My friend Jeanix and I challenged our American friend Dan to show off his command of the Tagalog language. We asked him to translate to English a Tagalog song popularized by the Pinoy rock band Asin. Dan has lived in the Philippines for ten years and has managed to be conversant in both Tagalog and Cebuano. Quite impressive, actually.
Me (singing): Wala ka bang napapansin sa ating mga kapaligiran?
Dan (reciting his translation): Don’t you notice anyone from among your ‘barkada’?
Jeanix: Anuba, this isn’t a love song!
Me: And, hello! ‘Barkada’ is not English!
Next line, please.
Me: Kay dumi na ng hangin…
Dan: The air is dirty…
Jeanix and me: Good! Good!
Me: …pati na ang mga ilog natin.
Dan: Our… eggs… are also dirty?
And just like that. The song will never ever be the same to me again.