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expat08

How do you learn Cebuano?

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Not get off topic but what is the background of the Consular Agent in Cebu? Or his story how he ended up here and how long he's been here? Or what he does in Cebu? I've heard alot of people complain about him. I've had some serious problems come up with him. Did the tutor have issues?

 

John Domingo has been here for quite a few years as the US Consul. He was a State Department employee (if I remember correctly, he was a Consular Officer) and then they transfered him to Cebu. At that time, the Cebu Consular Services office was a full-time full-service US Consulate (as in open during all normal working hours). He retired from the State Department a few years back, and I was told that the State Department was going to close the Cebu Consulate and not replace him. I understand that at that time, John talked with the US Ambassador and agreed to stay on as a volunteer US Consul (with limited hours and limited services). By doing that, he saved the jobs of some of the Consular Services office employees and provided a great service to all American citizens living in the southern Philippines. Had he not done that, the office would have been closed and we would have to fly to Manila to get anything done. Anybody who has been to the Zoo in Manila owes John a great debt of gratitude for keeping the Cebu office open. Because he is still the US Consul, he gets invited to some nice shindigs put on by the high mucky-muck politicians in the area, but other than that, pretty much all he gets out of it is satisfaction for providing a service to American citizens here.

 

Some of my facts may not be completely accurate because I have put together the story from talking with several people who each had a little piece of the story, so pardon me if I filled in some gaps incorrectly, but I believe the overall gist of what happened is correct. John volunteers his time so that we aren't all just left hanging.

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Faluango

I took a private course of 5 weeks, 5 hours per week. I paid 3500 PHP. It's taught by an American who is fluent and has been living in the visayas for more than 10 years

Edited by Faluango

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Kim_

I took a private course of 5 weeks, 5 hours per week. I paid 3500 PHP. It's taught by an American who is fluent and has been living in the visayas for more than 10 years

Ok, but were you happy with lessons and would you recommend him/her to others?

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Faluango

Ok, but were you happy with lessons and would you recommend him/her to others?

 

Yes! definately. The name of the school is NALA (North American Language Institute) in Mabolo, Cebu City

 

It's run by an American and his German wife.

Edited by Faluango

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Hamm

First of all, you'd better really want to learn the language, otherwise it's just not going to happen. By that I mean planning on investing a lot of time and effort, and work at it every day. Initially I took lessons over the internet for two years from someone who is well qualified and spent years teaching Peace Corps volunteers coming to the Phils for extended stays. That gave me a strong foundation as conversation is emphasized. I also ordered several books on Amazon to get a different perspective and learn more grammar and vocabulary. I try to read at least one Sunstar article each day, and when I have time, bring a list of new words with me to study when I'm sitting in the tractor all day. It also helps to have a wife you can converse with any time. Honestly, there are times when work is too demanding or I just blow it all off for a week or two, and of course that sets you back. It's a hard language to learn and I still have a long way to go, but I'm digging it.

 

Can give you my teacher's contact info if interested.

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Paul

One of the best ways to learn Cebuano, after you have some basic knowledge of it, anyway, would be to live in a rural part of Cebu, where few people speak English at all. Trust me, if you are patient enough (to stay there), you WILL get better at Cebuano. :D

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lazydays

Woe is me, i can't even speak English properly. :lol::rofl:

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tobster

One of the best ways to learn Cebuano, after you have some basic knowledge of it, anyway, would be to live in a rural part of Cebu, where few people speak English at all. Trust me, if you are patient enough (to stay there), you WILL get better at Cebuano. :D

Your absolutely right Paul. In the rural area I live few speak English well and usually speak to me in Bisaya.

 

At the moment my 18 month old daughter is starting to speak. Already she speaks more Bisaya than me and can on a simple level communicate her thoughts to the locals. She is my teacher now and listening to my inlaws teach her to speak has really aided my progress in learning the language. So every now and then I can actually understand what people are really saying.

I downloaded the Morman language guide from this site and use it as a guide to reinforce my vocab but I find it hard going since formal and spoken Bisaya is different.

 

In a recent revelation I realized that it is a simple speaking process. If you remove all prepositions, adverbs etc and simple state the subject, then what happened and the add an exclamation word you have a basic stentence form that is easily understood for example.

 

where are you going--------------ASA KA

to the market-----------------------MERKADO

to buy water since the water is not flowing now---------TUBIG SUSS!! AGAS WALA KAYO.

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SkyMan
The vowels are not discrete (ukay-ukay is pronounced okay-okay, the consonants are slurred, often interchangeable (and not just the Fs and Ps) and the grammar is not discernable.
Os and Us are pretty interchangeable because Cebuano had no O originally (or C or B or V or Z) and it is a spoken language though there are some efforts to come up with a grammar book so there can be rules.
I asked my wife the difference between nimo and ikaw, why do you say "para nimo" and not "para ikaw"? She said, "It sounds better". She has not heard of the objective case of nouns. Asking her about verb declention gets a shrug. I obviously need professional help.
Sadly, the vast majority of Cebuanos can't teach their own language. They can tell you if something sounds wrong, they can tell you the right way to say it, but they can't tell you why what you said was wrong. As far as Cebuano goes, I originally looked on my wife as a a Cebuano dictionary only. Unsa ni sa Cebuano? (What's this in Cebuano pointing to something.) Or Unsa 'build' sa Cebuano? As for your question about para ikaw or para nimo. Ikaw is always the focus of the sentence which is not the same as subject whereas nimo is an object. As in Kini'ng libroha para nimo. This book is for you.

 

You need a good teacher who knows English well enough to teach and relate the 2 languages. I recommend Sem and will be getting back with his as soon as I can.

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SkyMan
Your absolutely right Paul. In the rural area I live few speak English well and usually speak to me in Bisaya.

Yes, or if living in the province is not appealing, I suggest anyone you hire have little or no English ability and try to speak to them and any other Cebuanos as much as possible. If you have a maid or yaya or yayo, have your wife explain to them you are trying to learn Cebuano and to correct you if you say things wrong. If you make mistakes, and you will, who cares? It's good for a laugh.

At the moment my 18 month old daughter is starting to speak. Already she speaks more Bisaya than me and can on a simple level communicate her thoughts to the locals. She is my teacher now and listening to my inlaws teach her to speak has really aided my progress in learning the language. So every now and then I can actually understand what people are really saying. I downloaded the Morman language guide from this site and use it as a guide to reinforce my vocab but I find it hard going since formal and spoken Bisaya is different.
Yes, a child learning the language will teach you much of the street language but learning the queen's Cebuano is far from the street version which has many shortcuts. I always advise learning the formal and from there the street lingo is easy but the other way around is much harder.

 

In a recent revelation I realized that it is a simple speaking process. If you remove all prepositions, adverbs etc and simple state the subject, then what happened and the add an exclamation word you have a basic stentence form that is easily understood for example. where are you going--------------ASA KA to the market-----------------------MERKADO to buy water since the water is not flowing now---------TUBIG SUSS!! AGAS WALA KAYO.
Yes, nouns and verbs is enough for the street but you won't be able to read a paper or understand a politician or whatever. Asa ka? for example, means litterally Where you? or Where are you? not Where are you going? Which would be Asa ka moadto? However, if the person you are asking is there in front of you going out the door or whatever and you know where they are, Asa ka? is enough for Where are you going? To the market would be "Sa merkado" but formally Moadto na ko sa merkado. I will now go to the store. You might want to rethink your use of Sus (not suss), Particularly around kids as it is short for Jesus. And there are 2 As that are both pronounced in Kaayo. Edited by SkyMan
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enoonmai

My wife tells me the correct placement is Asa ka moadto. Strange there hasn't been any mention of "Essential Cebuano", the course that I and others purchased through the site. Still advertised here I see.

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MOG

If you really want to learn cebuano you better really want to learn it.

Skyman knows what he is talking about we and about 4-5 other members and I know have bee tutored and have been tutored by Villar and a couple of others together. Cebuano it is very expensive to learn. It is also time consuming if you are serious. I am and have had a hard time but maybe I am just not that bright.

The good news is you can earn some minimal respect of the locals if you learn and you can tell them you only know a little they will laugh at you and then help you. they love to hear you try.

Skyman and I plus a couple of other guys can get by if we ask them to repeat about 4-5 times and we can read and text some as Paul said. I am interested in this NALA School run by an American.. Does any one have the CONTACT INFORMATION?

Does any one have the Tape that goes with the Peace Corps book a couple of us have the book but NO TAPE..

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thebob

The best course I've seen is the one the Mormans use. There used to be a pdf of it on the web but I can't find it at the moment. I'd like a copy of that.

 

I was quite excited about the course sold on this site until I saw the price, it gave me sticker shock and the example videos on the site are just much too basic.

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sperry

Can thoroughly unrecommend "conversational english cebuanao" by cs canonigo. its only about 60 pesos, but not worth one.

 

it is by several orders of magnitude the worst language book i have ever seen. you would be better off buying a dictionary and learning random words.

 

learning from your girlfriend is known as the horizontal method. Its major drawback is that actions speak louder than words,

 

I have a feeeling that a good way to self learn would be to buy a decent tagalog book to understand the grammar, and then use a dictionary to swap the vocabulary.

in this way you can learn the grammar fron an authorative source and practise vocabluary and understanding with your local friends, though Iam kinda guessing here.

 

There are a lot of free tagalog courses on the web

Edited by sperry

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expat08

I heard the dialect changes from town to town in Cebu. So you can't learn perfect.

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