Multilingualism

“‎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. Phonological confusion 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

One comment

  1. Delilah Primero Bitales says:

    Kasi naman hindi lahat ng tao na nakapunta sa America sy nakapag aral or nakapagtapos man lang ng H/S kaya ganoon may mag eenglish hindi ma pronounce ng tama ang salita basta mabigkas na lang mya w/o proper accentuation ng word kaya ganoon nga madami sa Pinoy ay perfectionist pagdating ng correct pronunciation ng word , excuse na lang cla kasi baka kung ano lang grade or year ang inabot nya sa school di ba. Thanks sa Ilocanoyork pinoy for sllowing me to give my comment .

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