Contracting Colonialism Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Translation of Politics This chapter talks about how the Spanish missionaries such as Francisco Blancas de San Jose translated the vernacular of the Filipino natives into Castilian and why is it that they only focus on helping their fellow missionaries and not the natives. Spanish scholar Nebrija writes that “Language is always the companion of empire; therefore it follows that together they begin, grow, and flourish and together they fall.” Hence with this in mind, missionaries are required to dominate the language of the natives. In order to do this, they create books such as dictionaries which will be able to help them understand the language. Men such as Father Francisco Blancas de San Jose made a book entitled “Artes y reglas de la lengua tagala” for the benefit of the missionaries in order to understand the natives and will be able to preach the word of God. The missionaries believed that languages are all in the same since they all come from one source which is God hence there is much fervour to learn the language of the natives. Though there is contradiction to what they believe since there are words in the Baybayin wherein there is no direct translation to Tagalog like Jesus Christ. Because of this, the translation could only benefit the Spaniards and not the Filipinos and that the Filipinos could not really understand what the Spaniards are trying to say. There is also a portion in the chapter wherein it talks about the failure of the Spaniards in incorporating the Baybayin to translate their language into the Filipino’s native writing. Since they weren’t able to do it, they introduced the Spanish phonetics to the Filipinos. The Spaniards believe that it is easier to do use this kind of writing system than to use the Baybayin since they find it unreadable because each character in the Baybayin alphabet contains many translations. Due to the actions of the Spanish missionaries, they were able to convert the native tongue to help them

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