“Actually, since the Phil. are a former Spanish colony, many DO speak Spanish.”
I have a couple of Filipino friends. Against popular myth, even though they were occupied by the Spaniards...they DO NOT speak Spanish. It’s just that 20% of Spanish words entered the Tagalog language eventually but 80% is still distinct. Well, they were also occupied by Americans and the japanese but only for a short time.
I knew about Tagalog, but assumed they also learned Spanish in the schools.
Curiously, the Philippines still have an academy for the Spanish language, an affiliate of Spain's Royal Spanish Academy.
More curiously, so does the US, or at least North America.
You got that right. I AM Filipino and I don’t speak Spanish (even after taking 2 years of it in high school). There are a lot of Spanish words adopted into Tagalog, but speak pure Spanish to a Filipino and they won’t understand you.
Actually, I tried watching a Filipino chick flick at home and my husband got frustrated because the dialog went back and forth between English and Tagalog (or Taglish, as it’s been called) so he couldn’t completely tune it out (He speaks only English). There’s a lot of English spoken in casual conversations between Filipinos, more so than a Spanish word here or there.
BTW, I’m with your buddy. I HATE when people ask me if I speak Spanish and I HATE it when I get asked if I speak English. Oddly enough, I got asked that while I was still living in California. I’ve only been asked that once in my 17 years of living in Arizona. I immigrated here legally when I was 10 years old. I speak English exclusively, and though I can still understand Tagalog, it feels very unnatural for me to speak it.
The trouble with your friend is, he LOOKS like he should speak Spanish! ;)