31 May 2009
I am now in Budapest. My tour guide says that Hungarian is spoken only by Hungarians. That sounds pretty much like Filipino, which is spoken only by Filipinos (and, of course, non-Filipinos that study it for various reasons, usually academic). But Hungarian literature, unlike literature in Filipino, has a worldwide readership through translations. Witness, for example, Magda Szabo. What are writers in Filipino not doing that Hungarian writers appear to be doing? Why are translators taking time to study and translate Hungarian and not taking time to do the same thing with writers in Filipino (or Tagalog or Cebuano or Ilocano)? The Philippines has been colonized or conquered several times in the past, just like Hungary. Where lies the difference?