Lost in translation


Another classic instance of Duterte's message that got "lost in translation."

Kung tan-awon jud nato og maayo ang full segment sa video regarding sa giingon nila'g pag "curse" ni Duterte sa Pope, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), I think the intention of Duterte was supposed to be an anecdotal joke. His hand gesture (touching the back of his head) and his facial expression and the tone of his voice and the way he was speaking it, all of those, IMHO, would indicate that Duterte was not really intending to "curse" or had any ill-intent towards the Pope. And considering that that portion of Duterte's speech was within a context contaning a series of joke statements. If you notice in the video, the audience were already laughing once in a while before he said the line that got controversial.

I'd consider that incident as another of Duterte's many tagalog miscommunication. Like many bisayan-speaking pinoys in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, sometimes (or even perhaps most of the times) the intended thoughts or ideas of Durtete's tagalog messages get lost in translation.

Here is Duterte's supposed to be annecdotal joke tagalog line which was misunderstood as a slur against the Pope: "...gusto ko'ng tawagan na: Pope, putang ina ka umuwi ka na... wag ka nang magbisita dito..." (And don't forget that it was told in a joking mode)

Kay sa tuno man nga kumedya ang context sa pagsulti ni Duterte, therefore kung sa atoa pa nga binisaya, labi na sa sinultihan sa kultura sa mga pure bisaya, pupareha'g ingon ani ang interpretasyon sa gisulti ni Duterte: "...gusto ko ahuang taw-gan [, ahoang ing-non]: simong ina ka Pope, uli na laman, ajaw na lama'g bisita dinhi."

The thought implied is this: that because of the Pope's visit, the daily activities of the filipino people were affected, including the traffic. In a sense, it was an appreciation of the Pope's enormous influence to the filipino community which is pre-dominantly a Roman Catholic country. If people would only be not dirty-minded [politically] about it, then ang laman ng message ni Duterte could be translated as simply: "Kung hindi dahil sa Pope, hindi sana magka traffic." which was delivered (or poorly communicated) in an anecdotal joking manner but got lost in translation.

In bisaya, "simong ina" (the abbreviated form of the phrase "bilat sa imong ina") is the equivalent of the tagalog "putang ina [mo]". Sa kultura natong mga bisaya, in our native conversation, we often use the supposedly curse phrase "simong ina" as rather a form of appreciation. Pananglit, kung naay atong paryente o higala nga mouli gikan sa abroad unya asenso na kaayo ang iyang kahimtang unya surpresa nga mobisita nato, inig kakita nato niya, ang atong sagad nga expression nga atong mabungat for example is: "Kumusta! Simong ina, asenso naman ka jamo tan-awon!" or "Simong ina! Gadaot ka ba diay'ng nia ka man?!" But all expressed in the mood of joy and excitement rather than a curse or insult.

This is why a bishop of Davao himself did not consider Duterte's statement as intended to curse the Pope because the bishop understood the binisayang tagalog ni Duterte despite the idea of the message being lost in translation.