Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Two Tongues Twisted

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[Don’t mind the picture. I’m opting for a tamer post this time around, after that ratty debacle, haha.]

If you’re a writer, and English is just your second language, do you play favorites?

I did, once. I almost never wrote in Tagalog. A great shame, considering I am Filipino. But it just seemed like I was more comfortable weaving stories in English than in my native tongue. Add the fact that I knew more ‘big’ (read: polysyllable) words in English than in Tagalog, and you have a writer filling up pages and pages of pompous, highfalutin text.

If you’d allow me to make one ridiculous analogy, then let’s just say one tongue was drenched in saliva, and the other was as dry as the Sahara baked to the fullest.

But of course, the times have changed. Eventually, the spit of life found its way to the other tongue, nourishing it, allowing it to smoothly lave and lick at the victuals it desired to consume. These victuals were, of course, your usual yummy morsels of prose and poetry fodder.

To make the poetically abstract lines above clearer –- my ardor of English gave way to my ardor of Tagalog.

Want to really know why I left my blog for a month? Well, this web journal is in English, and I wanted to keep it that way. Unfortunately, I almost abandoned writing in that language. At least for a month.

I found Tagalog better suited to express my recent ‘musings’, which leaned towards Filipino societal concerns and manifested in poems. And what better tongue to use for these ‘nationalistic’ ruminations? Certainly, a Filipino tongue -– Tagalog.

For one whole month, I demoted English to school papers and system documentations. There was no room for creative writing in English.

But now, I want to strike a balance. These two tongues need to share the spit of life. For ridiculous analogy number two, I’d say these two need to finally French kiss.

I began with English. I swung to Tagalog. I will end with both English and Tagalog. That’s what you call having the best of both worlds, er, tongues. For my prose, which consists of my journal writings and –- this is a hush-hush thing between us, okay? –- fantasy ala “swords and sorcery” novels, English is my baby. For my poetry, Tagalog reigns supreme.

So in effect, my escapist doppelganger speaks English, and my serious, patriotic self is fluent in the native speech (did you actually think the Magdalo flag in my Blog Profile was only for decoration?).

As I begin my third year* of ‘true writing’, I guess I have another challenge to face. No more playing favorites.

Dammit Corsarius, enough talk -– let’s get these two tongues tangled up right now.

*Another hush-hush thing of mine. I only began writing for leisure in second year college. Before that, I used my decent command of the two languages only for school requirements and journalism work. Absolutely no self-initiated creative writing. I didn’t even bother to have a diary. Ah, tempus fugit.


Blogger ia said...

Don't worry, you'll be f.k.-ing it in your novel. And yeah, the languages have their strengths and purposes. There *is* a reason they say French is the language of love.

Sigh. I want to learn German though. And Nihonjin, with all its kanji, of course.

12:12 PM  
Blogger transience said...

nice analogy. if i were an english tongue, i would want to get it on with other tongues--chinese, japanese, french, italian, german, hungarian, polish, irish...the list goes on and on and on. i will be making out with every goddamn tongue and having the time of my life.

sorry. this is what you get when you post such pictures. i have an impressionable mind.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to ia: i wonder..would people be comfortable with the 'f.k. -ing' of English with a 3rd-world, barely-used-outside-of-the-homeland language? i hope at least some guys do, for my novels' sake :D

1:55 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to transience: that's for ya. i'd want to get it on with the Korean tongue. no nasty reason here, 'cept that our clan's ancestors were Korean Christians escaping persecution a way way way back in time...or so they say :p

"sorry. this is what you get when you post such pictures. i have an impressionable mind." LOL!

1:58 AM  
Blogger kuya said...

go phillip!
good for you and you take the 'extra' challenge...

pinipigilan ko minsan na purihin kita, can't help...

anyways, if you want some 'kuribrib', 'halukipkip' in the sequel of your 'Kidlat sa Dilim', just approach me, at least, miski man lang dito magaling ako.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to jonas: salamat, salamat :D 'kuribkib'? that's new. sure bro, i'll take you up on the offer, hehe.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous hera said...

how about yung mga nagmimix ng mga languages sa isang sentence? pwede mo bang sabihin that the intertwining of tongues sa isang pagpapahayag tulad nito ay permissible?

haha. that's some french kiss.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Corsarius said...

to hera: now, that is what you call a true entanglement of the tongues! :D well, di ako eksperto, pero permissible siempre! Haay...Taglish. Hehe. although some of the full-blooded English and/or Tagalog lovers will certainly love to disagree with me.

2:49 AM  

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