My language is dying... Maybe.

So, I speak Cebuano as a native language (A language of the Philippines) And it is the second most spoken language at home in my country with about 20M speakers. However, The language is never regulated and it usually isn't taught in school. In most private schools, we are not allowed to speak Cebuano and people force us to speak in English, and they even allow us to speak Filipino, but never in Cebuano. Every single prayer, meeting, assembly, presentation in school is in English. But there is one month - August, where we don't really speak English, but we speak Filipino. It is called "Buwan ng Wika" or "Month of the Language", but we never have the chance to speak in Cebuano. Most rich and fancy people prefer to speak English to their children, at home, and in business because they think it's proper. This is due to the lack of vocabulary in Cebuano. We don't have words for website, computer, laptop, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, and a lot more words because we keep using the English term, and we're not inventign new words. Also, when someone asks another Filipino if what's their number, no one says "Sero-Siyam-Anim-Pito", everyone says "Zero-Nine-Six-Seven". In school, everything is taught in English, Mathematics is in English, Science is in English, and of course, English is in English. But Filipino is taught in Filipino of course. And, letters are always individually said in English. So "A" would be "Ey", "B" would be "Bi", and so on, instead of the traditional Abakada. I feel very sad about this but sometimes I think it's a good thing, I mean maybe English isn't corrupting our language, but rather giving more loanwords, just like why we have so many Spanish words in Cebuano/Filipino. I really think that they should teach us in Cebuano, while they teach people in Manila in Filipino, Ilocano in Ilocos, Maranao in Lanao, and so on. Thoughts?

Jul 8, 2014 10:20 PM
Comments · 1

I think you're right. I think it's a shame that Tagalog/Filipino and English are given preference over the local language. I'm glad I can learn Cebuano on italki because there aren't as many resources available for it compared to other languages like Tagalog, which I guess are thought of as "more important."


It is lucky, though, that Cebuano is not "endangered" like many languages around the world--I'd like to learn Lushootseed in the future, which is a language of around 300 modern speakers. 

July 20, 2014