‘Daluyong bagyo,’ ‘hagunot’ in ‘weder forkast’ | Inquirer News

‘Daluyong bagyo,’ ‘hagunot’ in ‘weder forkast’

/ 03:07 AM June 14, 2016

A STORM surge warning to coastal communities may come out as babala sa daluyong bagyo, while a gale warning to fishing boats may come out as babala sa hanging hagunot. And the next advisory from the state weather bureau may come out as weder forkast.

Say again?


Many words in the new official translation of weather terms issued by a government language body has even weathermen themselves shaking their heads while trying out the unfamiliar terms.

After more than a year’s work, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) on Monday launched its 73-page “Patnubay sa Weder Forkasting” for use by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), media, disaster agencies and schools.


The illustrated book contains weather terms in English, Filipino and major Philippine languages with their translation and explanation. It also has sample forecasts and storm warnings, explanation of weather events, and even Philippine mythological tales, proverbs and riddles related to weather.

Some terms in English are retained, such as cold front, equinox and low pressure area; many are translated to Filipino, such as altitud for altitude, bubog-ulan for hail and taog (for high tide).

Then there are original Filipino terms introduced—daluyong for giant waves, halumigmig (for humidity), hanging haginit for fresh wind.

“We ask that from this day, weather forecasting be done in Filipino using the terms contained in the book. This way, we educate ordinary citizens and the government will no longer have a hard time calling for an evacuation in case of disaster,” KWF Director General Roberto Añonuevo said in Filipino.

Fear of confusion

“We urge TV and radio networks, the media to use the terms in this book because if we do not use them, the words will die,” he went on.

But Pagasa officials admitted adopting some of the new terminologies would not happen quickly.


“We are going to study what is acceptable to the public because it might cause confusion,” said acting  Pagasa Administrator  Vicente Malano, who asked the KWF officials why they chose to translate altitude into altitud.

“With so many dialects that we have, don’t we have our own word, a Filipino word?” Malano asked.

Añonuevo said the word altitude had no equivalent as a technical term, although there were Filipino words related in meaning.

He said there were 27 words in Philippine languages for rain and 14 words for sun, while there are two Philippine proverbs about cyclone (bagyo), eight about wind (hangin) and five about flood (baha).

Malano is uncomfortable using weder forkasting. “Why don’t we just adopt the English term weather forecast?” he asked.

Admitting they are introducing the use of weder forkasting, Añonuevo said Pagasa chose to adopt the English term but spelled it according to local phonetics to broaden Philippine vocabulary.

Reality of the sound

According to KWF Commissioner Purificacion Delima, the word weder is recognizable since it is how it is usually pronounced by Filipinos, as there is no th-sound in Philippine languages.

“Our realidad is the d-sound. So if a child hears or sees the word weder, he will recognize it,” she insisted.

The weather division chief, Esperanza Cayanan, admitted weathermen were confused by the translated terms.

“At the start we were arguing over the terminologies since we want to make sure we are understood (by the public). Because we ourselves do not understand some of the terms that are here,” she said.

“At first we were not comfortable, because we are supposed to teach the public since we announce the forecast. Instead of a short (forecast), it may be long just to explain what is (hanging) hagunot,” Cayanan added.

A matter of patriotism

Añonuevo said those in Metro Manila may not be familiar with humahagunot na hangin or daluyong, but said these were words used in the provinces.

He said the word daluyong was found in a vocabulary book in the 1860s used to describe giant waves whipped up by a storm.

Pagasa drew flak for using the term storm surge without clarifying its meaning when Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) hit the country in November 2013.

“It’s already in the consciousness of the people. We just have to dig them up, restore them. Maybe they’re not used much anymore because we have been used to English. But in the provinces, you hear that,” Añonuevo said.

Cayanan said Pagasa would  have to hold workshops among themselves and with the media first to get used to the new terms, but she admitted the KWF guide would promote Philippine culture while helping make forecasts better understood.

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TAGS: “Patnubay sa Weder Forkasting”, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, Nation, News, Philippine typhoons, weather advisory
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