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How to Avoid Filipinism?

Posted on January 16, 2018 | 1 Comment on How to Avoid Filipinism?

Filipinism generally pertains to the Filipino English, which is the result of the dynamic evolution of the English language when it was adopted by the Filipino people. The adoption process of English would inevitably involve some changes because of the influence of the local culture. This evolution of language is a common phenomenon in as much as there is Ebonics (Ghetto English) evolved from American English, which in turn evolved from British English.

Filipinism is not wrong nor is it a bastardization of English. In the call center industry, however, Filipinism needs to be avoided because the great majority of the clients of multinational call center companies are Americans. And Filipinism might obstruct understanding during communications, which is apparently a critical aspect of the call center operations. Thus, Filipinism must be avoided as part of the effort to speak American.

The easiest way to avoid Filipinism in English communication is to identify the common terms or phrases that are used by Filipinos in English, which is not actually used by Americans and practice using the American terms for the same. For instance, use “toilet” instead of “CR”, pardon instead of “come again”, “to go” instead of “take-out”, and “tissue” instead of “napkin”, etc. Obviously, it would practically be impossible to think and identify all the filipinism that we use. In most cases, we might not even be aware of which terms belong to such category. Hence, conversing with your American boss, an American friend or an Americanized Filipino (someone who grew up in the states), would also help so that one would know what Filipino English sounded odd to them.

Another alternative way to avoid Filipinism is to actually learn American English communications by exposing oneself to the American culture. This can be facilitated by watching American films/ movies, reading American books, listening to American music or just chatting to some stranger in America via the Internet, among other means. This will help familiarize oneself in the culture of the American English language.

Originally posted 2012-03-03 11:29:21.

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  1. Melody Beadles Reply

    In America we use the phrases napkin, take-out, and come again. We understand these. It’s been an interesting read nonetheless, thank you.

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