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Google Doesn’t Know?

Posted by frankahilario on f April 2007

Google in Filipino (screen capture) 20 Years Behind The Times

Annoyance is what I feel whenever I’m googling outside of home – and therefore am not using my new beautiful Google Homepage – because I always get Google Pilipinas first: Mga Larawan, Mga Grupo, Hanapin sa Google, Sinusuwerte Ako, ang web, mga pahina mula sa Pilipinas etc. I need one additional mouse click before I can reach my Google Homepage, where I have all my shortcuts to webpages and more. But that’s not what irks me. The knowledge I’m after is English, is technical, is untranslatable to any of 100 Philippine languages, and Google insists that I use Tagalog in my search? I thought Google was more intelligent than that!

Why does Google always assume that when I want Google Philippines I prefer the Tagalog language? Why is Tagalog the default idiom? So what if I’m a Filipino and I’m located in the Philippines? It must be that Google doesn’t know that Tagalog as the basis of the national language (now called Filipino) was effectively outlawed by the Cory Constitution in 1987, or 20 years ago. Article XIV, Section 6 states:

The national language of the Philippines is Filipino. As it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.

It must be that Google Philippines is chained to the historic past, not out in the present discovering possible futures. Why does the almighty Google cling to a minion of Imperial Manila? I don’t understand at all. Unless someone can give me a satisfactory explanation, I am inclined to believe that Google doesn’t want my country to capitalize on one of its strengths, which is its mastery of the English language. Et tu, Google!

English is the universal language, and we Filipinos are very good at it, among them those who ride the waves of the Internet – but Google insists that we Filipinos deny, ignore or gloss over this fact. Not very intelligent, is it? I salute Yahoo because its Philippine presence doesn’t presume to know better, because its attitude is not patronizing. How can we compete with the IT universe using Tagalog / Filipino as language? We can, but it will take us a hundred years. With English, we can compete now with the rest of the world, we can challenge now the best in the world, especially in knowledge management. Why, is Google afraid that with Google Philippines in English, it is sleeping with the enemy? A narrow view, I must say.


Posted in Filipino language, Google Homepage, Google Philippines, language of the Internet, patronizing attitude, Tagalog language, Yahoo Philippines | 5 Comments »