Friday, February 18, 2005

Lien du jour: Books on Philippine languages

My friend/publisher/mentor/etc. Jason Lobel has opened a new website for his inventory of books he authored about the languages of the Philippines. Jason is currently obtaining his Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and has spent mid-2004 doing tons of linguistic research in the Central Philippines.

The URL is:

His newest book is Bikol Literature Anthology Volume Two, which he published along with my In Bahasa Sug book. I have volume 1 of his book and let me tell you it was a fascinating read. Jason went to libraries in the Bicol region and scoured decades-old, long-forgotten literary Bikol magazines to put into his anthology. These pieces were written from a different view and are thus of historical value especially for those, like myself, who have roots in Bicol.

Of greater historic interest are the old grammars and dictionaries authored by the Spanish centuries ago. Jason has archived them in CD form. There are CDs for Kapampangan, Cebuano , Pangasinan, and of course Bikol. The oldest of which is BergaƱo's 1732 Kapampangan dictionary and 1736 grammar. I've only looked at similar publications for Tagalog and Waray-Waray, and it's interesting to see how much these languages have changed over the centuries.

Jason also has put books that he intends on publishing in the future. There's a polyglot Visayas phrasebook in the works; it'll include the three most-spoken Visayan languages - Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Waray-Waray. I personally am looking forward to his book about the languages of Romblon.


unknown said...

You can also go to this link and find pdf, jpeg, and .txt versions of those books for free.

Those Kapampangan books were written in Spanish. It sucks big time that they didn't teach us Spanish in high school I have to study the freakin' language from scratch. DECS is stoooopid. Volumes and volumes of Philippines history written in Spanish and nobody can read them.

unknown said...

Try this Chris