Have you ever noticed how gender has little value when it comes to conversations with your asawa? I remember my wife telling someone; “my husband she is a writer”. I was a bit amused and so missed the opportunity to correct her, which is probably a good thing as she was saying this to another Filipina. The fact that I am a husband and thus a he, not a she, is obvious if you see me. One also presumes the listener had this figured out too, she didn’t blink on hearing the news. So why didn’t it matter to either of them? Read on.
Imagine How Hard It Is For Your Filipina
The L1, or first language of my Cebuana wife is Visayan, also known as Bisayan and technically her version of it is Cebuano. Her L2, or second language is probably more English these days, but it used to be Tagalog, or Pilipino; the national language. Now it would be her L3 and she refers to it as Tagalog and her Cebuano as Filipino! Confused? It gets better.
I am very aware of my wife’s linguistic talents; she speaks her L2 and L3 languages far more fluently than I speak my mother’s mother tongue, German. This should be my L2 but my mother was too busy learning English in an England still not over the Second World War when she went there to give birth to my elder sister in 1960. She knows first hand how difficult it is to learn a new language, even if ‘immersed’ in it completely, as she was. She was not only immersed, but alone, my father still serving in the British Army in Germany at the time and mum had to live with his parents.
Back To Front Grammar
My wife has lived in Australia for ten years and yet her English is still very accented with some words. I love listening to her, but she thinks my mimicking her is putting her down when really it is more my way of showing I love her accent. She is not comfortable (two words, pronounced comfort-abull) with that, though. I have learned, however, not to be forever correcting her grammar. Whereas in English we speak in SVO, or Subject-Verb-Object order, Cebuano uses Verb-Subject-Order. So we say ‘Bill drank beer’, in Cebuano it would be ‘Drank Bill beer’. Other languages use SOV (‘Bill beer drank’) and some, like Arabic, Spanish and Greek include VSO and SVO sentence structure! Now, pause a moment and think about all those OFW Filipinos and how they seem to be able to pick up the local language, not to forget the wide range of foreigner husbands from all over the world they marry and mingle with.
There are other differences which I will cover in more detail in future articles if there is any interest in what, for me, is a fascinating topic. Anyone who has tried to learn a second language can attest to how frustrating it can be to get one’s message across in the new tongue and how they felt enormous relief finding someone who spoke English after maybe weeks or months of struggling in a foreign tongue. I know from first hand experience that tripping up on the grammar is often something that made me want to shout out “just listen to me and figure it out, ok?” I try to remind myself of that when my dear wife tells the kids “pick up that socks” or “how much sandwich do you want, one or two?” I never forget the fact she can communicate in three languages and I can’t.