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City readies new chavacano dictionary

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A new Chavacano dictionary is under development as part of the local government’s efforts to preserve and promote the Chavacano language.

Special Assistant to the City Mayor and Assistant City Administrator Dr. Jose Genaro Yap-Aizon said a two-volume dictionary is currently in the validation and editing stage, and is expected to be completed sometime at the end of the year or early 2018.

The dictionary, said Dr. Yap-Aizon, comes in the heels of the Chavacano Orthography, a comprehensive reference material for Chavacano spelling and grammar produced by the local government.

Producing a dictionary takes time, rigorous research, and revisions, explained Dr. Yap-Aizon, which is why developing the Chavacano dictionary has so far taken up to two years in the making.

“It takes us years to finish a dictionary. Now, the dictionary is in the validation and editing stage. Hopefully, by December or January out ya este. Ese el main project for this year,” Dr. Yap-Aizon said on Monday, November 6.

The dictionary will be split into two volumes, with first volume covering A-M and the second volume taking up N-Z. According to Dr. Yap-Aizon, the dictionary will also follow the principle of description, wherein it will codify the language based on how native speakers use it.

A budget of Php 2 M has been allocated for dictionary’s development and production.

Aside from the Chavacano dictionary, the local government is also pursuing the training of teachers in the use of Chavacano in classrooms in line with the mother tongue-based multilingual education (MTB-MLE) of the Department of Education.