nanliligaw ka ba o naliligaw ka lang?

Discussion in 'Tagalog and Filipino Languages' started by alkor, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. alkor New Member

    I'm a bit confused with nanliligaw and naliligaw. Both have the same root word ligaw if I am not wrong so I guess nan- and na- prefix do the trick. Are they of the same meaning? Google translate gives "courting you or you just lost?" I haven't heard of a nan- prefix by the way.

    "nanliligaw ka ba o naliligaw ka lang?"

    Can somebody please shed some light. Thanks a lot again.
  2. redmanPH Member

    English, Tagalog (Philippines)
    To me, that would come across as "Are you courting (me? not specified) or are you lost?"

    Yes it does seem weird to me too haha.

    Or... "Are you roaming/wandering around, or are you just lost?" <-- seems to make more sense
  3. Sinshana New Member

    Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Philippines
    Philippines - Tagalog & English
    I've never come across the word naliligaw before, but it seems to mean "stray away", "get lost", or "go astray". I think the sentence you have provided is similar to one clever remark I've heard before, which is:

    MagkaiBIgan ba kayo o magKAibiGAN?

    Of course, both words are spelled the same way but are not pronounced the same and certainly don't have the same meaning. It would be translated as:

    Are you two friends or lovers?

    So going back to your question, I would think that the speaker wanted to make what he was saying clever by using two words with the same root word, which can mean two different things. We know now that naligaw means "got lost" whereas niligawan means "was courted" :)

    So I would say your sentence means:

    Are you (attempting to court) courting [me/her] or are you losing your way?

    and can be translated in a variety of ways that mean the same thing.

    I think it would mean that the person being spoken to is trying to court someone but is completely lost in his attempt to do this, like he is maybe totally pathetic and couldn't hook up with a girl to save his life, and/or doesn't know what he's doing.
  4. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    It is correct to say in Tagalog; nanunuyo ka ba o gumagawi ka lang dito?" (courting or just visiting here)
  5. rempress Member

    Sinshana got it correctly but not quite. In the past a man has to visit the girl's home to court her. When a guy cannot express clearly his intention the smart way to clear this up is by the girl telling the man jokingly if he went to girl's home to court her or he just lost his way and ended up to the girl's house. It's sounds cute when you hear this in Tagalog not only because of its rhyme but because of the feeling the girl is expressing. It's just like the girl is saying 'hey go ahead court me'.
  6. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    I agree but i also heard this from old folks; ano bang dahilan yaan at narito ka!
  7. go_neybee New Member

    My friend, you are confused between two different words.

    LI'-GAW (accent on the first syllable) = to court.
    LI-GAW' (accent on the second syllable) = to get lost.

    Nan-/Nang- = to do (insert verb here) e.g. nanlulunod = drowns (somebody)
    Na- = to be (insert verb here)'ed e.g. nalulunod = drowning
  8. jmtamayo Member

    Based on observation, I think the prefix NAN- suggests the idea of someone's act being done to somebody (requires an object of action), whereas NA- gives the idea of an action (which isn't done deliberately) by someone. In other words, verbs with NAN- are somewhat transitive and NA- verbs are intransitive. :)

    Regarding the same spelling, but different pronunciation and meanings in Filipino, I think accents on syllables should be used again in written Filipino to avoid confusion. This would make reading Filipino easier and helps learners of Filipino, like alkor, pronounce better. :)

    Such examples are:
    bíhis (way of dressing) - bihís (dressed up)
    púno (tree)- punó (full)
    suka (vomit) - sukà (vinegar)
  9. DotterKat Moderator

    California, USA
    English (American)
    So we don't lose track of the original question:

    Ligaw and ligàw are heteronyms (same spelling, different pronunciations, different meanings) and are therefore two different root words. Ligaw pertains to courtship and ligàw pertains to the state of being lost. As alluded to above, accents are underutilized in written Tagalog and therefore differentiating heteronyms can be troublesome for some people.
    I agree with the explanations above that the text translates to something like "Have you come to court me or are you just lost?" or "Have you come a-courtin' or did you simply lose your way?" Different variations can be made but that is basically the translation. As to the meaning of the phrase, that can be very subjective and is quite open to interpretation as different motivations and subterfuges can be ascribed to such an enigmatic question. This play on words is meant to be witty and somewhat ambiguous at the same time to permit both parties at the beginning stages of the delicate dance of courtship the chance to forge ahead (if the phrase is read as an encouragement) or to back out (if the phrase is read as an intimidation).

    Finally, as mentioned in another response, don't confuse the two different prefixes: nan- + duplication of first syllable of the root word (nanliligaw, nanloloko, nanliligtas, etc.) describes an externally directed action (courting somebody, fooling somebody, saving somebody, etc.) Na- + duplication of first syllable of the root word (naliligaw, nagugutom, nauuhaw, etc.) describes an internal state of being (being lost, being hungry, being thirsty, etc.) Those are the ways that these two different affixes were used in your text. As always, there will be exceptions. For instance nanlulumo (nan- + duplication of first syllable of root lumo) refers to an internal state of being (being depressed). The same goes for na- + duplication of first syllable of the root word: nakikita (able to see something), naririnig (able to hear something) pertain to outwardly directed capabilities.
    Last edited: May 11, 2013
  10. 082486

    082486 Senior Member

    Filipino (Kinaray-a, Ilonggo, Tagalog)
    I agree with the explanations above and DotterKat explained it thoroughly.

Share This Page