ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS — 1. How to enrich yourself with vocabulary in just such the exact and particular way that you would be sufficiently pre-armed with it anytime you are engaged to write or speak without having to trouble yourself at present with a lot of vocabulary studies that make you problematic? 2. How to drill yourself on the dictionary in a method apt only for your personal circumstance?
WELL-DISCUSSED IN THE SECOND EDITION OF THE BOOK “HOW DO YOU SAY IT IN ENGLISH” AWAITING TO BE PUBLISHED. THIS FORUM IS OPEN FOR INTERACTION WITH THE READERS.
1. Some techniques for improving one’s vocabulary. How to get, by oneself, the exact equivalent of phrasal terms especially when not available from the dictionary. (Excerpt from Chapter 7 of “How do you say it in English?”, First Edition.)
What to study first
Study the grammar well. This consideration is foremost.
What to read next
Read the dictionary, thesaurus, and lexicon regularly. Try to understand and memorize certain words at a given time.
Should you rely on the first two?
But do not rely totally on the two procedures given above, especially on the second because the typical dictionary and other similar wordlists usually do not offer meanings in phrasal form for Filipino-to-English or English-to-Filipino translation.
What to make as a habit
Make the habit of reading English reading materials. As you capture an unfamiliar term while reading, pause for a while, underline, then ponder over, and paraphrase it. By paraphrasing, we mean that you take an educated guess at its possible Filipino equivalents highlighted in your mind. Pick out your nearest interpretation. It could turn out to be the right one. Let it temporarily dwell in your mind.
Read more pieces of stuff. Keep doing the same method. As you go on, you certainly will encounter the same term that you had tinkered with in your previous readings. Through the process, you will find that your nearest guess of its equivalent or translation proves to be the exact one; or you will realize that you had your guessed-out translation “barely” mistaken, but then, finally, will meet the precise one. By going over the same term that you had previously picked out from one material, written in a new or different site this time, you gradually figure out the correct sense and meaning in which it should be conveyed.
Now let’s have this try
Keep doing this method in listening to a conversation, movie dialogues, speeches, etc.
Let us now presume that in your reading you have met this phrase in a sentence:
A word is there that the mayor is coming to town.
In this sentence, you wonder what the term a word is there means in Filipino.
So this time, have a few bits of rephrasing, like for example:
Isang salita ang naroon na ang alkalde ay darating sa bayan. (direct translation)
Surely, the above straight conversion would sound a “junk” to you, so that you would try for another:
May salita doon na ang alkalde ay darating sa bayan.
And because this appears still graceless, you proceed with some more or less educated or logical guess. This means you should make a restating that would not seem awkward but may usually be expressed in everyday articulation with everyone’s acceptance; one that does not sound strange or bumbling to our way—the Filipino way.
Hence, with an acceptable logical reconsideration, this rewording proves to be the definite rendition:
May usap-usapan (doon) na ang alkalde ay darating sa bayan. [You may omit doon.]
There you get it!
Next medium to use
Keep on reading some more materials or listening to such other mediums. Some other time, you will meet the term a word is there once again. By the setting in which the term will be used in your next reading, you will figure out what it should mean. As repeatedly as you would encounter it, it will start to dwell in your mind with its exact meaning.
The magazine has it that Filipinos are the world’s busiest texters.
1st direct possible translation but to be rejected —
Ang magasin ay mayroon nito na ang mga Pilipino ang pinakaabalang nagtitekst sa mundo.
2nd direct possible translation but to be rejected —
Mayroon ang magasin na ang mga Pilipino ang pinakaabalang nagtitekst sa mundo.
Nearer logical translation —
May sinasabi ang magasin na ang mga Pilipino ang pinakaabalang nagtitekst sa mundo.
Short, exact translation —
Sabi sa magasin ang mga Pilipino ang pinakaabalang nagtitekst sa mundo.
Now take the reverse, seeing the Filipino specimen . . . to the English version. There you go one good step, just how you should say it in English.
Finally, what’s more?
Read comic strips in English. Watch English movies with on-screen dialogue. Do as those above.
And, of course, do read my book. Let’s, this once, share one good time learning English!
2. NOTE: BITIN PO ANG SECOND PART NA ITO. KASI KAILANGAN NINYONG HINTAYING LUMABAS ANG AMING NEXT EDITION BOOK. Nevertheless, ang discussion sa baba ay patikim o introductory knowledge. It’s not that heavy and in-depth dictionary learning; just simple learning; just Quotidian Learning! (Excerpt from the second edition)
Distilling the Quotidian
The answer to the challenge posed at the opening of this chapter as well as to the questions asked therein is, the method of Distilling the Quotidian.
I use distilling instead of the other words condensing, abridging, concentrating etc. because all these other words SIMPLY mean reducing or compacting; and so are quite deficient for the present idea I would like to convey. Distilling is not simply reducing or compacting. It is taking the most important parts of something and putting them in a different and usually improved form (Merriam-Webster Dictionary); or extracting the essence of (Wiktionary).
Please keep in mind that our norm in this paradigm study of the English translation is not simply simplifying, narrowing down, and shortening the learning process as well as the study issues but extracting the most important ones for the purpose of improving them.
But first, let us find out the reasons why we have to do distilling. In effect, we are going to realize the reasons why most of us have poor English vocabularies, do not know the English equivalents of our Filipino specimens, and can hardly say it in English:
Inclined to believe that dictionary memorizing is best, which is not
Psychologically, most of us are inclined to BELIEVE that mastering of the dictionary is the best method to improve one’s vocabulary in order to learn English translations efficiently. Trouble is, doing so is a terrible or intimidating task. In fact, we get afraid to do so because the number of words contained in dictionaries seem to be giant piles of mind-eating bugs; we think that we just might get insane committing them to memory as well as mastering them.
It would send us into a cramming situation having to learn grammar and translation patterns, do other studies, do other chores etc., etc. and worst, be yet obliged to master dictionaries. We don’t have sufficient time. Time, therefore, is another mind-eating constraint.
It just makes one’s mind problematic
Because of the two troubles just said, our minds are rendered pre-complicated, problematic, tossed and spread out, and flown apart into a monstrous mass of study concerns that transforms into a dilemma. In such a case, we don’t know how and where to begin. And we are afraid how we are going to end up. E hindi kaya ng sitwasyon natin at oras natin. Ang dami pa nating ibang iniisip at inaasikaso.
For such reasons, what needs to be our foremost concern now is to have an antidote for that frightening belief to which we are inclined. Since when there is fright in learning, there is poor learning. Hence, we have to mellow or calm down our mindset. But now, I declare that the only way to antidote that belief is not to believe that belief. And the only way to not believe is to get ourselves self-assured that such a notion or belief is wrong: That such task, effort or attempt of a wide-ranging or wide-embracing dictionary mastering is not the very action required in our vocabulary learning process. My formula therefore for the efficient vocabulary mastering is the a) Mellowing Approach b) the Process of Discarding and the c) Method of Distilling. Actually they do not mean to be done sequentially; instead, doing of one is doing the others—concurrent. As to the reason why will be answered below.
Now, having realized the above-mentioned factors, let us know what we should discard or not bother:
We are not going to be specialists as to oblige ourselves to master those scientific words, technological words, biological words, surgical words and other terms of very special use for special fields. We don’t need them for the time being, unless we are taking up a specialized profession requiring a task of mastering them. Instead, for purposes of effective day-to-day communication, our only needed words are the quotidian words (discussion below).
We are not aspiring to be scrabble champions so we don’t need to master rarely used and odd words.
Hence, we really have the need to apply the Process of Discarding. It is so since to be able to distill, of course, we have to discard. In this process of discarding accompanying the process of distilling, we are in effect mellowing or stabilizing our frame of mind, freeing it of complications and head-scratchers. In short, one best way to learn is to unlearn.
Just learn the Quotidian way
Let me reiterate that the measure in the process of distilling is getting one’s learning complexion composed or relaxed, then confident. It is possible by realizing what one should not know and forgetting what one is not obliged to do. The technique is to pay attention only to what is applicable to and necessary in one’s personal learning circumstances.
The readers should understand this learning norm being introduced by the style of this book. In this learning norm, specialized words are not our staple models because our primary concern in our process of learning “how to say it in English” is for purposes only of being able to be confident in day to day speech and conversation. Therefore, we should only bother studying Quotidian words or Workaday Words instead of Specialized Words.
Quotidian/Workaday Words are those that are everyday ones; needed just enough to be able to communicate satisfactorily well; to go at ease in everyday dealings and communications; to catch up with this fast-paced age of communication; and to keep abreast with this age of competitiveness where proficiency in English makes the big difference; but definitely not to be scrabble experts or even vocabulary geniuses. Instead, just, just, just those needed enough; no more no less.
Let’s have these full definitions: quotidian — occurring every day; belonging to each day, every day; commonplace, ordinary. Workaday — of, relating to, or suited for working days; ordinary, prosaic. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Not content with the quotidian quarrels that other couples had, they had rows that shook the entire neighborhood. — Hindi kuntento sa araw-araw na away na tulad ng sa ibang mag-asawa, nagkaroon sila ng matinding away na sumindak sa buong kapitbahayan.
Just a workaday guy living a workaday life. — Ordinaryong tao lang na nabubuhay ng ordinaryong buhay.
Wished that she could afford servants so as not to be bothered with such workaday matters as cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. — Sana’y makaya niyang gumugol para sa mga katulong nang sa ganoon ay hindi siya maabala ng mga karaniwang/pang-araw-araw na bagay tulad ng pagluluto, paglilinis, at pamimili ng mga groceries.
We are not supposed to be bothering ourselves on these
In other words, we are not supposed to be learning such high words as equivalueing, copacetic, peroneal, guacamole, fodient, troak, veretrate, fore–and-aft, wulfenite, cuinage, dualin, etc. We don’t need them. We will instead abandon them because they are simply nuisance (abala) to our learning process. Saka na ang mga iyan kapag master na muna natin ang QUOTIDIAN ENGLISH VOCABULARY. When I say quotidian or workaday, again they are those that involve only the ones needed for us to be able to communicate well in typical situations and not in extraordinary situations. Typical situations are those like in day-to-day dealings, reciting in schools, making correspondence, performing jobs, hunting and applying for jobs, facing interviews, dealing in business, watching and understanding news, watching and understanding movies, and the like. Extraordinary situations are those like taking up bar examination, joining a national and international scrabble tournament, taking up highly specialized courses, speaking to an audience of expert professionals, discussing with world leaders, and the like.
Where can we find a material for quotidian learning with ready quotidian samples?
But your next question would be: “Where can we find finished materials of distilled quotidian vocabularies and wordlists attuned to our individual settings?” (As expected, for anyone who conforms to my learning style to be able to learn to say it in English proficiently, he needs a compendium of such quotidian study issues that this book emphasizes.) I now suppose you expect me to be doing the task right away for you. Yes naman! Actually, such is the learning norm that the book series has already been engaging on. In fact, in the succeeding editions of the series, I will come up with some more such finished products. Still, in fact, the concept and style of my work embodied in all these books series including the first edition are classical of distilled quotidian format. Hence, to emphasize, my book style is actually a Distillation style. Problem is, as my series go out in the market, it would involve more budgets for some of you learners who could be average earners in order to be able to purchase your own copies. May kamahalan sa iba. Mag-iipon pa. Now kung tutuusin nga, you don’t have to purchase my finished products in the meantime that you cannot yet afford. Because you can do my method on your own; though it will be better if you do have, as copies of mine come out in bookstores.
(FOR YOUR FULL-LENGTH LEARNING, PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF “HOW DO YOU SAY IT IN ENGLISH?, NOSEBLEEDERS’ EDITION” AS SOON AS IT COMES OUT IN THE MARKET.)