LOS ANGLES, May 13, 2012. Teasing and amused, he told the entire room several times, "She's my twin sister! Kambal kami!"This after I showed him my New York State ID as proof that we were born at exactly the same year and day. As he autographed my ID, he asked, "What time?" I told him in the afternoon. He said he was born at early dawn. " Eh di mas matanda ako sa 'yo". I said with a smile, "Oo, kaya Kuya kita." He grinned. NOW that's one item off my bucket list: to tell him of this fact personally.
The Champ Manny Pacquiao with Ilocano York
"Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language."
Whenever speaking in English, many times my closest friends would catch me mispronounce a lot of words. They would laugh heartily as they constantly ask me questions leading to answers that would require me to speak the mispronounced word repeatedly. Slow to realize it, I would fall for the language trap several times. Initially irked, I would later see the mistake for all its worth. I realize that such paux pas isn't an insufficiency from my part, but a disadvantage stemming from a competency in another language.
is a production failure common among mutilinguals who speak languages that have varying phonological structures. A lot of times, in the most excited moment, a word is blurted out wrong even if the speaker has already attained fluency in a second language. Recently, I overheard a friend say, "hamberjer". Many times I said "iskars" to mean scarce
or very little
. The local priest says "tenk yu" to everyone, while a Marian devotee invited me to a "sinakel". My linguistics professor in college often corrected me whenever I say "etch" for letter H, instead of "aitch". To a lot of Ilocanos I know, table
becomes "teybel", edible
is "edibel" and there
becomes "dear". P sound is interchanged with F, B with V and TH-sound with D. Filipinos lose the aspiration (or the air coming out of the mouth as one speaks a sound) when pronouncing words with initial sounds like T, B, P and K.
Being mutilingual, though a gift, sometimes have its compromises. But it's okay. Mispronounced or not, I think I am luckier than my American neighbor who only speaks one.
Here are YouTube videos about Filipino accents:
Video 1 Funny yet informative language lesson with Mikey Bustos
Video 2 Russel Peters' joke on Filipino Accent
Video 3 Tim Tayag's stand-up act about ESL
Video 4 Archiezzle on Filipino Accent