Origins of the Chabacano Ansina, En denantes, and Masquin

When I read an article wherein Gemma Cruz-Araneta (former tourism secretary) was saying that she would hear Mexican Indians use the word 'ansina', I automatically thought that ansina is a Nahuatl word. Nahuatl is a language spoken by the Aztecs and rumor has it that there are a number of Chabacano words with Nahuatl origin. Immediately, I set out to research the word ansina.

To my surprise though, it turned out that ansina is not a Nahuatl word but it is actually Spanish, old Spanish that is. Well, considering that Spanish reached the shores of Zamboanga in the early 1600s, it is actually no surprise that Chabacano is peppered with old Spanish words.

There are two varieties of this word, the other being ansí though it is not used in Chabacano. According to the Diccionario de la Lengua Española de la Real Academia Española (DRAE), besides in old Spanish documents, this word is still used in parts of rural Spain like Aragón and some states in the United States that border Mexico like Colorado and New Mexico. Here are some examples on how it is used in Spanish (still according to DRAE) with their English translation:

Yo soy así/ ansina
That’s the way I am

Así/ ansina es como lo arrestaron
That’s how/ This is how they arrested him

Lo hizo así/ ansina:
He did it like that/ this

Esto no puede seguir así/ ansina
Things can’t go on this way/ like this

Así/ ansina ocurrió el accidente
That’s how/ This is how the accident happened

Así/ ansina están las cosas
That’s the way things are

Un hombre así/ ansina
A man lke that/ this

Now here are some examples on how this word is used in Chabacano along with their rough English counterpart:

Ansina ya gayot el vida
That's how life is

Ansina yo de rabiao/quiere contigo
That's how angry/ in love I am with you

Ansina ba yo contigo ya enseña?
Is that how I taught you?

No hay (nuay) cosa pasa na mga gente ansina
Nothing will happen to people like that (people like that won't be successful)

Ansina ba or Ansina?
Is that so?

Ansina mio novio
My boyfriend is like that

As you may have noticed, ansina/ansí translates to like this/that in English.

Ansina in Spanish is used to describe how a person or an event/action is. The usage is Chabacano is the same. Ansina/ansí is written as así in modern Spanish.

Other old Spanish words that got incorporated into the Chabacano language are en denantes (it's actually a phrase) and mas que (pronounced in Chabacano as masquin or misquin). The archaic phrase en denantes and mas que has now been replaced by hace un tiempo (a while ago) and aunque (although).

I have no idea whether there are other parts of the world wherein these two words are still used. However, I did try using en denantes while I was chatting online with a Mexican and he did understand me because of the word antes in en denantes. To some Chabacano speakers reading this, en denantes might be unintelligible because most Chabacano speakers pronounce this word as enantes eliminating the de in between or hardly pronouncing it. Some know this word as enante, denante or denantes.

Here now are some examples wherein en denantes and masquin is used (with a rough English translation):

Ya limpia yo conel casa en denantes
I cleaned the house a while ago

En denantes pa tu taqui?
Have you been here a while already?

Masquin anda pa tu alla, no hay mas tu cosa puede hace
Even if you go there, there is nothing that you can do

Caliente man yo ta senti masquin Diciembre ya...
Why do I feel hot even though it's already December…

In Tagalog, masquin is said as masqui (with a stress at the end).

1 comment:

  1. Na otro explicación, el Endenantes o Denantes o En Denantes, na modern spanish is expressed as 'un poco antes de hoy'.

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