For all the native English speakers of the world who has heard a Filipino speak, you will notice something very interesting about how we talk in English – we can speak it well, but we “put the accent on the wrong sylLAble”.
Louie Agnir-Paraan of the Business Mirror wrote that “English should sound like English” and he suggests that if Filipinos are going to speak the English language anyway, we must know how to pronounce the words correctly. Case in point: Filipinos say ceREmony instead of CEremony. MaTRImony instead of MAtrimony. ineviTAble instead of inEVitable. comforTAble instead of COMfortable… and all words with – TAble hence.
Agnir-Paraan is a teacher, and like my English teacher used to do with us, he knows to teach his students the correct way of pronunciation. However, should our English really need to sound like the Americans or the Canadians or the Brits?
I don’t believe so, at least I don’t think this is practical anymore. To move towards this end, all Filipino educators and prominent persons must first learn to speak it properly. Then they can teach the next generation of students, TV viewers and the ordinary common the proper way. As it is, our OFWs are being understood by their foreign employers, GMA can communicate to other dignitaries even in her hardened English version. Sure, to be able to speak the American or British twang and proper diction would be nice but it’s not necessary. Eventually, after repeated tries, we understand each other.