How To Say 'Appointment' In Chabacano

A few months ago, I was contacted by a group who was trying to come up with some educational materials on Chabacano. Part of the project was translating some sentences into Chabacano. The project was already done but they wanted it to be checked by another Chabacano speaker. One of the things that got my attention was the word appointment which was translated as caminada.

The word appointment that we are talking about here refers to the appointment that you make with a dentist or a doctor. Even in Tagalog, we just use the English word and I don't think there is a Tagalog equivalent for this word.

The Chabacano word caminada does mean 'a date' but it only refers to informal dates such as a date with your friends. Here are some examples using this word:

Chabacano: Tiene yo caminada mañana con mio mga amigo.
English: I’ll go out tomorrow with my friends.

Chabacano: Que hora el caminada tuyo luego?
English: What time are you going out later?

As you can see, the word caminada roughly translates to the English 'to go out'. You won’t, however, hear anyone say that they have a caminada with a doctor or a dentist. The word appointment (as in setting up an appointment with a dentist or a doctor) just doesn’t translate to anything in the Chabacano language. In Spanish, they use the word cita. In the Chabacano dictionary of Camins, the word cita does not exist, however, it does exist in the Chabacano dictionary of Rolando Arquiza Santos (2010). I have never encountered this word in all my life though. You would probably be met with a blank stare if you told a receptionist in Zamboanga city clinic that you have a cita with a doctor or a dentist.

Interestingly, the Tagalog word for the Chabacano caminada is lakad which is actually a direct translation of that word. For example, you can directly translate tiene ba tu caminada to may lakad ka ba in TagalogThe reason why I am pointing this out is that I believe this meaning of the word caminada came from the Tagalog lakad and was probably conceived when Tagalog started influencing the Chabacano language probably in the 1970s. In fact, you don’t see this definition of caminada in the Chabacano dictionaries, where this word is only defined as the gait of a person and that is actually the literal meaning of the word caminada in Chabacano.

Here is a dialogue between a patient and a receptionist (in a dental clinic) which would more or less show you how we would say the word appointment in the Chabacano language:

Situation: Patient walks into a dental clinic.

Receptionist: Cosa aquel ma’am?
Patient: Taqui ya ba el dentista? Manda era yo limpia diente.
Receptionist: Ya llama ba tu? Tiene ba tu appointment?
Patient: Ay, no hay yo puede llama. Hinde ba puede walk in lang?
Receptionist: A las diez pa ma’am tiene vacante. Okay lang ba contigo espera?
Patient: Okay lang. Anda anay yo man grocery.

The dialogue above uses very informal Chabacano and as you would have probably noticed has a lot of English words. This also happens a lot in Tagalog.

Here is an English translation of the dialogue above:

Receptionist: May I help you?
Patient: Is the dentist in already? I was thinking of having my teeth cleaned.
Receptionist: Did you call? Do you have an appointment?
Patient: Oh, I wasn’t able to call. Can’t I just walk in?
Receptionist: We’ll have an opening later at ten o clock. Are you willing to wait?
Patient: Sure. I’ll go buy some groceries while waiting.

When we add the word man in front of the English word 'grocery', it now becomes a verb. It means to either buy some groceries or go to the supermarket. For more on the Chabacano man, click here.