Filipino language

From Academic Kids

Filipino (formerly called Pilipino) is the national language and one of the official languages of the Philippines along with English. The language, a member of the Austronesian languages, is a standardized dialect of Tagalog. It is sometimes the generic name for all of several different languages of the Philippines.

On November 13, 1937, the First National Assembly created the National Language Institute, which selected Tagalog for the basis of a new national language. In 1961, this language became known as Pilipino, which was later renamed to Filipino.

The Filipino language is the national language and an official language of the Philippines, having been so designated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

When the tagalog-based national language was being developed, Lope K. Santos wrote the Balarila ng Wikang Pambansa and introduced the Abakada of 20 letters in which only one letter represents one meaningful sound in Tagalog. The 20 letters of Abakada are written as a b k d e g h i l m n ng o p r s t u w y. The National Language Institute of the Philippines initiated the new language in 1973. In 1976, the alphabet consisted of 31 letters—the 26 letters of the English alphabet, the Spanish , ll, rr, and ch, and the ng of Tagalog. In practice, however, the digraphs are considered as their two constituent letters. In 1987, the alphabet was revised and rr, ll and ch, all of which are of Spanish origin, were removed, leaving 28 letters.

The national language of the Philippines has been subject to several controversies and misunderstandings, even to this day. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, Article XIV, Section 6 merely states: "The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages." However, there was no language called "Filipino" prior to the 1987 Constitution. Whether the Filipino language should be based on Tagalog is not stated, although a large number of people assumed that the Filipino language is the same as (or at least be based on) the Pilipino language, which was the national language at that time and was clearly defined to be based on Tagalog. Most Filipinos will have one of these three views when asked regarding the Filipino language:

  1. Filipino is just plainly Tagalog and is just another name for the language, along with its older name, Pilipino.
  2. Filipino is the amalgamation of all the Philippine languages, with English and Spanish also possible vocabulary sources.
  3. Filipino is Tagalog with borrowings from English and other Philippine languages and is Tagalog as it is spoken in Metro Manila.

Most people in the Philippines still consider Filipino essentially and practically the same language as Tagalog. It is more likely that Filipinos ask others if they know how to speak "Tagalog" rather than if they know how to speak "Filipino." Proponents of the second view however, specifically state that Tagalog does not include words such as "guapa" (beautiful), those terms whose meaning can be easily guessed by native Tagalog speakers but are not generally considered or used in the Tagalog-speaking region. Some people also point out that Filipino should include English words commonly used by Filipinos whereas Tagalog does not. During the time when the language was still known as Pilipino (before the name was changed to Filipino), the tendency was to use pure Tagalog, even trying to replace words of Spanish or English origin with new artificially coined words that are based on Tagalog. To some people, this differentiates Filipino from Pilipino.

A number in the academe define the Filipino language as an amalgamation of the Philippine languages with some even proposing that English words be included in the Filipino lexicon. The problem with this view is linguistically, the Philippine languages are not dialects of the same language, but are languages in their own right, each being mutually unintelligible from the others. If the grammatical structure and all the words from the other languages are to be included in the lexicon, this basically forfeits the purpose of a lingua franca as people speaking Tagalog Filipino will not be able to communicate effectively with someone speaking Cebuano Filipino.

Realistically, Filipino is perhaps just the language as spoken in Metro Manila. With its migrant population swelling, there are some words from the other Philippine languages that have been borrowed into the speech of native Manileos. The Tagalog as spoken in the capital, however, is difficult to use as a standard. It is rapidly evolving, and there is no one dictionary or guidebook to define what is proper usage or which words are considered to be officially part of the language. This is compounded by the problem that most Filipinos are bilingual or multilingual, and English is very predominant, that a number of Filipinos now use Taglish (Tagalog peppered with English words all throughout) as their everyday speech. While this language is perfectly fine for informal communications, it remains difficult to freely use an admixture of two languages in formal written communication.

See also

External links

Template:Wikibookspar Commission on the Filipino Language (Филипински език de:Filipino es:Idioma filipino fr:Filipino nl:Filipijns no:Filippinsk sprk tl:Wikang Filipino wa:Filipin zh:菲律賓語


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