Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tambok

The Language Situation in Ukraine and the Philippines.

Recommended Posts

tambok

The Language Situation in Ukraine and the Philippines.

 

Both the Ukraine and the Philippines were colonies – one of Russia, the other- of the US. But it seems that the colonial language situation has developed in the opposite directions.

 

In the Philippines, the medium of instruction has remained English- and this has been seen as a source of great pride by Filipinos. All the signs, legal documents and most of government procedures are in English. Business meetings are in English. Most songs are also in English. This is seen as progressive by the PH society.

 

However, a strange (to me) phenomenon is apparent- Filipinos still almost never speak English to other Filipinos in real life. Just stand on the street of any city and listen to what the people are speaking to each other- in virtually no cases will English be spoken in social situations and by people passing by. It’s zero spoken English, basically.

 

Filipinos will also virtually never speak their native languages to (visible) foreigners. They are taught to speak to foreigners in English. But speaking English to a fellow Filipino in any kind of social, non-official situation is seen as bad manners and snobbery. Hence, you can see a smiling Filipino speaking English to a German and then turning to a Filipino and speaking Tagalog.

 

The teaching seems to be: one should speak English to white (and black) people and speak Filipino to brown (and yellow) people. An obvious foreigner who speaks Tagalog will be answered to in English almost at all times. That’s just the way it is. Tagalog is for brown and yellow people, not for white people. White people cannot and should not speak it- this seems to be the way of the culture there.

 

As a side note: in Malaysia and Singapore, on the other hand, you can stand on the street and hear people speak English to each other in social situations. The same as in many African countries. This is hardly ever the case in the Philippines, though.

 

In Ukraine, after the independence, the emphasis of the government was to get rid of the ( colonial) Russian language and erase everything Russian. Laws were passed that signs and legal and business documents must be in Ukrainian. The TV must be in Ukrainian. Russian TV stations were taken off the air. Radio stations lost licenses if they did not broadcast in the national language. Many Russian channels were banned and even many Russian movies were banned. Schools stopped using Russian as a medium of instruction and switched to the national language. The Russian language was seen as a threat to national identity and as the language of the oppressor.

 

It was a huge project and after two decades, the country’s identity again became very uniquely its own.

 

Except for one thing- people still overwhelmingly speak Russian in the streets, in daily life, at home and in all social activities. If you stand on the streets of Kiev, the capital, you hear mostly people speaking Russian to each other. In stores, at restaurants, it’s Russian like nothing has happened.

 

Granted, it’s a different type of Russian than in Russia- much more simplified – but Russian nonetheless. If you speak Ukrainian to the people, they look at you strange and often answer in Russian. It’s seen as kind of weird and provincial to speak the national language. And if it is a foreigner speaking Ukrainian, it’s funny to them.

 

The new generation of children and grandchildren of Ukraine is still Russian-speaking as they actually find it a more convenient language to speak . Speaking Ukrainian socially is seen as clumsy and “unnatural”. Only in the far West of the country do people speak it socially, not in the capital.

 

The present undeclared war with Russia has had no effect on the use of the Russian language in Ukraine. They still speak it everywhere.

 

Thus, in the Philippines, the formal language is the colonial language while the social language is the indigenous one.

In Ukraine, the formal language is the indigenous one, but the social language is the colonial one.

 

However, (visible ) foreigners in both countries will still be addressed in the colonial language, and almost never in the indigenous ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hilyfe

If they are both filipino why should they use english if both of em can understand each other?

why would they speak to you in tagalog etc. When they think you wouldnt understand them?

 

We have our own language dialects. just because we learned to speak in english

It doesnt mean were going to give up our own do we?

Never forget where you came from they say

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
noddle
.....

However, a strange (to me) phenomenon is apparent- Filipinos still almost never speak English to other Filipinos in real life. Just stand on the street of any city and listen to what the people are speaking to each other- in virtually no cases will English be spoken in social situations and by people passing by. It’s zero spoken English, basically.

.....

 

My gf told me,  only the rich speak English ( out or at home )

 

...

Filipinos will also virtually never speak their native languages to (visible) foreigners. They are taught to speak to foreigners in English. But speaking English to a fellow Filipino in any kind of social, non-official situation is seen as bad manners and snobbery. Hence, you can see a smiling Filipino speaking English to a German and then turning to a Filipino and speaking Tagalog.

....

 

I have seen this often when I'm around my  gf when she is talking to her friends, realities, or when we go out,

Bisaya,  and then English when they talk to me directly,  then back to Bisaya,

But one of the first words I learnt to say was  'unsa',  

I get a few looks when they are talking,  and i'm sort or just listening,  and I slip that word in..  funny actually, the look on their face when they swing to look at me..

 

Nigel

Edited by noddle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GwapoGuy

Interesting observations but you don't have it quite right pertaining to Eastern Europe. Ukraine has always had it's separate identity going back over 1,000 years. it wasn't until Stalin came along and tried to Russify Ukraine (and other Soviet countries) by moving Russians in. That I believe is the root cause of many of Ukraine's problems today!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skywalker

Having lived, for many years, in Thailand - a Country that has never been colonised - xenophobia towards foreigners is rife.  

 

The Thais are a very proud race, and their language is difficult to learn.  They can be very stoical people, quite dismissive of foreign interference, always believing that there are ways, and there are Thai ways, and you can guess which they adhere to, even if it's counterproductive.

 

Very quick to smile (the land of the smiles) it's easy to fall to the conclusion that they are a simple lot.  They are not.  They believe that they are a very special race, and are mostly oblivious to anything that happens outside their borders, unless it's to pass the blame for some malaise.  Their education system (hugely under resourced) is geared towards traditional values, with almost no international content.  This is a common factor in most SE Asian Countries, including the Philippines.  They are fiercely devoted to their King, viewing him almost as God like and completely above any kind of criticism - which if expressed unguarded, can land the commentator with a very long prison sentence.

 

Ukraine has a long and troubled relationship with Russia, and has a significant Russian speaking population.  It's the second largest Country in Europe, and was such a proficient agricultural success , it was known as the Breadbasket of Russia.  And then Stalin nearly destroyed the Country's economy in the early 1930's, which the Country is still recovering from, combined with corruption and cronyism which is endemic in the region.  The Russians remain a large part of the population, and have significantly the most influence.  An effective, though some might say long winded colonisation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tambok

If they are both filipino why should they use english if both of em can understand each other?

why would they speak to you in tagalog etc. When they think you wouldnt understand them?

 

 

 

Why would they speak to me in Tagalog? Because I am in the Philippines, right? Should I not be speaking a Filipino language in the Philippines? At least this is the logic in most countries- you are in my country, you speak my language.

 

Why should they use English to each other ( at least sometimes)? For the same reason Singaporeans and Malaysians do that- because it is the official language of the country.

 

Different country= different logic. A Filipino will usually never speak Tagalog to a white man.

A Mexican will speak Spanish to a white man, a brown man a yellow man and a black man

An Italian will speak Italian to all people. Because he is in his country. An Italian will speak Italian to a Filipino who is in Italy.

Edited by tambok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tambok

 

Ukraine has a long and troubled relationship with Russia, and has a significant Russian speaking population.  It's the second largest Country in Europe, and was such a proficient agricultural success , it was known as the Breadbasket of Russia.  And then Stalin nearly destroyed the Country's economy in the early 1930's, which the Country is still recovering from, combined with corruption and cronyism which is endemic in the region.  The Russians remain a large part of the population, and have significantly the most influence.  An effective, though some might say long winded colonisation.

Actually, "the Breadbasket of Europe" according to other sources. The ethnic Russian population is about 17% in Ukraine.

 

Having lived, for many years, in Thailand - a Country that has never been colonised - xenophobia towards foreigners is rife.  

 

 

Ditto. Spent 3.5 years working there. Way more xenophobic than even the Japanese. Except that the Thai xenophobia is significantly reduced with cold hard cash- with the Japanese, it won't be.

 

And it is very light if you are a light skinned Oriental pers-

on. It gets heavier if you are white, worse if you are Indian or dark Asian and is at the worst if you are black.

The best thing in Thailand is to have money and never learn Thai. This way you don't know what the heck is going on.

Have no idea why anyone would want to live there ( unless he is an Oriental). It totally sucks. And the barking ( or croaking) of " farang!" "farang!" is the most annoying.

Edited by tambok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Commercial Banner Advertisers

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..