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Ho/Oho or Po/Opo


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Which do you use more often? Ho/Oho or Po/Opo?

I used to use Ho and Oho, but one time I was talking to an old man, I was talking fast and he didn't realise I said "ho" since it's not as noticeable as "po". And he got mad and thought I wasn't respecting him. So since then I've only used Po and Opo.

And apparently, ho/oho is indeed a less respectful version of po/opo. Personally, I wish our language didn't have those words. Because I believe that action speaks louder than words. I don't think it's necessary for us to keep repeating those words just to show we respect the adults, when we can just prove it with action.

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As a Tagalog-learner I always stick to Po/Opo, just to be safe :) Unless I'm chatting with really close friends, then I either switch to Ho/Oho or drop it altogether. No one seems to mind or perhaps their just being nice to a clueless foreigner ;)

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I only use po/opo when talking to my prospective employers, as they are my seniors as well as superiors.  The use of po/opo has more to do with humility and respect to others, as well as a form of Filipino honorifics.  I use ho/oho when talking to colleagues of the same rank, but I still prefer to use po/opo.  When talking to close friends, I drop these words because I wouldn't want to look like I'm talking to an old person.  I also drop these words when talking to my immediate family, as my relationships with them have become strained.

Edited by AExAVF
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Using of polite words in our language is a bit mild compared to Japanese and Koreans, who must learn a lot of ways to address those who are older or superior to them. Like in the Koreans, the longer the conjugation of the verb, the more polite it is.

Learning ho/oho and po/opo is all right. We cannot do away with words pertaining to respecting those older than us because they came ahead of us. It's better to err on the side of caution and use po/opo, and reserve the ho/oho to those who we deem are of the same rank as us.

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