Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some notes on the 2010 workshop on the Filipino language at UP

I am a member of my college's Filipino language committee whose main goal is to promote the use of the National Language. Today the University of the Philippines just concluded the August National language month celebrations with a workshop on what has been done to promote Filipino. Almost all of the UP's colleges in Diliman sent in their progress reports. So far the main efforts were on

1) Translating the administrative and other bureaucratic forms from English to Filipino

2) Coming up with a Filipino language glossary for each discipline

3) Coming up with textbooks on the various Philippine languages. A textbook for elementary Ilocano was unveiled.

4) And coming up with many ways to make translation a less laborious endeavor. Speakers showed their on-line translators, search engines and a translator that makes translation from English to the major Philippine languages a breeze. Another is an on-line GIS of translators for the Philippine languages. Well I found out that there is a translator in the Czech Republic. He must be an heir to Professor Blumentritt!

I am quite pleased to learn that at least in UP, there is a realization that advancing the National Language, Filipino rests on advancing the Philippine regional languages. It is time to completely consign to history the notion that the Philippine languages are "dialects" of the National language. They are not.

English and Filipino remain today as the official languages of the Philippines. But if this trend continues, it is possible that the regional languages, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, Ilocano etc may also become official languages of the nation.

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