Before translating English into a Philippine language, four major questions need to be asked: One – Who will be the primary users of the translation? Two – Where are they located? Answers to these first two questions will already help determine both the choice of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions. But there are two other considerations – three: How exposed to the language are these primary readers? Do they belong to a sub-group (example of specific groups of readers: elderly, youth, children, NGO workers, blue collar employees, highly educated domestic helpers who are all over the world, factory workers, job seekers)? And four: Do they speak another Philippine language other than their native Tagalog, or Cebuano, or Ilocano etc? Consistency of language will depend on answers to these four concerns.
What Will Ensure Consistency in the Use of a Philippine Language?
As there is a King’s English, Standard English, and Colloquial English, Any Philippine language also has sets of vocabulary for formal, conversational, technical and colloquial or street speech. Understanding when, where, and how these forms are used will help the translation to be consistent.
Assuming that answers to the four questions above are not given, the translator must set up a a style sheet for consistency. This ideal assumes that the translator: