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National Language: Filipino, Tagalog o English October 20, 2009

Posted by Arvin in Filipino Studies.
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There is so much to discover about the problem of Language Unity in the Philippines. While it is a known fact that:

  • Tagalog is the most-used language in the media, government, the education system, and in many Filipino publications, and that
  • it is also the oldest and widely-circulated language in the aforementioned systems,

there still lies the truth that as there are many regions in the Philippines which do not only view Filipino as a foreign language, but also find using it/interfacing with it either uncomfortable or intimidating at the worst.

As what it appears on my previous statement above, i was taught that Tagalog has the historical ascendancy among the other Filipino Languages. By ascendancy, i mean it is the language most used in different settings and different social environments for the longest time.

This is what i observed throughout history (unless  someone can show me the contrary point by point): Many of those who had the power to sway the nation’s destiny spoke and used Tagalog (as well as English) a lot (and in important functions).

These are just mere thoughts running on my head, along with memory fragments and hazy recollections from my readings, interactions, and encounters. I have not made up my mind about this, but i do know it’ll be somehow not easy to study two foreign language during the early grades.

The 2008 Multicultural and Literacy Education Act of the Republic of the Philippines or House Bill 3719 looks really promising. Pundits of course will point that a policy like this would then require national publications to be published in 7 languages (atleast).  That’s going to cost a lot!

Imagine an SSS E-1 form in several versions (Cebuano, Kapampangan, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Bicolano, Ilokano, Tagalog and many more).

There’s also the risk of marginalizing speakers  of other languages in certain situations. Say, if a person speaks only Hiligaynon, and he goes to a predominantly Ilokano government office, then he would have a problem talking to any government employee in that office.

Much more problem if the office’s instruction posters are all written in English. 

Now, there’s a lingering argument that attempts to answer that problem. A lingua franca. English comes in hand thanks to call centers and throngs of TOEFL/IELTS hopefuls (Koreans, Chinese, etc.). However, there’s the issue of nationalism.

And here we are again.

So I think the following links will give light about the whole shebang:

http://alimbukad.com/2008/11/04/filipino-at-ang-kaso-ng-multilingguwalismo/

http://aurelioagcaoili.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/countering-tagalism-and-tagalogization/

http://www.sawikaan.net/coroza.rtf

http://www.seameo.org/_ld2008/doucments/Presentation_document/NolascoTHE_PROSPECTS_OF_MULTILINGUAL_EDUCATION.pdf

http://www.dila.ph/

http://www.sawikaan.net/filipino_ang_wika.html

http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/essays_on_philippine_languages.htm

http://www.sil.org/asia/ldc/plenary_papers/andrew_gonzales.pdf

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/11000#

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