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royaldude

is it necessary to speak the local language

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AaronTheTiger

Necessity? it all depends on what you plan to do.

 

English is fairly common in the cities. Though most people that speak english are NOT FLUENT. If you assume that anyone is fluent that will be your mistake. The culture guides them to not deny the fact, and they will not tell you when they dont understand you (some will, but the majority wont).

 

I have found the language very very helpful, though i am only a beginner. (though if i speak a few words, instantly they think im fluent. i have to reassure them that im not and to speak slowly.)

 

If you are just retiring here, i would say you dont need to know the language but some common courtious words are good to know.

 

If you are planning to work here or run a business, i would say no you dont NEED to know the language (though i would recommend it)

 

Knowing the dialect isnt necessary, but the people will accept and respect you more if you know it.

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ozboy

Well i have to agree with Whippy...Ive attended parties with rich Filipinos n they always talk in visaya unless they need to include me in a particular topic.....Even though education is in english they find it hard to speak back but understand mostly what you say...

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Skywalker

I find it astonishing that members are commenting that they've never been thanked by a local!

 

My pinoy friends thank me all the time for my generosity, and I thank them all the time for their hospitality.

 

Manners maketh the man.

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udonthani

so which is which Mr. Whippy?

 

 

so which is which Mr. Whippy?

 

 

 

it's both. You don't seem to understand, the Philippines is a multi-lingual country.

 

it's not just a bi-lingual country.

 

It is desirable for people to be familiar with especially Tagalog, but also English (as well as other foreign, but Asian languages such as Japanese or Mandarin in some cases) as well as their local dialect.

 

comprehension of both is desirable but Tagalog is the more important. It's the national language of the Philippines and is an integral component part of the Filipino identity. Whereas English, is a foreign, European language, only useful. Not essential.

 

this is why Tagalog is also called the Filipino language.

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ckfm

Filipinos just don't want to listen to your English cause it gives them a headache.

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udonthani

Filipinos just don't want to listen to your English cause it gives them a headache.

 

that's true actually. To get by better, and be understood better, you need to listen to the way they use and speak English and try to speak it their way, not expect them to speak it your way. You'll find yourself using words and expressions you would never use, in your native English speaking home country EXCEPT when they are really well educated Filipinos with a very high English standard.

 

the Philippines language thing, I once tried to explain it as best I understood it, to a group of quite educated Filipinos I was with in Cavite once.

 

I said, imagine that there is some totally earth-shattering event, like 9/11 in the USA, or the Kennedy assassination, a breaking news story of great interest to every Filipino, being broadcast over the television, and being watched by groups of Filipinos all over the country, in offices, bars, shops, etc right across the country.

 

the news story is being broadcast in either Tagalog, or English (and that means Filipino English i.e. it's a Filipino broadcast, not CNN or something like that). Either language will do, but of the two, Tagalog is much better. More people will understand the detail of the story better, if it's Tagalog than they would if it were English.

 

because it's such an earth-shattering event, everyone is looking at the screen in utter stupefaction, listening to the news in either Tagalog or English and especially as there is pictures as well, understanding it perfectly.

 

they've got the news in Tagalog, or English.

 

but, when they turn round to discuss the event with their neighbours in the bar, shop, or office, they won't use Tagalog or English. They'll use their local language or dialect.

 

that group in Cavite, said yup you got it. You understand it well. That's exactly how it is.

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RogerDuMond

comprehension of both is desirable but Tagalog is the more important. It's the national language of the Philippines and is an integral component part of the Filipino identity. Whereas English, is a foreign, European language, only useful. Not essential.

 

The latest version of the constitution ratified in 1987 states that both Filipino and English are the official languages of the Philippines. With English usually being considered as the official business language.

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broden

Filipinos just don't want to listen to your English cause it gives them a headache.

 

i'm sure i can give my wife headaches.. but i don't think the language i speak would change that

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tomaw

ok. Here is a list, of people in the Philippines that speak English language every day i.e. on a daily everyday basis.

 

1. work or education related

 

these can be in education, or working as lawyers in court, or possibly working in the media, and broadcasting on English language television or radio. They could be working in tourism and have to converse with the customers using English as a lingua franca. These tourism people, will speak in English with somebody from Hokkaido almost as much, as they will if they're from Hawaii. English has been successful as a language and it is now a lingua franca in Asia. Many Filipinos also work in call centers. But English is not their language. It is just a work language they speak, to make a living.

 

2. Aspirant parents.

 

sometimes parents develop the belief that English should be spoken in the home, as much as possible.

 

3. Affectation.

 

a tiny rich Filipino elite speaks English more than other Filipinos, but this means nothing. It's only like rich Arabs with education in the Middle East, liking and thinking it is desirable, to speak French, which they do. This gives them a toehold on the Mediterreanean, like Filipinos that speak English think it gives them a toehold on the west.

 

4. Filipinos in relationships with foreigners.

I basically agree with most of this list. #4 definately. However #3 I wonder about. I don't think iti's just the rich elite or a tiny tiny portion speaking English. The guy at McDonalds that brought me to my table, the taxi drivers, baggage handlers,I would hardly call the rich elite and are not a small portion of the poulation.

I do plan on learning both Tagalog and Vesian whenever I retire To The Philippines.

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Curby

While I found English in Cebu City was very prevalent, I also found that deviating slightly from their expected pronunciation completely precluded comprehension.

 

On at least three separate occasions, asking for a receipt stopped the exchange dead until the attendant exclaimed, "Ah, a ree-seePt!", pronouncing the P.

 

Similarly, I mispronounced "Talisay City" as "Tah-lis-AY", not "Tah-lis-EYE" and got no recognition from a taxi driver, despite it being adjacent to Cebu City.

 

I'm not at all surprised that some British LinC members report having trouble being understood in the Philippines- the transposition of R's must badly scramble words to their ears.

 

Personally, I found myself choosing my words more carefully and reinforcing my statements with a little more repetition or paraphrasing.

 

And in fairness, the communication difficulty went both ways. I was only in Cebu a week to scout before I move there; I expect I'll have to be living in Cebu for a while before my ears adjust to their accent.

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Kim_

The most people here seems to be talking about how it is in Cebu/Manila/Davao and similar major cities. Try going to the provinces, I've been in Negros where it is difficult to find people being able to communicate in even simple English. My ex is from Tanjay City.

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udonthani

I basically agree with most of this list. #4 definately. However #3 I wonder about. I don't think iti's just the rich elite or a tiny tiny portion speaking English. The guy at McDonalds that brought me to my table, the taxi drivers, baggage handlers,I would hardly call the rich elite and are not a small portion of the poulation.

I do plan on learning both Tagalog and Vesian whenever I retire To The Philippines.

 

the guy at Mcdonalds, the taxi drivers, baggage handlers, etc are part of category #1, not category #3. It's work related. They don't talk to each other in English. They only spoke to you in English, because you're a customer and it's part of their job to speak to you in that language. As soon as you're out of there, that's it, they won't speak English again, until some other foreigner turns up, who could be Japanese or Korean, not necessarily a native English speaker.

 

the very small number of rich that speaks English in home, do it to identify with the west, and also they see it as good preparation for the children - all higher education is in English. Other nationalities can do this sort of thing too and deliberately speak a different language in the home sometimes. Years ago I had an Egyptian friend from a high class family there, and she said that they all spoke French on some occasions, like when they went to their summer house on holiday, the language spoken for the three weeks was French and only French, for the whole holiday. To them, although they would all been able to speak English as well, French not English was the classier and more appropriate language for them to use.

 

but it's not only the ultra rich people that do this. Less affluent people in the Philippines also might try to speak English for the sake of the kids, at mealtimes, i.e. like teachers. Even quite poor people do. I met one guy on a ferry who was only a worker in a hotel, he wouldn't have got a very high salary, but the hotel gave him exposure to foreigners and his English was good. I noticed he made a big effort to speak English with his two sons aged about 6 and 8, he had with him and it wasn't for my benefit. I asked him about it. He said he tried to speak English with them a lot. But somebody from a relatively humble background like that, speaking English with his kids a lot, will be quite unusual.

 

Kim is right, in the Filipino boondocks almost nobody is ready to have a conversation in English, mostly because they never got enough education in it. A lot of people in the Philippines, especially in the province when there is always farm work or fishing to be done, left school for good at an early age and didn't get the chance to learn it. A lot of others know English, but are shy to try to speak it, and worried they might come across as looking stupid if they do when a foreigner is there.

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AaronTheTiger

While I found English in Cebu City was very prevalent, I also found that deviating slightly from their expected pronunciation completely precluded comprehension.

 

On at least three separate occasions, asking for a receipt stopped the exchange dead until the attendant exclaimed, "Ah, a ree-seePt!", pronouncing the P.

 

Similarly, I mispronounced "Talisay City" as "Tah-lis-AY", not "Tah-lis-EYE" and got no recognition from a taxi driver, despite it being adjacent to Cebu City.

 

I'm not at all surprised that some British LinC members report having trouble being understood in the Philippines- the transposition of R's must badly scramble words to their ears.

 

Personally, I found myself choosing my words more carefully and reinforcing my statements with a little more repetition or paraphrasing.

 

And in fairness, the communication difficulty went both ways. I was only in Cebu a week to scout before I move there; I expect I'll have to be living in Cebu for a while before my ears adjust to their accent.

 

When it comes to pronouncing you need a little practice mate,

 

you got to pronounce each consonant and vowel as a syllable.

 

for example Talisay would be Ta-Lee-Sai.

my name Aaron would be A-A-Ron.

reciept isnt a common word, they use resibo, re-see-bo/re-see-vo

 

like you said it will take some time to get used to it, but if you break it down to each syllable you will have an easier time, break between each individual vowel base.

atta, would be at-ta

tatta, would be tat-ta

taat, would be ta-at

taa, would be ta-a

 

i dont see you having a problem here in the city, you can get by with english

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TorJay

I've been corrected a few times when I say TAlisay.

 

The first time I mentioned the place Boljoon I was laughed at. It was pretty funny actually. It is pronounced Bol-Ho-On.

 

I have been corrected on quite a few things actually. But, at least I try.

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AaronTheTiger

I've been corrected a few times when I say TAlisay.

 

The first time I mentioned the place Boljoon I was laughed at. It was pretty funny actually. It is pronounced Bol-Ho-On.

 

I have been corrected on quite a few things actually. But, at least I try.

 

I've been trying for two years on my own, and just learning from people i know and meet. I thought i knew a lot. But i was learning a combination of tagalog and cebuano.

 

i recently started getting tutored and its amazing how much i didnt know. sentence structure is the hardest. but since i have been hearing it for about 2 years its easy to transition from the mixture of tagalog and cebuano to a more pure cebuano. Im not close to perfect but im learning and i try as well.

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