

I was one of those, trying to tell a clerk that the item was too "mahal" (which is the British equivalent of dear. .  spoiler alert for Americans who don't get it)

Spoiler

Dear, in the British language, can mean many things but the two most common are: adjective If you say that something is dear, you mean that it costs a lot of money, usually more than you can afford or more than you think it should cost.  Or countable noun
You can call someone dear as a sign of affection.

So, unknown to me, the clerk was a bayot and replied:  Thank you, I love you too.

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Hi Reboot,

I'm pretty fluent in Cebuano or Visayan. I had a tutor for three months back when I was in the Peace Corps. I used to attend simple language lessons at the town elementary school too. Mostly I would write down sentences and phrases and ask my local teacher to translate them for me, and I'd study those over time. In my outreach work in the town it was even more important at the time that I had some grasp, although it was rather limited at the time.

 If the desire to learn is there, I think it will come easier. I speak a very vernacular Bisaya, not always grammatically correct, but that's how the language is spoken in everyday conversation anyway. Over time I've listened to what people say and copy it. For me it has really been my "ticket" to real acceptance, and has been a real confidence booster for me. I'm not afraid to go anywhere alone in Cebu because I'm comfortable speaking and understanding. Local people know that the Visayan language is obscure and only spoken in the Philippines, so taking the time to try to learn even some of it, is appreciated.  Cebu has an advantage though, in that Cebuanos are purists, and speak a pure Visayan with no other languages mixed in.  In many islands and areas there is a mix of languages. I would imagine that would be a lot more difficult. Also if a person has some hearing loss, a new language might be challenging too I would think.

A good way to start I think, would be to learn simple salutations to start. Learning the names of everyday nouns and verbs, days of the week etc. Children and elderly are the most patient, and can work with you if you know some.:smile: A dictionary or phrasebook can be helpful too. Listening to local dramas on the radio is good too. In my experience most Filipino people are patient with foreigners' attempts at learning even some of the language, and even a slang of imperfect version will be accepted. Yes, English is fine to get along here, but any attempt will be helpful and more satisfying for you I'd think over time. The longer you're here, the easier it gets it seems for me.

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mahal na mahal kita, [ I love you] masarap manok, [ delicious chicken] what more do you need than this, I can tell a driver to go eft or right or straight.and a few other words not evan close to ever having a confo.I am always trying to increase my word knowledge

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1 minute ago, canadamale said:

mahal na mahal kita, [ I love you] masarap manok, [ delicious chicken] what more do you need than this, I can tell a driver to go eft or right or straight.and a few other words not evan close to ever having a confo.I am always trying to increase my word knowledge

:AddEmoticons04230: Yup and a beer is a beer  beer sori sori.jpg

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:hystery: :wow: My daughter (17) has been reading this Topic and as we had a snack she came out with " Daddy, having Heard a lot of your Friends and you Talking I think you all ought to speak your own Language properly before you try and learn ours and get that wrong as well"

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1 hour ago, Jack Peterson said:

:hystery: :wow: My daughter (17) has been reading this Topic and as we had a snack she came out with " Daddy, having Heard a lot of your Friends and you Talking I think you all ought to speak your own Language properly before you try and learn ours and get that wrong as well"

:89: Yes, from the mouth of babes........ALL YOU BRITS SHOULD LEARN AMERICAN.  Being that it is the most perfect form of the English langue there is.  The Irish now can turn a phrase, ad the Scots make a tasty drink, the Kiwis a most beautiful land and the Aussies well they have those sheep........even Jake knows sheep lie.:mocking::7500:   

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