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How to understand the Russian culture (or Soviet culture) via an Asian perspective

Photo credits to mytripolog.com

Okay, I’m not an expert in Russia, or the Slavic culture in general, but there are things I have discovered as I re-learn the Russian culture and of course, some of its politics (well, I have to admit, aside from Japan, I also like Russia, all thanks to the late singer Origa, I do give credit to her; if not because of her, I would never ever appreciate Russian culture—tell me guys where her grave is).

If you are already familiar with Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, and t.A.T.u., or Vitas, well—they might not be a good help if you’re going to learn and understand what RUSSIAN culture IS all about, in an Asian point of view.

Read the rest of this entry

The truth about the elites and elitism

img_2065Seriously, no one gives a damn about this book.

Elitism in the Philippines: Not Fun at All

Upon reading Rigoberto Tiglao’s The Manila Times article, “Why didn’t dictatorship work for us, when it did so well for Asia’s Tiger Economies?“, I believe that I should create a reaction paper (ungraded, however) based on my beliefs.

Now the answers are at Tiglao’s article: How come that foreigners are often lauded and worshipped, and given special treatment when it comes to the circle of elitists? But, if you’re a Filipino, you’re fully disregarded?

Well, I’ll give you my personal experience after discussing Mr. Tiglao’s article.

My reaction paper to Tiglao’s article about the elites

Excerpt from Tiglao’s article:

Our ruling class, on the other hand, have had a penchant for identifying themselves with our colonizers. They identify themselves with Spain (where many of them originated) and the US, and in recent decades, with China. For them, this nation is simply a market or a production site with cheap labor, not really their homes. They simply cooperate or even use this market’s political rulers, whether a dictator or elected by deluded masses. This kind of thinking, that nationalism is an unnecessary baggage, has even trickled down to the masses, so that many Filipinos even think somebody like Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who became an American citizen, should be President.

Most of our elites, in fact, have their biggest mansions in London, Barcelona, Los Angeles and New York, and in recent years, in Shenzhen and Hong Kong. All their children study abroad, and have little cultural ties now to the country. Why, even their children no longer speak Pilipino, but English, and more recently, Mandarin. Pilipino is just the language they use to talk to their servants.

This is the reason why the Lopezes, Osmenas and the Aquino-led Cojuangcos have been propagating the Yellow Myth of Good-vs-Evil, with the elites supporting it, and even the Left believing it: It conceals the reality that through dictatorship and democracy, the elites continue to screw the masses.

I won’t deny the fact that the elites have an important role in our society. They’re expected to promote the Filipino culture, because remember, they’re the ruling classes, right? However, it comes the opposite–they actually promote colonial mentality.

What makes me say this?

I had a personal experience. Well, I might sound controversial here, but allow me to take the risk. I won’t sound offensive, but let me tell you the truth: The elites and the ruling classes are anti-Filipino. They have a sense of entitlement, not thinking that they FAILED to integrate with the Filipino culture.

If you do not integrate with the natives, then you don’t integrate with the culture itself.

I hate to bring this up, but no person other than Contreras did bat an eye when Grace Poe’s citizenship was questioned at the height of the 2016 Elections. Oo nga naman, masyadong impractical kapag si Grace Poe ang gagawing pangulo ng Pinas, eh dual citizen parin siya sa lagay na iyan (compared to Edu Manzano, who openly shared his plans to renounce his American citizenship to run for office in the Philippines, since he was born in the United States to Filipino parents). I am not degrading anyone. In fact, I’m only citing an example (well, a warning before bashing this blog).

Well, in this situation, I am not surprised. The elitists seemed to shrug it off when I told them that “it’s colonial mentality if your block president is technically a foreigner.”

No one did believe me. They said it was OK. So, no wonder, they did not raise the citizenship issue towards Grace Poe.

Well, I have nothing against foreigners naman being block president. However kasi, you won’t be prioritized, esp. kapag may blockmates kayo na kalahi niya. I have experienced that kind of “discrimination.” This made me believe that after all, I cannot fit in to the elitists. They only prioritize their own kind, aside from foreigners.

If you don’t even come from a “sosyal” background, it means that you are not fit for their standards.

No wonder, even our student council (LOL I just have to call it that way), or student government, is homogenous. Sila-sila lang din ang tumatakbo para sa halalan, tapos ganun parin ang sistema. Seriously, this makes me wonder that the student government is not pro-diversity.

No wonder, a lot of the elites and the elitists cannot even forgive the Marcoses

Side Note: Admit it or not, the Marcoses are pro-Filipino. That’s a fact. Meanwhile, the Yellow Oligarchs are far from being pro-Filipino. Why did former president Noynoy Aquino sided with the US when it comes to the territorial dispute of the West Philippine Sea? That’s red flag, you know!

President Rodrigo Duterte being friendly towards China is the only way we could no longer argue about the territories in the West Philippine Sea–and in fact, Pres. Duterte insisted on a foreign policy that is completely INDEPENDENT and SELF-RELIANT. His lambasting of the United States may place us into danger, but because multi-millionaire businessman Donald Trump won as president-elect of the United States, of course we cannot ensure smooth ties with the States, but because of Trump’s background in business management, I believe that things will work out just fine, given that Trump is bigoted when it comes to “outsiders.”

The elitists are pro-West, that’s a fact. They even lambasted DFA Secretary Perfecto “Jun” Yasay for calling the West Philippine Sea as “South China Sea.”

FYI, Sec. Yasay is all-business, no-nonsense. The elitists may believe that he is a “puppet of China” alongside President Duterte, yet here, they’re only insisting on an independent foreign policy that will soon help the Philippines grow and develop more diplomatic ties with other countries. Duterte’s warming up with Russia is a good example–in fact, strengthening ties with Russia is a good one. I like Russia, you know–and you may disagree with me on this: I like Putin.

President Vladimir Putin of Russia may be tough on the outside, but he’s a good man on the inside. He’s pretty much the best example of a person who is tough on the exterior, but as per the Mother Dragoness, “The evil in me protects the good of me.”

To be honest, the Russians love Putin more than they love Medvedev. I have nothing against Medvedev, but if you have a leader like Putin, you feel complacent. He is the protector of Mother Russia.

The elitists are only after LIBERALISM. Well, sorry guys, but liberal elitism is OVERRATED. Not only it is overrated, it is also sickening. Liberal elites could become abusive as they wish, they even do everything that will provoke others. Look at what has happened to Europe, they practice liberalism, open-mindedness, and tolerance–without even realizing that they’re oppressing Muslim immigrants by strongly banning the hijab.

This is bullsh*t. Well, what do you expect, some Europeans even IMPOSE their beliefs towards religious people, as if religion is OPPRESSIVE and INFLEXIBLE.

Of course, the Marcos burial and Trump victory were definitely DOUBLE B*TCHSLAPS towards their faces. Everyone’s sick and tired of liberal leaders who are all talk but no action–heck, these liberal elite leaders could NOT even come close to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is genuine about welcoming immigrants to Canada, and embracing diversity.

Well, PM Trudeau is different. How come he could maintain the peaceful nature of Canadian culture, which other leaders can’t? Tell me.

A lot of liberal elites in the Philippines wished to have a leader like Justin Trudeau.

IN YOUR DREAMS!

In fact, we could only have a leader like Trudeau, once the Philippines is a first-world country. We need a leader who could emulate the values of late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew (LKY)–and that is President Rodrigo Duterte.

Actually, Duterte is comparable to LKY. Why? TBH, Duterte is a legalist–when he allowed the Supreme Court to decide, whether or not Marcos should be buried at the LnmB, it made me think that his experiences as a tough-ass prosecutor led him to decide on things based on the law. He even said that Vice-President Leni Robredo, despite being sacked from her job in the HUDCC, will finish her tenure as vice president of the Philippines. This means, former senator BongBong Marcos wasn’t involved in sacking Robredo from the HUDCC.

Again, the elites hate President Duterte–simply because he talks cheap-ass, and he does not even follow protocol (well, true enough). However, he is a man of action–we already feel that the Philippines will be fine, for as long as Duterte is the president. This made me believe that the elitists only rely on a president who will only benefit them and ONLY them.

The only reason why it’s sooooo difficult for the liberal elites to forgive the Marcoses is because, their ancestors did not have the same privileges and benefits as the Marcos cronies. Well, at least during the Martial Law years.

Today, the liberal elites are the laughing stock of the Philippine cyberspace. Sorry guys, but many people will have to believe on the following: Prof. Antonio Contreras of DLSU, Mocha Uson, Sass Rogando Sassot, and Thinking Pinoy.

Well, besides GetRealPhilippines.com and Showbiz Government.

These sources actually have to do with critical and logical thinking skills. They actually challenge the status quo–in fact, you can’t even MAKE THEM–even though you claim to be a lawyer, or someone in the legal core. In fact, Prof. Antonio Contreras proved that the yellows are often guilty for being STUPID when it comes to critical thinking and logical abilities.

…and as a matter of fact, nasa ELITISTA naman talaga ang tunay na BOBOtante (oh guys, I recommend you read Senyor Komikado’s blog–he’ll discuss about the elitists being the real BOBOtantes). Maa-ari ko pang sabihing mga bobotante talaga ang mga bumoto kay Manny Pacquiao, but I cannot say the same towards those who voted for BongBong Marcos as their vice-president. In fact, majority of the Filipino people do not even give respect to Leni Robredo as the incumbent vice-president (well, sorry to say). No offense to Leni Robredo supporters, but as the old adage goes, “Nothing beats the word of mouth.”

The elites are already being the LOSING side. That’s a fact. Proof? Prof. Antonio Contreras is now a columnist for The Manila Times, and Mocha Uson is an OpEd writer for The Philippine Star (FYI, to Mocha’s critics who call her “someone who claims not to be a professional journalist but acts like one”). Also, Sass Rogando Sassot is gaining more popularity than her fellow transgender female counterpart, Miyako Izabel. In fact, Sassot has more credentials than Izabel–for one, Izabel does not show much of her background, while Sassot isn’t ashamed to reveal it to everyone, making her more credible and well-known to many.

Also, Thinking Pinoy, alongside Showbiz Government, is becoming more credible than the notoriously-Yellow Thinking Class of the Philippines.

No one is listening anymore to anything YELLOW, because to be honest, anything that has YELLOW symbolizes LIES, HYPOCRISY, and lastly, CORRUPTION.

This made the Filipino people decide to vote for BongBong Marcos, NOT because they’re going to give another chance to a “son of a dictator.” Na-uh! In fact, they started to look up and accept BongBong Marcos as a public servant who serves the people well. If you only know the “HALF-RICE BILL” as his proposed law, lemme tell you that he was the one who proposed the FREE TUITION for all government-owned tertiary institutions for learning.

To be honest, the Marcoses came back to power NOT because of this so-called “corrupted values” and “defeatism” of the Filipino, but it’s because, regardless of the corruption and ill-gotten wealth accusations against them, they still do their job WELL. That is to say that, many Filipinos still want people who will serve for the common good. You cannot see that kind of trait towards the yellow hoarde.

The elites are simply sour-graping because they’re actually DEFEATED by the Marcos family. To be honest, the Marcoses never engaged in cheap proposals. They still remain SOLID as a ROCK. Iyung sasabihin pa nilang, “Hiyang-hiya naman kami sa SDE nila sa LnmB!”, well, at least they could finally witness the burial of the patriarch, who has long been DEAD. Eh iyung ka-ribal nilang political dynasty, kumusta naman? Did they sought justice for the murder of their patriarch?

As a matter of fact, the Filipinos no longer believe in the so-called “Spirit of EDSA.” That so-called “Spirit of EDSA” is a LIE.

…and also, Kris Aquino deserves to be crucified–even though good news is, she’s a has-been.

Serves the YELLOWS right. I can never forget what they did to the Filipinos during APEC. #NeverForget the SAF-44, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre, the Mendiola Massacre, the Hostage Crisis at Quirino Grandstand (the mishandling of the police), the Yolanda controversy–will you still think that the yellows are “incorrupt”?

I ain’t buying that anymore, people. To be honest, I will choose to forgive not only the Marcoses, but also former president and now Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and the Binay family.

I guess, the elites and the elitists should taste a dose of their medicine.

The truth about the elites and elitism: They profess COLONIAL MENTALITY over Beauty of Diversity

Our ruling class, on the other hand, have had a penchant for identifying themselves with our colonizers. They identify themselves with Spain (where many of them originated) and the US, and in recent decades, with China. For them, this nation is simply a market or a production site with cheap labor, not really their homes. They simply cooperate or even use this market’s political rulers, whether a dictator or elected by deluded masses. This kind of thinking, that nationalism is an unnecessary baggage, has even trickled down to the masses, so that many Filipinos even think somebody like Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who became an American citizen, should be President.

Seriously, ambilis pa nilang mapatawad ang mga Espanyol, mga Amerikano, tsaka ang mga Hapones, ngunit sa mga Marcos, ‘di pa nila magawa! In fact, this made me think about why the elitists won’t ever accept me as their own–granted, I am Filipina. Hindi iyun dahil sa kulang ako sa pakiki-sama dati, but to be honest, they only accept foreigners PLUS their own kind, to keep their “homogeneity” pure. No wonder, I was never in good terms with my own blockmates, to think a lot of people pa naman were expecting me to get along with ’em. Well, wala talaga, eh. Kung hindi ko masakyan ang trip nila, well, so be it. Hindi ko trip ang trip nila, and I have found out that they’re ignorant and bigoted at the same time–and I was wondering how the heck did they obtain their so-called academic achievements? Well, they’re only records. Call me ampalaya for that matter, yet I cannot call people with academic achievements “respectable,” if their logic is dented.

I was thinking of opening up and simply be honest to everyone and to myself, that I cannot get along with the elitists and the pa-sosyal group of people. Seriously, they make me sick. They’re not only simple-minded–worse, they’re shallow and superficial people. Henceforth, making me say that they want to keep their homogeneous circle, “PURE.” This means, the term “diversity” is not even in their vocabulary.

Wala pa silang sinabi sa mga third-cultured kids. Heto pa isang comment:

xxx The elite and the ruling class are more foreign than Filipinos. xxx

Hindi na siguro ako magtataka kung masyadong banyaga ang mga ruling class ng Pinas. As a matter of fact, these ruling classes never interacted with the indigenous groups of people in the Philippines (no exaggeration). Kaya naman pala, hindi sila magkakasundo ng mga maka-kaliwa.

Here’s the thing: The leftists, infairness to them, will instill that you’re Filipino–and not only that, they will make you more proud to be Filipino–as compared to the elitistas. The elitistas, on the other hand, will reject you as one of their own, kahit Pilipino ka pa. For them, ‘di baleng foreign-looking ka na may dubious attitude, basta masakyan mo lang mga trip nila. Well, this made me think that–oo nga, BOBOtante nga talaga sila.

The Rallying Issue

Having covered a lot of rallying-related events during my stint as a beat photographer for a newspaper, I have witnessed on how the leftists protest–they protest with dignity.

Also, they never used cuss words to criticize a politician. Why, did they ever say, “PAKYU AQUINO!”? Eh samantalang mga elitista, they say, “PAKYU KA MARCOS,” or “UKINAM MARCOS,” which is sickening.

Side Note: They did not even spare Sandro Marcos. Why, did we ever not spare Josh or Bimby, for that matter?

Tapos anlakas pa nga ng loob mag-cry foul ng “cyber-bullying,” tsaka harassment!?

As much as I do not condone the behavior of the cyber-maniacs, comments like those cannot be avoided. In fact, mas maraming mas POKPOK ang ugali kesa kay Mocha Uson. In fact, mas pokpok pa nga ‘ata ang mga disenteng may anyong maharlika ngunit NGAPA naman sa lohika–kumpara naman kay Mocha Uson.

Nope, I ain’t a fan or an apologist of Mocha Uson. To be honest, the DISSENT-ehs have been playing the “victim card,” besides Robredo and Senator Leila De Lima, because they believe, they’re still being harassed by the “Dutertards.”

Sense of self-entitlement, huh?

No wonder, Prof. Contreras always makes fun of them. Papano naman kasi, these disentes engage into cheap proposals, and at the same time, resort to self-humiliation. Sige, subukan nilang maghubad gaya ng ginagawa ni Ellen Adarna sa mga magazine shoots, magmumukha lang silang mga barbarong nakatira sa pinaka-malayong LABAS ng kabihasnan (pardon my crooked Tagalog, tho).

These elitists again, should taste a dose of their own medicine. They deserve to be crucified. Worse than what the Roman government did to Jesus.

What’s the best way to learn a new language?


biblelight.net|The Tower of Babel serves as one example… hmm…

Actually, this is one of ask.fm’s most intriguing questions… now, my answer is quite bitin because of the character limit.

My answer was:

Before I answer that question, let me first share my thoughts about learning a new language:

The difference between learning formally and informally varies from person to person. When learning a new language FORMALLY, that is being exposed to a new type of foreign culture–because it’s not simply learning about the language (grammar, sentence structure, conversation blah blah), the person will also learn about the CULTURE that is WITHIN the language itself. The connection/relationship of grammar, lexicon, syntax and culture is however, out of the question.

Meanwhile, when learning a new language INFORMALLY, watching movies back-to-back and taking down notes about the new words will help you improve your vocabulary within that language. Learning a new language informally through self-teaching means that you show a great amount of interest in learning new things within the culture where that language belongs.

For instance, when I learned German (Deutsch sprache), it’s not very hard, but not easy in some context. Code-switching is also a German thing, be it formal or informal (speech). Not to brag, but I could actually pronounce German words through the Berliner accent. I first learned German informally (through Audio CD) before I eventually took it as a foreign language.

Ja, wichtig. Deutsch sprache is nicht sehr schwer, aber es is nicht einfach. Deutsch lernen = Kultur lieben. Aber ja, ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch. Tut mir leid!

Meanwhile, learning Japanese informally through watching movies made me learn about their culture, and it’s quite true that Japanese is one of the most challenging languages to learn (taking note of the Kanji characters! Har har!), and when it comes to fansubbing, it’s actually difficult for them to translate the words–and most of these translations are not-so accurate, such for instance when translating verbal expressions, it depends upon the context.

For instance:

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu = It is a very flexible/versatile term that has a lot of meanings. It could actually mean “Hajimemashite” (Nice/pleased to meet you) or a formal “arigatou” (thank you) because this is what I usually see in TV dramas/Japanese TV shows, but I’m not so sure. However, this phrase actually means, “Please be nice to me,” in a literal sense.

Sumimasen = This actually means, “Excuse me,” but it could replace “gomen nasai” (I’m sorry) and “arigatou” (thank you).

Sensei = This does not limit to “teacher.” This is also addressed to lawyers (bengoshi) and doctors (isha), although “teacher” is really its literal meaning. It could also be “Sir” or “Ma’am” in some context, again, I’m not so sure about these things (since I’m learning the language informally).

Well, the best way to learn a new language is how you will learn it, either formally or informally (well, I didn’t know that the answer portion has a character limit!). Tut mir leid!

To be honest…

The best way to learn a new language is TO LEARN ITS CULTURE. You will not learn the language properly by heart if you cannot appreciate the culture where it came from. It’s about appreciation and acceptance of these cultures, and whether everyone likes it or… likes it, they should learn not to ridicule different nationalities who know a little English, especially if they are not very familiar with the grammar, syntax, lexicon and other terms used in English. Not everyone embraces English as the universal language, nor French as the language of the European Union. Also, when learning English, you’re also learning WESTERN things, and things that come from the United Kingdom and the United States–because both of these countries have their own different systems and set of rules when it comes to the English language–and their English is DIFFERENT from Philippine English (a very peculiar form of English that is only in da Pilipinz!)–and almost every Filipino know-it-all argues that American English is the standard form of English. Well, I totally disagree with that one because in English-speaking countries (US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand), they do not have a certain standard, and please take note that the English language DOES NOT HAVE any regulatory board. To those who commented that I over-estimated the English language, I realized that YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG. Okay, I compared English to Esperanto, but if you’re going to delve into the English language, they heavily borrow words from other languages, and sometimes, other languages BORROW English words because they could not think of other terms within the borders and vicinities of their own language. Therefore, I am stating the benefits of the English language because other languages, no matter what language family they come from, will still borrow words from a language that does not have a regulatory board (although there are some language regulatory boards that still does not hamper themselves from borrowing English words, and sometimes non-English words).

Learning a new language does not only mean learning a new culture. It is also breaking language barriers, and also bridging different cultures through interaction between foreigners and locals alike. However, that’s not all. Learning a new language means EXPOSURE, IMMERSION and growing up in THAT culture.

Learning a new language does not also mean exposure to other cultures, it also brings you near towards the locals whose native language is the language that you’re learning. This will help you understand and appreciate their culture more and how they really practice and preserve these traditions wholeheartedly. In other words, this will also help you be aware of dealing with people of different nationalities.

Learning German the FORMAL way vs. learning Japanese the INFORMAL way

The German Language (Deutsch sprache)

To begin with, the German language obviously belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. This is where the English language really evolved (Brythonic, an extinct language of Great Britain, was eventually replaced by English)–invaders from Saxony invaded on what it is now called as England, this earning the term, “Anglo-Saxon.”

However, German, despite belonging to the same language group as English, has a sheer difference from English. Here are some factors to consider:

German is the language of wisdom, will and thinkers. Yes, you got that right. Most famous philosophers and scientists come from Germany, so it’s not surprising that German is a very difficult language to learn. First, there are words in the German language that is usually used as loanwords by the English language. Kindergarten, Gemuetlichkeit, Doppelgaenger are the most familiar terms. Speaking of German terms used as loanwords, well, German is also open to loanwords, and they would usually borrow words from English and French. German is also the language to learn if you want to learn French–if you speak English. Germans pronounce French loanwords the French way, and the French word “friseur” becomes “Frisoer.” “Orange,” “Cousin” “Ingeneur,” and “au pair” are French words used as loanwords in the German language–pronounced the French way. They pronounce these terms the French way is because they’re also required to learn French, besides English (well, in a Gymnasium). However, it’s not only French that is the language where German gets their loanwords. In fact, they also borrow from English, and sometimes they have their own set of English terms, which is known as “Denglisch.” Weird, but if you want to know what Denglisch is really about, you will learn the words, “Oldtimer,” “Handy,” ”

To be honest, imitating the German accent when speaking English is quite hard–much harder when imitating a French or a British accent. Usually, I would use the German accent when pronouncing German words, and that’s it.

German has also heavily influenced English in some sort of way. Well, maybe because majority of Americans are of German descent, next to English descent. Usually, there are famous American personalities with German surnames, such for instance, Mark Zuckerberg, Jessica Biel and Michelle Pfeiffer. I could actually argue the fact that Germans are dominating the world, even though they have never colonized another country (review your world history, please). Even some Filipinos have German ancestry, such for instance, Aga Muhlach and Rosanna Roces. The reason why they primarily dominate the world is because most Germans are not really contented with the benefits that the German government gives them, which would eventually make them end up moving to other countries such as the United States of America, which is actually the cause of Germany’s population crisis. This made Germany welcome more immigrants and migrants alike, and truth to be told, only 30% of the German population are really Germans by nationality. One of my German-language professors argued that the original German race is already extinct, and most Germans in Germany, whether born in German soil or a naturalized German, will not be “purely” German but they will still be Germans BY nationality, but ethnicity-wise, they might be mixed with Italian, Turkish or Greek ancestry.

[To my German friends, especially those who understand English, please don’t take this against me. I’m just sharing certain accounts that I’ve learned. Peace out!]

As a language, German is like any other European language–it has concrete rules, and has a sentence structure that varies, depending upon the context–but what makes German unique is the verb being the last word in a sentence.

zum Beispiel:

Sie ist traurig, weil ihr Herz gebrocht hat. (She is sad, because her heart has broken.)

Notice that the “hat” (has) is the last word in the sentence. When using “weil,” it should be taken into context that a verb will always be LAST in the sentence. That is why when constructing sentences in German, it becomes more meticulous and complicated.

What is even more unique about the German language is that, it has NO word that means, “do.” Usually, “machen” is the alternative, which literally means, “make.”

What’s also unique in German is the word, “fahren.” Fahren could mean “drive,” or “ride.” Bus fahren means to ride a bus, but Auto fahren means to drive a car. When using the word fahren, it really depends on the context. Usually, the word fahren has something to do with a vehicle, therefore it could actually means drive or ride.

There are more to mention when it comes to the German language. That’s what you get when you learn it formally. Also, when attending Philosophy classes, you know what to do when you pronounce the German terms… and sometimes German phrases might slip out from your tongue! (If you have a background in the German language, trust me, you will LOVE Nietzsche. Sie werden Nietzsche lieben! Ja, wichtig!)

The Japanese Language (Nihongo) 

Meanwhile, Japanese is a very rare language. Some scholars argue that it belongs to the Altaic language family, but others argue that it is indeed an isolated language. Japanese is the language of anything unique and out-of-this-world, which rather explains why almost everything that is weird to Western eyes becomes normal in Japan.

To be honest, I really cannot comment about Nihongo (like what I said, I only learn it informally through watching J-dramas), but according to most sources, it is the language of politeness (although I partially agree with that). Usually, when addressing someone who is Japanese, you need the right honorific to address them. Japanese people usually take importance of honorifics and introduce themselves by rather using their surnames instead of their first names, unless you’re relatives or friends (or if you’re a gaikokujin).

Speaking of honorifics, plus politeness, usually, the suffix desu and masu are usually added. The term desu (pronounced as dess) is basically for nouns and (probably) adjectives since it’s a formal form of “da,” while masu (pronounced as mass) is used for verbs. I heard that the term “desu” is an end term that would usually make sense to a simple sentence, but it is actually something else… here’s the video I’d like to share with you (credits to Kouhei Smith):

I realized that the terms “desu” and “masu” (です and ます, respectively) are the Japanese versions of the polite term “po” in Filipino.

For instance:

Toshi wa ikutsu desu ka? (How old are you?)

Basically, you will answer, “Watashi wa _____ sai desu.” However, it’s not all the time you will use “desu.” When you are talking to someone the same age as you, you will answer, “_____ sai da.”

If you use “desu” and “masu” to someone the same age as you, that would sound too awkward since they will view you as a beginner or “too polite” to get started with. Also, when using desu and masu, it’s like saying “po” and “opo” in a foreign language, which is similar to using T-V distinction in German (Sie, du, anyone?).

Learning new Japanese phrases through watching their TV series would actually enhance one’s knowledge and familiarity towards the language. Usually, what I do is to list these Japanese terms and will consult an e-dictionary then write it down in order for me to recall all these stuff. Here are some phrases and terms that one should recall:

sobarashi – splendid, wonderful
issho desu – that is all
shimatta – darn it
tokubestu – special
yamette – quit
yattemasen – I didn’t do it

[I will list all these terms, don’t worry]

Sadly, I only write these terms in romaji (even though I could read kana a little since it’s too hard to memorize all of them), and would mostly depend on kotoeri in order to input certain characters in order for me to search for information about Japanese celebrities on the Internet. Also, I only know (and write) a few Kanji characters so I still have to learn more about Nihongo through watching more Japanese TV series and movies, and list down all the terms that I need to use.

Also, learning Japanese, according to most sources, is quite a headache–mastering their writing system actually makes Japanese more complicated than everyone thinks. So, no wonder, when Japanese people learn English, that becomes a headache to them, unless they’re really passionate in learning it. To be honest, the only way they could use English is to communicate with foreigners who know English, and that it will enhance their communication skills. This is one thing that I like about Japanese people–they would usually utilize their English skills to foreigners. If the Japanese government ease(s) their policies towards immigrants, that way the locals will enhance their communication skills towards foreigners.

This is one of the best things that I like when learning Japanese–exchanging information while making yourself familiar with their language and at the same time their culture. Such phrases like “Yoroshiku onegai shimasu” and “Shou ga nai” is actually very Japanese.

Actually, the term “Yoroshiku onegai shimasu” literally means, “Please be nice to me.” However, this would also be a formal term of saying “Hajimemashite” to someone (based upon observations). Meanwhile, “Shou ga nai” means, “It can’t be helped.” The shoganai phenomenon is not only in Japan, but it’s actually everywhere–in the Philippines, this situation is often becoming more of a pathetic excuse rather than as a valid excuse. For the Japanese, however, the shoganai phenomenon is different–when they have nothing to do with it, they would really tell you that “Yes, shoganai.” They view it as their own form of “C’est la vie.”

Usually, when talking about learning a language informally, it has something to do with learning the culture first by watching a lot of their TV series and movies before you proceed to the first and to the next lesson. Once you liked the J-drama of your choice, you might as well want to go back to the previous episodes and write all the necessary words that you often hear. Also, this will be a mere backup when you will finally learn Japanese formally–or through audiobooks by your own. In fact, there are some people who learn the language by self-teaching and learn it faster than those who are taking language classes. It’s only a matter of exposure, immersion and upbringing.

Overall, my take

I think the best way to learn a language is obviously what was written above. It’s all up to the person on how he/she will learn the language passionately without regretting it. After all, it’s about practice, immersion and utilization of the language that counts.

Language is Culture: English vs. Filipino


holidayinsights.com|Uncle Sam’s the epitome of the Imperialist

Being better in English doesn’t make me less a Filipino, but…

My English is not perfect, unfortunately. I was a victim of English as a first language, and my own mom doesn’t really take pride of the native language.

Alright. That’s what makes me ashamed as a Filipino. I speak better English than Filipino. AND unfortunately, I am not proud of it.

I am better in speaking English in my blog is because, I am a good communicator, but it doesn’t make me an intelligent person.

These are the articles that you should read first before knowing how I suffered from an upbringing, not being proud of speaking Filipino.

Oh, and to Mr. James Soriano, please read the following articles. 🙂

Speaking in English doesn’t make you intelligent. It makes you elite.
I speak, write, and think in the English language.
Huwag Nang Ipagdiwang ang Buwan ng Wika

My English teacher in college taught us not to be arrogant in English proficiency. Of course, being arrogant to proclaim that Filipino is the “language of the tsupers, katulongs and those who are uneducated” is shit.

We tend to be arrogant in English, but we localize it

The terms “aircon” is very Filipino. Philippine English, that is. Comfort room? It’s really Filipino.

Tayo lang talaga ang ma-arte when it comes to our English grammar. We usually tend to correct our fellow Asians when they speak the language, with sarcasm. If the correct term for “CR” is restroom, washroom, etc., then why don’t we adopt all the words found in the English language? That’s because English has no governing/regulating boy unlike French.

Remember, language is culture. In the Philippines, speaking English will make you intelligent and educated. However, in other countries, speaking in English will only make you a good communicator.

I would agree with the fact that English is the medium of instruction in the Philippines is because we export OFWs. Should we be proud of them or not (?), since they’re called the “new heroes.”

Learn to love the Filipino language

Like what my ex-best buddy said, it doesn’t make him not love the Filipino language if he’s only supporting the English campaign. On the contrary, Sir Xiao Chua said that it is only a waste of time if we celebrate the Buwan ng Wika if schools still implement the English-speaking zones. We are really miseducated, blame it to the most arrogant colonizers who did the water cure.