'Filipino English'

American English, British English, and Australian English, among others, are recognized by many as patent varieties of the English language and some can even distinguish the differences among these ‘brands’ of existing English. But what about Filipino English? 

For sure, many people in the Philippines refer to a variety of English called Filipino English. But is it only locally recognized? Or, do even non-Filipino scholars acknowledge that the English generally spoken in the country is another variety of the English language?

The Dictionary of the Microsoft Encarta (Microsoft® Encarta® 2006) has this to say regarding the matter, as though categorically answering our questions:

Philippine English, also Filipino English, is the variety of English used in the Philippines. It has some co-official status with Filipino. English is the second western colonial language, after Spanish; the United States took the territory in 1898 from Spain, whose colony it had been since 1521. The nation is diverse, with a Malay majority, a Chinese minority, and many people of mixed Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and U.S. backgrounds. Because English is used in varying degrees by over half the population of about 60 million, the Philippines rightly claims to be a major English-speaking country.”

So what are some similarities and differences between Filipino English and the American English? As regards pronunciation, the internationally recognized dictionary informs us:

“Like U.S. English, Philippine English pronounces r in words such as art, door, and worker. Also, h is pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled back and raised. Vowels tend to be full in all syllables (e.g., seven being pronounced "seh-ven," not "sev'n"). An "s" or "sh" sound may serve instead of a "z" or "zh," as in "carss" (cars), "pleshure" (pleasure).”

There are also typical ways Filipinos construct sentences and use grammar using the English language. Non-Filipino language scholars identify them:

“In grammar, the present progressive is commonly used for habitual behavior, rather than the simple present ("We are doing this work all the time" for "We do this work all the time"), the present perfect may be used rather than the simple past ("We have done it yesterday" for "We did it yesterday"), and the past perfect rather than the present perfect ("They had already been there" for "They have already been there"). (Ibid.)

The Microsoft Dictionary also enumerates some of the Filipino words (or words that are believed to have originated from the Philippines) that have entered the English dictionary:

“Distinctive vocabulary includes: (1) Hispanicisms, unchanged or adapted, e.g., asalto (surprise party), querida (mistress); (2) words from Tagalog, e.g., boondock (mountain) - whence "the boondocks," kundiman (love song), tao (man) - as in "the common tao"; (3) local coinages, e.g., carnap (to steal a car), formed by analogy with kidnap, and jeepney (small bus), blending jeep and jitney, a jeep adapted for passengers.”

Do you agree with what the dictionary says about Filipino English? (@jensenismo)

Related article/s:

The Filipino words in 'Encarta Dictionary'

How to cite this article:

“Is there such thing as ‘Filipino English’?” @ www.OurHappySchool.com



<p> Many Filipinos have a propensity to translate Tagalog words into English literally, thus the term &quot;Filipino English.&quot; Many will translate the statement &quot;tumataba ka&quot; to &quot;you&#39;re getting fat.&quot; While this translation is correct, it is grammatically poor. Better to say &quot;you&#39;re gaining weight.&quot; Translation should not be done literally but from the context of the message being conveyed.</p>

The article said that the Filipinos have their own variation of English language. Do you believe in the existence of Filipino-English like how American-English and British-English exists?

No. We are using the standard American english. We have different diction but it's the same.

Yes. Filipinos are speaking English in a different way like how British and American do it. So yeah, Filipino-English exists.

Yes. Like how the others have their own variation of english, we also have our own variation. We speak in exact pronunciation without much articulation. That is unique.

Filipinos have their own version of English language that is not popular internationally but locally and it has many variations based on their respective regions. Do you believe we Filipinos are good in speaking and teaching English? Why?

This is an answer to the question of Kenny Roa. Yes, magaling ang mga Pilipino sa ingles sa katunayan maraming mga guro ang nagtuturo ng wikang ingles hindi lamang locally but abroad.

This is an answer to the question of Kenny I believe that we Filipinos are one of the best in speaking and teaching English because many foreigners study here in the country like Koreans and many of them said that they have chosen Philippines because we are not only good in english but we are very passionate in teaching.

Answer to the question of Kenny yes, I believe that we are good in English. We are one of the best in speaking in English but not all ordinary people can understand and speak the said language.

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