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Linguaholic

How do YOU count?


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For example, how do you say fifty in Filipino? Do you say Limampu or Singkwenta? How do YOU count?

I think Filipinos started counting in Spanish was when they conquered our country many years ago. I'm sure there are people these days, especially kids, who thinks that Singkwenta is a Filipino word. It's not their fault though, since spanish numbers are very common. I haven't even heard of anyone ever call a 50php bill - "Limampung piso", nobody says "May limampung piso ka?" it's always "May singkwenta ka?" At least based on my experience.

Honestly, I find it so hard to count in Filipino or Spanish. So I just count in English like 90% of the time. At my age, people would laugh if they found out that I'm not good with the numbers. Sometimes I even forget which is "Alas dos" or "Alas dose".

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I use Spanish and English when counting time and money. I find it rather long if I say "May limampung piso po ako," in real life situations. I would sound like someone from a commercial if I count in Filipino for money. (Apat na pung piso nalang ang Crispy Chicken Sandwich ng McDo!)

For other things, I count in the Filipino language or in dialect.

Also, I would also like to cite an experience about kids misinterpreting Spanish count words for Filipino. It happened once with my niece. She said she had a hard time counting in Tagalog, but she mentioned "uno, dos, tres," so I corrected her gently and told her it is from Spanish.

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  • 5 weeks later...

It has always been a habit for Filipinos to use Spanish words when it comes to age, money, and time.  For instance, when referring to 15 years, we use kinse anyos instead of labing-limang anyos.  When it comes to money, there has to be some qualification.  If the amount is less than Php 100, we use the Spanish words such as bente for dalawampu, singkuwenta for limampu, etc.  If the amount is greater than or equal to Php 1000, we use the Filipino words (e.g. sanglibo, sampung-libo, etc.)  As for time, we have already gotten used to the Spanish terms (ala-uno y media, alas-quatro y media, etc.) but we also use the Filipino equivalent (isa't kalahati ng hapon, apat at kalahati ng umaga, etc.).  We also mix the Spanish and Filipino terms out of convenience (e.g. alas-dos ng madaling araw).

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 23/12/2015, 1:58:35, AExAVF said:

It has always been a habit for Filipinos to use Spanish words when it comes to age, money, and time.  For instance, when referring to 15 years, we use kinse anyos instead of labing-limang anyos.  When it comes to money, there has to be some qualification.  If the amount is less than Php 100, we use the Spanish words such as bente for dalawampu, singkuwenta for limampu, etc.  If the amount is greater than or equal to Php 1000, we use the Filipino words (e.g. sanglibo, sampung-libo, etc.)  As for time, we have already gotten used to the Spanish terms (ala-uno y media, alas-quatro y media, etc.) but we also use the Filipino equivalent (isa't kalahati ng hapon, apat at kalahati ng umaga, etc.).  We also mix the Spanish and Filipino terms out of convenience (e.g. alas-dos ng madaling araw).

This is true. Using the exact Filipino translation for time, age and currency is very formal and usually being used only during formal writing or events. People will find you weird if you speak to them using the exact translation in Filipino.

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  • 3 months later...

What I noticed when we count, we switch between Filipino, Spanish and English; whichever is more convenient to say. For numbers 1-10, we use Filipino. For numbers 11-99, we use Spanish. 100-500 can be either Filipino or English. 

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  • 3 months later...

I also think that the Spanish form of counting is more utilized in the daily lives of Filipinos. I must admit though that I'm very bad at both the Filipino and Spanish type of counting because I've gotten used to the English language ever since I was a kid. I would even sometimes ask my husband who's pure Tagalog about certain numbers which have been spoken in Filipino or Spanish.

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