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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Dangers of Being Literal in Language Learning

One of the things to remember in language learning is the limitation to being literal in translating one language to another.  Therefore, direct translation is not reliable at all times although it may work in some situations.  Here is an example:

Using wala and naa:  

In English, wala means none or nothing because wala is basically something is non-existent.  Wala may have other uses as a negative word but by itself, it means none or nothing.  

So:  If I want to say:  "I have money."    

Directly translated to Cebuano, it is:  
Naa koy kwarta.  (Naa for have, ko for I, kwarta for money, y is a floating linker)

How then will I say:  "I have no money."?

This here is the tricky part.  Some learners will say:  Wala naa koy kwarta.   This is being literal.  I always tell my learners, you can't use wala and naa at the same time because it will create confusion to the listener.  

The opposite of naa is wala and the opposite of wala is naa.  Some places in the Visayas use duna (or aduna) instead of naa (or anaa).  This is what we call variation.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Puydi Bang Amigo Na Lang Ta ug Mga Pulong Nga Di Nato Gustong Madunggan (Can We Just Be Friends and Words That We Don't Want To Hear)

I came across a website containing this interesting topic:  4 Words I Don't Want To Hear (  And I thought, this is an interesting write up to translate.  After all,  feelings and emotions are universal and applicable to all cultures. But since no two languages are alike, what might only be 4 words for one language, might be more than 4 to another.  Bisaya, because of its Malayo-Polynesian origin will not have a one-to-one correspondence  with other languages.  What does it mean?  It means one concept in one language could be expressed by one word, however, in Bisaya, such concept might need to be explained / expressed using more than one word.  

So here's the list of Words I (or you) Don't Want to Hear.

1. I don't love you.  
Wala ko ikaw higugma-a.

2. You're diagnosed with cancer.
Na-diagnose nga aduna kay kanser.

3. I found someone else.
Nakakaplag ko og lain (nga higugmaon.)

4. It was never real.
Walay tinuoray ato. 

5. We need to talk.
Kinahanglan kita mag-istorya.

6.  You're going to die.
Padulong ka nang mamatay.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Mga Parti sa Usa Ka Prutas

Sometimes, we take some things for granted.  For example, because we keep eating apples (mansanas) or other fruits (prutas), we do not bother to study their parts.  Which should not be the case.  The more common an item, the more we should know many things about it.  

In this lesson, I discussed the parts of a prutas.  Some prutas have many liso (seed) like the kapayas (papaya) and the milon (watermelon), Some prutas only have one, like the abokado (avocado) and the mangga (mango).  

The fleshy part of the fruit is called unod (flesh).  This is the part which we eat.  The hinog (ripe) fruit is eaten, but occasionally the hilaw (unripe) fruit is also eaten, like the green mango or green papaya.  Normally unripe fruits are not edible (dili makaon) yet.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mg Bulok Sa Balangaw (Colors of the Rainbow)

When we were all kids in school, one of the most exciting and makalingaw (enjoyable) things that we learned is the names of the different Binisaya bulok (colors).  And the mga maistra (teachers) always started with the balangaw (rainbow)

So let me emulate my teachers and tell you what the mga bulok of the balangaw are in Binisaya.  But before that, let me tell you the correct pronunciation of the word bulok to mean color.  If you mispronounce this word, it will sound like you are calling the person dumb or unintelligent. So bulok that mean color is BU-lok.
bulok that means unintelligent is bu-LOK.

The mga bulok of the balangaw are the following:

Red - Pula
Orange - Kahil/Orins
Yellow - Yilu/Dalag
Blue - Asul/kolor-dagat
Indigo - Indigo
Violet - bayolit/kolor-ubi

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to say Happy Mother's Day in Visayan/Cebuano?

Like you, I also wondered when we started officially observing the second Sunday of May as Mother's Day.  There is actually a history behind it.  I will tell you about it quickly because it is just a short background.  We started observing Mother's Day in the early 20th century specifically in 1908.  Thanks to a dedicated person named Anna Jarvis who held a memorial service for her mother in St Andrews Methodist Church, which later became the International Shrine for Mothers, eventually.    She campaigned to make the second Sunday of May to be dedicated to mothers as a way of honoring her mom who was an activist and always promoted the welfare of mothers and women in general.  The US congress initially rejected the proposal to dedicate the second Sunday of May as Mother's Day, but,  Woodrow Wilson eventually signed a proclamation officially designating the second Sunday of May as Mother's Day in 1914.  

So in Binisaya/Cebuano, we greet our mothers on Mother's Day, 
Malipayong Adlaw sa mga Inahan.

There are many ways to call mother in the Visayan region:  Some of them are:

Nanay, Mama, Mommy, Mamang, Inay. 

However way we call our mothers, let's not forget to make this day or any other day special for her.

#MothersDay #BisayaforMothersDay #Mothers

Friday, April 28, 2017

Video Translation 2: Hala ang Kabaw! (Oh my God, the Carabao)

This is my second attempt to translate a video.  I chose this mainly because it is in Visayan.  Secondly, there are some useful vocabulary and useful grammar that would supplement the knowledge of learners.  Third, even if it is an amusing video, the vocabulary here is useful during emergency and urgent situations.  

There is only one speaker in the video, so it is easy to translate and the content is purely of human interest.    

S:  Hala, kaluoy sa carabao.
OMG, the poor carabao.

Ayaw lang og labang 'kul, luoy kaayo ang carabao, o.
Don't cross 'cle*, the carabao looks so pitiful, see.

O, kusog kaayo ang baha, molabang ka.
See, the flood is very strong, and you'll cross?

Di lagi na kalabang 'kul, luoy kaayo na imong kabaw.
That really can't cross, 'cle*.  Your carabao is going to suffer.

O, dako kaayo ang baha o, basin maanod pa ka 'kul.
See, the flood is high, see, you might be carried away 'cle*.

Maluoy ka sa imong kabaw, hala. hala, hala, hala, hala, hala ayaw
na lagi ug labang 'kul*.  
Have pity on your carabao, Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God, please don't cross 'cle*.

Hala, ang kabaw.  
Oh my God, the carabao.

Hala ang tawo, ang tawo, ang tawo 
Oh my God, the man, the man, the man.

Tabangi ninyo, tabangi ninyo.
Help him, help him,

Hala kaluoy sa kabaw.  Hala.
Oh my God, the poor carabao.  Oh my God.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Video Translation Number 1: Giuhaw sa Pagmahal Episode 1

For the many years that I taught Cebuano, my students would always ask me if there is any program that they can watch where they can test their listening comprehension and to this question I always answered negatively.   And then I discovered this production which I was thankful about. However, there were no subtitles to the lines in the teleserye.  I then decided to give it a try and translate it, in order to help some of my learners understand the storyline of the teleserye. 

I welcome opinions regarding my translation.  There were portions where I thought being literal works, but there are occasions where I think being literal is unacceptable.  

Giuhaw Sa Pagmahal is a Cebuano teleserye that was produced by Mr. and Mrs. Nonito 'Dodong' Limchua..written and directed by Mrs. Resty Jumao-as-Nur. Thank You for watching and reading!

The video opens with Lea, the main character, in the teleserye, singing in a singing contest.  The song is quite long, but you will enjoy Lea's beautiful melodic voice.

Male Emcee:  Mao kadto si Lea Delfin nga taga-Day-as Cordova.  (That was Lea Delfin who is from Day-as Cordova.)  Atong hatagan sa masibang pakpak.  (Let's give her a warm applause.

Female Emcee: Ang niguwa nga champion sa atong singing contest karong gabhiona, way lain ang inyong nadungog, si Miss Lea Delfin.  (The one who emerged champion in our singing contest tonight is no other than the one you heard, Ms. Lea Delfin.)

Next scene:  

Lola Pinang:  Santi, pagpuyo ra.  Naglabad baya ang akong ulo anang imong kalaki da. Naunsa ka ba?
(Grandma Pinang:  Santi, will you stop.  I'm having a headache with what you're doing,  What's with you?)

Santi:  Ma, kusog kaayo ang kuba sa akong dughan. 
(Ma, the pounding in my chest is very strong.) 

Grandma:  Ay kanimo, daog lagi tong akong apo.  Lea pa.
(Oh, you.  My grandchild will surely win.  We're talking about Lea here.)

Lea:  Lola Pinang! Papa Santi! 
(Grandma Pinang!  Papa Santi!)

Grandma:  Da, naa na lagi.   Naa na.
(See, she's already here.  She's here.)

Lea:  Lola Pinang!
(Grandma Pinang)

Lola Pinang:  Dia na.  Dali.  Atong sugaton.  Dia na.
(She's here.  Come.  Let's welcome her.  She's here.)

Lea:  Lola!
( Grandma!)

Lola Pinang:  Da, daan pa ko.  Nakadaog lagi gyud ang akong apo.
(See, I knew it.  My grandchild really did win.)

Leo:  Daog na sad La.
(She won again, Grandma.)

Lola Pinang:  Daog ka.
(You won.)

Papa Santi:  Daog na sad ka?
(You won again?)

Lea:  Daog na sad ko 'Pa.
( I won again, Pa.)

Leo:  Sus..Day Lea pa.
(Of Course, that's Day Lea.)

Papa Santi:  Anak.
(My child.) 

Lea:  Para inyo gyud ni 'Pa.  (Showing the trophy to her father)
(This is really for you, Pa.)

Papa Santi:  Mga pahalipay, anak.  (hugs Lea.)  Daog ang anak nako.  Liwat sa Papa.
(Congratulations, my child. My child won.  You take after your father.)

Grandma:  Oy, oy.  Pagaksa sad ko sa akong apo --
(Hey, hey, Let me hug my grandchild too.)

Papa Santi:  Mama o.
(Really, Mom)

Grandma:  -- nga nindot og tingog.
(-- who has a great singing voice).

Papa Santi:  Daog na sad ang imong kaluha.
(Your twin won again.)

Leo:  Day, ambi nang imong trophy day bi kay ato ning ihalad sa altar ha.
(Day, give me your trophy so that I will offer it in the altar, okay?)

Lea:  Ayaw lang sa altar dong kay special man na sila,  mga rebulto baya na sila.  Adto na lang ni ibutang sa akong kwarto.
(Not in the altar, Dong, because they are special. Remember they are statues.  Just put this in my room.)

Papa Santi:  Sigi na.  Dali na mo.  Manuod na ta. Dali.
(Okay.  Come on now,  Let's all go inside.  Hurry.)

Leo:  Na hala, sigi, sigi. sigi.
(All right.  Okay.  Okay.  Okay.)

Next Scene:

Ramil:  Promise, mommy.  Magtinarong na ko sa akong pag-iskuyla.  Please give me another chance.
(I promise, mommy, I will do well in my studies.  Please give me another chance.)

Mommy:  Well, dili ko lisod hangyoon, Ramil. But pls. keep this in mind. Last chance na ni nimo. Sa sunod higayon kung magbinuang ka sa imong pag-iskuyla --  
(Well, I am reasonable, Ramil.  But please keep this in mind:  This is your last chance.  Next time, if you ever don't take your studies seriously -- 

Ramil:  Dili na kana mahitabo mommy. Promise.  Dili na ko magbinuang sa akong pag-iskuyla.
(That will not happen anymore, mommy, I promise. I will take my studies seriously this time.)