Discussion in 'Expat Section' started by Crane op, Dec 22, 2020.
Normally Bisayans say "O" or "Cge" for yes..
Po means sir/ma'am. Opo would be "yes sir/ma'am". Said to people much older than the speaker.
Ate/kuya ( I believe that is Filipino for sister/brother) is commonly used as a respectful term for people the speaker feels is just a bit older than them. I don't know the bisaya equivalent for this but I occasionally hear it here, especially the ate thing, not so much the kuya.
I hear a lot of people saying "die" to females and "dong" to males here but I think that is even less formal/polite as I believe this only means girl/boy.
I never fully understood when and who I should use these terms with and where I fit in to it. The po thing is quite obvious with the elderly, I give them that respect (no matter the social context with Filipinos...however, I have never been in a situation where I felt it appropriate to address an elderly expat as sir/ma'am) and most younger children give me a "po". However, I rarely use the term after the initial greeting and nobody seems to have a problem with it...and I tell kids it isn't necessary and to relax if they continue to use it throughout a conversation.
I feel that the ate/kuya thing could be risky to use. What if the person I called that was actually younger than me but just looked really rough for their age. Would they consider that rude?
What about Filipinos in position of authority? Say I'm at a work event for my gf: my gf has a supervisor she calls po, but the supervisor, being younger than me, calls me kuya? What level of respect do I give the supervisor? What if the owner of the business was there and is much older than me?
This is why I don't like to let anyone know what I understand and don't understand about Filipino languages and culture. I know just enough to get myself in trouble/hurt some feelings. If they think I'm completely ignorant of these things I can use that as an excuse when I inevitably offend someone.
If you try to get the attention or speak to a girl younger than or same age as you and whose name you do not know (e.g. in a market stall), you call her Day. If the person is a boy, younger than or same age as you, you call him Dong. Among friends, their use indicates sisterly or brotherly affection. If they are older than you, you call the woman Manang (or Nang for short) which is an address for an older sister and the man, Manong or Manoy (Nong or Noy for short) which is an address for an older brother. You may have to be careful in their use as some people may not be pleased being addressed as older than you; even respectfully.
A really complicated situation. I just don't use any form of address to anyone and that avoids getting it wrong. In fact, I never even used any form of address for my parents-in-law (2 sets now) as I don't like using terms such as mum, mother etc for a non-biological relation. I got through about 40 years with my first mother-in-law without addressing her in any way - just "Would you like a cup of tea?" etc. My asawa has been referred to in the UK as ate by an older Filipina but says it did not bother her (oh yeah!). Here she uses Ate/Kuya a lot and says it does not matter if the person is younger or older - but in her family there are various forms of address, including (for females) manang, ate, inci, inca (pronounced as inka) and then use terms kuya, inco for their husbands (inco for husbands of BOTH inci and inca!). After going around in circles with my asawa on the confusion of all of this she said (a tad irritably) "Well, it's just foreigner gets confused on this". Now I know where they get their love of complex and puzzling bureaucracy.
It really makes you wonder what is so difficult about he/she and him/her. lol
I may be wrong but as a foreigner, intuitively i simply avoid all of these expressions as they seem to be reserved to people native to the area. Maybe not. I even try to use real names rather than nicknames, for example “Anna”, not “ging ging” when addressing people, almost as if I don’t have the right, not knowing how the nickname came to be in the first place.
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My understanding as I try to learn from my wife....
Po is a term that is generally used in tagalog, as stated is a term of respect to persons that you intend to respect. It is not commonly used when speaking Visayan.
Ate and kuya are generally the same and used for brother/sister. Kuya is the tagalog version, ate is the visayan version. Age doesn't matter, my wife calls her younger brother ate all the time.
Die and dong are short for endi and dodong, my wife uses these when speaking to her nieces and nephews. But she also uses this playfully with our dog, so I believe they are general terms of affection for those close to you, endi for females and dodong for males.
The main word I really use is Amigo. In Australia its mate.
Works for me because I'm useless at remembering names.
I must have about 100 Filipino male friends from the cycling community, I think I remember less than 10 of them by name.
Agree with most except Kuya which is only a term for a male, specifically a brother but often used as an endearing term amongst friends;
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Often I feel I am blindfolded and trying to navigate a complex road junction when I follow a story of he and she!