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Swiss woman shows mastery of Filipino language in honor of 'Buwan ng Wika'

By Kara Santos Published Aug 31, 2020 12:00 am Updated Aug 31, 2020 4:36 am

A Swiss woman could put some Filipinos to shame over her mastery of the Filipino language.

In celebration of "Buwan ng Wika" (Filipino Language Month) this August, the Embassy of Switzerland in the Philippines posted a video featuring Swiss writer Annette Hug, who previously studied in the country and has become fluent in the language.

Annette Hug is an author of three books who lives in Zurich, Switzerland. In the video, the writer, journalist and translator shares how she came to learn and love the Filipino language.

The video posted on Facebook on Thursday, August 27, has managed to garner 8.2K reactions and 4.5K shares as of this writing, with many netizens praising her mastery of the language and her insightful take on the Filipino language from a foreigner’s perspective.

Check out the short video here and see if you can understand some of the Filipino words she shares:

"I went to Manila in 1992 to study in UP Diliman. In 1992, there was still no female professor in our Institute of History at the University of Zurich. I wanted to study new gender or women studies. I was actually happy to hear that UP had a pioneer women and development studies program. It felt like my professors in the Philippines were global pioneers," Hugg recounts in Filipino. 

After finishing her Master of Women and Development Studies in 1995 and returning to Switzerland, Hugg has been going back and forth to Manila to meet up with friends and colleagues.

Hugg also managed to pick up the language while researching the journey of Jose Rizal to Germany as it was the subject of her third novel Wilhelm Tell in Manila, himself the National Hero of Switzerland.

In the video, Hugg says that in her opinion, the "core of the Filipno language is strong" as it adapted words from other languages including Sanskrit, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and English.

She said that while it was a challenge for her to master some of the deeper Filipino words, she appreciated the learning process and the playfulness of the language immensely. She also pointed out how the the language continues to evolve with the younger generations changing the language and jokes over time.

(Screenshot from video posted by the Embassy of Switzerlannd in the Philippines)