By Ela Britchkow, Speech Therapist, American Accent Specialist
Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.
Tagalog and English idiomatic expressions are fascinating to compare. Below are some of my favorites.
When studying foreign languages, one of the trickiest things that people usually have a bit of trouble with is idiomatic expressions.
The meaning of an idiom in the mother language and culture has a completely different meaning than the literal definition of the phrase.
Still, as confusing as they may be at first, there's always some correlation between the idiomatic expression and its actual meaning.
I'm going to share some Tagalog idiomatic expressions with you as well as some brief explanations of the rationale behind them. Idiomatic expressions are
words and phrases that are said but are intended to mean something else. American have expressions that are very similar to the Tagalog expressions, but fit better with American culture.
Once you know what Americans are saying when they say idiomatic expressions, you’ll be able to understand what they’re talking about more easily. Same thing goes the other way –
Tagalog: Pagputi ng uwak/Pag-itim ng Tagak (literally; when the crow has turned white
English Counterpart:: When hell freezes over. / When pigs fly.
Meaning: Something that's very unlikely to happen.
Tagalog: Makati ang kamay (literally; hand is itchy)
English Counterpart:: Sticky fingers
Meaning: Someone who is always itching to steal something
Tagalog: Makati ang paa (literally; foot is itchy)
English Counterpart: wanderlust
Meaning: Someone who's always itching to go somewhere else.
Tagalog: Matamis ang dila (tongue is sweet)
English Counterpart: sweet-talker
Meaning: Someone who'll tell you compliments that they don't mean just to get you to do what they want you to.
Tagalog: Itaga mo sa bato (literally; stab it on a rock)
English Counterpart: Mark my word. / Carved in stone
Meaning: Something that cannot be stopped or prevented by anyone the same way something carved in stone cannot be erased.
Tagalog: Sumisipsip (sucking)
English Counterpart: Sucking up
Meaning: Trying to gain someone's favor by doing everything that might please them
Tagalog: Parang naghahanap ng karayom sa gitna ng dayami
English Counterpart:: Looking for a needle in a haystack
Meaning: Doing something that requires too much effort without any guarantee of success
Tagalog: Kabiyak ng dibdib
English Counterpart: literally means “the other half of the heart”
Meaning: an idiom for spouse.
Tagalog: Daga sa dibdib
English Counterpart: describes worry or fear.
Meaning: “mouse in the chest.”
Tagalog: Bulaklak ng dila
English Counterpart:: flower of the tongue
Meaning: Used to denote exaggeration.
As shown in the above examples, many of the idioms make no sense when translated literally, but many have been associated with a particular trait or characteristic that may be exhibited by a person.
The last stage of learning a language is to acquire an understanding of the idioms of the language and be able to use and understand them in conversations with native speakers. This ability shows a true grasp of not only the language but also some level of understanding of the culture as well.
When learning a new language it’s important to pronounce sounds correctly, learn correct intonation or melody of the language, linking sounds of words in sentences, put stress on the correct syllable in words and syllable deletions. In addition to all this there are idiomatic and colloquial expressions that we just had a taste of. If you are interested in more colloquial expressions, I have a variety of idiomatic expressions in my blogs on my website: www.clearenglishspeech.com and also in my American English pronunciation software program.
For more support, please contact:
Ela Britchkow, President, Clear English Speech
©2018 Ela Britchkow