Origins of the Chabacano Avisa

The Chabacano avisa is a very funny case of miscommunication. In Spanish, the word avisar means to inform or to notify. However, since Chabacano was never a written language and as most historians say, it was a parroted language, the meaning of the Spanish avisar gets changed in the Chabacano language.

The Chabacano avisa means to tell on someone or to squeal. It is pronounced as abisa. However, we will be using the Spanish spelling: avisa in this article. Here are some examples on how this word is used in Chabacano.

Chabacano: Avisa yo con mommy kay late ya tu ya volve ayer.

English: I’ll tell mom that you went home late last night.

Chabacano: Ya avisa conmigo tu amigo na tiene tu otro mujer.

English: Your friend told me that you’re cheating on me. (Literally: your friend told me that you have another woman)

Chabacano: Ta avisa ba aquel ele?

English: Is that person a squealer?

Chabacano: Tiene quien ya avisa conmigo na tu el ya ruba con el cen.

English: Somebody told me that it was you who stole the money.

The word kay in the first sentence actually means because but informally, it can be used to mean ‘that’.

In the book: Chavacano de Zamboanga , Compendio y Diccionario by Rolando Arquiza Santos, he defines this word as to inform or to give notice. However, I have yet to encounter an individual who uses this word the way it was defined in the book. Personally, I would use the word habla or informa (if it’s very formal) when I mean to inform or give notice. It is probable that the word used to carry its original Spanish meaning and only got corrupted or misinterpreted as the years went by.

In a book about the Chavacano de Ternate by De Ocampo, the word is listed as bisa and is also defined as to tell or to inform.

No comments:

Post a Comment