English-only Policy: Filipinoism

Language is a unique tool for communication. It helps us express ourselves, understands the structure of our culture, and adapts to our environment.

English is not our mother tongue however, we have heard, learned, and used it since we are still a babe.

Since we are working in a firm that provides services to foreign clients, most of them are speaking English, we should use English not only for the sake of ending the call right away but conveying our message with pride and confidence.

Filipinoism is a speech pattern common to Filipinos. We think in Filipino speech pattern then translate the words into English terms. This causes a seemingly confusing context to the listeners.  The way we speak English may be awkward for the English world to listen to. Of course their flow of thoughts is different from ours.

I. Flow of Thoughts

We say… Correct Usage
Do you mind waiting? Yes, I’ll wait. No, I don’t mind waiting.
I’ll be the one to prepare our dinner. I will prepare our dinner.
First, you need to disembark the bus. First, you need to get off the bus.
In front of the post office. Across the post office.
Did you take your lunch already? Have you had your lunch?
We were under Miss. Katie Miss. Johnson was our teacher.
The number of tourists increases this year. The number of tourists goes up this year.
Avail of the promo Take advantage of the promo
No parking on both sides No parking on either sides
How does she look? What does she look like?

II. Context and Words

We say… Correct Usage
I am looking for…  (on the phone) May I speak with…
Can you see that person on the phone?
We accept repair This shop repairs cars.
 Fall in line Stand in line
 Rubber shoes Running shoes
 Take up ( a course ) Studied ( a course )
But you can say taking up a piano lesson
 Picture taking Photo shoot
 Retouch Touch-up
 Ref Fridge
 Fill up the form Fill out the form
But fill up the bucket with water
 Comfort Room (CR) Rest room / Washroom
 You go here Come here
Bottomless ice-tea Refillable drinks
Xerox Photocopy

III. Transliteration

In Filipino terms We say… Correct Usage
Kanino ito? Who is this? Whose (thing) is this?
Who owns this (thing) ?
Saan kayo kumain ng tanghalian? Where did you eat your lunch? Where did you have your lunch?
Susunduin kita mamaya. I will fetch you later. I will pick you up later today.
Ano iyon? ( asking someone to repeat what they said) Come again? I’m sorry, please say that again.
Saan ka nag-aaral? Where are you studying? What school do you go to?

IV. Redundancy

We say… Correct Usage
Please repeat that again. To repeat means to do it again. Please say that again.
Thank you for patiently waiting. If a person is patient, he has a waiting-attitude Thank you for waiting.
Thank you for your patience.
Personally, in my opinion… An opinion is a subjective belief. Personally…
It involves your personal emotion of the matter. In my opinion…
Long-legged legs Have you ever seen someone who has long-legged arms? Long-legged woman
Long-legged chair.

There is no such thing as a bad accent. Accent differs in every culture, tribes, tongues, and nations. We do not have to sound like a native speaker; at least just neutralize the accent. To avoid the pitfalls of Filipinoism, patience, practice, and exposure to the language that we are supporting can definitely enhance our vocabulary and spontaneity.


About kenbihag

Talk, Read, Write, Dance
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4 Responses to English-only Policy: Filipinoism

  1. chokulats says:

    This is useful! I teach communication at a call center. Thank you for your examples. 🙂

  2. There is nothing wrong with “I’ll be the one to prepare our dinner” if the context is the person tells somebody or insists to somebody that he’s going to prepare the dinner instead.

    Also, “How does she look?’ ain’t bad if the context is the person is asking how the girl/lady stares or what her facial expressions are.

    It really depends on the context.

    The rest of your examples are excellent and very informative though. Good job

  3. john mark says:

    this is really helpful,,,i am now a trainee of Iqor and i will use this.

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