A British national told me he doesn’t read Philippine newspapers because these, he said, employ Filipino English, a language he considered “not proper.”

I agreed with him—our papers do use Filipino English, but I disagree that such English variant is not proper. The English language has become a global commodity, adapted to an area’s cultural contexts and quirks. It’ll be hard to look for such as thing as “proper English” considering that there are just too many variants: Singapore English, Australian English, American English, British English, Filipino English, among others.

Two of the Filipino English terms that may not be recognized or accepted elsewhere are rubber shoes and ballpen. Most English variants use terms like sneakers (American English), tennis shoes, trainers (British English), pen, ballpoint, or ballpoint pen.

Photo credit: Heels.com


18 thoughts on “Filipino English terms

  1. Oh, if you do that, Giselle, then he would not know what hit him. Ha ha. He was a nice guy, though. To paraphrase the words of Elizabeth Proctor in Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” when describing John Proctor: “He was a good man, although somewhat bewildered.” :D

    • Another filipino english. CR or comfort room. Oh how improper. I see the bewildered eyes of Americans when you ask for a CR. They’re head cocked to one side as if saying “huh?” :D

  2. Hi Ms J, but I’m mighty proud to say we’re good in our spelling ha ha ha. We just have different terms for similar things (eg comfort room for toilet, rubber for eraser, swimming trunks for togs etc), and at the end of the day, it’s the essence and the message that matter. :-)

    • Oh, definitely, Laloy! I was one of the teachers who homeschooled a young lady from South Carolina–like us, she had such difficulty with the language. English is easy to learn, but difficult to master. And, yes, many of us second speakers of English fare better in grammar and spelling. :)

    • Cathy, some people find it awkward to say “turn on” or “turn off” the light because, they say, we do not make an action of “turning,” but rather of “switching.” I should probably address that point on another post. :)

    • Hi, Glenn! First speakers use the term “soft drink” (two words). We tend to write it as “softdrink” (one word). But in a sense you’re right–first speakers tend to use “soda” than they would use “soft drink.” :)

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