How “Malalim” is the Tagalog Language?

My wife is a college graduate but like most Filipinos whom I know, she never talks about science, literature or philosophical concepts in her own language.

By and large Filipinos operate from the frame that no education can be true education unless it is based on proficiency in English.

It seems like Filipinos view Tagalog as the language of day-to-day matters, small talk and gossip and they automatically switch to English whenever they cross the border line between superficiality and malalim (profound) stuff.

In reality in the Philippines there is quite a number of scholars who write about a wide range of topics using very sophisticated Tagalog. Surfing the internet I managed to find the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and his “Puna sa Dalisay na Pangangatwiran” (Critique of Pure Reason) explained in Tagalog.

I’ve also come across the laws of thermodynamics explained in Tagalog. Here is for example the second law of thermodynamics: “Sa isang likas na prosesong termodinamika, dumaragdag ang kabuuang ng mga entropiya ng mga sistemang termodinamikang may interaksyon. Sa kapantay na paraan, imposible ang mga makinang may walang-hanggang na mosyon ng ikalawang uri”.

A few days ago I took up a challenge to translate in Tagalog the following phrase: “just because molecular irregularities cause a ballbearing’s radius to vary by nanometers along its surface does not stop us from attributing a spherical quality to it at a macro level“. I found out that by thinking a little harder there is a way to translate a phrase like that in Tagalog. I came up with the following translation: “bagaman ang pagiging di-regular ng mga molekula ng isang bolitas ay nagiging sanhi ng nanometrical (or “napakaliit”) na pagbabago ng radius sa surface (or maybe “sa ibabaw”) nito, hindi ito humahadlang na ituring nating ito ang isang bilog sa macro level (or “sa kabuuan”)“.

What I realize, by digging deeper, is that Tagalog is potentially a language that Filipinos could use to talk about philosophy or science but most Filipinos are stuck in the assumption that English is the language of the highly educated while Tagalog is just the language of the masses and the poorly educated.

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