Is your Tagalog a little rusty? You can impress your family during the New Year celebrations by picking up some phrases at http://tagaloglang.com
Sunny Vergara, in his American Pop blog, writes about how he doesn’t like losing his Tagalog accent. The implication in his post was that losing your accent was like losing part of your identity. He disliked people pointing out his American accent, presumably because it made him feel less Filipino.
I’ve heard this opinion many times before but just don’t buy into it. Why should improving your language skills suggest that you’ve turned your back on your background? Surely a big part of mastering any language is to try speaking it like a native?
We had to learn French and German at School. Aside from learning grammar and vocabulary, the top students tried to lose their English accent. None felt that this would somehow make them less English. For them, it wasn’t even an issue. Why is accent such a big thing with us Filipinos?
Here’s a useful site for second-generation Filipinos who want to learn Tagalog.
If you grew up in the UK and never learnt Filipino, take a look at Manuel Viloria’s Pinoy Podcast. You can subscribe and load them into your MP3 player for those tube journeys. He also has a web player so you can listen directly on the site.
Manuel’s already on Episode 40 so there’s lots of catching up to do.