I HAVE to confess that I was surprised by the good and wide reception that my article from last week, dedicated to the Creole languages of the Philippines, received, especially from the speakers of those languages and their descendants. Some of these descendants came to tell me, with some sadness, that they did not speak the language because, having grown up in a different region from the one where their parents grew up, they decided not to transmit the language to them.

Many years ago, I read a scientific article about the languages spoken in Palawan. The Filipino professor who signed the article confessed that the results obtained were probably not accurate since she had noticed, while she was doing her field work, that many speakers deliberately concealed the fact that they knew how to speak minority languages, such as Cuyonon, Batak, etc. That is, most people in the area I studied were bilingual or trilingual, but they tended to say they only spoke Tagalog even when Tagalog was not their first language. The reason, argued the teacher, is that many people tend to hide the fact that they speak these minority languages because they perceive that speaking them indicates that they are people of low social status.

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