Yen Makabenta (
Tue, 18 Apr 2000 23:06:35 GMT+8

>What's the difference between Tagalog and Filipino? BTW CIA Worldfact
>book spell it as Philipino, and both my dictionary and Atlas of Languages
>are no help, they both list Tagalog, but not Filipino.

Ok. Tagalog is the main dialect spoken in the Southern Luzon Area of the Philippines.
Initially, not everyone spoke the dialect at the declaration of Independence
of the Philippines from Spain in 1896. A majority of Filipinos spoke the Cebuano
dialect and its variants at the time until the 1970s.

During the period of American Occupation after the Filipino-American War - the
Philippines decided to call for a quorum on what was to be the official national
language after the creation of the Commonwealth (a sort of colonial-US backed
government which gave semblance of some independence to the Filipinos) - English
was put up as a possibility, but nationalists opposed it. So the next choice
was Tagalog, not because of the number of speakers - but mainly because much
of what little was left of our national heritage and literary works (which had
been wiped out by the Spaniards) existed mainly in this tongue. English is considered
a secondary national language and is the main form of communication in our judicial

Sometime during the 70s - Marcos established Pilipino as the
as the national language... A sort of compromise to the puritanical Tagalog
advocates (who are likened to the French Language authorities) who were appalled
at the intrusion of a variety of foreign phrases and words in the language.
This trend continues up till today.

After Marcos' overthrow in 86, Pilipino became Filipino (the main reference
for this is the new 1986 constitution) - this time however the flexibility of
language was stretched - accepting the letter "c" officially into the national
alphabet with words from English accepted more freely than ever before. This
has drawn the ire of purists yet again.

It's actually pretty messy CORE. :)

But just to give you an idea how messy our language situation is here - many
of our classical literature written in our National tongue from the turn of
the century are incomprehensible to the average reasonable Filipino without
a dictionary at hand (most dictionaries don't even carry ALL the words either).
Imagine if you can't read the Declaration of Independence or Shakespeare's Works
- to actually understand how desperate the situation is here.


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