I have started teaching English at a Korean school here in the Philippines. I started last Monday, hence the reduction of posts on The Expat but being a native speaker it is quite lucrative. OK by Filipino standards, very lucrative.
There are a lot of schools here teaching English to Koreans of varying ages. Learning English is a very big deal for the Koreans and as the Philippines is considered an English speaking country a lot come here to learn. It is just so much cheaper and easier than going to the States.
Working closely with my mother tongue has high lighted the differences in pronunciation that one must adopt when speaking Tagalog. It would seem that 2 letter syllables are all the go, whenever possible.
Take for example the Tagalog word for thank you, ‘salamat’. For an English speaker it would be pronounced sal-a-mat, wrong. In Tagalog it is pronounced sa-la-mat with the emphasis on the second syllable. Likewise with the tagalong for ‘how are you”, Kumusta. The Aussie pronunciation would be Ku-must-a, wrong again, in Tagalog it is Ku-mus-ta, with again the emphasis on the second syllable which is pronounced like puss in English rather than pus.
Say the word the wrong way and for the majority of Filipinos it is unrecognizable. When I pronounce my surname, Bateman, in the English way of Bate-man, I get a lot of blank looks and rustling of papers. Pronounce it as Ba-te-man and I am found amongst the hundreds of others with ease. Not that I mind this pronunciation of my name, sorta sounds like a super hero, faster than a speeding snail, able to leap double Leggo blocks in a single bound, etc etc.
Although learning the pronunciation linguistics of Tagalog does make my head hurt. Now if I could make use of my super powers and find a nice brick wall to smash down with my forehead…………