language barriers

Transcript of an interesting phone SMS exchange I had yesterday. Sent a message to a friend I haven’t touched base with for a while:

Me: Oist, nag-birthday ka nga pala last week, di ka man lang nagpakain
Reply: Gud pm po, may I know hu u r?
Me: Potaaa, binura mo na number ko? Sige maglimutan na tayo!
Reply: Sorry po tlg bk nasa1 cp ko kc nagplit me ng cp eh nacra kc cp me n 1. Hu u please

I swear I am not making this up. I’m copying down the message exactly as I received it. At this point I should have known something was not right. My friend has a lot of faults, but at least he doesn’t compose text messages that way.

Me: Fine, fine, si Rina to. Wag ka na mag-po matanda ka pa sakin
Reply: Rina? Kilala ba u me?

Okay, I knew something was up.

Me: Teka, si Darwin ba ‘to?

With this, my ‘friend’ suddenly took on yet another entirely different personality

Reply: Nextym nga kilalanin u muna tnitx u b4 u say badwords ha! Wg u me minumura dhl ni 1 butil ng knin d u me pnkain bk gs2 u ipakilala ko sau ang potaaa na cnsbi u

Gee whiz, what happened to all the “po” and “please”?

Me: Gosh, I’m sorry. Saka hindi mura yon, that’s just an expression. Ito kasing ginagamit nyang number before e. Kilala mo ba sya?
No reply. It’s just as well, I guess.

See, what probably happened was that my friend’s phone got stolen and the thief was the one using it (or else the hapless person who bought it from the thief). What was bugging me was, langya, nakaw na phone na nga ginagamit mo ikaw pa matapang?

And I don’t understand why the person would get all pissed at a simple case of mistaken identity. And why he/she should be so dense as to take the ‘potaaa’ thing personally. And why, for crying out loud, did he/she have to pepper sentences with those pesky “me” and “u” inanities. If we’re going to rail at some stranger, can’t we at least use proper pronouns? Stuff like that, and these, really tick me off. Or send me into uncontrollable laughing fits. Whichever works.


3 thoughts on “language barriers

  1. j.gabriel June 3, 2006 at 9:29 pm Reply

    Damn, I guess it really has been a minute since I exchange text messages with someone who texts with that confusing, garbled code. Kids in the states say they “text”, but really that means they text very slowly, and usually only three or four messages per week. I forget that in the Philippines, texting is serious business, that people text like fiends, faster than I could press the code for 99 lives in Contra (KuyaD knows this).

    I also apparently forgot how cell phone stealings, as well as pickpocketing and other forms of robbery, are truly commonplace in the Philippines. It reminded me of your previous post in which your cell was stolen (‘huwaaaag’). *sigh* Talagang bad trip. It’s like I always have to be looking over my shoulder pag nan diyan. Sad state of affairs.

    Anyway, I think I understood most of that shortcut tagalog text jargon…kc must be kasi…wg is huwag…cnsbi, sinasabi…except ano ba ang mga ito: “nasa1” “nacra” “ni 1”???


  2. wolverina June 5, 2006 at 1:27 am Reply

    yes, the philippines is the text capital of the world (they’ve done studies to prove it too), and people are unable to leave the house without cellphone in tow. as for the thieves, well, just make sure everything’s well hidden. at sabi nga nila, “huwag kang tatanga-tanga” i’m sure you understand the tagalog 🙂

    ok, on the text lingo: “nasa1 cp ko” means “nasa isang cellphone ko”, “nacra” means “nasira”, and “ni 1” is “ni isang butil ng kanin” i’ve been texting for years, but the lingo and spelling still drives me crazy!


  3. noreen June 6, 2006 at 9:22 am Reply

    potah, parang kelan lang nung nag check ako dito at walang bagong entry, ngayon, dami na.

    di ko po u minumura ha, expression me lang iyong potah. ü

    napag-uusapan na rin lang ang txt messages, kapag sinabi bang “call lang me later” ano ibig sabihin nun? ako tatawag sa iyo or ikaw tatawag sa akin? sino ba kasi nagpauso niyang “me” na iyan.


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