Monday, July 31, 2006

Blame it on Batibot!

Not exactly "Tech Talk" but this post involves a minor controversy that's brewing on my favorite user forum PhilMUG -- The Philippine Macintosh Users Group.

The minor controversy involves a post that is entitled On Grammar and Spelling Errors in Postings.  A user  laments the number of grammatical/spelling gymnastics some members perform in participating with the forum.  A casual visit to the site will show that there are indeed some horrible grammar and spelling in some posts.  Does this really matter in a technical forum for Filipino Mac users?

A member even asks why does Filipinos have to communicate in English in the Philippine Macintosh Users Group.  I say that as a technical forum, English is the most precise way of getting a lot of point home.  For instance, how would one ask about a crashing hard drive?  Would one write "Tulong, bumabangga ang aking tigas-maneho!" if one has a crashing hard-drive and requires help?


I personally blame Batibot for this epidemic of poor English reader/writers in the Philippines.  I also blame the local TV stations who dub English programs into the vernacular simply because it would make things "easier to understand" and promotes so-called nationalism.  I grew up watching Sesame Street, Electric Company, Looney Tunes, Popeye and English dubbed anime (such as Voltes V, Mazinger Z, etc.).  Despite of that, I still feel nationalistic and I still speak Filipino fluently.  I also blame the shift to Filipino as the medium of instruction in schools.  When students graduate, the lingua franca of the local business world is still English, how can these students compete with graduates of schools that still uses English as their medium of instruction?

Excuse me as I clean the "taladutdutan" (keyboard) and "daga" (mouse) of my computer...


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7 comments:

antifaust said...

I disagree. It's not the responsibility of television companies to educate kids. I'd blame the educational system. It's definitely "broken". The use of Filipino for newscasts, educational programs and cartoons has nothing to do with our language problems.

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jon said...

I think it's not right to blame television (or its use of Filipino as a medium) in the deterioration of the use of the English language. It's just the manifestation of the current social situation. The best teachers (especially English teachers) are out of the country trying to make a living while the ones left here face the daunting task of educating kids in overcrowded classrooms and inadequate textbooks. Brain drain happens to many countries with our situation. It's very sad but true.

cyberpunk said...

Media, esp TV, is a big influence to kids. I agree that networks went overboard in dubbing everything. But only in the past few years. Older shows/cartoons were in English but we had no problem understanding them. I don't blame Batibot for anything. It made learning fun. Other locally-made kiddie shows failed to do that and were thus, no wonder, short-lived and forgettable.

Nostalgia Manila said...

Since you're one of many Voltes V fans, I thought you'd like to see this RARE VIDEO CLIP of an original Voltes V TV Advert, which was aired back in the '70s & '80s. Enjoy! (nostalgiamanila.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

That's silly. I loved Batibot. Did learning Filipino hurt my English proficiency? Of course not.

boytoy said...

I beg to disagree... I used to love watching Batibot when I was a kid. It taught us, someway or another to learn how to read in write in filipino, how the heck will we understand english back then if even our parents dont know how to teach us in english. Poor english proficiency can be blamed on our educational system, it has nothing to do with educational programs and cartoons.