Wednesday, October 03, 2007
One of the first things I learned while watching Sesame Street is the realization that there’s many English. There’s Birtish English, there’s American, there’s Black American English, there Hispanic, and being one of the English speaking countries, I am sure there’s such a thing as Filipino English or Carabao English. The differences can be as minor as pronunciation to as major as grammar and idioms.
I saw this TV special about China’s preparation for the Olympics. In the program the Chinese were shown implementing programs to train their people, especially those in the Beijing area, to speak English. To check if the program was working, one of the reporters rode a taxi and he asked the driver to take him to the railroad station. The taxi driver was scratching his head and told the interpreter that he can’t understand. They tried it to different taxi drivers and the result were always the same. Even simple words like proper nouns were beyond the common Chinese to understand. This made me realize that even though English as a second language is declining in the Philippines yet we are still better at it than other countries for even the smallest child here have enough vocabulary for an understandable and decent conversation in Carabao English (or Pidgin English).