26 January 2010

Kc Nhhya C Nnay.

This past weekend, my mom got an email from a younger family friend back in the Philippines and called me over because she was having some trouble deciphering it. At first I was puzzled as to why she'd ever need me to do that, but it became pretty apparent. She laughed when she saw me try to read it:
svi poh ni nny
na poh kc hind poh cia mksgot agad kc my alga xiang bata 8 mnts
ngyn poh pde dw poh kc aalgaan dw poh mna nung aswa ng kua qoh
tta susan svu n nny
sna dw poh mgksma clang dlwa n ate mariet
kc nhhya c nnay................
pkzvi nlng poh kung kailan,,,,,,,,,,,,
ngtz poh alwys,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Oh man.

This is obviously text-speak*. I'd seen it in extremely small doses here in the States, but this is straight from the source! Almost every single word is abbreviated or chopped up. In an effort to decode the syntax:
  1. the addition of an h at the end of po and qo (which is supposed to be spelled ko in the first place!): maybe to "round" out the word a little; Tagalog can sound sharp and jagged when it needs to be

  2. generally omitting as many a's as you can: this makes sense to me, since we use that particular letter very frequently

  3. replacing b with v, and si with c or xi: probably purely aesthetic; it definitely makes the language more colorful and -- dare I say it -- exotic
The email is even phrased like a text message. I myself have enough trouble reading regular written Tagalog as it is, so it took us a minute to figure things out. Once we got the hang of it though, it wasn't too bad and was actually kinda fun to read.

*I have a hunch lots of Tagalog-speaking Twitter members probably tweet like this too. I dunno, I'll have to check.

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