Do Filipino Politicians Need to Speak English most of the time?

Philippines
October 12, 2009 11:48pm CST
I see most of our politicians in the PH speak English in public interviews, whether in the senate, in congress and in press meetings. I just don't know why Filipino politicians don't often use their own language when communicating through the media. Is there something wrong with the Filipino language? Is it a way to show how good they are?
3 people like this
16 responses
@Fulltank (2894)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
Probably its because of our colonial mentality. That all things associated to western culture are far better than our own. Even in terms of speaking, we taught that by speaking in English makes us more intelligent than the average Filipino guy. I have proven this many, many times already. When I have some discussions with other people whom I do not know like on malls or on the phone, speaking English fluently (with all the accent and others) will have some affect on the person whom I'm speaking to. Some exception also are those kabayans you lived in the Southern part of the country wherein they hardly speak Filipino without twisting their tongue. Some may say, I cannot speak in Filipino fluently coz "Visaya man gyud".
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
hehe bisaya man gyud. I think not all people should be judged as intelligent if they can speak fluent English. There are also intelligent people in other countries like in Japan who are also leading in technology but does not give too much importance with English. For me, speaking English fluently is not enough to be patronized when it comes to presenting their products, their services, their integrity or whatever impression they wanted to make. English cannot solve critical problems and is only applicable if you want to be a call center agent.
• Philippines
22 Feb 11
i agree with you stevelvis. if english alone can make a country good then why is it india and philippines are still poor despite being the best english speaking countries in asia and are the main destinations for call centers and BPO industries. on the other hand, japan, south korea and china cannot even speak basic english properly and yet they are even richer than some countries in europe. besides why do they have to be speak english to fellow kababayans? personally i hate people like that, trying so hard to speak english just to sound "classy and intelligent". i would appreciate them more if these people will speak in tagalog. sometimes i could even hear some speak in their broken english, its as if they're trying to impress people. stupid! i'm a professional & working as a marketing supervisor in a restaurant chain here in manila but i admit im not good in english, i only know the basics but i don't care (and why do i have to anyway?)because it is only my 3rd language and only learning it for economic reasons but most of the time i only speak in tagalog or spanish (i'm fil-spanish)..
@paoxav (1382)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
It's our 2nd language. I can't see anything wrong here. We/They paid our Alma Maters just for us to learn the language, why don't we apply what we learn from our respective schools? That's the logic out there..
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
Yes there's nothing wrong for using what we learn but not to all circumstances when we need to address the message to the masses. It has become a norm for people to express their knowledge.
• Philippines
22 Feb 11
yes english is ONLY YOUR 2ND LANGUAGE (3RD IN MY CASE) so it is NOT OK to speak it unless you are surrounded with foreigners who don't know any tagalog and only speak english but otherwise it is really a shame not to use our own language. besides majority of the masses who happens to make up 70% of the filipino population don't even understand full english (myself included and i'm not even among the 70% majority) so what you're saying is true.. if you work as call center agents or talk to foreigners but otherwise its stupid
@earth2jacq (1503)
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
Since we have been colonized by different countries, it has an effect on our culture that English speaking men or women are perceived intelligent and has high stature. For myself I think that politicians should speak in their own language, firstly it shows that they appreciate their own language, next is that in speaking simply in Filipino the words they utter may be understood better by the people. I hope these politicians realize that English alone will not improve the country. Take for example Japan, their leaders speak in their native language and yet they are a successful country. I hope Filipino policitians will realize that language alone will not advance a country.
• Philippines
22 Feb 11
and on the contrary look at india, jamaica and some african countries, they also speak good english and yet these countries still plagued with poverty. india despite being the most populous english-speaking country in the world and one of the main destinations for call center & BPO industries (just ahead of us) still cannot solve poverty issues and majority of its people are living below the poverty level. language alone cannot bring food to the table.
@rdsantos (320)
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
glad you ask. their just damn eager to speak in english even if the people hardly understands them, why other country speaks on their own language and don't even care if they don't know what english is. it will be more appropriate if they will just speak in our native language so other people would understand whatever they were saying. its just so sad that we choose others rather than our own.
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
Maybe that's why most of the poor are taken advantage by the rich because they don't know too much of the law when spoken and written in English.
@rsa101 (27689)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
Yeah I noticed that too. I think we can say that we have not gotten ridden of our colonial mentality on using English as a means to show how good we are. But I can see in other politicians that they are starting to adopt to speak in Filipino as a medium to convey their thoughts. I think in that manner more will be able to understand him.
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
Politicians who use both English and Tagalog wisely are for the people. You can name many top government officials who speak English most of the time.
@mimiang (3769)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
If perhaps the occasion mandates to speak in English, they do so.They speak Filipino if they are in a group of people.Loren Legarda uses the language wisely
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
For formality sake, we are taught to answer in English when the question is in English. Some media and press people does the initiative.
@agv0419 (3027)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
I don't why they want to speak more English than Filipino even if we are in not in the US. I hate also when there's a SONA the president speech always in English that's why the masses can't understand what she is talking about. I think they want to impressed the public that they are good in English. I admire Sen. Chiz Escudero because most of the time he always speak in Filipino. I think they should communicate in our own language so that the masses understand what they are saying.
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
I admire some politicians who use plain Filipino language. It shows that they want to address their message to the whole Filipino especially to the poor.
@sandymay16 (1617)
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
The Philippine Laws are in English so the Politicians will speak english in the senate or congress or in the council sessions. But during interviews some politicians are good in speaking English but some don't. I'd rather hear politicians speak Filipino or in any dialect to let the message be heard and be understand to the masses than speaking in broken English , taglish, wrong grammar, wrong pronounciation, wrong emphasis of the syllables which make them look like trying hards. And I think some politicians will speak or answer in English or otherwise if the person asking is the one speaking in english or the dialect first.
• Philippines
13 Oct 09
How come that even the Philippine laws should be written in English? I don't think that if politicians would answer a question addressed in English (esp by a Filipino interviewer), is informal. The desire to be understood by the masses is what matters most.
• Philippines
4 Mar 11
Let's face it. English is the universal language and I think that our politicians speak English because they want the whole world to understand what's happening in this developing country. I don't see anything wrong with our politicians speaking English during public interviews but I just wish they would find time to express themselves in our native tongue. After all, it's our identity and it's what makes us different from the rest of the world.
@mareca11 (212)
• Philippines
3 Nov 09
I feel that this is because these politicians are trained to speak in English. These people are the ones who went to schools that studied English and how to speak in it and maybe they speak in English because it's the language that makes you look smarter. I mean c'mon, if someone speaks English, won't they look smart and if the person whom the speaker speaks with doesn't understand English that much, the speaker would really look smart. I think the English language as a medium of communication is more effective than Filipino in terms of convincing powers. I think here in the Philippines, just like I've said earlier, people will think that you are smart if you know English-- and maybe that's what the politicians want us to believe. The problem is that not all Filipinos know how to speak in English so stevelvis has a point.
@posham (1237)
• Philippines
23 Oct 09
Not really... but let me ask you this, which Filipino language will they be using?
@ybong007 (6656)
• Philippines
23 Oct 09
It can't be denied, you're cool when you can speak fluent English. I think this is not limited to our politicians, just look around you, TV, radio, work, etc. etc. everywhere you go there are "kunyos" around and a lot listen to them in amazement. I guess that's "colonial mentality" working in its full grace. Personally I don't take against anybody who can speak English better in fact the more languages you know the more "cool" you'll be just don't forget that no matter what language you'll speak you remain a Filipino by heart. Cheers!
@junmae (1591)
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
Yes, you're right most of the politicians who are speaking in front of the camera or even in conference speaks clearly english.
@iceydon (342)
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
I think they have the notion that if they speak English they will look honorable. Even up to the point that they look stupid trying to speak the foreign language.Unfortunately the good they speak English the poor their performances are in their districts. They are just talk no work. They don't have to speak english in conveying things for their selves and constituents. We Filipinos are just fond of everything with american flavor. Same with our politicians they emulate everything that uncle Sam have.
@eichs1 (1934)
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
In their sessions, our law makers are using English. ...Because every law is written in English. ...Our laws are written in English because we copied everything from the US system of law making. I do think we can start making the laws in Filipino but we are still polishing our national language and it will take years of translation and orientation sessions before we can finally have a Filipino law and Filipino speaking senate and congress. (But I really wish they will start this process as soon as possible.) But some of our lawmakers are very good in using our national language. Legarda, Escudero to name a few. Even Miriam Defensor-Santiago uses the language with her Ilonggo accent and it is still good to hear. Of course, Lito Lapid had admitted that he can only speak Filipino and Kapampangan and it's really a waste having him in the senate.
@saluyot (63)
• Philippines
14 Oct 09
because they think that if they use english (even if it's carabao english or full of grammatic errors), they feel they're intelligent and superior to those who use their own languages.