Friday, November 21, 2008


I've been translating a brochure for kids from English to Tagalog for an international organization that I volunteer for, and its got me pondering on "kid-speak" back home.

I am part of the Sesame Street generation (just in case you don't know my age, its the really late part of that generation) that dove-tailed into the Batibot generation. I remember the days when our leaders, caught up in the fervor of the EDSA revolution, decided to increase the number of elementary subjects taught in Tagalog/Filipino/Pilipino over those taught in English. Science and Math were always exempted, but I do remember a floundering attempt to teach Home Economics and P.E. in our local language, which didn't last very long ("Maglagay ng kaunting 'cinammon' sa timpla ng mansanas, i-hurno ang balat na gawa sa tinapay para sa inyong mansanas 'pie'," or "Ang posisyon ng 'striker' sa larong 'volleyball' ay malapit sa lambat")

The work I'm currently translating is spattered with words like "Internet", "Web page" "cache" and, geez, "sexual education" and "STD". These are definitely words that were not used during my Tagalog education days.

Funny how time flies by so fast and you realize this is how "generation gaps" are created. 

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