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luther

Serious About Grammar

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AlbinoPrincess

Salamat for the detailed response, Luther! I printed off the post so I can look at it in detail later.

 

I do have a Cebuano Bible that I bought at National Bookstore when I was in Cebu last year. It is a parallel Bible and has English in one column and Cebuano in the other column. I need to get it out, cover up the English side and start trying to translate. :crack-up:

 

The most frustrating part for me when I was trying to learn words and/or phrases when I was in Cebu was that one native speaker would tell me how to say something and another native speaker would tell me that it was wrong. :crack-up:

 

I also have a couple of English/Tagalog/Cebuano phrase books. Unfortunately, even the phrase books contradict themselves. I don't remember which phrase it was, but there were three or four different ways of saying the exact same phrased listed in two books. :P

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luther

I'm online for a few minutes and will be back in a couple days. I won't add much today since you have enough to study (learn how to recognize a verb), just some clarification.

 

In reading over my post I see that I mentioned a spelling pattern n/m/p and my statement is ambiguous. Here's the scoop on n/m/p.

 

In the Actor verbs, all but one of the affix sets uses the n/m/p spelling pattern. The Undergoer verbs also have three modes but do not use the n/m/p spelling pattern. An example of the n/m/p pattern is the affix set nang-/mang-/pang-; another example is na-/ma-/pa-. The "p" paradigm in the Actor verbs is set apart; some of the p- affixes are only vaguely related to their n/m partners. Pa- for example has a very unique job not functionally related to na-/ma-. Pang- on the other hand is really the "surrealis" partner of realis nang- and irrealis mang-. And pag- is really the "surrealis" partner of nag- and mag-. So there are some irregularities but they can be dealt with one at a time. Spotting useful patterns is easy and makes it fun like word games.

 

You are not alone in your frustration at dealing with your informants, the native speakers who sincerely want to help but face it, they aren't linguists any more than you and I, and in school they never studied Cebuano at all. It's not really a problem that each person gives you a different way to say something or a different translation. There are good reasons for it. There are different ways to say things. There are misinterpretations of data by them, by you, or by someone else. There are translations that are so far from literal that they are not helpful in understanding the original. There are cultural problems in communication, because Filipinos hate to say "I don't know."

 

Phrasebooks are pretty useless if you are detail oriented and want to learn grammar. But let's say you find two ways of saying the same thing. Nothing wrong with that. It's a learning opportunity. Compare the two sentences. What's the same about them? What's different? There is almost always an explanation.

 

Also there are regional differences. For example the personal pronouns spelled like kanimo, kanako, kaniya are used in Cebu but lots of other places including Davao would say instead sa imoha, sa ako-a, sa iyaha, etc. There are a few other important words like that but not much of a big problem.

 

Learn this first: Recognize the three main types of sentence (verbal, existential, non-verbal). To do this you will look for verbal affixes and try to extract roots that you can look up in the dictionary. It will get easier quickly, it will seem very hard at first but it's a lot of fun to try. The other main thing to learn first is case markers. Soon you will want to learn what the cases are, like in English the difference between I/me/my/mine, he/him/his, they/them/their/theirs etc. In Cebuano not only the pronouns are marked for case but also the articles (the/an/a/any/some) and the demonstatives (that/this).

 

Enough for now, have fun.

Luther

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gerro
Hi this is Luther and I study Cebuano Visayan grammar all the time. I like grammar so much my wife thinks I'm crazy. I like grammar so much that I'm not fluent yet because I am studying the grammar in depth so haven't had time to learn many words.

 

If there is any interest in Cebuano grammar I would join in the discussion. Most people just want a translation or phrases to memorize, but for me what's interesting isn't "How do I say this," but "Why is it said this way?" The rules of grammar are like a game for me.

 

I saw a post on another forum that said Cebuano has no rules. There might be a language somewhere that has no rules, but Cebuano is not it. This I know because when I say something wrong, guess what? I get blank looks, I am not understood.

 

If you really want to communicate, for me the way to go about it is not to memorize words and sentences, but to learn how the language is structured. Then, if you learn a few words, you already know how to make sentences that the native speaker will understand.

 

I would like to correspond with people who share this viewpoint and are not afraid to discuss grammar.

 

Luther

 

Hi Luther

 

Try www.sancarloscity.com.org and access the forums. Currently this website is under renovations but still you can access into it.

 

gerro

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Schnapp

I agree grammar is important because although I can't say I know anything about Cebuano grammar I do attempt to correspond well in English and I like it when others do the same. While I was in Cebu my grammar and vocabulary was terrible yet I was still understood 99% of the time.

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Bob Ward
I agree grammar is important because although I can't say I know anything about Cebuano grammar I do attempt to correspond well in English and I like it when others do the same. While I was in Cebu my grammar and vocabulary was terrible yet I was still understood 99% of the time.

 

Here we go with the 99% thing again. :blink:

 

Just teasing! My fiancee only understands me 75% because I speak too fast.

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AlbinoPrincess
Just teasing! My fiancee only understands me 75% because I speak too fast.

 

When I arrived back in the U.S. after being in Cebu for a year, my sister kept picking on me because of how slow I talked. haha! I had become so accustomed to talking slow in order to be understood that it was habit to continue the practice. Of course, it didn't take me very long to revert to talking "fast" again. Now when I visit Cebu, I am told to slow down. :thumbsup:

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luther

One of my brothers-in-law here in the Davao area is well-educated, well-traveled, and head of a big organization. His business partner and he both say that they appreciate the way I talk English, slow and easy words, easy grammar etc. I picked up an accent a long time ago and have heard other Americans speaking English to their Filipino spouses in a kind of lilting accent that sounds silly when you think about it but it's natural to talk like they do and it maybe helps them understand your English.

 

AlbinoP, how are your Cebuano studies progressing? I have had to take a lot of time off from mine recently as my wife had surgery so I've been spending more time doing her chores.

 

Luther

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AlbinoPrincess
AlbinoP, how are your Cebuano studies progressing? I have had to take a lot of time off from mine recently as my wife had surgery so I've been spending more time doing her chores.

 

Luther

 

I am sorry to hear that your wife had surgery. I hope she is doing better!!

 

I haven't gotten very far at all with my Cebuano! :) I have been busy on Saturdays and have not been able to connect with the Filipinas in my area. In all reality, it may be one of those things that is put on the back burner until I am able to move to Cebu.

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