Incorrect spelling continues to ruin the original written Chavacano (Part 5) PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 September 2017 13:56

By Hermenegildo  P. Malcampo

 

Two factors are important to preserve and save a language and these are: to speak the language correctly and to write the language correctly. It is the observation that there is so much distortion in the spelling of the original Chavacano being written today. Many words follow the Tagalog form of writing, but what is made worse is that the spelling of many other words is only invented. It appears that so long as the sound is produced, the spelling no longer matters. Take a look at these words copied from the subtopics of news to be aired and see how distorted the spelling:

Incorrect

Correct

anio

año

estudiyo

estudio

tiyo

tio

dwenio

dueño

ken

quien

qere-qere

quiere-quiere

chera

tierra

gwardiya

guardia

calye

calle

radyo

radio

Tiange or tiangge

tiangue

konsehal

consejal

relihiyon

religion

perhwisiyo

perjuicio

ahensiya

agencia

prinsipiyo

principio

presiyo

precio

premiyo

premio

comersiyo

comercio

 

 

and many more. It appears that ñ or ll and rr considered single letters each and characteristics of the Chavacano alphabet, are beginning to disappear. Even the very word zamboangueño is now often seen as zamboangenio. If Chavacano will continue to be written this way, the time will come when Chavacano will be Tagalog-based, no longer Spanish.

In my very recent reading, I came across something shocking. I could not tell what language it is. This is what is printed: comelecyacuidawcheneya decision. While trying to “dissect” what is written, imagining myself dissecting frogs in the zoology laboratory, it came out that it is a series of five conjoined words which should have been written this way: comelec ya cuidaw tiene ya decision.  This must be the result of an interview, encoded and transmitted for printing. It is clear that the reporter who conducted the interview does not have the idea on how to put the Chavacano in correct written form. But the question is: Is there no way at all to check what is encoded before final printing? It is here that we are making this earnest request to the printing media to be a part of our concerted effort. The media can be a major contribution to our common desire to preserve and enrich our creole Spanish of Zamboanga.

Hermenegildo  P. Malcampo

991-1101