June 6, 2023

AFTER OUR FIRST discussion of the Nabaloi EXPR Nandasi dasin!, we got readers asking (or suggesting?) in ways, like: “How different is the EXPR from the Ifontok ‘Angsan (man sas~)?’; or, “the (Southern) Kankana-ey ‘Palapalolo ya!’’ or, “the Ikulos ‘Ang angsan kuno!’, et cetera.
“AND YOU CITED too the incidences of the terms of Spanish origin, nl. Sobra and Grabe! which are used most frequently in the Low-land Philippine languages like: Tagalog, Iluko, and Pangasinan?”
OUR DIRECT ANSWER is: Yes! the EXPR Nandasi dasin is related in Meaning and Usage to those aforenamed EXPRs, but not really the same. From our examples, the dissimilarities can be deciphered, to wit:
THE IFONTOK SPEAKER says: ‘Angsan man sas isurat ya fill-upan ya! – referring to the many blanks needed to be filled up re an ancestral domain application.
IF TRANSLATED, THE first three words could mean: “too much are those (to be filled up and written)!” Too much (or very cumbersome) is related to the idea of Nandasi-dasin! (in this usage, it translates: “exceptionally tiresome/too much, etc.” i.e. adding the idea of: ‘this filling-up is one in an instance.. other application forms are not this long, tiresome, and complicated!’
THE SOUTHERN KANKANA-EY – citing his idol-classmate says: Pala palalos todi, no panggep is Math yah! (Transl. Literal: “Bright/brilliant/intense he is, when it comes to Mathematics!”).
IF, IN PLACE of Pala palalo ~, you express it in the Nabaloi Nandasi dasin!, he is not only that brilliant; he is: ‘in fact unbeatable, so far by now’. Next,
THE IKULOS ANG angsan kuno! adds the Speaker’s meanings: “I can’t seem to believe it”. or, “Is that true? Or even, “aren’t you just exaggeratin’?” So in a statement like:
‘SHE HAS THREE M.A.s – one in the States?.. ara, ang angsan kuno!’ (Lit. “She has three Masters of Arts, one in the U.S.A?.. like it’s hard to believe!”).

AND NOW, THE Low-land parallel EXPRs of Sobra! and Grabe! Let’s note the ‘shades’ of differences in actual usage:
IN PILIPINO, WE say Sobra ang pasasalamat namin sa ginawa mong tulong! (Lit: “Great/profound/etc. is our gratitude for the help you’ve done!”).
IF WE SUBSTITUTE Nandasi dasin! for Sobra ~, the resulting Nabaloi would be ‘clumsy’ – not ‘elegant’, nor ‘refined’; for at best in the context, it could translate as: “Too much~”; Yes this is all right. But if translated as “Unnecessarily too much~”, there can be negative implications of: excessively, overactingly, et cetera.
FOR THE ‘JEOPARDY’, how can you then save the ‘pleasant content’ and same time, not using Nandasi dasin!?
OUR ANSWER IS: say Sobda (– the Nabaloized version of Sobra) instead; and presto! You got no import of Meaning minused!
AND GRABE! IS this substitutable with Nandasi dasin!? Sometimes Yes!; but sometimes No! Let’s take the insubstitutability first:
THE TAGALOG SAYS: Grabe! wala kaming tubig! (Lit: “[it’s] too much! We got no water!”). the question: could we substitute in the Context Nandasi dasin!? The answer is No!
THE USUAL USAGE is to name a Cause or a Causer – of the ‘infortunate circumstance’ as in:
Nandasi dasin! eh Water District (or the name of the company/person(s) in-charge), why no water? etc.; in which case, the EXPR adds the ‘ingredients’ of available (and referred-to!) culprits – companies, agencies, individuals! And if, however, you wish to express it in a general sense – as does the Tagalog example Supra? Our answer:
RETAIN THE TAGALOG: Grabe! ay aychi y chanum mi! (same as the Tagalog sentence and English translation). Note: Nabalois of Today may either use Grabe! or Palado! (Kankana-ey Palalo! Mr. Ike Picpican: which is more ‘original’, please?).

BUT NOW – AFTER the discussions and translations, sadness can come to both of us. Why, you may ask?
BECAUSE SOBRA! AND Grabe! – which are supposed to be Filipino, Iluko, Pangasinan, etc. and which are as well rendered (same meaning) in the Cordi languages of this Generation as: Sobda or Sobla!; Grabe or Glabe! are derived from Spanish – but also of meanings, not-exact to our Usages of them. Note briefly:
SOBRA =INT IN Español is “surplus, surplusages” not really capturing our Usage of too much-ness, or excessivity as perchance in: over emotionality, overearnestness, overstrongness, overtenaciousness, even overtimidity – of a referred-to entity, or entities.
GRAVE =INT IN Español is: “Severe, grievious, serious, grave, acute, bad, low, deep, difficult, grim, desperate, et cetera”; thus
TOUCHING ON THE meanings of “grave, intense, severe, etc”; but not really (or not only) on our renditions of “too much”, or “too overly done”, or even “perfectly rendered”?
BESIDES, SPANISH DIFFERENTIATES the ‘Specifics’ of Severo (severe), serio (serious), agudo (acute), austero (austere), etc., from those specifics in which grave (grave, adj) may apply.
SO, IF YOU are from ‘these Heights’ and you don’t want to jeopardize your Usage of Sobra! and Grabe!, try – just try, in place: using instead: Nandasi dasin!