You won’t get to use the blessings that you have if you hate them. -kevin olega

We Filipinos have a pretty unique attitude when it comes to the English language. We pick on grammar errors and call them “barok” or “carabao English”. We pick on pronunciation errors and call them “Bisaya” or “probinsyano”.

Here’s the best part, a lot of Filipinos aren’t much at a better speaking ability than the ones they pick on and when they do encounter a local who speaks very well we call them “pa-social” (which implies that they are social climbers and trying to pretend to be rich) or we call their English “slang” (which I guess should be natural at that level) or worse we call them “maarte” (which means spoiled, high class, picky or hard to please).

This attitude somehow affects how we speak because we ourselves don’t like to get picked on.

As a result, we keep our heads down, stay quiet and avoid speaking in English to avoid being judged for having bad English and as a result, our language skill gets dull or if it doesn’t we don’t speak with confidence to avoid sounding “maarte” and we screw ourselves up at every opportunity or occasion we get.

All to stay Filipino. The use of a language is to communicate. There is no English set specifically for the Filipinos. You better speak in English as if you come from an English speaking country.

That’s the requirement when you apply for work in a call center because you’ll be serving clients from other English speaking countries.

Speaking another language well does not make you less of a Filipino than you are. In fact you can contribute more to others if you can speak better. I know employers who pay really well for people who can speak multiple languages.

Here’s some good news:

You have a nice and accessible reference for how to sound better when you speak in English.

Here’s how.

Think of yourself as maarte. We have a better term.

We call it “Sossy mode.” I know it’s going to be a pain for you to apply but the people you call maarte or slang or Sossy have better English than you.

They probably can speak with better grammar and pronounce words better than you. If you avoid speaking that way your English might be affected negatively.

In fact, in my experience, the more “Sossy”or “maarte” your English sounds, the better because it’s similar to how Americans would talk.

How would you speak in Sossy mode?

Just speak. Only this time “be sossy” and don’t be to conscious about it.

With a little practice you can speak really well after.

In my experience, after the people I’m speaking to activate their “sossy mode” their English sounds really well and I don’t need to correct their errors that much anymore.

So you have a choice.

Land a job in a call center “speaking Sossy”, or “slang” or maybe be called “maarte” a few times or speak in English poorly. Would you be willing to consider using the “Sossy mode” to speak better in English?

Send me a message with your thoughts on this.

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