Filipino: The “other” language

Picture1Nowadays, it’s significant to acknowledge that an underlying problem causing Filipinos to under-appreciate their own language is that there are a number of people who look to English as a “language of the learned”. In columnist James Soriano’s taken down (and very controversial) opinion article, he automatically frames English, based on his experiences, as a language for the privileged, deeming Filipino as the “language of the streets”. He quickly implies a negative connotation to the language and the users themselves, with an admittedly very elitist delivery. Not only does he reject Filipino, he repudiates the people who use it – the same people he lives in the same country with.

It is these very ideas of superiority held over fellow Filipinos and our language that picks apart at our unity. And as far as we continue to push for English as a superior language, we fail to recognise the importance of having a language of our own.

With a person like him growing up purely studying in English and being conditioned to think a person of privilege meant a person who spoke English, we overlook the intricacy of our own language and dismiss it as a hopeless case. However, what Soriano fails to see is that if we abandon our language, we abandon our people. We abandon the culture that we have taken so long to foster and uphold, a culture that reflects manner and personal values, a culture that is spread and shared to each other by our kapwa Filipinos. Let us not be close minded to the colonial conditions that grip our country, but instead reach out of what we initially see in order to uphold the value of our language, culture, and unity. Only our language can make our people unite.

To read Soriano’s full article: http://blogwatch.tv/2011/08/language-learning-identity-privilege-by-james-soriano/

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