Thursday, June 28, 2007

vowel problems among Visayans and Tagalog speakers

Filipinos from the Visayan part of the country give themselves away when they speak Pilipino or Tagalog because unlike the national language which has five vowel sounds /a/, /E/, /i/, /o/, & /u/, the Visayan dialect has only three of these vowel sounds and they are /a/, /i/ & /u/ so that explains the funny way some Visayans say certain words like "pira" for "pera" or "ati" for "ate" or instead of saying "opo" one hears "upu" which similarly sounds incorrect.

However, I have this to say. I am a Visayan but I never make such regional speech blunders because I know these vowel nuances and I practice the proper way of producing these sounds. I know of many other Visayans who do the same. Unfortunately, a great majority of Visayans do need more time to unlearn wrong speech habits acquired in earlier years.

Pilipino or Tagalog speakers are neither perfect for they too have their own problems. You notice that the original Pilipino alphabet (alpabeto) does not contain the sound /f/, /th/, and /v/. That is why Pilipino speakers speaking English usually have to grapple with words having those problem sounds. For instance, the word Philippines. Instead of saying it correctly, we might hear the word being said in many wrong ways like Pilifins or Filifins. Words with /th/ like three may be pronounced like tree.

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