Emata: The Vanishing Visayan Words

THE English language, like other languages worldwide, is growing and changing many of its words. The WebsterÆs Dictionary, to adjust the growth and changes, also grows to introduce new words discovered and used in the present communication.

The Visayan dialect, which is spoken by more Filipinos in the country, more particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao had changed a lot. Words that were commonly spoken in the yesteryears are not there anymore. They had been replaced by new words, which are more understood by the present generation.

Those vanished words help a lot in explaining something or making things understood easier and much better. Communication was clear and beautiful.

Misunderstanding was less. Other Visayan words that vanished for many years are: INTONSIS which means SO THEREFORE in the English language as well as RAPIKI for FASTER; AGONIAS for DISAPPEAR; WAGTANG for LOST; ESPIKIKAY for ROMANCE; DALIKDIK for dirt on the neck; PALANTIG for throw in English; HABHAB or DAUS for EATING; RETASO for piece of cloth; PAYASO for clown; RISAGOS for wasted in English;

These words now are strange and nowhere anytime of day. Even the old folks who are still around who used to speak such words in the early days do not use it anymore. It seems everybody goes modern using new Visayan words that are understood so well by everybody on the street.

The beautiful Visayan dialect was invaded by the Pilipino language, which is spoken widely in the Tagalog and Luzon regions. The reason is the Tagalog dialect which was adopted as the Pilipino National language was taught in school thus every man in the Visayas and Mindanao learns how to speak Tagalog dialect.

What happened is that these Visayan-Mindanaoan folks mix Tagalog and Visayan words in their daily language because it is understood more clearly and faster.

This resulted to criss-crossing of words, which make the old dialect in the South a mixture of Visayan and Tagalog.

At first it is awkward to hear such combination or mixture of Tagalog and Visayan words but as the years go by and the growth of languages go on, it does not make any new sounds anymore. It becomes beautiful and ordinary matter.

In the olden days, the Visayan dialect was mixed with Spanish language. Spain taught its It was common to hear “demonyo nga tawo kinio or estupido siya”. Some of these mixtures are still used these days and it sounds normal and very acceptable. The thing is it is easy to comprehend such sentences and the mixture is not noticed even for a moment. Many words commonly used today will not be there in the coming generation.

Most probably the growth in any language is necessary since there are new words in communication as the world grows. New inventions have new names and words to describe them which therefore make it necessary for anything to grow too. And all countries in the world are also growing and introducing new words which necessarily come to us. It has to be interpreted in our own dialect to be understood better and clearly. (ben_emata@yahoo.com)


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