Language

Filipino o Tagalog, Alin Nga Ba Ang Tama? (Filipino or Tagalog, Which One Is Correct?)

Natataon ang aking paksa na ito sa buwan ng Agosto kung kailan ipinagdiriwang sa Pilipinas ang Linggo ng Wika. (For non-Filipinos, please scroll down for the English version of my post.) Bakit ko nga ba naisipan ang paksa na ito? Simple lamang, sa grupo namin sa Facebook, nagkaroon ng maliit na diskusyon tungkol sa wikang Filipino at Tagalog. Mayroon kasing paaralan na nagtuturo ng wikang Tagalog sa Munich at sa Zurich. Ako at ang isang myembro, na isang dating guro sa Pilipinas, ay nagsabi na mas mabuti sana kung ang ginamit nilang titulo ay Filipino. May punto naman ang nag-post noon sa grupo na ito ay ibinahagi lang nya at hindi nya kilala ang sumulat ng aklat na Tagalog für Anfänger. Hinanap ko sa internet ang email o telepono ng sumulat na Lenny Kaye Bugayong, ngunit ako ay sawimpalad. Ngunit ano nga ba ang mas tama? Filipino o Tagalog? Ito ay matagal nang bahagi ng diskusyon sa Pilipinas. Grade 1 pa lang ata ako ay ito na ang laging paksa at paulit ulit na itinatama ng guro namin sa Filipino. “Tayo ay gumagamit ng Tagalog, ngunit Filipino ang pambansang wika natin.” Nakakalito, ika nga. Kaya nga gumawa ako ng kaunting pagsasaliksik sa Internet upang mabigyan ng kaunting liwanag sa kalituhang ito. Ako ay napadpad sa website na http://www.english-to-tagalog.com kung saan ay napakaganda ng kanyang naging paliwanag sa pagkakaiba ng Filipino at Tagalog. Siguro mas mabuting kopyahin ko na lang ang mga importanteng punto na kanyang isinulat sa website na iyon. At para sa inyong kaalaman, Filipino ang gamit ko sa aking blog na ito at hindi ang Tagalog. Kaya kung nais ninyong turuan ang inyong mga anak, asawa o nobyo ng ating wika, ituro na agad natin ang tama, sabihin natin na ang ating wika ay Filipino, pagka’t sa wikang Filipino, kahit saang parte pa ng Pilipinas ay kaya itong unawain, ngunit may mga Tagalog na hindi kayang maarok ng pang-unawa sa ibang parte ng Pilipinas. (PAALALA: Isusulat ko muna ang translation ko sa English bago ang mga kinopyang sanaysay mula sa website.)

In lieu of the current event in the Philippines, namely the National Language Week, I thought of posting this blog. What made me think of this topic was merely a coincidence due to the last discussion in our Facebook group. There are these schools in Munich and Zurich which teaches Tagalog to Germans. But I and another member were frustrated that they used the term Tagalog instead of Filipino. Then started the questions of which one is correct to use, Filipino or Tagalog? Though the poster was also right that she only shared it and did not write the book. I wanted to write the author a personal letter regarding this, but I cannot find any contact details of her in the internet. Hence, I made a little research and I stumbled upon the website http://www.english-to-tagalog.com, where an article explaining these two languages was posted. It was well written that all my thoughts about our language was perfectly summarized there. Hence, I decided to just quote the important parts of that article. And as a final advice, if you wanted to learn our language, you are learning Filipino and not only Tagalog. It is both politically and socially acceptable all over the Philippines. Tagalog will only limit you to the small regions of NCR, Region 3 and Region 4.

1. Ano ang Tagalog at ano ang Filipino? What is Tagalog and what is Filipino?

Tagalog is not a dialect but a major language in the Philippines. Within the Tagalog region, there are many dialects such as the variations found in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Mindoro, Palawan, Quezon, Rizal and Batangas provinces. Ninety percent of native Tagalog speakers are born and bred and grew up in these provinces.

Filipino is based on Tagalog. Without Tagalog, I doubt if there will ever be a clear identification of the Filipino language. On second thought, maybe, Filipino will be based on Cebuano, or Ilocano, or Hiligaynon, or Bicolano which are also major languages. Some Cebuanos are sometimes jealous because majority of the so-called Filipino words and expressions are actually Tagalog. But in Davao, Cebuano is mixed liberally with Tagalog, and this probably accounts for the difference between Cebuano and the so-called Cebuano-Davao.

2. Kailan ginagamit ang Filipino at kailan ang Tagalog? When is Filipino used and vice versa?

When source words are without exact equivalents in Tagalog, here is where Filipino becomes useful. In a sense, one often resorts to using Filipino when “pure Tagalog” expressions can’t be found. A translation therefore cannot be purely Filipino or Tagalog, because there is yet no clear line that distinguishes one from the other…

“Filipino” incorporates more words and borrowings from other major Philippine languages including Visayan, Ilocano, Bicolano, Ilongo, Waray, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Maranao, and also from languages outside the Philippines. But remember that “Tagalog” has borrowed words and expressions from Spanish, English,  Chinese, Malay and others. As an accepted practice, what has already been borrowed and in use widely in the Tagalog region for a long time can be safely categorized as Tagalog, but new borrowings and word-mixes can be identified as Filipino. The origin of these Filipino or Tagalog words can’t always be determined, but academicians, writers, and other word-crafters,  invent new words in order to accommodate the fast pace of world events, pop culture and new media. Most expressions, need to be “Filipinized” using Filipino rules of spelling.

3. Iba pang karakteristik ng wikang Filipino. Other characteristics of Filipino language.

  1. Filipino is more Tag-lish friendly, that is, it prefers to use more hyphenated Tagalog-English combinations or <b>code shifting</b> since Filipino citizens will combine English and Tagalog most of the time anyway. Some say that this is because many Filipinos are not fluent both in English and Tagalog. Majority in the <b>upper and middle class</b> Philippine society use more Tag-lish than those who belong to the lower-income groups community.
  2. Filipino will sway more towards transliteration – that is just spelling the source words according to the Filipino way of saying it (example: discussion in Tagalog is – pag-uusap, pagtatalakayan, pagbabalitaktakan, but Filipino will simply use diskusyon changing C to K). In a “strictly” Tagalog translation, transliteration should be done only when there is absolutely no exact equivalent and if the nuance of the word combinations demands it.
  3. Filipino alphabet has the letters C F V X and CH, which explains the variations in spelling when one compares translations of Filipino and Tagalog
  4. Filipino may lean comfortably toward using the original spellings of the source words. (Example – “address” – Since everybody understands “address” anyway, Filipino will not hesitate to use it as it is, although many will say it should be spelled adres – a transliteration. There is a Tagalog word for address, however, that is, tirahan, an idiomatic and  perfectly understood word to mean address – as in pangalan at tirahan. So are you going to use Filipino (adres) or Tagalog (tirahan) for this term? Better specify.

Upang mabasa ang buong artikulo, pumunta sa mga sumusunod na website (to read the whole article, go to the following websites)

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