Recommendations for the Next Chabacano Dictionary

To date, I have encountered two dictionaries of  Chabacano de Zamboanga. One is by Bernardino S. Camins and the other (most recent) is by Rolando Arquiza Santos. I know of a third one which was authored by Father Chambers (although, I’m not sure of this information) and a fourth one by Felino M Santos. One common feature of these three dictionaries is that they were all written by old men.

These dictionaries contain some archaic words. I think that these words need to be labeled 'ARCHAIC' or 'OBSOLETE' in the next Chabacano dictionary. Of course we don’t want these words to be lost so it is a good thing that they are incorporated in these dictionaries. Some of these obsolete or archaic words are Spanish or even old Spanish in origin and are only used by people who have or had relatives educated in Spanish or who are themselves educated in Spanish.

Some words are used in certain locales only. An example is words used by people who live in rural villages or in the mountains like the word garan (which means a big gun), agua-olor (perfume) and platilla (which is a piece of wood). These are words not mentioned in the two dictionaries above though. This is most probably because they are only used by a certain group of people or by a certain group of people belonging to a particular area. My recommendation is to label these words as 'REGIONAL' in the next Chabacano dictionary

Some words are only used in formal occasions (speeches and TV and radio programs) or in written Chabacano. The next Chabacano dictionary should label these words as either 'FORMAL' or 'LITERARY'. Finally, we have words that are 'COLLOQUIAL' and 'VULGAR' which should also be labeled as such.

My other recommendation is to indicate what the originating language of a certain word is (e.g. Spanish, Tausug, Bisaya, Ilonggo, English, Tagalog etc). This is merely for educational purposes. Doing this will be a bit hard though and would require extensive research.

It would also be helpful (especially to young learners of Chabacano) to include synonyms and antonyms as well as sample sentences in every dictionary entry.

Here are some samples:

Feo adjective archaic
(from Spanish feo)
-ugly, not attractive, offensive to look at => Bien feo el perro


Bonita, Guapo

Lava verb 
(from Spanish lavar)
-to apply water and soap to one's body, body parts, clothing articles, and kitchen utensils in order to remove dirt => ta lava yo mi mano


Vola verb 
(from Spanish volar)
-to travel through air=> sabe vola el mga pajaro


Mea verb 
(from Spanish mear)
-to urinate

Miya, Mia

It is no secret that a language evolves and we need to have a dictionary that reflects these changes. As you may have noticed, I spelled the words above etymologically (for educational purposes). However, to reflect real life situation, I placed the different ways that the word could be spelled in the variations part.

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