Posted by: felishkulitz | September 17, 2009

Spanish’s Turn


Coat of arms of the Crown of Castile
Image via Wikipedia

I remember that we have one formal theme writing every grading period in Filipino and the number one rule is to avoid as much as possible traces of foreign languages on it especially Spanish words since it is very commonly used in casual conversations outside our Filipino class. This is not to discriminate any languages but to promote in each Filipino youth the use of Filipino as our own language.

Many of us have difficulty on accomplishing our themed papers due to several Spanish words which are deeply assimilated and more commonly used that the native counterparts. Some of those words are pero (but) which is supposed to be ‘ngunit’; para (for) which is either ‘upang’ or ‘alang-alang’; syempre (siempre=always) which is used by Filipinos for “of course”; Natural which is supposed to be ‘likas’ and many more.

Philippines was under the Spanish crown for more than three hundred years and throughout those years, there were time that the Spaniards taught it to the natives and there were times that they denied it. That happened on various places in which politics may be deemed responsible in one occasion or another.

Eventually, the Philippines changed master as the United States had a friction with Spain. English were enforced to the natives and that is why I can write a blog in English. Spanish language gradually lost its position as the official language of the Philippines in favor of English.

Here came the Japanese and since they were at war with the US, they hurt US by helping in promoting Native languages across the country. That was a short break for English. When we were studying Philippine literature, I remember that there were an increase of number of publications written in Filipino during this time.

During the post war era, Philippine schools offer subjects in Filipino, English and Spanish but that was until 80s when Spanish was removed from the curriculum.

Recently, president Arroyo visited Spain. According to the news which I heard, there are plans to revive Spanish in the curriculum. I remember that they will start with selected students from different schools then gradually to all the students in public school (I don’t know with the private school, what I know some are offering various foreign languages either optional or compulsory).

Indeed, Spanish language in the Philippines have experience the thick and thin in history. Let us then observe what will be it’s faith in the future. And, for the list of Spanish words used in Filipino, please visit this.

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