Friday, February 03, 2006

Language Twist: Mabaho Ng Kilikili Ko!

When I was in Manila, I did adapt the way Pinoys craft the sentence. One of some examples is by inserting "diba" at the end of many statements to form tag questions, such as "She is beautiful, diba?" (isn't she?) or "You don't mind, diba?" (do you?). Other examples are using the word "nalang" instead of "just" or "only" and ending the sentences by the word "lang" (like "lah" in Singaporean-English).

I also learned some simple Tagalog words and sentences such as: magandang umaga (good morning), magandang gabi (good evening), magandang hapon (good afternoon), mabuhay (hello), paalam (goodbye), paki (please), salamat (thank you), walang anuman (you're welcome) and mahal kita (I love you!!). These basic sentences are enough to survive in Manila, just to show that you appreciate the locals. Of course, Pinoys mostly speak English, so I had no problem in language department.

However, sometimes, occasionally, you ask people about some unusual words, right? And sometimes your local friends teach you some not so basic sentences. In my case, one day, my Pinoy brother inlaw and his wife (actually more the wife) taught me this sentence "Mabaho ng kilikili ko". They suggested me to say it to my Pinay sister inlaw (a wife of my brother). But I smelled something fishy as their daughter was just laughing really hard. I knew so well that some people love to tease the foreigner (I am one of those people!), so I got them to tell me the real meaning. Apparently it means, "My armpit is smelly"!!!! Ughhh!

However, knowing the real meaning, that night, right after I learned about the sentence, I said it anyway to Rosette, my sis inlaw. I stood in front of her, patted her shoulder, and with a very innocent face I said, "Good night... mabaho ng kilikili ko". Rosette was stuned! She thought I was innocent and blamed her brother and wife instead! Hehehe.... luckily, I didn't say "Mabaho ng kilikili mo" (mo = you)...:D

Speaking of twisting the language, I used to do a similar thing when I was in Indonesia. As I speak Sundanese (a local language of Bandung, my hometown) fluently, I used to teach some improper words to Indonesian friends who just came from other provinces. Once, in my first year undergrade, I taught a friend who came from Medan. He didn't speak any word in Sundanese and asked me to teach him.

I said this to him: "Sundanese people are so polite, so the first thing you have to know is the sentence that you will always use when you meet and pass by some locals, to show your politeness." "This important sentence is," I continued, "Punten...... ngiring hitut, with long hituuuuuuuuuut". I also explained to him that he had to put on a sweet look and he had to bow as he walked through, passing by, the locals and shouldn't stop before got a response "mangga" (the bowing part and the "mangga" part are actually correct). I fooled him by saying that the sentence meant "Excuse me, please". He did it for sometime and got confused as people always smiled or laughed whenever he put my lesson into action. Could you imagine how deranged he was to find out that "Punten.. ngiring hitut" means "Excuse me.... allow me to fart"...??..... Ja, ja, ja.... I was naughty back then..

4 comments:

Andrew said...

hmm.. seems you learnt tagalog more than me. hahaha. 3 main sentence: mahal kita, mahal din kita, and mahal ko. Enough to survive with pinays...

merlyna lim said...

andrew: ah engga juga.. yg fasih ya cuma mabaho ng kilikili mo doang..

-rino said...

saha eta budak ti medan teh?
bukan hambrol ato bonar kan?

mer said...

rino: sanes hambrol atawa bonar euy. budak AR tea....