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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cebuano Language: A Morbid Topic

Simbako ka diha --  whenever death becomes a topic, you will hear this expression.   There is no real meaning to it; it is just used similar to the expression in English:  Heaven forbid.   
To Filipinos, the topic of death is considered morbid so they avoid talking about it.  It's just that people are afraid to let go of their loved ones to death.  

Here are some related vocabularies:   A dead person is called patay or minatay.  He is placed in a lungon (coffin).  People would attend his haya (wake) for roughly one week or could be less than 7 depending on the preference of the bereaved family.   The family prepares coffee and other snacks for those who would be in the haya (wake) and would bilar (stay up all night).  

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