Some Cebuano vocabulary that are sometimes confusing and some are not in the dictionary.
Ba – Marker for a YES or NO question
Mahal – expensive
Balay – house
Abang – rent (more common)
Arkila – rent
You may have noticed Filipinos appending ”ba” to English sometimes when they say something and expect a response that is either agreement or disagreement.
Mahal ang abang sa balay – The rent of the house is expensive
The addition of the ba question marker turns this statement into a question.
Mahal ba ang abang sa balay – Is the rent of the house expensive?
The “ba” question marker can only be used in YES or NO questions.
Maot – ugly
Salida – Show / Exit
The word maot translate to ugly but in Cebuano it can be used in a broader sense to describe something you did not like.
The word Salida is commonly used for show (TV or some live theater) but can also be used for exit.
So the following statement is a little ambiguous:
Maot ang salida
– The show was bad
– The exit is ugly
Both are correct translations but the first translation would be the most commonly used and understood in the absence of some contextual reference. If you were standing in front of an ugly exit then the second meaning would be understood.
We can easily turn it into a question by adding ”ba”
Maot ba ang salida – Is the show bad (ugly)
These are some of the cebuano phrases that are commonly used which varies from any other dialects in the Philippines with a simple two letter word it changes the meaning of the whole sentence.But once you get accustomed on how the words are being constructed to each other to come up with the exact thought of the sentence it will be easier to understand especially when it comes with a sign language.