How to say About in Chabacano

I am guilty of always using English whenever I'm saying the word 'about' in Chabacano. I think that a lot of young Chabacano speakers out there would use the English word about and not its Chabacano equivalent. It's not that we don't know the Chabacano word for 'about'. Almost everyone who has had exposure to Chabacano news, either on TV or on radio will know that the Chabacano word for 'about' is sobre and acerca. But if you're like me, you probably find the Chabacano equivalent so formal that you don't feel comfortable using it.

In fact it's fairly common to hear young people in schools say: about cosa el exam manana (what is the exam tomorrow going to be about), or ya mira kame cine ayer about mga dinosaur (we watched a movie yesterday about dinosaurs).

A friend of mine shared the book that is being used in schools to teach Chabacano and I was amused that they translated 'about me' as 'porcausa conmigo'. This was actually a title on a page which contained information about the author. My friend told me how it was incorrect Chabacano and I found myself agreeing with him but when I asked another friend, she told me that some people do translate the word 'about' into 'porcausa'. When I thought hard about it. I find myself remembering that there are indeed people who say 'yan cuento kame porcausa contigo ayer' (we talked about you yesterday).

Though if you ask me, using the word porcausa doesn't work all the time. For example, if you'll say : porcausa na mga pato ese libro (that book is about ducks), it would sound wrong to my ears.

So what do you do when you don't feel like sounding too formal when speaking Chabacano and don't want to mix English words in your speech? In some instances, you could probably get away with using the word 'na'. For example: ya escribi yo articulo na reciente quema na pueblo (I wrote an article on the recent fire in downtown Zamboanga). In the previous sentence, we substituted the word about with 'on'.

Most of the times though, we can do away with the word about. For example, instead of saying 'what is the story about', we can simply say 'what is the story'? Instead of saying 'I need information about the case', one can just say 'I need information on the case'.

What about you? What words do you use to say 'about' in Chabacano? Do you find yourself using the English word instead? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

3 comments:

  1. Yan cuento kame por causa contigo ayer.
    (We've talked about you yesterday.)

    Hmmmm...
    What I know about "por causa" is the "cause".
    Its like saying...
    Ya caé yo na examen por causa no hay yo estudià bien por cuantos noches.
    (I've failed in the exam because I did not study well.)

    Porque is also mean because but not the cause but the effect or result.
    Por ejemplo:
    Dormí ya kita temprano porque necesita kita despiertá luego madruga para atendé el misa de aguinaldo.
    (We need to sleep early because we need to wake early later at dawn to attend the Misa de Aguinaldo.

    Therefore, the us of "sobre" is far recommended, as follows: "Yan cuento kame sobre contigo ayer."

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  2. About Me, It is more right to say "Acerca de Mí" or "Acerca Conmigo".

    The first time I've encountered about this "Por causa de Mí", is from a blog of Prof. Yap when I was still in College . though I've confronted him that his usage is wrong and it is right to use "acerca" which is also differebt from "acercá". I also explain my sidr that "Por causa conmigo" may interprete as "Because of me". Therefore you're the reason of a, e.g. razón del quema, razón del estruendo o calandracas na pueblo. :-)

    (This is just my opinion and I will stick to the use of Acerca de Mí 《》 About me.)

    ¡Buenas noches, Jerome! :-)

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  3. If I was a native in Chabacano I certainly wouldn't use "about". It doesn't sound or fits well.

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