Ay Ambot, Hindi ko ka Inchindi: The Language Barrier Between Bisaya and Hiligaynon
Have you ever experienced getting confused between Hiligaynon and Bisaya words? Now that Xilium has sites with both (dominantly) Bisaya and Hiligaynon speakers, language barriers can be common. Earlier this month, as part of the Buwan ng mga Wika campaign, some members of Xilium Cebu were challenged to read a few Hiligaynon sentences and guess what they meant. Upon watching the video, it was clear that they had… quite a challenge.
Even though Bisaya and Hiligaynon have similar words with similar meanings, there are still some differences that could cause confusion, and maybe even conflict in conversations. Here are a few words that are sometimes misunderstood in both languages, making meanings a bit confusing, and sometimes funny.
In Hiligaynon, it means “Lost”.
In Bisaya, it means “Play”.
When a Hiligaynon speaker says “Nadula cellphone ko!”, amid all the stress of losing such a precious device, a Bisaya would think that they’re playing and having fun with their cell phone.
In Hiligaynon, it means “Later”.
In Bisaya, it means “Now”.
When a Hiligaynon speaker says “Ari ang link, may meeting kita karon ha,” a Bisaya would probably go in the link all alone, thinking the meeting would be done right at that very instance.
In Hiligaynon, it means “Dizzy”.
In Bisaya, it means “Round”.
When a Hiligaynon speaker says “Ga lingin ulo ko ah,”a Bisaya would probably be confused, wondering if a human being’s head could come in different shapes and sizes. What else could a human head be shaped as? A square?
In Hiligaynon, it means “Hear”.
In Bisaya, it means “Ugly”.
When a Hiligaynon speaker asks “Ka bati ka sa akon?” a Bisaya would probably wonder why you’re insulting yourself, and depending on who you are, they’d probably agree.
Of course it’s not all miscommunication and confusion. There are also a lot of words where both Bisaya and Hiligaynon speakers can find middle ground. Here are a couple:
Meaning “drunk” in both Bisaya and Hiligaynon, and probably a word that all of you know. Most of you look forward to it especially during the weekend. But some, if not most of you have the best and even the worst memories with it.
Ex. “Gusto mo lang ko kun hubog ka.” Trans.: You only want me when you’re drunk.
Meaning “how much” or a word used to quantify both in Bisaya and Hiligaynon.
Ex. “Tag pila ni?” Tans.: How much is this?
Despite the differences and possible confusion, our similarities provide a good bridge to foster understanding. We can’t force ourselves to understand every word, but it could also be a way for us to get a glimpse and better appreciation of another culture other than our own.