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Code-switching: Taglish


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If you've been the the Philippines before, you may be familiar with the hybrid "taglish" that a lot of locals speak. It's basically code-switching between Tagalog and English, for example, "Pwede ba tayo mag dinner sa McDonald's later?" I personally find it inelegant and irritating to the point that I pretend not to understand a person speaking that speaks to me in taglish, even though I do. I see it as a "language abomination" or two beautiful languages, what do you think about taglish?

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I'm also from the Philippines and I personally have no problems with Taglish. Perhaps because I'm too used to hearing it already. Taglish I think it is a way for most Filipinos to express their thoughts without having to dig deep into a Tagalog dictionary. Our native language is too complex to be translated simply in English, therefore Taglish becomes a solution.

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My mother is Filipina and I never learnt Tagalog. My father doesn't know Tagalog either but we can get the gist of things when my mum talks with friends leaving us out of the conversation. It is disappointing that Tagalog is a dying language since most youth speak Taglish though.

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I noticed this trend too the last time I was in Manila for a business trip. One Manila friend asked me "Pero yung colleague mo... mag-e-exam ba siya next week?

He knew that I spoke fairly fluent Tagalog, so I guess his mixing is perfectly common in Manila and comes to him naturally.

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I think Taglish is somehow becoming an official way Filipinos speak.

Like for example, when you call a Telecom's hotline, it will prompt you for the following:

Press 1 for English

Press 2 for Taglish

And there is no prompt for Tagalog / Filipino.

Just like in Japanese, they often use loan words and write them in Katakana. This is one way to make things in life easier. Haha :) Convenience.

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I think Taglish is somehow becoming an official way Filipinos speak.

Like for example, when you call a Telecom's hotline, it will prompt you for the following:

Press 1 for English

Press 2 for Taglish

And there is no prompt for Tagalog / Filipino.

Just like in Japanese, they often use loan words and write them in Katakana. This is one way to make things in life easier. Haha :) Convenience.

It would be really sad if taglish becomes our official language, or even recognized officially. Its gonna be a lethal blow to our national identity. Sadly, I noticed a lot of Filipinos see the language as a language for the lower class, which is pure non-sense. Filipino is a beautiful language and mixing it with any other, in my opinion, is just senseless and shows a lack of national pride.

This reminds me of what Rizal said, "Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, daig pa ang hayop at malansang isda".

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Well, I have to admit, using Taglish is very convenient most of the time. But whenever I hear a socialite wanna-be talking in pure Taglish, it makes me want to hit them in the face.  :) seriously, why don't they just use pure English instead?

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Well, I have to admit, using Taglish is very convenient most of the time. But whenever I hear a socialite wanna-be talking in pure Taglish, it makes me want to hit them in the face.  :) seriously, why don't they just use pure English instead?

hahaha, I wouldn't wanna go that far, but I know what you mean. I say, either speak pure Tagalog or pure English, it's just too bad how its everywhere, tv, radio, even the news some times.

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I'm from Philippines too and I wouldn't mind hearing Taglish. Why? There's some instance that we can't think of the Tagalog counterpart of a word. But there is some time that I felt its too force to add the English word in a Tagalog sentence.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hate it when people use Taglish a lot. I wouldn't mind if somebody uses an English term here and there, if there's a lack of an appropriate Filipino term for a specific word. But most of the time, simple sentences are still said in Taglish. It's really sad because I think this will eventually lead to the death of the Filipino language. I always try to speak in straight Filipino or English. This is also an attempt to influence my friends to do the same.

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It would be tolerable if we just use Taglish like Japanese use Katakanas. But no. I have a co-worker that I really hate so much because he always speaks in Taglish and you know that /r/ sound that makes him sound like a social-climber. Ugh!

I know right? He is so maarte talaga. I wish he would make patid in the hallway. -Sarcasm.

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that /r/ sound that makes him sound like a social-climber. Ugh!

I know right? He is so maarte talaga. I wish he would make patid in the hallway. -Sarcasm.

Hahaha! You just made my day! I literally laughed out loud! I absolutely know that r sound and I hate it, too!

"Parang, it's like, you know, so trying hard!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

We learned about this in class today! We watched a clip in Tagalog and the professor asked us how much of it we could understand.

It's really interesting because the host kept saying "That's correct" in English. I also noticed some code-switching to Spanish to, like the host would say "Good luck señor".

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Im using taglish personally. It comes out naturally, Maybe because english is our second language and we been learning it since we were kids. It is a part of our life.  I been speaking english in my work so sometime when I talk to my friends I can't help it but mix the two.I know some who speak taglish because they want to project being SOSYAL (elegant) that is what I don't like about it. If you hear someone speaking in taglish, you can easily say if it's natural to her or just pretending or just showing off.I guess it depends on who is using and how it's been used.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I really doubt Taglish would be considered an official language and it used to often irritate me when I hear my fellowmen speaking in mixed Filipino and English. Although, I got a bit used to hearing this when I ended up having classmates who don't speak Filipino, but are really making an effort to learn it. They try to practice using different Filipino words they learned and just connect them with English words if they could not remember or figure out which Filipino word to use next. I'm not saying that this is why most people speak Taglish, but it certainly gave me a new perspective regarding this mix of languages.

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  • 1 month later...

My mother is Filipina and I never learnt Tagalog. My father doesn't know Tagalog either but we can get the gist of things when my mum talks with friends leaving us out of the conversation. It is disappointing that Tagalog is a dying language since most youth speak Taglish though.

Tagalog is not DYING. It is evolving into something new.. something different.. but still with the same distinct culture of its own.

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I think that Taglish is ok as long as it doesn't sound awkward like what we call here as the "pa-sosyal" language. For example, "Gusto mo ng water?" I find that kind of Taglish irritating, as compared to, "Tara, akyat na tyo sa 5th floor". See the difference? There are some Taglish sentences that are quite annoying to hear.

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  • 2 months later...

I agree. I personally use Taglish in my day-to-day affairs, but only when I need to substitute a Tagalog word I can't remember with an English one I can easily picture in my head. I think the irritating Taglish is the "conyo" type of Taglish, where everything is inappropriately switched with something that can be used in a completely comprehensible manner. For example,

"Do you want to make kain sa labas?" is generally a lot more irritating because you start in English, and abruptly end it in Filipino. Not only that, but you used "make", which is already a verb, with "kain" the noun for the act of eating, when you could actually just use, "kumain" or "eat".

"Do you want to eat outside?" is a better term, though Filipino elitists might think you're underestimating the Filipino language.

"Gusto mo kumain sa labas?" is generally safer and a lot more used, though this is usually between friends who understand the meaning of "labas" or "outside". This can either mean, a carinderia, a local eatery, or a fast-food chain.

"Gusto mo kumain ng fast-food?" is the one I tend to use. I tend to switch a Filipino noun with an English word that generally pertains to a bigger set of options, since I'm actually looking for a more specific answer.

I don't think Taglish is becoming the language of modern-day Filipinos. A lot of us still respect and comprehend and study the actual art of speaking in Tagalog, but I guess we really do have the tendency to code-switch because we want to simplify things.

Then again, language is a constantly evolving part of culture, so I guess the nature of Filipino as a language would most definitely have to change overtime. What I don't want to happen is to see the beautiful language being replaced with a mixture of English and something else. Maybe we could learn English, Taglish and Tagalog all at the same time? That's better, I think, since it makes us more versatile when it comes to the speakers we're dealing with.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Code switching is when you use English at the first part of your sentence, then you switch to other language towards the end. Example: "I really think na hindi naman tama yun." (I really think that it's not right.)

Code mixing is when you mix codes from different languages, I think that it's what you're referring to. (Pardon me for this, it's just that my professor told us to always remember the difference. Hehe)

In casual conversations, I think it has become quite normal here in the Philippines. Sometimes, it's just hard to think of the Filipino translation of a word in your mind.

But when it comes to academic or conversations in class or work, I don't favor using Taglish. In most of our classes, the rule is that if we want to report in Filipino, we must use pure Filipino. If we want to use English, then e must do it in straight English. I just got used to it. It's really not that hard anyway. :))

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  • 2 weeks later...

Code-switching Filipino and English is okay for me, only inasmuch as it avoids becoming conyo - especially if it's something deliberately done. If it's conyo for the sake of entertainment, it's okay. But for me, code-switching is something that's okay if and only if it's used in informal settings. If it's for business meetings and official matters, I will need to uphold the English-only policy (unless the meeting is conducted in Filipino, then proper courtesies are advised).

For me, I find nothing inelegant and wrong with Taglish. So long as the speaker is capable of speaking in both English and Filipino (when the individual language is asked to be spoken) without code-mixing all the time, then it's okay. I think people want to avoid speaking in a pure language in the Philippine setting because of all the "irk" it causes the other people around them.

For example, not a lot of people would appreciate people saying "Would you want to watch a movie later?" in a public space - say, a market. A lot of people might think, "Grabe, ang pauso naman," and other things.

Then again, not a lot of people would also appreciate people saying, "Gusto mo ba manuod ng pelikula mamaya?" in a business setting. Others might not take the speakers seriously.

I think in this case, code-mixing should be done based on context. In a college setting, "Gusto mo ba manuod ng movie later?" is highly more compared to, "Gusto mo ba mag-watch ng movie later?"

I think the more fluid the language sounds to the ears, the better code-mixed the sentences are. If words are switched with too much effort, then it just gets irritating to the ears, I guess.

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I think Taglish is somehow becoming an official way Filipinos speak.

Like for example, when you call a Telecom's hotline, it will prompt you for the following:

Press 1 for English

Press 2 for Taglish..

I've also seen this option on BPI automated teller machines.  :grin:

Personally I've got nothing against taglish as it's already a part of everyday conversations from where I'm from, though I sometimes get annoyed when I hear over the top taglish like "Make tusok-tusok the fishballs" - but I know that's intentional already in order to make fun of those who speak too much taglish.  :smile:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Terms such as minasaker, which is derived from the word massacre, sinalvage from salvage (or the term used by tabloid writers to mean assassination), or one term I heard which is sumurender, from the word surrender but coupled with Tagalog verb forms have made Taglish quite the popular language used by lower-class citizens.  Most well-off and upper-class citizens will speak in plain English, Tagalog, or Taglish, but the latter not as frequently compared to citizens who live below the poverty line.  But it is without a doubt that Taglish is becoming the norm for citizens regardless of educational attainment. Aside from tabloids, soap operas and local telenovelas also contribute to the kind of language being spoken.

However, when it comes to strictly formal situations such as work or the academic community, I will either speak in plain Tagalog or English depending on the instructions given.  In my case, I write my papers mainly in English as I feel awkward using Tagalog.   

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I really don't mind people speaking in Taglish. But as a personal rule, I speak in plain English or plain Tagalog, depending on the situation. Honestly, what I find sad are people laughing at someone who speak in deep and pure Tagalog. Well, it might be unusual, but there's a more proper reaction than laughing and ridiculing them.

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