Origins of the Chabacano Contra and Contralio

The word contra has lots of meanings in the Chabacano de Zamboanga. One of its many uses is comparison. When comparing two things/ persons, we use the word contra for the English word than. Here is an example:

English: My mother is taller than my sister
Chabacano: Mas alta mi mama contra mi hermana

As we can see in the above sentence, the English than becomes contra in Chabacano when making comparisons. Here is another example:

Chabacano: Mas rico el familia de John contra na familia de mio
English: John's family is richer than mine

The word contra in the first example sentence can also be substituted with the word con while contra na in the second example sentence can be substituted with the words con el.This usage of the Chabacano though is modern because que is used in the traditional Chabacano (just like in Spanish).

The Chabacano contra can also mean rather or rather than. Here is an example:

Chabacano: Rather than going today, you should go tomorrow
English: Contra este dia tu anda, debe tu anda manana

Chabacano: I would rather die than marry you
English: Mori ya lang yo contra casa con vos

Now that was a bit dramatic, don't you think?

Another meaning of the word contra is 'enemy'. Here is an example:

Chabacano: Contra ba ese de aton?
English: Is (that guy) an enemy of ours?

Chabacano: Por que ba bien mucho el tuyo mga contra?
English: Why do you have a lot of enemies?

As you may have guessed, this usage comes from the fact that contra means 'against'.

Another word for an enemy in Chabacano is contralio. This comes from the Spanish contrario. The word enemigo is not used very much in the Chabacano de Zamboanga. Here are some examples:

Chabacano: Contralio del gobierno de Marcos si Benigno Aquino
English: Benigno Aquino is an enemy of the Marcos government

1 comment:

  1. ¡Hola, Jerome!
    ¿Qué tal?

    Este mi opinión que quiere yo compartí aqui acerca el uso del "contra con" y "contralio".

    Este base lang tambien si quilaya yo ta conversa desde chiquito pa yo.

    Jendeh yo ta usa con ese "contra con" si quiere significá como "than/more than/taller than/snaller than, et.al." sino este yo ta usa "que con".
    Ejemplo:
    Su mano mas grande que con su pie.
    Si Juan el peor hombre de todo que con Pedro.


    Jendeh tambien yo ta usa "contralio" sino "contrario".

    Mientras el palabra "contra con/contra na" solamente ta usa lang yo se si quiere yo expresa disgusto o tal persona disgusto con otros personas.

    Ejemplo:
    Ese Abogado que desde antes y hasta ahora ta esta ya contra con mana corrupto políticos na de atón Gobierno por eso ese el un razon si por que su trato canila como su mana contraríos

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