Tagalog language

Last updated

Wikang Tagalog
ᜏᜒᜃᜅ᜔ ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔
Pronunciation [tɐˈɡaːloɡ]
Native to Philippines
RegionKatagalugan; Metro Manila, Parts of Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Parts of Mimaropa
Ethnicity Tagalog
Native speakers
29 million (2023) [1]
83 million total speakers (2023)
Early forms
Standard forms
  • Bataan
  • Batangas
  • Bulacan
  • Lubang
  • Manila
  • Marinduque
  • Puray
  • Tanay–Paete (Eastern Rizal-Northern Laguna)
  • Tayabas (Quezon and Aurora [2] )
Official status
Official language in
Philippines (as Filipino)
ASEAN (as Filipino)
Recognised minority
language in
Philippines (as a regional language and an auxiliary official language in the predominantly Tagalog-speaking areas of the Philippines)
Regulated by Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
Language codes
ISO 639-1 tl
ISO 639-2 tgl
ISO 639-3 tgl
Glottolog taga1280   Tagalogic
taga1269   Tagalog-Filipino
taga1270   Tagalog
Linguasphere 31-CKA
Idioma tagalo.png
Predominantly Tagalog-speaking regions in the Philippines
A Tagalog speaker, recorded in South Africa.

Tagalog ( /təˈɡɑːlɒɡ/ , tə-GAH-log; [3] [tɐˈɡaːloɡ] ; Baybayin : ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔) is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by the ethnic Tagalog people, who make up a quarter of the population of the Philippines, and as a second language by the majority. Its standardized form, officially named Filipino, is the national language of the Philippines, and is one of two official languages, alongside English.


Tagalog is closely related to other Philippine languages, such as the Bikol languages, the Bisayan languages, Ilocano, Kapampangan, and Pangasinan, and more distantly to other Austronesian languages, such as the Formosan languages of Taiwan, Indonesian, Malay, Hawaiian, Māori, Malagasy, and many more.


Tagalog is a Northern Philippine language within the Austronesian language family. Being Malayo-Polynesian, it is related to other Austronesian languages, such as Malagasy, Javanese, Indonesian, Malay, Tetum (of Timor), and Yami (of Taiwan). [4] It is closely related to the languages spoken in the Bicol Region and the Visayas islands, such as the Bikol group and the Visayan group, including Waray-Waray, Hiligaynon and Cebuano. [4]

Tagalog differs from its Central Philippine counterparts with its treatment of the Proto-Philippine schwa vowel . In most Bikol and Visayan languages, this sound merged with /u/ and [o]. In Tagalog, it has merged with /i/. For example, Proto-Philippine *dəkət (adhere, stick) is Tagalog dikít and Visayan & Bikol dukót.

Proto-Philippine *r, *j, and *z merged with /d/ but is /l/ between vowels. Proto-Philippine *ŋajan (name) and *hajək (kiss) became Tagalog ngalan and halík.

Proto-Philippine *R merged with /ɡ/. *tubiR (water) and *zuRuʔ (blood) became Tagalog tubig and dugô.


The base consonants and vowels of the Baybayin script, the original writing system of Tagalog Baybayin alpha.jpg
The base consonants and vowels of the Baybayin script, the original writing system of Tagalog

The word Tagalog is possibly derived from the endonym taga-ilog ("river dweller"), composed of tagá- ("native of" or "from") and ilog ("river"), or alternatively, taga-alog deriving from alog ("pool of water in a lowland"; "rice or vegetable plantation"). Linguists such as David Zorc and Robert Blust speculate that the Tagalogs and other Central Philippine ethno-linguistic groups originated in Northeastern Mindanao or the Eastern Visayas. [5] [6]

Possible words of Old Tagalog origin are attested in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription from the tenth century, which is largely written in Old Malay. [7] The first known complete book to be written in Tagalog is the Doctrina Christiana (Christian Doctrine), printed in 1593. The Doctrina was written in Spanish and two transcriptions of Tagalog; one in the ancient, then-current Baybayin script and the other in an early Spanish attempt at a Latin orthography for the language.

Vocabulario de la lengua tagala, 1794. Vocabulario de la lengua tagala 1794.jpg
Vocabulario de la lengua tagala, 1794.

Throughout the 333 years of Spanish rule, various grammars and dictionaries were written by Spanish clergymen. In 1610, the Dominican priest Francisco Blancas de San José published the Arte y reglas de la lengua tagala (which was subsequently revised with two editions in 1752 and 1832) in Bataan. In 1613, the Franciscan priest Pedro de San Buenaventura published the first Tagalog dictionary, his Vocabulario de la lengua tagala in Pila, Laguna.

The first substantial dictionary of the Tagalog language was written by the Czech Jesuit missionary Pablo Clain in the beginning of the 18th century. Clain spoke Tagalog and used it actively in several of his books. He prepared the dictionary, which he later passed over to Francisco Jansens and José Hernandez. [8] Further compilation of his substantial work was prepared by P. Juan de Noceda and P. Pedro de Sanlucar and published as Vocabulario de la lengua tagala in Manila in 1754 and then repeatedly [9] reedited, with the last edition being in 2013 in Manila. [10]

Among others, Arte de la lengua tagala y manual tagalog para la administración de los Santos Sacramentos (1850) in addition to early studies [11] of the language.

The indigenous poet Francisco Balagtas (1788–1862) is known as the foremost Tagalog writer, his most notable work being the 19th-century epic Florante at Laura . [12]

Official status

Diariong Tagalog (Tagalog Newspaper), the first bilingual newspaper in the Philippines founded in 1882 written in both Tagalog and Spanish. Diariong Tagalog.jpg
Diariong Tagalog (Tagalog Newspaper), the first bilingual newspaper in the Philippines founded in 1882 written in both Tagalog and Spanish.

Tagalog was declared the official language by the first revolutionary constitution in the Philippines, the Constitution of Biak-na-Bato in 1897. [13]

In 1935, the Philippine constitution designated English and Spanish as official languages, but mandated the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. [14] After study and deliberation, the National Language Institute, a committee composed of seven members who represented various regions in the Philippines, chose Tagalog as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines. [15] [16] President Manuel L. Quezon then, on December 30, 1937, proclaimed the selection of the Tagalog language to be used as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines. [15] In 1939, President Quezon renamed the proposed Tagalog-based national language as Wikang Pambansâ (national language). [16] Quezon himself was born and raised in Baler, Aurora, which is a native Tagalog-speaking area. Under the Japanese puppet government during World War II, Tagalog as a national language was strongly promoted; the 1943 Constitution specifying: "The government shall take steps toward the development and propagation of Tagalog as the national language."

In 1959, the language was further renamed as "Pilipino". [16] Along with English, the national language has had official status under the 1973 constitution (as "Pilipino") [17] and the present 1987 constitution (as Filipino).


The adoption of Tagalog in 1937 as basis for a national language is not without its own controversies. Instead of specifying Tagalog, the national language was designated as Wikang Pambansâ ("National Language") in 1939. [15] [18] [ better source needed ] Twenty years later, in 1959, it was renamed by then Secretary of Education, José E. Romero, as Pilipino to give it a national rather than ethnic label and connotation. The changing of the name did not, however, result in acceptance among non-Tagalogs, especially Cebuanos who had not accepted the selection. [16]

The national language issue was revived once more during the 1971 Constitutional Convention. The majority of the delegates were even in favor of scrapping the idea of a "national language" altogether. [19] A compromise solution was worked out—a "universalist" approach to the national language, to be called Filipino rather than Pilipino. The 1973 constitution makes no mention of Tagalog. When a new constitution was drawn up in 1987, it named Filipino as the national language. [16] The constitution specified that as the Filipino language evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages. However, more than two decades after the institution of the "universalist" approach, there seems to be little if any difference between Tagalog and Filipino.[ citation needed ]

Many of the older generation in the Philippines feel that the replacement of English by Tagalog in the popular visual media has had dire economic effects regarding the competitiveness of the Philippines in trade and overseas remittances. [20]

Use in education

Upon the issuance of Executive Order No. 134, Tagalog was declared as basis of the National Language. On April 12, 1940, Executive No. 263 was issued ordering the teaching of the national language in all public and private schools in the country. [21]

Article XIV, Section 6 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines specifies, in part:

Subject to provisions of law and as the Congress may deem appropriate, the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system. [22]

Under Section 7, however:

The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein. [22]

In 2009, the Department of Education promulgated an order institutionalizing a system of mother-tongue based multilingual education ("MLE"), wherein instruction is conducted primarily in a student's mother tongue (one of the various regional Philippine languages) until at least grade three, with additional languages such as Filipino and English being introduced as separate subjects no earlier than grade two. In secondary school, Filipino and English become the primary languages of instruction, with the learner's first language taking on an auxiliary role. [23] After pilot tests in selected schools, the MLE program was implemented nationwide from School Year (SY) 2012–2013. [24] [25]

Tagalog is the first language of a quarter of the population of the Philippines (particularly in Central and Southern Luzon) and the second language for the majority. [26]

Geographic distribution

In the Philippines

No dumping sign along the highway in the Laguna province, Philippines. Brgy. Santo Angel No Dumping Sign.jpg
No dumping sign along the highway in the Laguna province, Philippines.
A landslide and rockslide-prone area sign at Indang, Cavite. 2019-07-08 Tagalog landslide and rockslide-prone sign Limbon Indang Cavite 0671.jpg
A landslide and rockslide-prone area sign at Indang, Cavite.
Welcome arch to Palayan, Nueva Ecija. CityofPalayanjf8211 03.JPG
Welcome arch to Palayan, Nueva Ecija.

According to the 2020 census conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were 109 million people living in the Philippines, where the vast majority have some basic level of understanding of the language. The Tagalog homeland, Katagalugan, covers roughly much of the central to southern parts of the island of Luzon — particularly in Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, and Rizal. Tagalog is also spoken natively by inhabitants living on the islands of Marinduque and Mindoro, as well as Palawan to a lesser extent. Significant minorities are found in the other Central Luzon provinces of Pampanga and Tarlac, Ambos Camarines in Bicol Region, and the Cordillera city of Baguio. Tagalog is also the predominant language of Cotabato City in Mindanao, making it the only place outside of Luzon with a native Tagalog-speaking majority. It is also the main lingua franca in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. [27]

At the 2000 Philippines Census, it is spoken by approximately 57.3 million Filipinos, 96% of the household population who were able to attend school; [28] slightly over 22 million, or 28% of the total Philippine population, [29] speak it as a native language.

The following regions and provinces of the Philippines are majority Tagalog-speaking (from north to south):

Tagalog speakers are also found in other parts of the Philippines and through its standardized form of Filipino, the language serves the national lingua franca of the country.

Outside of the Philippines

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Countries with more than 500,000 speakers
Countries with between 100,000-500,000 speakers
Countries where it is spoken by minor communities Tagalosphere.png
  Countries with more than 500,000 speakers
  Countries with between 100,000–500,000 speakers
  Countries where it is spoken by minor communities
The Tagalog caption (bottom-left) about venom at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco includes words that are uncommonly used in Metro Manila such as "hungkag" (hollow), "sinisila" (prey), "mapanila" (predator), "tibo" (stinger), and "kabatiran" (clue/knowledge/discernment). Tagalog Information About Venom.jpg
The Tagalog caption (bottom-left) about venom at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco includes words that are uncommonly used in Metro Manila such as "hungkag" (hollow), "sinisila" (prey), "mapanila" (predator), "tibò" (stinger), and "kabatiran" (clue/knowledge/discernment).

Tagalog serves as the common language among Overseas Filipinos, though its use overseas is usually limited to communication between Filipino ethnic groups. The largest concentration of Tagalog speakers outside the Philippines is found in the United States, wherein 2020, the United States Census Bureau reported (based on data collected in 2018) that it was the fourth most-spoken non-English language at home with over 1.7 million speakers, behind Spanish, French, and Chinese (with figures for Cantonese and Mandarin combined). [31]

A study based on data from the United States Census Bureau's 2015 American Consumer Survey shows that Tagalog is the most commonly spoken non-English language after Spanish in California, Nevada, and Washington states. [32]

Tagalog is one of three recognized languages in San Francisco, California, along with Spanish and Chinese, making all essential city services be communicated using these languages along with English. [33] Meanwhile, Tagalog and Ilocano (which is primarily spoken in northern Philippines) are among the non-official languages of Hawaii that its state offices and state-funded entities are required to provide oral and written translations to its residents. [34] [35] Election ballots in Nevada include instructions written in Tagalog, which was first introduced in the 2020 United States presidential elections. [36]

Other countries with significant concentrations of overseas Filipinos and Tagalog speakers include Saudi Arabia with 938,490, Canada with 676,775, Japan with 313,588, United Arab Emirates with 541,593, Kuwait with 187,067, and Malaysia with 620,043. [37]


Distribution of Tagalog dialects in the Philippines. The color-schemes represent the four dialect zones of the language: Northern, Central, Southern and Marinduque. While the majority of residents in Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur traditionally speak Bikol as their first language, these provinces nonetheless have significant Tagalog minorities. In addition, Tagalog is used as a second language throughout the country. Katagalugan dialects.png
Distribution of Tagalog dialects in the Philippines. The color-schemes represent the four dialect zones of the language: Northern, Central, Southern and Marinduque. While the majority of residents in Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur traditionally speak Bikol as their first language, these provinces nonetheless have significant Tagalog minorities. In addition, Tagalog is used as a second language throughout the country.

At present, no comprehensive dialectology has been done in the Tagalog-speaking regions, though there have been descriptions in the form of dictionaries and grammars of various Tagalog dialects. Ethnologue lists Manila, Lubang, Marinduque, Bataan (Western Central Luzon), Batangas, Bulacan (Eastern Central Luzon), Tanay-Paete (Rizal-Laguna), and Tayabas (Quezon and Aurora [2] ) as dialects of Tagalog; however, there appear to be four main dialects, of which the aforementioned are a part: Northern (exemplified by the Bulacan dialect), Central (including Manila), Southern (exemplified by Batangas), and Marinduque.

Some example of dialectal differences are:

Perhaps the most divergent Tagalog dialects are those spoken in Marinduque. [38] Linguist Rosa Soberano identifies two dialects, western and eastern, with the former being closer to the Tagalog dialects spoken in the provinces of Batangas and Quezon.

One example is the verb conjugation paradigms. While some of the affixes are different, Marinduque also preserves the imperative affixes, also found in Visayan and Bikol languages, that have mostly disappeared from most Tagalog early 20th century; they have since merged with the infinitive.

Manileño Tagalog Marinduqueño TagalogEnglish
Susulat siná María at Esperanza kay Juan.Másúlat da María at Esperanza kay Juan."María and Esperanza will write to Juan."
Mag-aaral siya sa Maynilà.Gaaral siya sa Maynilà."[He/She] will study in Manila."
Maglutò ka na.Paglutò."Cook now."
Kainin mo iyán.Kaina yaan."Eat it."
Tinatawag tayo ni Tatay.Inatawag nganì kitá ni Tatay."Father is calling us."
Tútulungan ba kayó ni Hilario?Atulungan ga kamo ni Hilario?"Is Hilario going to help you?"

The Manila Dialect is the basis for the national language.


Tagalog has 21 phonemes: 16 of them are consonants and 5 are vowels. Native Tagalog words follow CV(C) syllable structure, though complex consonant clusters are permitted in loanwords. [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44]


Tagalog has five vowels, and four diphthongs. [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] Tagalog originally had three vowel phonemes: /a/, /i/, and /u/. Tagalog is now considered to have five vowel phonemes following the introduction of two marginal phonemes from Spanish, /o/ and /e/.

Table of the five general Tagalog vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i  i u  u
Mid ɛ  e  o
Open a  a

Nevertheless, simplification of pairs [o~u] and ~i] is likely to take place, especially in some Tagalog as second language, remote location and working class registers.

The four diphthongs are /aj/, /uj/, /aw/, and /iw/. Long vowels are not written apart from pedagogical texts, where an acute accent is used: á é í ó ú. [50]

Table of all possible realizations of Tagalog vowels
Front Central Back
Close i  i u  u
Near-close ɪ  i ʊ  u
Close-mid e  e/i o  o/u
Mid ɛ̝  e  o
Open-mid ɛ  e ɔ  o
Near-open ɐ  a
Open a  a ä  a

The table above shows all the possible realizations for each of the five vowel sounds depending on the speaker's origin or proficiency. The five general vowels are in bold.


Below is a chart of Tagalog consonants. All the stops are unaspirated. The velar nasal occurs in all positions including at the beginning of a word. Loanword variants using these phonemes are italicized inside the angle brackets.

Tagalog consonant phonemes [50] [51]
Bilabial Alv. / Dental Post-alv./
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ ng
Stop voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless ( ts )( ) ts, tiy, ty, ch
voiced ( dz )( ) dz, diy, dy, j
Fricative s ( ʃ ) siy, sy, sh h h, j
Approximant l j y w
Rhotic ɾ r

Glottal stop is not indicated. [50] Glottal stops are most likely to occur when:

Stress and final glottal stop

Stress is a distinctive feature in Tagalog. Primary stress occurs on either the final or the penultimate syllable of a word. Vowel lengthening accompanies primary or secondary stress except when stress occurs at the end of a word.

Tagalog words are often distinguished from one another by the position of the stress and/or the presence of a final glottal stop. In formal or academic settings, stress placement and the glottal stop are indicated by a diacritic (tuldík) above the final vowel. [52] The penultimate primary stress position (malumay) is the default stress type and so is left unwritten except in dictionaries.

Phonetic comparison of Tagalog homographs based on stress and final glottal stop
Common spellingStressed non-ultimate syllable
no diacritic
Stressed ultimate syllable
acute accent (´)
Unstressed ultimate syllable with glottal stop
grave accent (`)
Stressed ultimate syllable with glottal stop
circumflex accent (^)
baba[ˈbaba]baba ('father')[baˈba]babá ('piggy back')[ˈbabaʔ]babà ('chin')[bɐˈbaʔ]babâ ('descend [imperative]')
baka[ˈbaka]baka ('cow')[bɐˈka]baká ('possible')
bata[ˈbata]bata ('bath robe')[bɐˈta]batá ('persevere')[ˈbataʔ]batà ('child')
bayaran[bɐˈjaran]bayaran ('pay [imperative]')[bɐjɐˈran]bayarán ('for hire')
labi[ˈlabɛʔ]/[ˈlabiʔ]labì ('lips')[lɐˈbɛʔ]/[lɐˈbiʔ]labî ('remains')
pito[ˈpito]pito ('whistle')[pɪˈto]pitó ('seven')
sala[ˈsala]sala ('living room')[saˈla]salá ('interweaving [of bamboo slats]')[ˈsalaʔ]salà ('sin')[sɐˈlaʔ]salâ ('filtered')


Writing system

Tagalog, like other Philippines languages today, is written using the Latin alphabet. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1521 and the beginning of their colonization in 1565, Tagalog was written in an abugida—or alphasyllabary—called Baybayin. This system of writing gradually gave way to the use and propagation of the Latin alphabet as introduced by the Spanish. As the Spanish began to record and create grammars and dictionaries for the various languages of the Philippine archipelago, they adopted systems of writing closely following the orthographic customs of the Spanish language and were refined over the years. Until the first half of the 20th century, most Philippine languages were widely written in a variety of ways based on Spanish orthography.

In the late 19th century, a number of educated Filipinos began proposing for revising the spelling system used for Tagalog at the time. In 1884, Filipino doctor and student of languages Trinidad Pardo de Tavera published his study on the ancient Tagalog script Contribucion para el Estudio de los Antiguos Alfabetos Filipinos and in 1887, published his essay El Sanscrito en la lengua Tagalog which made use of a new writing system developed by him. Meanwhile, Jose Rizal, inspired by Pardo de Tavera's 1884 work, also began developing a new system of orthography (unaware at first of Pardo de Tavera's own orthography). [53] A major noticeable change in these proposed orthographies was the use of the letter ⟨k⟩ rather than ⟨c⟩ and ⟨q⟩ to represent the phoneme /k/.

In 1889, the new bilingual Spanish-Tagalog La España Oriental newspaper, of which Isabelo de los Reyes was an editor, began publishing using the new orthography stating in a footnote that it would "use the orthography recently introduced by ... learned Orientalis". This new orthography, while having its supporters, was also not initially accepted by several writers. Soon after the first issue of La España, Pascual H. Poblete's Revista Católica de Filipina began a series of articles attacking the new orthography and its proponents. A fellow writer, Pablo Tecson was also critical. Among the attacks was the use of the letters "k" and "w" as they were deemed to be of German origin and thus its proponents were deemed as "unpatriotic". The publishers of these two papers would eventually merge as La Lectura Popular in January 1890 and would eventually make use of both spelling systems in its articles. [54] [53] Pedro Laktaw, a schoolteacher, published the first Spanish-Tagalog dictionary using the new orthography in 1890. [54]

In April 1890, Jose Rizal authored an article Sobre la Nueva Ortografia de la Lengua Tagalog in the Madrid-based periodical La Solidaridad. In it, he addressed the criticisms of the new writing system by writers like Pobrete and Tecson and the simplicity, in his opinion, of the new orthography. Rizal described the orthography promoted by Pardo de Tavera as "more perfect" than what he himself had developed. [54] The new orthography was, however, not broadly adopted initially and was used inconsistently in the bilingual periodicals of Manila until the early 20th century. [54] The revolutionary society Kataás-taasan, Kagalang-galang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan or Katipunan made use of the k-orthography and the letter k featured prominently on many of its flags and insignias. [54]

In 1937, Tagalog was selected to serve as basis for the country's national language. In 1940, the Balarilâ ng Wikang Pambansâ (English: Grammar of the National Language) of grammarian Lope K. Santos introduced the Abakada alphabet. This alphabet consists of 20 letters and became the standard alphabet of the national language. [55] [ better source needed ] The orthography as used by Tagalog would eventually influence and spread to the systems of writing used by other Philippine languages (which had been using variants of the Spanish-based system of writing). In 1987, the Abakada was dropped and replaced by the expanded Filipino alphabet.


Tagalog was written in an abugida (alphasyllabary) called Baybayin prior to the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, in the 16th century. This particular writing system was composed of symbols representing three vowels and 14 consonants. Belonging to the Brahmic family of scripts, it shares similarities with the Old Kawi script of Java and is believed to be descended from the script used by the Bugis in Sulawesi.

Although it enjoyed a relatively high level of literacy, Baybayin gradually fell into disuse in favor of the Latin alphabet taught by the Spaniards during their rule.

There has been confusion of how to use Baybayin, which is actually an abugida, or an alphasyllabary, rather than an alphabet. Not every letter in the Latin alphabet is represented with one of those in the Baybayin alphasyllabary. Rather than letters being put together to make sounds as in Western languages, Baybayin uses symbols to represent syllables.

A "kudlít" resembling an apostrophe is used above or below a symbol to change the vowel sound after its consonant. If the kudlit is used above, the vowel is an "E" or "I" sound. If the kudlit is used below, the vowel is an "O" or "U" sound. A special kudlit was later added by Spanish missionaries in which a cross placed below the symbol to get rid of the vowel sound all together, leaving a consonant. Previously, the consonant without a following vowel was simply left out (for example, bundók being rendered as budo), forcing the reader to use context when reading such words.


Baybayin sample 02.jpg

Latin alphabet


Until the first half of the 20th century, Tagalog was widely written in a variety of ways based on Spanish orthography consisting of 32 letters called 'ABECEDARIO' (Spanish for "alphabet"). [56] [57] The additional letters from the 26-letter English alphabet are: ch, ll, ng, ñ, n͠g / ñg, and rr.

CcN͠g / Ñgn͠g / ñg


When the national language was based on Tagalog, grammarian Lope K. Santos introduced a new alphabet consisting of 20 letters called Abakada in school grammar books called balarilâ. [58] [59] [ full citation needed ] [60] The only letter not in the English alphabet is ng.


Revised alphabet

In 1987, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports issued a memo stating that the Philippine alphabet had changed from the Pilipino-Tagalog Abakada version to a new 28-letter alphabet [61] [62] to make room for loans, especially family names from Spanish and English. [63] The additional letters from the 26-letter English alphabet are: ñ, ng.


ng and mga

The genitive marker ng and the plural marker mga (e.g. Iyan ang mga damít ko. (Those are my clothes)) are abbreviations that are pronounced nang[naŋ] and mangá[mɐˈŋa]. Ng, in most cases, roughly translates to "of" (ex. Siyá ay kapatíd ng nanay ko. She is the sibling of my mother) while nang usually means "when" or can describe how something is done or to what extent (equivalent to the suffix -ly in English adverbs), among other uses.

  • Nang si Hudas ay nadulás.—When Judas slipped.
  • Gumising siya nangmaaga.—He woke up early.
  • Gumalíng nangtodo si Juan dahil nag-ensayo siyá.—Juan greatly improved because he practiced.

In the first example, nang is used in lieu of the word noong (when; Noong si Hudas ay madulás). In the second, nang describes that the person woke up (gumising) early (maaga); gumising nang maaga. In the third, nang described up to what extent that Juan improved (gumalíng), which is "greatly" (nang todo). In the latter two examples, the ligature na and its variants -ng and -g may also be used (Gumising na maaga/Maagang gumising; Gumalíng natodo/Todong gumalíng).

The longer nang may also have other uses, such as a ligature that joins a repeated word:

  • Naghintáy sila nang naghintáy.—They kept on waiting" (a closer calque: "They were waiting and waiting.")

pô/hô and opò/ohò

The words pô/hô originated from the word "Panginoon." and "Poon." ("Lord."). When combined with the basic affirmative Oo "yes" (from Proto-Malayo-Polynesian *heqe), the resulting forms are opò and ohò.

"" and "opò" are specifically used to denote a high level of respect when addressing older persons of close affinity like parents, relatives, teachers and family friends. "" and "ohò" are generally used to politely address older neighbours, strangers, public officials, bosses and nannies, and may suggest a distance in societal relationship and respect determined by the addressee's social rank and not their age. However, "" and "opò" can be used in any case in order to express an elevation of respect.

Used in the affirmative:

Pô/Hô may also be used in negation.

Vocabulary and borrowed words

Tagalog vocabulary is mostly of native Austronesian or Tagalog origin, such as most of the words that end with the diphthong -iw, (e.g. giliw) and words that exhibit reduplication (e.g. halo-halo, patpat, etc.). Besides inherited cognates, this also accounts for innovations in Tagalog vocabulary, especially traditional ones within its dialects. Tagalog has also incorporated many Spanish and English loanwords; the necessity of which increases in more technical parlance.

In precolonial times, Trade Malay was widely known and spoken throughout Maritime Southeast Asia, contributing a significant number of Malay vocabulary into the Tagalog language. Malay loanwords, identifiable or not, may often already be considered native as these have existed in the language before colonisation.

Tagalog also includes loanwords from Indian languages (Sanskrit and Tamil, mostly through Malay), Chinese languages (mostly Hokkien, followed by Cantonese, Mandarin, etc.), Japanese, Arabic and Persian.

English has borrowed some words from Tagalog, such as abaca, barong, balisong, boondocks, jeepney, Manila hemp, pancit, ylang-ylang, and yaya. Some of these loanwords are more often used in Philippine English. [64]

Other examples of Tagalog words used in English
boondocks meaning "rural" or "back country", borrowed through American soldiers stationed in the Philippines in the Philippine–American War as a corruption of the Tagalog word bundok, which means "mountain"
cogon a type of grass, used for thatching, came from the Tagalog word kugon (a species of tall grass)
ylang-ylang a tree whose fragrant flowers are used in perfumes
abacá a type of hemp fiber made from a plant in the banana family, came from the Tagalog word abaká
Manila hemp a light brown cardboard material used for folders and paper, usually made from abaca hemp, from Manila, the capital of the Philippines
capiz a type of marine mollusc also known as a "windowpane oyster" used to make windows

Tagalog has contributed several words to Philippine Spanish, like barangay (from balan͠gay, meaning barrio), the abacá, cogon, palay, dalaga etc.

Tagalog words of foreign origin

Taglish (Englog)

Taglish and Englog are names given to a mix of English and Tagalog. The amount of English vs. Tagalog varies from the occasional use of English loan words to changing language in mid-sentence. Such code-switching is prevalent throughout the Philippines and in various languages of the Philippines other than Tagalog.

Code-mixing also entails the use of foreign words that are "Filipinized" by reforming them using Filipino rules, such as verb conjugations. Users typically use Filipino or English words, whichever comes to mind first or whichever is easier to use.

Urbanites are the most likely to speak like this.

The practice is common in television, radio, and print media as well. Advertisements from companies like Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart, Albertsons, McDonald's and Western Union have contained Taglish.

Cognates with other Philippine languages

Tagalog wordMeaningLanguage of cognateSpelling
bakitwhy (from bakin + at) Kapampangan obakit
akyátclimb/step upKapampanganukyát/mukyát
asodogKapampangan and Maguindanaon
Pangasinan, Ilocano, and Maranao
tayowe (inc.)Pangasinan
itó, nitóthis, itsIlocanoto
ngof Cebuano
arawsun; day Visayan languages
Bicolano (Central/East Miraya) and Ilocano
Rinconada Bikol
angdefinite articleVisayan languages (except Waray)
Bicolano and Waray

Comparisons with Austronesian languages

Below is a chart of Tagalog and a number of other Austronesian languages comparing thirteen words.

Englishonetwothreefourpersonhousedogcoconutdaynewwe (inclusive)whatfire
Tombulu (Minahasa)esazua/ruateluepattouwaléasupo'po'endowerukai/kitaapaapi
Central Bikol sarôduwatuloapattawoharongayamniyogaldawbâgokitaanokalayo
East Miraya Bikol əsadəpattawbalayayam/idonuyogunu/unokalayō
Rinconada Bikol darwātolōtawōbaləyayamnoyogaldəwbāgokitāonō
Waray usáduhátulóupáttawobaláyayám/idôlubíadlawbag-okitáanú/nanokalayo
Cebuano usá/isáirôunsa
Hiligaynon isáduhá/duátatloapatidôano
Kinaray-a saradarwaayamniyog
Akeanon isaea/sambilogdaywaap-atbaeaykaeayo
Tausug isa/hambuukduwatuupattaubayiru'niyugba-gukitaniyuunukayu
Maguindanao isaduatelupatwalayasugaybagutanunginapuy
Maranao dowat'lophattawasoneyoggawi'ebagotanotonaaapoy
Kapampangan isa/metungadwaatluapattaubaleasungungutaldobayuikatamunanuapi
Pangasinan sakeydua/duaratalo/taloraapat/apatiratooabongasoniyogageo/agewbalosikatayoantopool
Ilocano maysaduatallouppattaobalayniogaldawbarodatayoaniaapoy
Ivatan asadadowatatdoapatvahaychitoniyoyarawva-yoyatenango
Ibanag taddayduatalluappa'tolaybalaykituniukaggawbagusittamanniafi
Yogad tataadduappatbinalayatuiyyogagawsikitamganiafuy
Gaddang antetaddwatallobalayayogawbawuikkanetamsanenay
Tboli sotulewutlufattaugunuohulefokdawlomitekuyteduofih
Kadazan isoduvotohuapattuhunhamintasupiasautadauvagutokouonutapui
Malay/ Indonesian satuduatigaempatorangrumah/balaianjingkelapa/nyiurharibaru/baharukitaapaapi
Javanese sijilorotelupapatuwongomah/baleasuklapa/kambilhari/dina/dintenanyar/enggalapa/anugeni
Acehnese saduwalhèëpeuëtureuëngrumoh/balèëasèëuuroëbarô(geu)tanyoëpeuëapuy
Lampung saikhuatelupakjelemalambanasunyiwikhanibarukhamapiapui
Buginese se'diduatellueppa'taubolakalukuessoidi'agaapi
Batak sadatoluopathalakjabubiangharambiriarihitaaha
Minangkabau ciekduotigoampekurangrumahanjiangkarambiakitoapo
Tetum idaruatoluhaatemaumaasunuuloronfounitasaidaahi
Māori tahitoruwhatangatawharekurikokonatirahoutauaaha
Tuvaluan tasiluatolutokofalemokuasofoutāuaāafi
Hawaiian kahikolukanakahale'īlioniuaohoukākouahaahi
Banjarese asaduataluampaturangrumahhadupankalapaharihanyarkitaapaapi
Malagasy isaroateloefatraolonatranoalikavoanioandrovaovaoisikainonaafo
Dusun isoduotoluapattulunwalaitasupiasautadauwagutokouonu/nutapui
Iban sa/sanduandangkudangkanorangrumahukui/uduknyiurharibarukitainamaapi
Melanau satuduatelouempatapahlebokasounyiorlaubaewteleuapui

Religious literature

The Ten Commandments in Tagalog. CalauanChurchjf4373 11.JPG
The Ten Commandments in Tagalog.

Religious literature remains one of the most dynamic components to Tagalog literature. The first Bible in Tagalog, then called Ang Biblia [65] ("the Bible") and now called Ang Dating Biblia [66] ("the Old Bible"), was published in 1905. In 1970, the Philippine Bible Society translated the Bible into modern Tagalog. Even before the Second Vatican Council, devotional materials in Tagalog had been in circulation. There are at least four circulating Tagalog translations of the Bible

When the Second Vatican Council, (specifically the Sacrosanctum Concilium) permitted the universal prayers to be translated into vernacular languages, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines was one of the first to translate the Roman Missal into Tagalog. The Roman Missal in Tagalog was published as early as 1982.

Jehovah's Witnesses were printing Tagalog literature at least as early as 1941 [67] and The Watchtower (the primary magazine of Jehovah's Witnesses) has been published in Tagalog since at least the 1950s. New releases are now regularly released simultaneously in a number of languages, including Tagalog. The official website of Jehovah's Witnesses also has some publications available online in Tagalog. [68] The revised bible edition, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, was released in Tagalog on 2019 [69] and it is distributed without charge both printed and online versions.

Tagalog is quite a stable language, and very few revisions have been made to Catholic Bible translations. Also, as Protestantism in the Philippines is relatively young, liturgical prayers tend to be more ecumenical.

Example texts

Lord's Prayer

In Tagalog, the Lord's Prayer is known by its incipit, Amá Namin (literally, "Our Father").

Amá namin, sumasalangit Ka,
Sambahín ang ngalan Mo.
Mapasaamin ang kaharián Mo.
Sundín ang loób Mo,
Dito sa lupà, gaya nang sa langit.
Bigyán Mo kamí ngayón ng aming kakanin sa araw-araw,
At patawarin Mo kamí sa aming mga salâ,
Para nang pagpápatawad namin,
Sa nagkakasalà sa amin;
At huwág Mo kamíng ipahintulot sa tuksó,
At iadyâ Mo kamí sa lahát ng masamâ.
[Sapagkát sa Inyó ang kaharián, at ang kapangyarihan,
At ang kaluwálhatian, ngayón, at magpakailanman.]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Pángkalahatáng Pagpapahayag ng Karapatáng Pantao)


Numbers (mga bilang/mga numero) in Tagalog follow two systems. The first consists of native Tagalog words and the other are Spanish-derived. (This may be compared to other East Asian languages, except with the second set of numbers borrowed from Spanish instead of Chinese.) For example, when a person refers to the number "seven", it can be translated into Tagalog as "pitó" or "siyete" (Spanish: siete).

(Original Spanish)
0sero / walâ (lit. "null")sero (cero)
1isáuno (uno)una
2dalawá [dalaua]dos (dos)pangalawá / ikalawá
3tatlótres (tres)pangatló / ikatló
4apatkuwatro (cuatro)pang-apat / ikaapat (In standard Filipino orthography, "ika" and the number-word are never hyphenated.)
5limásingko (cinco)panlimá / ikalimá
6animsais / seis (informal) (seis)pang-anim / ikaanim
7pitósiyete / s'yete (siete)pampitó / ikapitó
8walóotso / ocho (informal) (ocho)pangwaló / ikawaló
9siyám / s'yamnuwebe / n'webe (nueve)pansiyám / ikasiyám
10sampû / pû (archaic) [sang puwo]diyés / d'yes (diez)pansampû / ikasampû (or ikapû in some literary compositions)
11labíng-isáonse (once)panlabíng-isá / pang-onse / ikalabíng-isá
12labíndalawádose (doce)panlabíndalawá / pandose / ikalabíndalawá
13labíntatlótrese (trece)panlabíntatló / pantrese / ikalabíntatló
14labíng-apatkatorse (catorce)panlabíng-apat / pangkatorse / ikalabíng-apat
15labínlimákinse (quince)panlabínlimá / pangkinse / ikalabínlimá
16labíng-animdisisais / diyesisais / d'yesisais (dieciséis)panlabíng-anim / pandyes-sais / ikalabíng-anim
17labímpitódisis'yete / diyesisiyete / d'yesis'yete (diecisiete)panlabímpitó / pandyes-syete / ikalabímpitó
18labíngwalódisiotso / diyesiotso / d'yesiotso (dieciocho)panlabíngwaló / pandyes-otso / ikalabíngwaló
19labinsiyám / labins'yam / labingsiyamdisinuwebe / diyesinuwebe / d'yesinuwebe (diecinueve)panlabinsiyám / pandyes-nwebe / ikalabinsiyám
20dalawampûbente / beynte (veinte)pandalawampû / ikadalawampû (rare literary variant: ikalawampû)
21dalawampú't isábente'y uno / bente y uno / bentiuno / bente-uno (veintiuno)pang-dalawampú't isá / ikalawamapú't isá
30tatlumpûtrenta / treynta (treinta)pantatlumpû / ikatatlumpû (rare literary variant: ikatlumpû)
40apatnapûkuwarenta (cuarenta)pang-apatnapû / ikaapatnapû
50limampûsingkuwenta (cincuenta)panlimampû / ikalimampû
60animnapûsesenta / sisenta (sesenta)pang-animnapû / ikaanimnapû
70pitumpûsetenta / sitenta (setenta)pampitumpû / ikapitumpû
80walumpûotsenta / utsenta (ochenta)pangwalumpû / ikawalumpû
90siyamnapûnobenta (noventa)pansiyamnapû / ikasiyamnapû
100sándaán / daánsiyento / s'yento / siyen (cien)pan(g)-(i)sándaán / ikasándaán (rare literary variant: ikaisándaán)
200dalawandaándos siyentos (doscientos)pandalawándaán / ikadalawandaan (rare literary variant: ikalawándaán)
300tatlóndaántres siyentos (trescientos)pantatlóndaán / ikatatlondaan (rare literary variant: ikatlóndaán)
400apat na raánkuwatro siyentos (cuatrocientos)pang-apat na raán / ikaapat na raán
500limándaánkinyentos (quinientos)panlimándaán / ikalimándaán
600anim na raánsais siyentos (seiscientos)pang-anim na raán / ikaanim na raán
700pitondaánsiyete siyentos / setesiyentos (setecientos)pampitóndaán / ikapitóndaán (or ikapitóng raán)
800walóndaánotso siyentos (ochocientos)pangwalóndaán / ikawalóndaán (or ikawalóng raán)
900siyám na raánnuwebe siyentos / nobesiyentos (novecientos)pansiyám na raán / ikasiyám na raán
1,000sánlibo / libomil / uno mil (mil)pan(g)-(i)sánlibo / ikasánlibo
2,000dalawánlibodos mil (dos mil)pangalawáng libo / ikalawánlibo
10,000sánlaksâ / sampúng libodiyes mil (diez mil)pansampúng libo / ikasampúng libo
20,000dalawanlaksâ / dalawampúng libobente mil (veinte mil)pangalawampúng libo / ikalawampúng libo
100,000sangyutá / sandaáng libosiyento mil (cien mil)
200,000dalawangyutá / dalawandaáng libodos siyento mil (doscientos mil)
1,000,000sang-angaw / sangmilyónmilyón (un millón)
2,000,000dalawang-angaw / dalawang milyóndos milyón (dos millones)
10,000,000sangkatì / sampung milyónd'yes milyón (diez millones)
100,000,000sambahalà / sampúngkatì / sandaáng milyóns'yento milyón (cien millones)
1,000,000,000sanggatós / sang-atós / sambilyónbilyón / mil milyón (un billón (US), [71] mil millones, millardo [72] )
1,000,000,000,000sang-ipaw[ citation needed ] / santrilyóntrilyón / bilyón (un trillón (US), [73] un billón [71] )
NumberEnglishSpanishOrdinal / Fraction / Cardinal
1stfirstprimer, primero, primerauna / ikaisá
12halfmedio/a, mitadkalahatì
14one quartercuartokapat
35three fifthstres quintas partestatlóng-kalimá
23two thirdsdos terciosdalawáng-katló
1+12one and a halfuno y medioisá't kalahatì
2+23two and two thirdsdos y dos terciosdalawá't dalawáng-katló
0.5zero point fivecero punto cinco, cero coma cinco, [74] cero con cincosalapî / limá hinatì sa sampû
0.05zero point zero fivecero punto cero cinco, cero coma cero cinco, cero con cero cincobagól / limá hinatì sa sandaán
0.005zero point zero zero fivecero punto cero cero cinco, cero coma cero cero cinco, cero con cero cero cincolimá hinatì sa sanlibo
1.25one point two fiveuno punto veinticinco, uno coma veinticinco, uno con veinticincoisá't dalawampú't limá hinatì sa sampû
2.025two point zero two fivedos punto cero veinticinco, dos coma cero veinticinco, dos con cero veinticincodalawá't dalawampú't limá hinatì sa sanlibo
25%twenty-five percentveinticinco por cientodalawampú't-limáng bahagdán
50%fifty percentcincuenta por cientolimampúng bahagdán
75%seventy-five percentsetenta y cinco por cientopitumpú't-limáng bahagdán

Months and days

Months and days in Tagalog are also localised forms of Spanish months and days. "Month" in Tagalog is buwán (also the word for moon) and "day" is araw (the word also means sun). Unlike Spanish, however, months and days in Tagalog are always capitalised.

MonthOriginal SpanishTagalog (abbreviation)
JanuaryeneroEnero (Ene.)
FebruaryfebreroPebrero (Peb.)
MarchmarzoMarso (Mar.)
AprilabrilAbríl (Abr.)
MaymayoMayo (Mayo)
JunejunioHunyo (Hun.)
JulyjulioHulyo (Hul.)
AugustagostoAgosto (Ago.)
SeptemberseptiembreSetyembre (Set.)
OctoberoctubreOktubre (Okt.)
NovembernoviembreNobyembre (Nob.)
DecemberdiciembreDisyembre (Dis.)
DayOriginal SpanishTagalog
WednesdaymiércolesMiyérkules / Myérkules
ThursdayjuevesHuwebes / Hwebes
FridayviernesBiyernes / Byernes


Time expressions in Tagalog are also Tagalized forms of the corresponding Spanish. "Time" in Tagalog is panahón or oras.

TimeEnglishOriginal SpanishTagalog
1 hourone houruna horaIsang oras
2 mintwo minutesdos minutosDalawang sandalí/minuto
3 secthree secondstres segundosTatlong saglít/segundo
1:00 amone in the morninguna de la mañanaIka-isa ng umaga
7:00 pmseven at nightsiete de la nocheIkapito ng gabí
1:15quarter past one
una y cuartoKapat makalipas ikaisa
Labinlima makalipas ikaisa
Apatnapu't-lima bago mag-ikalawa
Tatlong-kapat bago mag-ikalawa
2:30half past two
half-way to/of three
dos y mediaKalahati makalipas ikalawa
Tatlumpu makalipas ikalawa
Tatlumpu bago mag-ikatlo
Kalahati bago mag-ikatlo
quarter to/of four
tres y cuarenta y cinco
cuatro menos cuarto
Tatlong-kapat makalipas ikatlo
Apatnapu't-lima makalipas ikatlo
Labinlima bago mag-ikaapat
Kapat bago mag-ikaapat
twenty-five past four
cuatro y veinticincoDalawampu't-lima makalipas ikaapat
Tatlumpu't-lima bago mag-ikaapat
twenty-five to/of six
cinco y treinta y cinco
seis menos veinticinco
Tatlumpu't-lima makalipas ikalima
Dalawampu't-lima bago mag-ikaanim

Common phrases

EnglishTagalog (with Pronunciation)
What is your name?Anó ang pangálan ninyó/nila*? (plural or polite) [ʔɐˈno:ʔaŋpɐˈŋalannɪnˈjo], Anó ang pangálan mo? (singular) [ʔɐˈno:ʔaŋpɐˈŋalanmo]
How are you?Kumustá[kʊmʊsˈta] (modern), Anó pô ang lagáy ninyó/nila? (old use) [ʔɐˈnopoːʔɐŋlɐˈgaɪ̯nɪnˈjo]
Knock knockTáo pô[ˈtɐʔopoʔ]
Good day!Magandáng araw![mɐɡɐnˈdaŋˈʔɐɾaʊ̯]
Good morning!Magandáng umaga![mɐɡɐnˈdaŋʔʊˈmaɡɐ]
Good noontime! (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)Magandáng tanghali![mɐɡɐnˈdaŋtɐŋˈhalɛ]
Good afternoon! (from 1 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.)Magandáng hapon![mɐɡɐnˈdaŋˈhɐpon]
Good evening!Magandáng gabí![mɐɡɐnˈdaŋɡɐˈbɛ]
PleaseDepending on the nature of the verb, either pakí-[pɐˈki] or makí-[mɐˈki] is attached as a prefix to a verb. Ngâ[ŋaʔ] is optionally added after the verb to increase politeness. (e.g. Pakipasa ngâ ang tinapay. ("Can you pass the bread, please?"))
Thank youSalamat[sɐˈlamɐt]
This oneIto[ʔɪˈto], sometimes pronounced [ʔɛˈto] (literally—"it", "this")
That one (close to addressee)Iyán[ʔɪˈjan]
That one (far from speaker and addressee)Iyón[ʔɪˈjon]
HereDito['dito], heto['hɛto], simplified to eto[ˈʔɛto] ("Here it is")
Right thereDiyán[dʒan], (h)ayán[(h)ɐˈjan] ("There it is")
Over thereDoon[doˈʔon], ayón[ɐˈjon] ("There it is")
How much?Magkano?[mɐɡˈkano]
How many?Ilán?[ʔɪˈlan]

Opò[ˈʔopoʔ] or ohò[ˈʔohoʔ] (formal/polite form)

NoHindî[hɪnˈdɛʔ] (at the end of a pause or sentence), often shortened to [dɛʔ]

Hindî pô[hɪnˈdiːpoʔ] (formal/polite form)

I don't knowHindî ko alám[hɪnˈdiːkoʔɐˈlam]

Very informal: Ewan[ˈʔɛwɐn], archaic aywan[ʔaɪ̯ˈwan] (closest English equivalent: colloquial dismissive 'Whatever' or 'Dunno')

SorryPasénsiya pô[pɐˈsɛnʃɐpoʔ] (literally from the word "patience") or paumanhín pô[pɐʔʊmɐnˈhinpoʔ], patawad pô[pɐˈtawɐdpoʔ] (literally—"asking your forgiveness")
BecauseKasí[kɐˈsɛ] or dahil['dahɛl]
Hurry!Dalî![dɐˈli], Bilís![bɪˈlis]
AgainMulî[mʊˈˈliʔ], ulít[ʔʊˈlɛt]
I don't understandHindî ko naíintindihán[hɪnˈdiːkonɐˌʔiʔɪntɪndɪˈhan] or

Hindî ko naúunawáan[hɪnˈdiːkonɐˌʔuʔʊnɐˈwaʔan]

Where?Saán?[sɐˈʔan], Nasaán?[ˌnɐsɐˈʔan] (literally – "Where at?")
When?Kailán?[kaɪ̯ˈlan], [kɐʔɪˈlan], or [ˈkɛlan] (literally—"In what order?/"At what count?")
How?Paánó?[pɐˈʔano] (literally—"By what?")
Where's the bathroom?Nasaán ang banyo?[ˌnɐsɐˈʔanʔɐŋˈbanjo]
Generic toast Mabuhay![mɐˈbuhaɪ̯] (literally—"long live")
Do you speak English?Marunong ka bang magsalitâ ng Inglés?[mɐˈɾunoŋbaŋmɐɡsɐlɪˈtaːnɐŋʔɪŋˈɡlɛs]

Marunong pô ba kayóng magsalitâ ng Inglés?[mɐˈɾunoŋpoːbakɐˈjoŋmɐɡsɐlɪˈtaːnɐŋʔɪŋˈɡlɛs] (polite version for elders and strangers)
Marunong ka bang mag-Inglés?[mɐˈɾunoŋbaŋmɐɡʔɪŋˈɡlɛs] (short form)
Marunong pô ba kayóng mag-Inglés?[mɐˈɾunoŋpoːbakɐˈjoŋmɐɡʔɪŋˈɡlɛs] (short form, polite version for elders and strangers)

It is fun to live.Masayá ang mabuhay![mɐsɐˈjaʔɐŋmɐˈbuhaɪ̯] or Masaya'ng mabuhay (contracted version)

*Pronouns such as niyó (2nd person plural) and nilá (3rd person plural) are used on a single 2nd person in polite or formal language. See Tagalog grammar.


Ang hindî marunong lumingón sa pinánggalingan ay hindî makaráratíng sa paroroonan.

(— José Rizal)

One who knows not how to look back to whence he came will never get to where he is going.

Unang kagát, tinapay pa rin.
First bite, still bread.
All fluff, no substance.

Tao ka nang humaráp, bilang tao kitáng haharapin.
You reach me as a human, I will treat you as a human and never act as a traitor.
(A proverb in Southern Tagalog that has made people aware of the significance of sincerity in Tagalog communities.)

Hulí man daw (raw) at magalíng, nakáhahábol pa rin.
If one is behind but capable, one will still be able to catch up.

Magbirô ka na sa lasíng, huwág lang sa bagong gising.
Make fun of someone drunk, if you must, but never one who has just awakened.

Aanhín pa ang damó kung patáy na ang kabayò?
What use is the grass if the horse is already dead?

Ang sakít ng kalingkingan, damdám ng buóng katawán.
The pain in the pinkie is felt by the whole body.
In a group, if one goes down, the rest follow.

Nasa hulí ang pagsisisi.
Regret is always in the end.

Pagkáhabà-habà man ng prusisyón, sa simbahan pa rin ang tulóy.
The procession may stretch on and on, but it still ends up at the church.
(In romance: refers to how certain people are destined to be married. In general: refers to how some things are inevitable, no matter how long you try to postpone it.)

Kung 'dî mádaán sa santóng dasalan, daanin sa santóng paspasan.
If it cannot be got through holy prayer, get it through blessed force.
(In romance and courting: santóng paspasan literally means 'holy speeding' and is a euphemism for sexual intercourse. It refers to the two styles of courting by Filipino boys: one is the traditional, protracted, restrained manner favored by older generations, which often featured serenades and manual labor for the girl's family; the other is upfront seduction, which may lead to a slap on the face or a pregnancy out of wedlock. The second conclusion is known as pikot or what Western cultures would call a 'shotgun marriage'. This proverb is also applied in terms of diplomacy and negotiation.)

See also

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