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Monday, June 24, 2024

Fostering the Spanish language in the Philippines

A way of consistently fostering the conservation of our Spanish heritage, particularly the Spanish language, is to use Spanish loanwords.

I had a good laugh watching this clip from a Dolphy movie where Babalu interrogated Yoyong Martirez. In response to the Martirez doubting that he's a real cop, Babalu replied, "O, heto ang tarheta ko". I also remember my father using tarheta or tarjeta (to refer to smaller cards) as well, but I don't remember any other adults using it growing up, so I was surprised to see that Dolphy movie clip with Babalu. Tarheta is rarely used nowadays because, first, it is regarded as an old word, second, business cards are rarely used nowadays.

I moved some furniture to my parents' house while I was on vacation in the Philippines last December. I was helped by a nephew who referred to it as "purnityur". I told him that's English and it doesn't sound right tagalized. Try saying muebles instead of "purnityur". He did and found it easier.

Our local languages are losing more and more Spanish loanwords as time goes on. Those of us who champion preserving our past should start using these old loan words in our daily lives and encourage the young to do the same. - A

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