Saturday, August 20, 2005

gustatory Tagalog

a meditative post on the colorful language that i love...many words cannot be translated into English satisfactorily but i will try my best. i also noticed that almost all of the words can be applied to non food contexts, such as to people who behave in ways that leave that flavor in your mind.
see i grew up with a lola(grandma) who used to say: tela, add some hot water now!
tela: how hot, lol?
lola: maligamgam
tela: huh? how hot is that lol?
lola: malahininga (as hot as the breath you take)....

it occurred to me that there are so many words to describe the tastes and textures of food that i had to write them down as i remember them. please feel free to correct me: i am out of practice, as my husband is not Filipino and i am always a phone call away from speaking in my beloved native tongue.

malasa=tasty, flavorful
malinamnam=luscious, delectable
nalalasap=appetizing, lipsmacking good
matabang=lacking flavor (also applies to non-food situations, as in describing a person who fails to display enthusiasm or provides a lackluster effort; beware if you detect this flavor in a lover, potential lover, work colleague)
matapang (matindi)=strong as in coffee, or to describe intensely flavored food (contrast to above)
nakakangilo=sweet to the point of toothache
maango=smelly old stale?
maanghang=peppery, spicey hot
mapakla=acrid, leaves an unpleasant coating in the tongue such as when one eats fruit that is not quite ripe or when one witnesses meanness in another
nakakasunok or nakakasuya or nakakasawa=inducing a feeling of fullness to the point of nausea, or tiredness from eating the same food over and over again (same feeling you get when you feel like you've blogged the same food over and over again in different guises)
malansa=fishy, gamey; also applies to Filipinos who do not acknowledge their roots, according to Jose Rizal
madulas=slimey, as in okra
hilaw=unripe, uncooked; also refers to a half-baked effort or half-cooked strategy
(i.e., the post is so hilaw, it makes you wonder if it's...)
hinog sa pilit=refers to fruit that is picked before its prime (did blogger participate in something unwillingly?)and forced to speed-ripen far from the tree; therefore not as sweet or juicy
lihi=a pregnant mother's craved-for food; thought to imbue the infant in amnio with the food's qualities. i.e, if it is a sour food, the infant will be of sour countenance. i only remember the craving i had for my 3rd child, which was the Vietnamese beef soup, pho...i don't know yet how that has influenced my #2 son.
napaglihihan describes the food for which the mother craved for.
makati=induces a scratchy feeling in the throat, such as when anaphylactic shock is about to set in and choke the living daylights out of you for eating a forbidden allergenic food

and then there are the words to describe how a person enjoys food;
matakaw, masiba=gluttonous (one of the seven cardinal sins,#4 )
mahilig=(extreme) fondness bordering on lust(#7 on the list)
maganid=avaricious, greedy (#6 and #3 in the list that i had to memorize for the missionary sisters of saint joseph)
matipid=skimpy on money, portions or ingredients

i will be adding on to this list as i remember my words better. and i will try to add the appropriate accent/emphasized syllable.
see. i think if you undertake to do something you can't do it half heartedly.
otherwise, don't do it at all. you don't do it for others, you do it for yourself.
otherwise don't do it.
at all.