Monday, February 25, 2008

Who Needs "Filipino" or Tagalog Bloggers?

Thanks to Tigera Consciente who gave me a heads up that Blogger is now offering the feature to blog "IN FILIPINO."


I wonder if they mean to blog "in Tagalog," which is the the official language of the Philippines, among the several dialects of the Islands.

There's been discussion as to whether Filipinos "need this," considering that English is taught and spoken in the Philippines. I thought that the question as to whether it's "needed" is somewhat ridiculous. Not ALL Filipinos are bi/multi-linguial and/or know English. I see Blogger making an effort to extend blogging opportunities to the people of the Philippines, regardless if you know English or not. The blogging world should not reign supreme for English speakers.

Last time I checked, blogging one's way into existence is not a luxury limited to English speaking writers.


  1. among the several dialects of the Islands

    Aren't there hundreds? I might be mistaken. My step-mom is Filipina and I think I remember her saying that.

  2. There's something like over 150 spoken languages but I had thought about 15 were considered "primary..." - meaning only these languages were known to more than 90% of the population.

    So, you're right...there's more than "several"...I was just referencing the latter. But, you're memory serves you correctly...

  3. Oh okay. I hadn't known about the "primary" distinction before.

    : )

  4. BTW, I hate using the word "primary" as if the other languages aren't significant, but I meant to reference the ones that were just more widely known and used.

    :) Thanks!

  5. part of me wants to say, hey they're trying but them part of me wants to say-they couldn't even get that right? Do they offer it in Mexican?

  6. Um, yeah, how hard would it have been for Blogger to get the name right?

    I don't understand anyone who would ask why Filipinos might want to be able to write and/or read blogs in their own language. Even if you "can" read and write in English, what is wrong with wanting to express yourself in your own language? There is so much nuance that it is difficult to put into words in some languages. Spanish is my second language, but still there are things I just can't say in English but can very naturally say in Spanish.

  7. Good points, Noemi and Aaminah...

    I've been seeing this a lot lately, "Do you speak Filipino?"

    I don't get it.

    Researching my own family and resources, I've only and always understood "Filipino" to describe culture, or as an identifying agent for naming ethnicity. Definitely not for language though. You speak Tagalog, or another dialect, but not "Filipino."

    Other Filipinos out there that can attest? Challenge? Support?

  8. Apparently (or so Wikipedia says), Filipino is based on Tagalog and is one of the official languages of the Philippines, designated in 1987. I always just assumed people meant Tagalog, honestly. I wouldn't have even looked if you weren't talking about it on here.

  9. theboxman10:39 AM

    There's actually a long history (which also imbricates the regional politics of the country) behind the naming of the national language in the Philippines -- from first Tagalog, to Pilipino, to Filipino. In practice though, they're all fundamentally Tagalog.

    And yes, linguistically, the other Philippine languages (Cebuano, Hiligaynon, etc.) are distinct languages and not dialects. They're all mutually unintelligible for the most part.


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