How to Say 'Laugh' in Chabacano

In Spanish, the word for laugh is reir. Chabacano also uses this word, but with some alterations. The word is ri (or re). I am not sure if there is anyone who says rei, which is what someone who studies Chabacano and knows Spanish would guess the word for 'laugh' would be in Chabacano.

Some people would say ri que ri, which actually means to laugh a lot or to literally laugh and laugh. Throughout time, people started treating this phrase as one word and eventually came to mean simply, to laugh. Some people pronounce this as rikiri. Others say ta ri (or ta re) and will even treat this as a single word thinking that the word for laughter in Chabacano is ta ri or ta re. In reality, ta is a present tense marker and therefore this should be treated as two words, ta + ri, or ta + re.

According to a friend, the construction verb + que + verb (meaning to do something again and again or to do something a lot) also occurs in Spanish but not as much as in Chabacano. One will hear Chabacano speakers say come que come (to eat a lot) or dormi que dormi (to sleep a lot)

Camins' Chabacano dictionary spells this word as ri and rei, while Santos' only has the word ri.

Here are some sentences using the Chabacano ri.

Chabacano: Por que tu ta ri?
English: Why are you laughing?

Chabacano: No tu ri, kay puede tambien aquel pasa contigo.
English: Don't laugh because that might happen to you also.

As a noun, the Chabacano word for laugh (or laughter) is risas. This is an always-plural word which comes from the Spanish risa.

A very interesting expression in Chabacano that is connected to this word is mori de risas. This simply means to laugh out loud or literally, to die of laughter. Interestingly, in French, the translation of LOL (laugh out loud) is MDR (mort de rire) which means to be dying of laughter.

4 comments:

  1. It looks like a thing from the Portuguese. In Portuguese we say: "Mas você riu que riu, ein?" (You laughed a lot, eh?). "Ri que ri" is also used and the pronunciation mentioned by you is the same used in Portuguese. So I would assume that this is another "portuguesismo" acquired by the Chabacano language.

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    Replies
    1. ¡Hola, Conrado!

      No wonder because the Chavacano language had been influenced by Portuguese language during at the height of its creolization and development. Particularly, the Bahra Dialect of Chavacano which started to be as a Portuguese Creole but later when these Ternateños of Ternate, Molucas migrated along with the Portuguese Conquistadores to Bahra de Maragondon, Las Islas Filipinas (now, Municipality of Maragondon and Municipality of Ternate), the Ternateño Language of Molucas was reborn into a new language as "Bahra" and already a Spanish-based creole language.

      Although, native Bahra Speakers and Linguist will always insist that their language is called "Bahra" and NOT Ternateño or Chavacano de Ternate BUT "Bahra". :-) although, those who are not aware of their history and literature will insist to name it as Ternateño like i was before but upon learning the truth from a Bahra speaker, so I started to call it Bahra, one of the 6 dialects of the Chavacano language.

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    2. You can call me Pedro, amigo. =)

      Well, I just said that because I felt this inside me. I mean, it was just an impression. The fact is: the Portuguese also had its influence in the Philippines, but for obvious reasons this is not recognized. Fortunately there have few people that looks at it and not only to the common told history.

      Thanks for your answer and also for the explanations, I learned another one (and for a guy who loves to read and learn about the Portuguese influence and history around the world it's a big lesson this explanation and another matter of pride for me).

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  2. Tiene pa otro Jerome, estos expresiones na Zamboangueño, el seguiente:

    Tan utoy utoy gat de risas.
    Or
    Ta man utoy utoy gayot de risas.
    Or
    No gat man utoy utoy de risas allí.

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