They Speak Waray!

How to Speak Waray

For many years I have stood firm in my convictions that I do not need to learn another dialect in the Philippines when the “national language” is Tagalog and everyone is supposed to speak Tagalog. I mean why should I struggle to learn more (Waray) than I need to going forward, using up more RAM in my brain than necessary. People are born with only so much RAM installed (some more than others). I only have a set amount of RAM left and mine is deteriorating.  I’m not exactly sure where I would even go to get an upgrade or whether an expanded memory pack is even available. Besides, I’m not even sure if I have an expansion slot to begin with!  I’m sure my wife will agree that I am not at all upgradable (she has been trying for years with little to no success). And because my RAM comes with no extended warranty of any sort, I must manage my RAM efficiently. So to me, learning to speak Waray was something I always thought I could avoid and navigate around. Until recently.

After living in Samar for a short while, I can affirm that speaking English at many people causes nosebleeds. Many foreigners can confirm this. And after living here for nearly three years, I have also realized that speaking Tagalog to some people causes them to pause and stare, and to think longer than necessary, also leading to nosebleeds in severe cases. Therefore, being the sympathetic person that I am, I recently decided to allocate a little more of my RAM assets towards improving my basic Waray. I will spare just enough RAM to get by with those few Filipinos who are more stubborn than me, not wanting to learn their own national language (maybe they were not designed with a sufficient amount of RAM when they first arrived here).

Causing Nosebleeds

Causing Nosebleeds

English / Waray

So, in collaboration with my niece, we have come up with a short list of common words that will get help get most foreigners by, while at the same time preserving their valuable RAM assets (note: some individual foreigners may not be equipped with expanded RAM capabilities and should manage their RAM accordingly). I should caution though that by using any or a combination of these Waray words could cause and direct the conversation towards even more Waray. Tread carefully.

While the following list of words are commonly used here in the eastern Visayas, I cannot guarantee results based upon a persons understanding and/or command of local pronunciations, i.e., pronouncing A’s like ahh, E’s like I’s, and I’s like E’s, etc. (You Aussies are especially on your own here!)  He he

ENGLISH                                       WARAY

What?                                           Nano?
Where?                                         Diin?
When?                                          San-0?
Why?                                             Kay? / Kaynamon?
How?                                             Panano?
Who?                                            Sino?

How are you?                                Kumusta Ka?
Greeting (hello)                             Maupay (hello)
Good Morning                               Maupay na aga
Good Afternoon                             Maupay na kulop
Good Evening                                Maupay na gabi

Thank you                                     Salamat (universal)
You’re welcome                            Waray kaso
Please                                           Sige na
No thanks                                      Sige la

What’s happening?                       Maynano?
I’m hungry                                     Gutom na ak
I’m thirsty                                      Ginuuhaw ak
How much?                                   Tagpira?

What is your name?                      Nano imo ngaran?
My name is Joe                             Joe akon ngaran
How old are you?                          Pira imo edad?
Come here                                     Pakadi

Here                                               Didi
There                                             Dida
Ouch                                              Karakit
I don’t know                                   Ambot  (good for when all other words are forgotten!)

Move away [from] there                 Ayaw dida
This is mine                                   Akon-ini
This is not yours                             Dire ini imo
No                                                  Dire, (and in some cases) Ayaw
I understand                                   Naabat ak
Give me some                                Tagai daw ak

and most importantly:

Honey                                             Palangga / langga /lang