what is standard Tagalog?

Carl Rubino carlrubino at home.com
Fri Jul 13 15:06:16 UTC 2001

Dear Mng. Paz,
Thank you for the information about the old and modern use of kila and nila,
and the fact that they originated in Old Manila. I erroneously thought they
were modern innovations.
  I still think there is a colloquial/substandard connotation with "kila."
(A few days ago I heard "nakala" used by a Manilan who said "kila" was not a
Tagalog word (like some Chicagoans who use "I says" and insist they don't) -
so even speakers who use it recognize the "l" forms as being colloqiual or
substandard, e.g.
  ..nakala Jogee...  ((he's) at Jogee et al's place).

  If you do a Google search (mostly modern Tagalog of course) you will find
  kina + mga  returns 43 pages
  kila + mga returns 9 pages (10 at first screen, but last page is empty)

  (I used the word "mga" to weed out the Hawaiian stuff). So even if both
old and modern Manila speakers prefer kila to kina, it appears that some are
more hesitant to do so in their writing.
  I have no ties to Bulacan Tagalog, and do not wish to have a regional
prejudice - I just think that since Tagalog is taught all over the
Philippines in primary grades (in most cases by non-native Tagalogs), what
children see in the books are the "n" forms, not the "l" forms. And children
who do not speak Tagalog at home, but are forced to use it in school don't
always have access to televisions and Liwayway magazines. So if the "l"
forms are to be given standard status, they must be taught by the primary
school Tagalog teachers and included in the grammars and text books too.
(When I say substandard, I do not mean what it is less commonly used, but
what doesn't have official recognition, e.g. English "with Jane and I";
"ain't" -- what we learn on the streets as opposed to what we are taught in
  I have one more question for you, in teaching Tagalog, do you give both
forms? How about when students used "sila" instead of "sina"?
  Thanks again for all your help,

P.S. Could you believe that ANG + MGA only returned 44 pages in google, only
one more than KINA + MGA??!!

----- Original Message -----
From: Paz B. Naylor <pnaylor at umich.edu>
To: Carl Rubino <carlrubino at home.com>
Sent: Friday, July 13, 2001 12:32 AM
Subject: Tagalog

> P.S.  (Please see the "original message" [edited]  below)
> I'm afraid I was in a rush earlier today so I missed some of the points
> made about NILA & KILA vs. NINA and KINA.
> 1. NILA is used in "modern Manila dialect".  It has always been used
> with KILA) in old Manila dialect (i.e., pre-WWII and earlier).
> 2. "The sub-standard form 'kila' must have been invented by analogy - but
> have no idea who uses it as I have never heard it"
> a) Substandard?!  What is standard?  Is there no variation at all within
> "standard"?  Is Bulacan Tagalog "standard"?  Why? It is the register used
> literary text but try speaking Bulacan Tagalog and you will immediately be
> marked as a non-native speaker.
> b) NILA and KILA have always been in use side by side in my old Manila
> dialect and everyone else I knew - my contemporaries, my parents and
> grandparents and their contemporaries.  What I said above of KILA applies
> NILA as well.  This has not changed amongst speakers of old Manila
dialect -
> a fact that was confirmed on my last visit to Manila in 1995 as well as by
> excerpts from Liwayway, TV programs, videotapes and audiotapes I made
> Take it from someone who has been there - in more ways than one.
> As An-Langers, we have tacitly agreed to disagree, right?  So, no love
> All the best, Manang Paz

More information about the An-lang mailing list