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Archive for "Tagalog"

Rubber Shoes and Other Anomalies

Posted on May 3, 2014 by under Tagalog, Travel.    

If someone told you to wear rubber shoes, what shoes would you put on?

If you go for your Crocs like Brian you’re perfectly normal. If you grab your sneakers, you might just be a Filipino. We Filipinos pride ourselves with our grasp of the English language but there are some words that we use differently. It’s not really wrong or right, it’s just a cultural thing.

If you’re planning on traveling to the Philippines anytime soon, here are some words to learn. These are not Tagalog words, mind you. These are English words that are prevalent in Taglish. They’re important to learn because they don’t quite mean the same thing that we’re used to here in the US.

AIRCON = Air conditioner
BALLPEN = Can refer to a pen or any writing tool
BIG TIME = Descriptive word for someone who is rich, famous, or both
BISCUIT = Can refer to a cookie or a cracker
BLOWOUT = To throw a party or buy everyone dinner
BOLD = Nude
BRING HOME or TAKE HOME = Food that you take home kind of like a doggy bag (This is more common for Bisaya people who take home food from the fiesta.)
CALLING CARD = Business card
CANTEEN = Cafeteria
CARNAPPER = Car thief
CHANCING = To cop a feel or other sexual advance
CIVILIAN = Casual clothes
COMBO = Musical band
COMFORT ROOM = Bathroom or restroom
COMMUTER = Someone who uses public transportation
COUPON BOND or BOND PAPER = Usually an 8 by 11 sheet of white copy paper
COWBOY = Casual or relaxed
DIALECT = Regional language (Examples include Ilocano, Cebuano, Waray-Waray, Bicolano, Kapampangan, Aklanon, etc. There are a lot of them.)
DIRTY ICE CREAM = Ice scream sold by street vendors
DIRTY KITCHEN = Separate kitchen that helpers use, where the cooking really happens
DISCO = Dance club
DORMMATE = Someone who stays in the same dormitory
DRAMA = Refers to being emotional or someone who becomes emotional
DUSTER = Picture a mumu
EAT ALL YOU CAN = All you can eat
ENTERTAIN = Assist or help or attend to
FACE-OUT = Discontinued or no longer manufactured; obsolete technology that can no longer be obtained
FEELING = Trying to act or be something that you’re not
FILL OUT = Complete an application or document
FIVE-SIX = Borrowing or lending money at 20% interest
FOR A WHILE = Just a moment
GAME = Depending on whether it’s phrased as a question or not means are you ready or I’m ready or let’s go
GETS = Understand or understood
GIMMICK = Night out with friends
GREEN MINDED = Dirty minded or full of sexual innuendo
HAND CARRY = Carry-on luggage
HIGH BLOOD = Someone who is quick-tempered or easily angered
HOLDUPPER = Mugger or stickup man
HOSTESS = Female waiter but could also be used to refer to prostitutes
HYPER = High string
ICE DROP = Popsicle
JEEPNEY = Public transportation made from old US military jeeps
JINGLE = To pee/urinate
JUNK SHOP = Where you get scrap or recycled materials like a junkyard
KIDNAP = Abduct (This term applies to anyone who is abducted, not just children.)
KJ = Killjoy or party popper
LIVE-IN = Co-habitate or an unmarried couple living together
LOAD = Prepaid credits on a mobile phone
MALICIOUS = Sexually perverted speech or actions
MANIAC = Pervert
METRO AIDE = Public street cleaners
MOTEL = Short-term hotels paid at an hourly rate used mainly for sex
MOTOR = Can refer to a motorcycle or moped or scooter
NAPKIN = Can be a cloth napkin, paper napkin, or maxi pad
NIGHTCLUB = Strip club (Be careful what you ask for unless you are really looking for a strip club. If you are looking for a dance club, just ask for a disco or club or dance club.)
OA = Overacting or being overly dramatic
PARLOR = A hair or beauty salon
POLO = Dress shirt
POLO SHIRT = A golf or tennis shirt or polo
PROFESSIONAL = To be proficient or skillful
REF = Fridge or refrigerator
REMEMBRANCE = A souvenir or memento
ROTUNDA = A rotary intersection or traffic circle
RUBBER SHOES = Running shoes, tennis shoes, cross trainers, or any other variety of sneakers
RUGBY = Rubber cement
SERVICE ROAD = A frontage road running parallel to a highway or freeway
SIDECAR = A public vehicle for hire consisting of a bicycle and an attached passenger side car
SLANG = Refers to strong foreign accents or pronunciation
SLIPPERS = Sandals or flip-flops
SOFTDRINK = Soda pop
SOUNDS = Refers to music specially when using earphones
SPONSOR = A high school or college honorary cadet colonel
SQUATTERS AREA = Refers to a shanty town
STEP-IN = Ladies’ sandals minus the strap; can also refer to slippers
STOLEN SHOT = Refers to a candid photo
TISSUE = Can refer to either a bathroom tissue/toilet paper or paper napkin
TOGA = Commencement or graduation gown
TOPDOWN = A convertible automobile
TRAFFIC = Implies traffic jam or heavy traffic
TRICYCLE = A public vehicle for hire consisting of a motorcycle and an attached passenger sidecar
TRYING HARD = An unsuccessful social climber or someone perceived to be so
VULCANIZING SHOP = An automobile or truck tire repair shop
WET MARKET = Refers to a street market

These are just a few. There are so many more. We also have a lot of generalized brands that are now used in place of the actual words such as colgate, xerox, coke, pentel pen, snopake, etc. All of these are helpful to know when traveling to the Philippines. Best of luck and safe travels!

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Spanish Immersion – Street Spanish

Posted on August 7, 2011 by under Tagalog.    

Here are some Spanish colloquialisms that we picked up at the free Spanish immersion class yesterday at Spanish Horizons.

NOTE: I’m posting this for Paige because she couldn’t make it. She still donated school supplies, though. She’s just awesome like that. I brought in her stuff and let Brian bring my donation in so that he could participate in the free Spanish lesson.

¡Hola compa! Hi pal!
¿Qué onda? What’s new?
¿Qué tal? How are things?
¿Qué tal la fiesta? How’s the party?
¿Qué tal los chicos? How are the boys?
¿Cómo te ha ido? How have you been?
¡Oye! ¡Oiga! Hey!
Te amo. I love you. (romantic sense or deep love)
Te quiero. I love you. (friendly sense)
¡Qué guapo/a! How good looking!
¡Ojo! Watch out!
¿Te gusta…? Do you like…?
Me gusta… I like…
No me gusta… I don’t like…
Déjeme en paz. Leave me alone.
¡Deje de molestarme! Stop bothering me! (almost looks like “Stop molesting me!” – LOL)
¡Basta ya! Enough already!
Buena suerte. Good luck.
¿Cómo se dice…? How do you say…? (this is a really useful phrase)
los chavos the guys
fulano/a unfamiliar guy/gal (someone you don’t know)
a toda madre great, fantastic
chulo/a cute, good looking
‘mano, ‘manito bro/brother, little brother
‘mana, ‘manita sis/sister, little sister
quizas maybe
simón oh yeah (variant of sí = yes)
porfa please (from por favor)
mamacita literally little mama; can be used with affection or referring to an appealing woman, but has a sexist connotation

The word mamacita made me think of “Ay Papacito” by Alicia Villarreal. It’s one of the songs that we Zumba too in Amie and Gina Ann’s classes. We actually used it as our cool down song in Amie’s Zumba class this afternoon.

Speaking of Amie, she actually called me a mamacita today. I think she meant it as a compliment. At least, that’s the way I took it. 🙂

Bad Words
Because you know that this is really want you want to know… =P
mierda shit
cabrón son of a bitch
pendejo asshole
pinche damn
culo ass
perra bitch
puta whore (same in Tagalog)
chinga fuck

Vendla didn’t teach us the bad words. There were kids in the audience. They were listed on the handout though, for those who are curious and want to learn them. Brian promptly made fun of me over that last one because I go by Ching or Chingay and it’s only one letter off from the Spanish cuss word. I didn’t know this until yesterday, of course. Had I known, I would have picked a different nickname. Actually, my grandmother is the one who started the whole “Ching” thing when I was little. They all called me “Ching-Ching” in Tabuc. I don’t think anyone knew any better.

The only cuss word that I was familiar with already is puta because it is the same as the Tagalog word for whore. Suerte is also familiar because it means luck in Tagalog. Except, I think we spell it with a “W” like swerte. Gusto is similar in Tagalog as well. We say gusto ko for I like or gusto mo for you like. Guapo is the same in Tagalog but, as with the word for luck, I think we spell it with a “W” also like gwapo. The tagalog word for beautiful is maganda, but in Bisaya we always say gwapa. As much as Spanish has in common with Tagalog, it has even more in common with Bisaya.

I think that my ability to speak Tagalog and Bisaya has really helped me pick up Spanish a lot quicker. I expect to be pretty fluent in a couple more classes. I’m really looking forward to being able to hold Spanish conversations. Now I just need to find someone to practice with!

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New Tagalog Word: Palpak

Posted on July 24, 2010 by under Tagalog.    

The Tagalog word I want to teach you all today is palpak. The English translation is poorly done or sloppy work. In other words: FAIL!

I thought of palpak today when I put on a new skort that I got from Ann Taylor LOFT. I’ve been a 6 in their clothes for a long time. So while Brian was in Germany, I figured I needed some summer clothes so I ordered a few things from their web site. I’m a sucker for a good sale.

Anyway, I put on this brand new skort this morning and it’s freakin’ falling off of me. Brian and I are thinking it’s about two inches too big. I could probably drop down a size next time I buy clothes from there. So that’s the good news. The bad news is that I bought two of these things: one in brown and one in black. Ay, palpak!

Brian told me to return them. I don’t think I can, though, because they were on sale. Plus, since we don’t have an Ann Taylor LOFT store in town, I’d have to mail it back and I’d rather not go through that hassle. For now, the plan is to wash the skorts in hot and dry them in super hot and hope they shrink. If that doesn’t work, then I’m going to see about getting them altered.

Yes, I think palpak is a suitable word of the day.

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Brian Speaks Tagalog

Posted on June 19, 2010 by under Tagalog.    

Has it really been almost three weeks since our first Tagalog word of the week post? I can’t believe it. Sorry, guys. Next time, please be sure to remind me that it’s time to post another. Otherwise I’m certain I will forget.

Anyway, your new Tagalog word is pagpag. I’m not quite sure it’s a real word because I can’t find it in my English-Tagalog Tagalog-English dictionary, but it’s a word I use nonetheless and it’s one that Brian has picked up.

I had just finished sweeping our front porch when I asked Brian where he wanted me to put the broom. Brian replied, “Pagpag it out there first and then I can put it back in the garage.”

You can probably guess from the context what the word means. I’m not sure what the actual translation is because I couldn’t find it in the dictionary. Maybe Jennifer Teves can enlighten us? She is most fluent in Tagalog out of everyone I know.

Anyway, I was so impressed with Brian that I thought I’d blog about it right away. Way to go, baby! Keep up the great work!

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Tagalog Word of the Week: Bulaklak

Posted on May 31, 2010 by under Life, Tagalog.    

I thought I’d start something new on the blog because frankly the blog is starting to get a little boring. I woke up this morning and had this idea of sharing a new Tagalog word each week. Brian and I have been into planting and flowers lately so I thought I’d teach you all the Tagalog word for flower: bulaklak.

The funny thing is that when I busted out the Tagalog-English English-Tagalog dictionary that I’d bought Brian several years ago, I thought that it was messed up because when I was looking for bulaklak I could not find it. I was thinking that L would follow K. The word I was looking for was not where I expected it to appear. I was confused until it dawned on me that K is followed by D in the Tagalog alphabet because it replaces the letter C. Therefore, the word buhok (hair) comes after buko (young coconut) and before bulaklak. I thought the L was missing, but I just didn’t continue looking for the word far enough.

I’ve got flowers on the brain because Brian and I have gotten into planting stuff lately. Nothing elaborate or on the ground, just potted plants. Brian and I decided to buy some more this weekend.

We normally steer clear of live plants because we just wind up killing them. It might not be right away, but they all eventually die. However, we got a couple of geraniums from the apartment complex over a month ago and they’re still thriving. Even after we replanted them in nicer ceramic pots that we bought at Dillons, they survived. I thought they’d surely die from the manhandling. The blooms look really pretty so I thought we should get some more plants to put on our patio. We figured since the geraniums haven’t died, maybe we can take care of real plants after all.

Yesterday we stopped by Nature’s Way and got a ceramic pot that is larger than the pots that the geraniums were in. We moved the geraniums and planted them together in the larger pot. We got a couple of celosia plants to put in place of the geraniums in the original pots. They actually look great.

Today we picked up a hibiscus plant at Home Depot, a ceramic pot to put it in and some aqua globes. The hibiscus was actually an impulse buy. We intended to get only the aqua globes. We went to Walgreens, but they didn’t have any. So we ended up at Home Depot. That’s where we found the hibiscus plant. It reminds me of the Philippines where hibiscus plants are everywhere. Except we called them gumamela. I couldn’t leave the store without it. Brian fell in love with it too. We carried the hibiscus plant around with us while we looked for the stuff that we actually came for. LOL.

Check out our hibiscus plant, Chi-Chi.


We named it after John Leguizamo’s character in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar. Why? Because as pretty as it is, it’s got balls. =P

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