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Chavacano: A Spanish-based Creole of the Philippines

2019年4月19日 16:52 更新

Philippines, “a country with hundreds of thousand islands”; it is not surprising that it has 120 to 175 languages which were mostly based on the Austronesian language family. Generally, these languages are very much alive and spoken widely by many of their native speakers which were passed down from generation to generation.

Dialect is what Filipinos often referred to the various Philippine languages as a relic part of the imprecise vocabulary that is used during the American period. From those diverse Philippine dialects, there are only 13 indigenous languages which are spoken by at least million of native speakers including Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Kapampangan, Bikol, Albay Bikol, Pangasinan, Maranao, Maguindanao, Kinaray-a, and Tausug.

Before the Filipino language was declared as the official language of the Philippines, many years ago, Spanish has been spoken as the lingua franca of the Philippines throughout the 19th and 20th century under the Spanish regime. And a few years later, several places in the Philippines retained the use of their native language while other dialects were mixed with or based on the Spanish. One particular Spanish-based that is spoken by the Filipinos is the Chavacano ? a creole not a dialect. The difference of the two is that a dialect is typically regional variant of language, while a creole is a separate language that contains words from different language but has a resemblance on the official language spoken by the majority.

Chavacano is spoken as the mother tongue of the majority of the inhabitants of Zamboanga. Some Zamboanguenos refer Chavacano as Chabacano due to that the native speakers pronounce the letter "V" as "B" and the "F" as "P" and "Z" as "S". For over 700,000 people speak the language that had also influence some dialects. Other Chavacano speaker are found in the city of Cavite on Manila bay that speaks Caviteno (or Chabacano de Cavite), and Ermita which is also in Manila that speaks Ermiteno (named after the Ermita district) but eventually became an extinct language that is nearly to be diminished. But Chabacano de Zamboanga remains a healthy language that forms both the lingua franca and main mother tongue of Zamboanguenos.

“Chavacano or Chabacano originated from the Spanish word chabacano which literally means poor taste, vulgar, common, of low quality, or coarse. During the Spanish colonial period, it was called by the Spanish-speaking population as the lenguaje de la calle, lenguaje de parian (language of the street), or lenguaje de cocina (kitchen Spanish to refer to the Chabacano spoken by Chinese-Filipinos of Manila, particularly in Ermita) to distinguish it from the Spanish language spoken by the peninsulares, insulares, mestizos, or the elite class called the ilustrados”. (Lewis, 2016)

VOCABULARIES TO LEARN
1. Dialect A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especiallya variety of speech differing from the standard literary language or speech pattern of the culture in which itexists:

2. Diverse
Made up of distinct characteristics, qualities, or elements

3. Relic
Something that has survived the passage of time, especially an object or custom whose original culture hasdisappeared

4. Regime
A usually heavy-handed administration or group in charge of an organization

5. Eventually
After an unspecified period of time or an especially long delay

6. Variant
Differing from others of the same kind or from a standard

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