Learning Filipino

I’ve always liked watching commercials in foreign languages.  The repetition and limited vocabulary of many (buy now, delicious, new and improved….) can make them a really good way to learn a language.  I picked the ad above to share as it doesn’t really need any Tagalog comprehension, but I enjoy the challenge of figuring it what’s being said anyway.

You certainly don’t need a word of Tagalog here.  Everyone speaks enough English to get by…but having just a little of the local language really does add so much to the experience of where you are.  So, despite the fact that I probably never use it again once I leave the Philippines, I signed up for Tagalog lessons this month.  And I’m really enjoying it.  The teacher is great and the lessons are really practical for the level of language that I want to learn.  There’s enough grammar so that I’m not mindlessly learning phrases without any structural comprehension.  But I’m not learning reams of useless stuff that I’ll never really use.  My goal at the end of this course is to have enough taxi Tagalog that I can use it with drivers who get confused between “go straight” and “go right” and be brave enough to use for simple greetings and requests with Philippinos.  They giggle when you try.  Our teacher encouraged us not to worry.  Its not a judgement of how bad your attempt is… it just the Philippino way of showing how surprised they are that you’re trying to speak their language.  Ummm….not sure I buy that…..but promise to keep trying anyway…. til later:   Aalis na ako.  Paalam.

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