(Just Saying) : Spanish and Chavacano

I have been interested in learning languages, though only partial learner. One of my interests is Spanish. I tried to self-study Spanish, but my interest and mood changed constantly. From one language to another one, and that’s why I do not master one language perfectly except language I use most (at school English and Bahasa, while among friends and family I speak more Javanese…not Japanese, and every week I have to attend Mandarin course till I am looking for one native laoshi (teacher) in my school for being my partner. But sadly said, we have no much time as very tight schedule.

Spanish is wonderful language, its pronunciation is much close to our pronunciation except for some parts like ‘j’, ‘g with i and e’…the rests are okay. Pero, solo hablo muy poco en Espanol. I used to have a pen pal from Holland, but originally he was Arubiano and when I knew he spoke Papiamento, I said to him for learning some parts of his language. Shockingly, it looked similar to Spanish in many parts, Portuguese in others as well as many Dutch words inside with Africanisms. Is that Spanish-based or Portuguese-derived Creole? I am not sure, as linguists simply classify Papiamento as Iberian-based Creole. When I tried to learn it, it looked fun….masha danki (thank you), mi dushi, mi ta stima bo, te otro biaha, corda skirbi mi bek masha lihe, etc…good job and I still remember many of them though I have never met him anymore.

Chavacano is another case. When I found it while watching TV Patrol Chavacano on internet, It sounds more Spanish than Papiamento. However, maybe Spanish speakers will find difficulties to communicate with the speakers. I read in Wikipedia about Chavacano language which is spoken in The Philippines and there are many variants spoken in different parts, such as Caviteno, Ternateno, Ermiteno (extinct), Davawenyo, Cotabateno and Zamboangueno. But I am more interested in Zamboangueno one. I read lots and lots about this variant and find it has been mixed much with surrounding languages like Tagalog, Visayas languages and also English. The classic one is much closer to Spanish, but the contemporary Chavacano is farther than the classic. When I watched TV Patrol Chavacano news, their Chavacano has been mixed up especially with English and Tagalog. In many parts, the reporters spell abbreviations close to English, and English terminologies appear regularly. I often hear ‘Hinde’ instead of ‘No’, ‘El maga/mana/mga’ than ‘Los’ such as ‘Na encabesamiento del maga noticias’ to ‘En el encabezamiento de las noticias’. ‘Mosque’ than ‘Mezquita’, ‘Maga mujeres’ than ‘Las Mujeres’. One more, there’s no ‘La’ in contemporary Zamboangueno Chavacano, only ‘El’ such as ‘El Policia’, ‘El mujer’, ‘El profesora’, ‘El directora’ etc. Soldao than Soldado, Y and Pati are used interchangeably…yeach, what a wonderful one! On TV, ‘Anak’ or ‘Bata’ are more used than ‘hijo’ and ‘hija’. For Spanish speakers…do you still know the meaning of ‘en denantes’?

If you wanna know about Zamboangueno Chavacano just click the links I given to you.

In general, I want to master my Spanish though at the same time I learn Portuguese, Papiamento and Zamboangueno Chavacano step by step.

Masha danki
Muchas gracias contigo

Terima kasih..



34 Comments Add yours

  1. aysabaw says:

    Mas, apa kabr?

    Hahahaha, we are on the same boat here. I always wanted to learn and master Spanish. Why? Because we have a lot of Tagalog words that is the same as Spanish words so it is easier for me to learn. We also count in Spanish, well much more than we count in Tagalog and I don’t know why we wanted Uno, Dos, Tres rather than Isa, Dalawa Tatlo. My Auntie left a Spanish dictionary at home when I was younger and I was wondering why she have that. Then I realized that some of my relatives are staying in Zamboanga so they can speak Chavacano. Those who speak Chavacano can fully undesrtand Spanish.

    I had a Brazilian colleague here in Dubai and she speaks Portuguese which is similar to Spanish. But then Thank You in Spanish is Gracias, while in Portuguese they say Obrigado (that’s what my friend told me). She said that the language is not so similar though as when she listens to Spanish conversations, she can’t understand if the person speaks so fast.

    Well, as for me I had Intenartional Language class during my college days and it was Nipponggo (Japanese). It’s very difficult because Nipponggo has a very different set of words and letter unlike the alphabet that you and I use that’s why it’s easier for us to learn English and Spanish. And that’s why I only learned Ohayoo Gozaimas, Arigato Gozaimas and Sumimasen.

    Anyways, Me hablar un poquito de espanyol. Gracias Amigo, hasta manyana.

    Teri Makhasi and don’t forget to update me on your Spanish learnings.

    (See, I know a lot of languages hahaha)

  2. Bicolano says:

    Bon dia. Mi ta de Filipinas. Mi sa papia i eskibi tiki di Papiamentu i Chavacano ma mi lingua ta Bicol, un lingua na Filipinas. (papiamentu)

    Buenas dias. Taga-Filipinas yo. Sabe yo conversa y escribi umpoco na Papiamento y Chavacano pero Bicol el dimio lenguaje, un lenguaje na Filipinas. (chavacano)

    Good day. I am from the Philippines. I speak and write little in Papiamento and Chavacano but my language is Bicol, one of the languages in the Philippines.

    Dios marhay na aldaw. Taga-Pilipinas ako. Tatao ako magbisara asin magsurat ki dikit sa Papiamento asin Chavacano pero an lenggwahe ko Bicol, sarò sa mga lenggwahe sa Pilipinas. (bikol)

    I think Indonesia also had Portuguese-Malay creoles but got extinct already. Still surviving is Malacca’s Papia Kristang spoken in Malacca, Singapore, Perth in Australia and other parts of Malaysia.

    Ja teng kreyol kreyol tameng na Indonesia mas olutu ja fikeh extinct agora. Papia Kristang di Malacca ainda teng jenti jenti ku sabi papia akali linggu…na Malacca, Singapura, Perth na Australia ko na utu banda banda de Malaysia…

    1. Marhay-na hapon…Muchas gracias para visitar-me en mi pagina. Mi ta tambe papia poco-poco papiamento y chavacano.

      Sure, Indonesia has also some Portuguese Creoles. The last native speaker died in 1978 in Jakarta. This was the last Creole survived and you can just know it in Moresco Keroncong Song.

      Maraming salamat po 🙂

  3. Bicolano says:

    Ambonese Malay has some Portuguese loanwords such as “ose” from the Portuguese “voce”. Ambonese Malay, according to what I have read, replaced the Malayo-Portuguese creole/pidgin in Ternate, Moluccas. The people of Ternate, Cavite (in the Manila Bay Area, Philippines) believe that their ancestors came from Moluccas. …the migration from Moluccas to Manila Bay is often attributed to the apparent Portuguese words in the Chavacano de Ternate creole, which are not found in other Philippine Spanish-based creole languages.

    1. Yes, you’re right. I have many Moluccan friends. Some from Ambon, and others from Northern Moluccas. Their Malay Creole are quite different. Ternateans itself speak North Moluccas Malay Creole and Ternate- a Papuan language which is native to the island. The Portuguese Creole had already been extinct since Dutch colonization.

      1. Bicolano says:

        I know Tugu…it has some relation to Portuguese.
        The isalnd of Flores also has strong presence of Portuguese from culture, religion to langauge.

      2. Yes, in Flores particularly Larantuka, there’s annual celebration called Tuan Ma, yes like Semana Santa. The prayer is in Archaic Portuguese. But they speak Larantuka Malay called Basa Nagi. They’re originally from Malacca who ran away from Malacca and moved to Larantuka after stayed a while in Makassar.

  4. Bicolano says:

    Wait, how did you know those Bicol greetings? “Marhay na hapon” is Bicol. Google translator only offers Tagalog and Cebuano. Wao, you’re amazing!

    1. I sometimes watch ABS-CBN Local TV Patrol through internet. Yeach…I also watch TV Patrol Bicol. But I am confused as Bicol itself has diverse dialects.

  5. Bicolano says:

    ..and some from Flores also relocated to Timor right? Making a Portuguese creole there called Bidau Portuguese in Dili. Correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks

    1. Yes, Bidau Portuguese is also extinct now. Replaced by Tetum Prasa. Portuguese Creole was used as Lingua Franca in Batavia (Old Jakarta) til the 18th Century, before a form of Malay Creole replaced it gradually and dominant.

  6. Bicolano says:

    Indeed. In Bicol Region, there are between 8 – 13 languages. I speak two: East Miraya and Bicol Central (the region’s lingua franca and a liturgical language of the Archdiocese of Caceres).

    1. Let me guess, on TV Bicol is Central?

  7. Bicolano says:

    Papia Kristang was able to survive. It’s the frist Portuguese creole language in SE Asia, right?

    1. Yes, it’s the only surviving Portuguese Creole here. Spoken in Malacca, Singapore and Pulau Tikus, Malaysia. And another fact, Tugu people still survives their culture through Keroncong music and some rites. They have converted to Protestantism during Dutch colonization and called Mardijkers.

  8. Bicolano says:

    Iyo tabi’, an TV Patrol Bicol pigtatransmitir sa Bikol Central. 🙂

  9. Bicolano says:

    My grandmother is a native speaker of Bikol Sorsogon. It has two to three dialects. She speaks the one closely related to the language of Northern Samar. I can only recognize some words in her speech but I cannot really speak her language. Linguists classify Sorsoganon as a dialect of Waray-waray with many Bicol lexemes… 😀

    1. Ow, that sounds interesting fact anyway! But from all we’re related each other. I watch TV Patrol from one to other channels for comparing. I have a friend from The Philippines, she works here and have already been Indonesians since 28 years ago, she also tells me much about languages. She’s Ilokano anyway.

  10. Bicolano says:

    Yo ta alegru kauze jenti jenti di Malacca ainda ta papia olutu se linggu ati agora…

    I am happy because the people of Malacca still speak their language up to this time…

    1. Yes, but the number is dwindling as many of them move or switch to English/Malay in Malaysia. Do you think the AirAsia owner is also Kristang?

  11. Bicolano says:

    Ilokano and Bahasa both have the schwa. We (speakers of Miraya) have that vowel. Tagalog and Bicol Central don’t have the schwa.

    1. Yup..I can see that. Tagalog speakers has no the sound, but they have deep accent particularly lack of v and f

  12. Bicolano says:

    mmmm… His surname is very Portuguese… I think we have to stalk his bio LOL

  13. Bicolano says:

    Perreira, da Costa, Silva are also common in the Philippines.

    1. Among Tugu People mostly De Silva, Queljoe, Quiko, De Fretes, Parera…that’s the commonest. But you cannot recognize them as their faces have already like Betawian and speak the same Malay Creole.

  14. Bicolano says:

    /f/ and /v/ phonemes are natural among Northern Philippine languages like Ivatan (and may also among some Southern Philippine languages???)

    Central Philippine languages like Tagalog, Bicol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray and Tausug don’t have those phonemes naturally.

    In Bicol the /f/ and /v/ commonly appear among Spanish loanwords esp in liturgical and formal Bicol.

    1. Much alike many Indonesian languages, some languages have no /f/ and /v/ as they tend to pronounce it /p/.

    2. Great discussion! but I have to leave for now. If you want to talk more, please e-mail me over : bambangpriantono_baru@yahoo.co.id

  15. Bicolano says:

    According to Wikipedia…

    Tony Fernades “was born in Kuala Lumpur on 30 April 1964 to an Indian father (originally from Goa) and a mother of Malayali (Kerala) Indian ancestry and mixed Portuguese-Asian descent (Kristang) who had been raised in Malacca, Malaysia.”


    1. At least he has got Kristang blood then 🙂

  16. Bicolano says:

    Yes. Pilipino (Filipino), Pilipinas (Filipinas), prutas (frutas), prito (frito)…
    bapor (vapor), baso (vaso), baka (vaca), balor (valor)

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