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ali baba

>> Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's fascinating how Filipinos are able to construct sentences with the use of only one syllable.

The syllable "ba" can be repeated a number of times, and mean different things depending on where you place the space in between the repetition.

1. Bababa ba?
Bababa.


The addition of one or two letters can change the meaning of the sentence.

2. Ibababa ba?

As not to leave you with clueless looks on what-the-hell I'm talking about, I'll translate them to English.

Number 1 can actually be a decent dialogue between two people. It simply means,

"Are you going down?
Yes, going down."


At the second number, I removed one "ba" and exchanged it with the letter "i." Notice how the sentence changes.

"Are you going to bring this [pertaining to any object] downstairs?"

You think that "baba" is a rootword meaning "down." Think again. I'll give you another example.

Babasahin. It still has the "baba," but it has no connection to down. Babasahin means "to read." Another confusing fact is that that word can also change its meaning, depending on which syllable you accentuate.

Bababa has a root word of baba. But babasahin has a root word of basa.

babaSAhin is to read. babasaHIN is what you're reading.

Babasahin ko ang babasahin. (I am going to read the reading.)

Oh, oh. let's try subtracting one letter from babasahin. Magic and wah-lah!

Babasahin (to read) - h = babasain


Babasain means "to wet." There is no way that the word is near to "to read." Confusing much? It's so confusing that I'm being fascinated about it.

There could be more combinations to the "ba" syllable. My mind's going blank just by thinking of these possible combinations (or maybe my brain refuses to think because I'm in a vacation mode -- OH YEAH 3-DAY WEEKEND!). The "Bababa ba?" dialogue has always been a joke among Filipinos. I'm sure they're also fascinated by the weirdness of the syllable combinations. I can't think of a Latin derivation explanation (just like English) to further understand roots of the Filipino language.

So, babay na ba?

Hahahaha.

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