She talks Tagalog more better than me (and probably cusses better too)

[Original Youtube link defunct, please view clip here]

Seriously, the Russian teacher of Tagalog (a.k.a. Filipino) at Moscow State University speaks better Tagalog than me. Actually, I speak Taglish and my academic Tagalog is at a 4th grade level. I sometimes even have trouble reading the Tagalog comics my uncle brought with him when he was visiting from the Philippines. Anyway, this situation isn’t unusual for a lot of 1.5 generation immigrants.

But back to the video: Russkies speaking Tagalog! It’s always surprising to learn when people who don’t have friends or family in the Philippines are actually interested in learning Tagalog. Actually, I got this from the tagalog community in LiveJournal and one of the people there is actually a student in that class (but wasn’t in the video). In response to the question of why anyone not Filipino would want to learn Tagalog, ptiza_schastya says:

No, i don’t have any friends and relatives in The Philippines and i have never been there 🙂
The thing is I’m studying in the Institute of Asian and African Studies and there are many different languages to choose to learn (the most popular are japanese and chinese of course) But the groups are small and there are many languages except these ones, so some people don’t pick the languages, they are just given it. So, i was given tagalog. But i absolutely don’t regret it 🙂

Just for the hell of it, I’ll try translating the above into Tagalog to see if I can do it:

Hinde, wala akong mga kaibigan o kamag-anak sa Pilipinas at hindi ako ever nakapunta duon 🙂 (Fuck!)

Ano kasi, nag-ii-study (Goddamit!) ako sa Institute of Asian and African Studies at marami yung mga lenguahe na pwede ko matutunan (crapper!) (yung pinaka popular ay siyempre yung hapon at intsik). Pero maliit ang mga grupo at meron mas maraming lenguahe kaisa sa mga ito, kaya hindi pini-pick (fuck bucket!) ng mga ibang tao yung mga lenguahe [na tinututunan nila], in-a-assign (bugger!) sa kanila. Kaya binigay lang sa akin ang tagalog. Kaso hindi ko ni-re-regret 🙂 (mother of fuck!).

The comments in parentheses are the muttered curses I let out when I kept resorting to Taglish. I marked out the cussing so you’ll know just how bad my Tagalog is. Six substitutions in one paragraph? That’s weak. I just know the Tagalog words will come to me later when I’m chopping vegetables or something. The “crapper” is for the fact that I actually swapped the Tagalog for “learn” for “choose to learn” because I couldn’t remember what “choose” was in Tagalog, subtly changing the meaning of the translation. And “popular” is spelled the same way as in English but pronounced like in Spanish. By the way, did you notice that I curse in English? I only have a ten year old’s grasp of Tagalog imprecations, I sound childish when I try to swear in it. Perhaps I should work on that.

[youtube]i3pGxctGDlc[/youtube]Also, this video from Youtube combines anthropology with Filipinos, or so the title screen claims. It seems to show the hijinks of a group of Filipino students in the Philippines and apparently doesn’t have anything anthropological in it, or so the comment below it says (I haven’t watched the whole thing):

astig ng vid, kahit di me anthro.. astig pa rin! galing mo kuya kimchi gumawa ng vid! -ann

“Cool video, even though there’s no anthro . . . but still cool! You’re great at making videos Kuya (big brother) Kimchi! – Ann”

That one was easier to translate. I assume this Kuya Kimchi is Korean from the nickname. Perhaps these are anthropology students? Youtube has so many of these enigmatic videos on it, they’re kind of sickeningly fascinating to watch. It’s like reading the personal blog of someone you don’t know and where almost all of the comments are clearly from people the blogger knows in person.

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