15 November 2008

Bring a plate!

The English language takes on various forms as people twist and turn words to make it their own. This is very much applicable with our country the Philippines as well. Take for example, "cardiac". In the true sense of the word, it refers to the heart. But we use it to define something very exciting, like a "cardiac game" on basketball finals. When we also say "salvage", we usually mean it's when somebody dies of very questionable and violent nature. But the true sense of the word actually means to save something!

Here in New Zealand, we are learning words and usages unique to the country as well. When somebody offers you a cuppa, they're inviting you for a break (a cup of coffee or tea). And when somebody says he'll "shout" you the drinks, or if there's a shout after office hours, it means that you're in for a treat. When they ask you to "bag" a seat, it means to go ahead and look for a table in a pub and reserve seats by placing your bag or jacket on the table.

And if there's a gathering or party and you're invited, you may be asked to bring a plate. Don't take it literally. They mean it's a potluck party, and that you are expected to bring a dish along. It's good practice to ask what sort of dish is expected so that you'll have an idea of what to bring.... on a nice plate :-).

New Zealanders have a rich vocabulary of colloquialisms so aside from getting acquainted with their unique accent, part of the adaptation process is learning about these words and phrases. I just hope I don't make a fool of myself anytime soon when I get a different meaning from what they are trying to say.

That'd be all, mate!


  1. maramin rin niyan dito, watson,
    like see you later. that means bye.

    when pinoys back home critized balikbayans sounding like and talking like our adopted countries' citizens, they do not realize that it is a must for us to be able to communicate with these people who would not adapt their ears to our accent.

    Then force of habit dala natin kahit pag-uwi.

    ang msama yong overacting naman at mayabang.

  2. Anonymous4:02 pm

    oo nga...sanayan lang din.
    i remember when I first came to Canada, we say CR for Comfort Room, dito ang tawag eh Washroom. I had a hard time transitioning to the word "washroom"

  3. Cathy: Oo nga, may mga nagkakaroon ng ere pag-uwi ng Pinas. Anyway, I think it's one of the strengths of a Filipino: to adapt to his environment.

    Leah: Yung isa pang tawag na nalilito ako. Bathroom. Bakit bathroom tawag ng iba, eh di ka naman maliligo dun?

  4. Sabi nga ng English teacher ko noon, CR is for Filipino English, pero ang tama daw talaga is Men's Room (or Women's Room).

    Magkaiba nga talaga ang English sa ibat-ibang lugar. Ang isa pang nalalaman ko is when you're in UK, ang "Not In Order" or "Not Working" is "Not In Use."

    Weird ba? :)

  5. Thanks for sharing these interesting lines. It's always nice to learn something new.

  6. Dodong: Siguro iniisip rin nila, wierd ang gamit natin ng English :-)

    Rach: Malay mo, makapagbakasyon ka dito, di ba?

  7. Anonymous5:42 pm

    Pag nga naman first time mong narinig yung "bring a plate" eh baka nga plato lang yung dalhin mo.

    Dito rin mas maiintindihan ka pag bathroom kesa cr or washroom.

  8. Ann: Paper plate dadalhin ko. hehe

  9. Lost in translation...

  10. Very interesting post, thanks for the nice read. :D

  11. Anonymous10:50 pm

    Bring a plate! :D Nice one! Buti you explained that!

  12. Sidney: Exactly!

    Meowok: Thanks for dropping by!

    Toni: Next time, bring a bowl. hehehe!


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