Cebuano - in-country tips

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Whodathunkitz
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Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby Whodathunkitz » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:00 pm

I'm in the area for Cebuano (Philippines) for another week. Very little TV (apart from news, it's all Tagalog), some newspapers (depressing subjects), no books in any bookstores yet (all English and Tagalog) but visiting Cebuano language center at a university on Monday. Lots of visiting, some good conversations, bit of memrise grammar. Probably speaking for a solid hour a day plus listening. Very Tarzan-like (ungrammatical with lots of short interjections in conversations).

Very warmly received, generally flowing well.

Any tips / ideas?
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby Expugnator » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:05 pm

I don't know how you are in terms of resources, but you could use the opportunity for both recording your conversations (upon agreement on the other speaker) and for asking for specific sentences, on how a native says that in Cebuano (thus making a sort of Michael a Thomas/language transfer short course).
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leosmith
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby leosmith » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:30 pm

When I'm in country, I find I make noticeably better progress if I do a little intensive study every day, or at least a few times a week, to go along with all that massive exposure and usage. I often get distracted with other things, and opt not to do it, but I notice the difference when I do it.

But maybe you've already got that covered with your Memrise work.
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Whodathunkitz
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby Whodathunkitz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:34 am

Expugnator wrote:I don't know how you are in terms of resources, but you could use the opportunity for both recording your conversations (upon agreement on the other speaker) and for asking for specific sentences, on how a native says that in Cebuano (thus making a sort of Michael a Thomas/language transfer short course).


Thanks. Often a LOT of noise going on, radio, TV, karaoke (neighbours). Also generally not 1-2-1, big groups in conversations.

Could be a good one for more controlled environments and I'll definitely try it with permissions of people. Really hadn't thought of this. Doable at home too.

Spoken conversation is very different... Lots of single words or phrases summing up a mood or idea.
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: 150 / 600 SC days:
: 6 / 1250 Read (aim daily 2000 words):
: 299 / 9000 Video (aim daily 15 minutes):

Whodathunkitz
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby Whodathunkitz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:36 am

leosmith wrote:When I'm in country, I find I make noticeably better progress if I do a little intensive study every day, or at least a few times a week, to go along with all that massive exposure and usage. I often get distracted with other things, and opt not to do it, but I notice the difference when I do it.

But maybe you've already got that covered with your Memrise work.


Yes, I need to use the Mormon guide that I have. Just awful to view on phone. Thanks.
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Axon
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby Axon » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:38 am

Whodathunkitz wrote:
Spoken conversation is very different... Lots of single words or phrases summing up a mood or idea.


Yes, I've noticed this when I've tried to record people in-country. It was most helpful for me to get them to read a short text (sight-translate, for you?) and expound on the ideas. Direct translations of sentences was also fantastic but if you have a lot of sentences then they're likely to get bored fast.

If people are ready and willing to help you record Cebuano, there are dozens of ways to keep it fresh and enjoyable. Have them explain different objects around the house, have one person explain what another said in Tagalog or English, record a natural conversation then ask someone else to repeat it slower and clarify...

I have little to offer because I don't know much about the language politics of that area. I'm very curious though! How easy is it for you as a foreigner to complete a transaction (book shop, minimart, etc) in Cebuano? Which language do people address you in?

If you can get clerks and shop attendants to speak Cebuano with you, ask about the products. "What's this for? How fresh is this fruit? What flavor is this soda?"
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Whodathunkitz
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby Whodathunkitz » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:27 am

Axon wrote:I have little to offer because I don't know much about the language politics of that area. I'm very curious though! How easy is it for you as a foreigner to complete a transaction (book shop, minimart, etc) in Cebuano? Which language do people address you in?

If you can get clerks and shop attendants to speak Cebuano with you, ask about the products. "What's this for? How fresh is this fruit? What flavor is this soda?"

Language politics

Tagalog dominates media. Around 28% have as first language concentrated in Luzon / manila (megacity), 20 % have bisaya / Cebuano as first language over a much wider area. Both used as Lingua Franca's by others. Increasing replaced by English. Many kids brought up in English only. Also some Chinese schools. Tagalog and Bisaya cultures are different (told and observed). Tagalog taught as a foreign language. English used as main school language ditto university. Many Cebuanos don't like speaking Tagalog so English is used.

I can interact with many shop/taxi people. Most things ok but I'm rarely alone so things can be rephrased. Also most shop workers will address me in English but happy to use Cebuano. Generally people are very happy to use it with me.

People I have known for 8 years have switched from using English to Cebuano with me until it gets tricky eg concepts.
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leosmith
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby leosmith » Sun Jul 29, 2018 4:30 pm

Whodathunkitz wrote:Many Cebuanos don't like speaking Tagalog so English is used.

I read this a lot, mostly from ex-pats living in Bisayas, but I haven't been able to verify it personally. I've asked over a dozen tutors and acquaintances in country and out, and they say Tagalog is the preferred lingua franca (when one speaker is a non-Cebuano speaking native Tagalog speaker). For example, a tourist from Manila goes to Cebu and uses mostly Tagalog to communicate with locals. I'm not doubting you or others, but I'd like to verify it before embarking on learning Cebuano. Can you give me an example of a situation you've seen where Cebuano speakers switched to English with native Tagalog speakers?
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Whodathunkitz
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby Whodathunkitz » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:06 am

leosmith wrote:
Whodathunkitz wrote:Many Cebuanos don't like speaking Tagalog so English is used.

I read this a lot, mostly from ex-pats living in Bisayas, but I haven't been able to verify it personally. I've asked over a dozen tutors and acquaintances in country and out, and they say Tagalog is the preferred lingua franca (when one speaker is a non-Cebuano speaking native Tagalog speaker). For example, a tourist from Manila goes to Cebu and uses mostly Tagalog to communicate with locals. I'm not doubting you or others, but I'd like to verify it before embarking on learning Cebuano. Can you give me an example of a situation you've seen where Cebuano speakers switched to English with native Tagalog speakers?


I'm only repeating what I've heard but happy to try to answer the question. Some of below might not be 100 percent correct or has changed over time.

Depends who has the money/ is customer and language competencies?

Tagalog tourist is the customer with no Cebuano competence and their English competence is unknown. Best to switch to Tagalog. This is your example and I agree that Tagalog would be used unless the Tagalog person chose to use English and showed competence (Japanese tourist in Germany might get English initially).

Cebuanos aren't that fussed about the language. Many exclusively use English for their children to give an advantage (perceived). 1960s (40s 20s?) or earlier Cebuano seems like another language to them. Playful use and evolution of the language.

Tagalog speakers have (had?) education in (public schools) in Tagalog.

Quick edit as lost long edit. Tagalog person who learned Bisaya as adult said medium in Tagalog schools is English. Also noted English used in manila and cebu aren't the same.


Cebuanos have English as the medium of instruction with Tagalog as a separate subject. Most bisaya university courses taught in English but many/most/all had Tagalog as a subject (seen wife's transcript). She says she hated the subject. Therefore I guess (depends on age /education / job) that Tagalog speakers have less English competence (in general).
Many can exclusively use Tagalog. Most TV (almost all?) Is in Tagalog. Satellite / Netflix in English or Tagalog movies. Most magazines in Tagalog. Even karaoke in bisaya areas is in Tagalog as apparently hard to write songs in it for some unspecified reason.

Most Cebuanos understand Tagalog (not vice versa) but rarely speak it unless in Luzon / manila / official use (and I'm told they face ridicule when they do). Tagalog pronounciation is soft, Bisaya is hard-toungued.

All non Tagalog languages are described as dialects even by Cebuanos.

Examples:-

Hotel in Davao during a conference where most guests are Tagalog - fellow Bisaya guests greet in bisaya, switched to English. Guests are on parity. Staff wouldn't be.

Museum in Davao - different guides for each language.

At home (UK) - a party with a mix of Tagalog, Bisaya and illongo - mix of languages used with bits repeated in Other languages. Illongo and Bisaya use mostly bisaya together with bits of Tagalog, illongo and English (idioms?).

All road signs / warnings to not trespass (and worse) are in English in Cebu.

Summary... Cebuanos can understand Tagalog and tourist servicing ones (taxi, hotel) can speak confidently. But it's the quote regarding understanding/head and reaching/heart.

Speaking Tagalog in Cebu would be fine, really impressive. Speaking Cebuano is a welcome shock to locals.

I only know two Tagalog speakers who speak Bisaya. Another one after 20 years understands but replies in Tagalog.

It depends on your motivation, possible usage where Cebuano is on your wishlist. For me it's at the top. That's unusual.

Would Catalan / Spanish be similar?
Last edited by Whodathunkitz on Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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leosmith
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Re: Cebuano - in-country tips

Postby leosmith » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:39 pm

Whodathunkitz wrote:Would Catalan / Spanish be similar?

I'm not sure; I've never been to Spain. My Spanish comes from South and Central America. Thanks for your post!
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