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Balitang Tagalog bilang isa
June 26, 2006
Tagalog at Wordhouse contains my personal insights on Tagalog Translation, Filipino culture, Pinoy trivia, and updates on other Philippine languages.
My mother's first cell phone was a 2000 Nokia 5210. Since she got used to this model, she wouldn't leave the house without it. And since one son and one daughter are OFWs, her 5210 became her best loved gadget. But last week, the messages on her screen blinked and the letters disappeared at will. There had been many battery and LCD replacements and repairs in the past, but this time, both these solutions failed to work. We finally convinced her to retire the 5210.
Buying the next simplest gadget, an 1100 model, was a quick decision. Just to make sure that my mother wasnt deprived, we took her to the mall in her wheelchair and let her touch and feel the latest models. She was not interested in all the other models because she won't use their other features anyway. She just wanted to text and call and would rather store "real" pictures in an album. So she chose this inexpensive and easy to use 1100 with an assurance from us that it works exactly as the old one.
The first time she held her new phone, she was disoriented. She liked the light weight but not the very small screen. Due to her pride, she did not ask us at first how she could text and receive messages using short cut keys. Instead, she consulted the Tagalog Manual for Users, because it was in Tagalog.
After about some seconds of landing on the page about batteries, she read aloud:
"Ano raw?" My mother asked.
For her, the phrases ganap na pagganap (does this mean fully charged or maximum performance?) and kumpletong pag-inog ng pagkakarga at pagdiskarga (complete round of charging and discharging?) sounded funny and Greek. And as she continued to read the manual, she asked "Ano Raw?" (What did it say?) three times. Finally, she put the manual down, swallowed her pride, and in exasperation asked me to just teach her how to use the new cell phone.
I translated and explained back into English some confusing Tagalog in the manual, hoping that my back translation was correct. My mother had only six years of elementary education (after the Japanese occupation of 1942-1945). While today she prefers to read everything in Tagalog, not all Tagalog will communicate to her if they are too pure, formal or technical. She'd rather be told,
That is, if that's what the Tagalog Greek text is actually saying. Note the switch coding I-charge instead of kargahan and the use of Tag-lish pagcha-charge instead of pagkakarga.
Instances like this make me think about who really uses Tagalog. Most Filipinos understand English, but those who find English difficult will not understand a Tagalog translation that has failed to appreciate how a Tagalog speaker and non-English user uses and speaks the language.
What happens when a Tagalog translation fails to appreciate how a native Tagalog speaker and non-English user speaks the language?
Confusion. Failed communication. Invalidated Intention.
Tuloy po kayo. Magandang araw po sa inyo. Do you know that po or ho and opo or oho, two Tagalog words that connote respect for elders are also used to signify a formal tone, for example, in a corporate letter or memorandum? Ibig po naming ipaalam sa inyo- We would like to inform you; Maaari po kayong komunsulta sa pinakamalapit na ahensya - You may consult the nearest agency; Paki-dala po ng mga kinakailangang papeles- Please bring your papers.
If you talk to a Tagalog on the street, you will be addressed with po and opo because you are a stranger (even if you are not old, but especially if youre older). While corporate letters are often straightforward and demanding, leaving the po and opo out somehow give them an apathetic, not-caring tone. Letters need not have these words but if they do have them, they must be sincerely respectful and not merely polite.
You may also want to
check out "Tagalog Greetings" at Tinkerer.
Maaari [po] May (conditional or you have this option)
Kayong You (plural pronoun is used to respectfully address one
komunsulta [sa] consult [an]
[na] ahensya. [an] agency
Tuloy po Kayo Come in (literal)
PITAK NG TAGALOGKULTURA
Watch for Articles on Filipino culture by Mrs. Evelyn Miranda Feliciano. Mrs Feliciano or Ate Evelyn is a bestselling Filipino author of books on family, culture, and lifestyle. She has written numerous articles for local Philippine publications and for International Organizations.
Read legal-speak. Tagalog Posts on To Wit . Atty Romel comments on Legal Translation
PAGSULAT SA TAGALOGWatch for the final announcement of a short story writing contest (Tagalog short stories for teens, Maikling kuwento para sa mga Kabataan). Ten winners will be awarded P5000 each plus a chance to attend a fiction writing workshop, FREE.
You are all welcome to contribute articles to English-to-Tagalog.com. All articles must not exceed 1000 words, must be in English (and with translation in Tagalog if you can) and must be about Tagalog, Filipino, and Pinoy Culture.
If you have a blog, and it is in Tagalog, please submit the blog address and we will feature your blog in our site.
BALITANG TAGALOGTRANSLATION SEMINAR
A translation seminar on June 30 will discuss new paradigms in translation of Filipino languages. This will be held at the UP Diliman.I will give you an update on this next issue.
If you have concerns about translation in general and English to Tagalog translation in particular, feel free to send your feedback.
Thank you very much
Your English to Tagalog Translator
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