Language Suppression in The Philippines Essay

Language Suppression in The Philippines Essay

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“Language, any language has a dual character: it is both a means of communication and a carrier of culture” (Thiongo). With the reading Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, the group discussions and lecture, I have a better understanding of the importance of language. If you take away someone’s language, you take away their culture. Thiongo raises an interesting point that the “final triumph of a system of domination [is] when the dominated start singing its virtue.” With this quote, I thought about my own culture and the language used. I wondered if Filipinos were subjected to language suppression, in what ways were they under the colonizer’s control and are they were working on decolonizing their minds.
According to an article, Background Notes on Countries of the World: Philippines, there are 87 languages commonly used nationwide. The top three languages spoken are Cebuano, by people in the Visayas, Tagalog by people around Manila, and Ilocano spoken by people of Northern Luzon. There are numerous resources giving different amounts of languages and dialects presently used in the Philippines. They range from 87 to 171. According to Wilson, there are 171 languages, some close to extinction, only spoken by fewer than 100 and some spoken by millions. The majority of the languages are used by a limited population, mainly those who are isolated away from the urban areas or by indigenous people. This wide range shows the wide diversity of the Philippine people. These languages often overlap with each other, they can include different variations, and most are based on the influence of the colonization of Spaniards and Americans. Many languages spoken depend on the region or area the people are from. Al...


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...er. Web. 5
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Lee, Jamie Shinhee. "English–Taglish Mixing." World Englishes 24.1 (2005): 107-109. Academic Search
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Reyes, Portia L. "Fighting Over A Nation: Theorizing A Filipino Historiography." Postcolonial Studies
11.3 (2008): 241-258. Academic Search Premier. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.
Thiongo, Ngugi Wa. "Chapters 3-5." Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African
Literature. N.p.: Heinemann Educational, Heinemann Educational Books. 172-79. Print.
Walter, Stephen, and Diane Dekker. "Mother Tongue Instruction In Lubuagan: A Case Study From The
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Wilson, Kip. "Filipino Or Tagalog?." Faces (07491387) 27.4 (2011): 16. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 5
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