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"Ew, Filipino Version" Part 2

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
A few months ago I published on this blog a post called "Ew, Filipino Version" about the odd way of thinking most Filipinos have, may it be directly connected to colonial mentality or not. It received a positive response, to my surprise (I thought people were going to start wars in the comment section), and left me with a bit of hope for this generation of readers. However, it turns out that those positive people are the rare kind.

A Filipino edition of Kiera Cass's The Selection was released this month. I found out about this on Facebook as I checked National Bookstore's page. At once, I saw negativity pouring out from the comment section, with words like "murder" and "haha", and so I quickly checked the rest of the comments, frantically searching for any sign of approval for this Filipino edition.

There were more negatives than positives, to keep the story short. I was frustrated by their reactions, I mean, it's just a book. If you don't want to read it because it has been "murdered" by the Filipino language, then don't read it! But as I read on and cringed and slapped my forehead, I began to see that these people have their own explanations as to why they believe Filipino editions MURDER.

So I'm giving them some weak claps for their justifications. 

But I still stand by what I believe in, so... I respect you and I ask you to respect me. With that said, let me tackle some of the things people said in the comment box.

Apparently, translating an English novel into Filipino is murder because it takes away the meaning of the book. I will not disagree that translation often takes away the raw juices of the book, however, I would not consider it murder. Translating is a difficult task, and most of the time, words do not have exact translations. Translating a book word-for-word will destroy the essence of the book and turn it into something hysterical, but it's the job of translators to make it work. 

Apparently, we just shouldn't translate and instead write books in Filipino for those who can't read English, and so that by writing Filipino books, we can help those struggling Filipino writers. I'm not against writing Filipino books, but I don't think we should stop translating. Let's say there's a hella awesome English novel that has a story that can touch the hearts of the most wicked men. Those who can't read it wish to read it, but it's not in their edition yet. Should we just stick out our tongues at them mockingly and tell them to read books of their own language? I don't think so. Books are for everyone, okay.

Apparently, it's funny. Here's the thing, it's almost inescapable especially if it has been translated word-for-word, but before you laugh at it, think about this: is it really funny, or are you just being blinded by your automatic response to anything translated to the mother tongue? Chances are, it isn't even funny, it just sounds funny because you've gotten used to preferring the English version.

I know there will always be people who will dislike books translated into Filipino, but I've come to accept that it is up to them to decide how their minds work. But please, if you are truly repulsed by these books, respect those who find these books helpful, those who are actually grateful for these books. After all, books weren't written to suit your standards, but to entertain and inspire those who find them great.
Like what you like. Don't like what you don't like. But always respect and think without boundaries.
2 comments on ""Ew, Filipino Version" Part 2"
  1. It also irks me how people react so negatively to books being translated into Filipino! They act like it's so wrong and the only language that's acceptable is English. Haha. There are so many translated versions of books all over the world so people who aren't fluent in English can enjoy a good story. I will never understand why our language (and our own people who actually speak it) treat it so differently. Hahaha.

  2. Right?! It's like English is the only language that can be used for books. Thanks for reading!


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