An Englishman In Isabela Blog #104 – Time For Tagalog

Friday, January 29, 2010

The main course I am doing is by Rosetta Stone and is pc-based. It comes in three parts and gives you loads of practice in reading, understanding, speaking and writing the tagalog.
In addition, apart from dictionaries and a phrase book, I have some very simple courses, again on the pc. BYKI Tagalog, Before You Know It, is a downloadable set of language cards which also has the facility to share lists of words through the internet. Languages Of The World – Tagalog is produced by the same people as BYKI and is again lists of words which to help build your vocabulary. Talk Now Plus – Tagalog is a single CD with different subject sections.
So I really have no excuse for not learning the language and even have my own live-in tutor he he, Gina. Although Gina’s family conversation is usually in Ilocano, the language of the ilocos and other provinces west of here, they all speak tagalog, as it is taught from school age along with English.
As a student, regardless of the language you speak at home, at school you must learn Tagalog and English as all your lessons will be in one or the other and quite often both. As tagalog is an adopted language for Filipinos from some regions with their own local language or dialect, it is common to hear English interspersed in a conversation or on the radio.
Sometimes Filipinos will tell you they don’t know the Tagalog word for something. For the word brown they will simply say brown although there often are Tagaglog words but they may not remember what they are. So you hear many English words and sometimes on TV, within an interview of some kind, the subject will talk in Tagalog for most of it but occasionally switch completely into English for a whole sentence.
So in practice I don’t worry that I can’t say many sentences yet. As long as I can remember a few words in Tagalog I can use a combination of English and Tagalog and people understand me. I just need to remember to speak slowly.
Our city hall engineer has completed the plans for the perimeter wall and will submit the application for the fencing permit along with the relevant documentation. This morning we met with the two local guys from Patul who will build the wall with a team. They seem to know what they are doing and had already prepared a very professional diagram showing the different elements including lighting, a driveway gate and a roofed pedestrian gateway. We will purchase the materials required and pay the labour cost. They will start as soon as we have the permit from city hall. At present they are finishing a swimming pool project in Quirino province.
Today our contractor applied sample squares of the possible paint colours we chose yesterday to the walls of each room. We then selected the ones we preferred in each case. The only samples missing were the ones for the external walls.
We have to choose a gas oven tomorrow and provide the dimensions to our contractor so they can plan the kitchen layout.
Good progress was being made at the construction site. On the roof almost all the trusses were in place so you can see the shape of most of the roof elements now. The last concrete was being applied to the wall of the viewing deck and the laundry, which is an open area covered by the roof, was receiving concrete in its supporting pillars and cross-beam. The front entrance roof trusses now define the shape and are just waiting for concreting and roofing tiles. Inside, a few doorways were being narrowed in line with the plan measurements and the bottom of the master t&b window was being slightly raised to correct its dimensions. It now matches the other windows of that size.