Precy speaks Ilocano and loves helping others learn the fundamentals of the language.
Ilocano is a common native language spoken throughout the Philippines. It is prevalent in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Zambales, and Mindoro, among other provinces. Statistically, Ilocano is the third most spoken language in the country.
Maybe you're here to learn another language (although some say Ilocano is a dialect, not a language) for work, travel, or that special someone. Perhaps you're simply up for the challenge of learning to speak in another tongue. Either way, here's a list of more than 50 Ilocano phrases for a variety of common situations. Each phrase is accompanied by its English and Filipino equivalents.
- Love and romance
- Travel and going out
- Dining and mealtime
- Words of encouragement
- Workplace communication
- Grocery shopping and other errands
- A lesson on the "I" pronoun
When attempting to learn another language, figuring out how to introduce yourself is always a good place to start. These Ilocano phrases might be helpful if you are starting a new job or if you find yourself in any number of other situations in which you have to introduce yourself.
Siak ni (insert name).
Ako si (pangalan).
I'm (insert name).
(Insert name) ti nagan ko.
Ang pangalan ko ay (pangalan).
My name is (insert name).
Bente singko anyos akon.
Bente singko anyos na ako.
I'm already 25 years old.
Taga (insert country/province/city) ak.
Taga (bansa/probinsiya/siyudad) ako.
I'm from (inser country/province/city).
2. Love and Romance
These Ilocano phrases will come in handy when speaking to your special someone if Ilocano is their native tongue. Saying "I love you" in your sweetheart's first language is a great way to let them know how much you care about them. Taking the time to learn phrases in someone else's language is a very thoughtful gesture.
Phrases for Your Special Someone
I love you.
Ay-ayaten ka unay.
Mahal na mahal kita.
I love you so much.
Sika ti biag ko.
Ikaw ang buhay ko.
You're my life.
Sika laeng ti ay-ayatek.
Ikaw lang ang mahal ko.
You're the only one I love.
Kayat ko nga arakupen ka.
Gusto kong yakapin ka.
I want to hug you.
Kayat ko nga bisungen ka.
Gusto kong halikan ka.
I want to kiss you.
Sika latta ti kayat ko.
Ikaw lang ang gusto ko.
You're the only one I want.
3. Travel and Going Out
The following Ilocano phrases may be useful in travel-related situations, when you're going out for errands, or anytime you need to leave home. They may also come in handy when making plans with a friend or group to meet somewhere in the city. A video has been included below to help you with pronunciation.
Phrases for Travel and Meeting Friends
Aalis na ako.
I'm leaving/going now.
I'll be back.
Sandali lang ako.
I won't take that long.
Malapit na ako.
I'm almost there.
Dito na lang ako.
This is where I get off.
Tawagannak no sumangpet ka didyay.
Tawagan mo ako pagdating mo doon.
Call me when you get there.
Ganito na lang ako.
I'll just dress up like this, I won't change my clothes.
Sino ti kadwam?
Sinong kasama mo?
Who's with you?
Adadta ak madamdama.
Andiyan ako mamaya.
I will be there later.
Ikkannak man ti pagpliti.
Bigyan mo nga ako ng pamasahe.
Give me money for my fare please.
Rumuarak. Mapanak dyay __.
Lalabas ako. Pupunta ako sa __.
I'm going out. I'm going to __.
Rumuar kami mangan dyay Jollibee.
Lalabas kami kakain sa Jollibee.
We're going out to eat at Jollibee.
4. Dining and Mealtime
If you've been invited to be a guest or visitor in an Ilocano-speaking household, these phrases are sure to come in handy during mealtime. These translations may also be useful if you are planning to host Ilocano-speaking folks for dinner. A video lesson is included below to help you with proper pronunciation.
Phrases for Dining
Kain na tayo.
Nagimas ti sida yo.
Ang sarap ng ulam niyo.
Your food is so good.
Gutom na ako.
I'm already hungry.
Kumakain pa ako.
I'm still eating.
Kumain na ako.
I already ate.
Kalkalpas ko laeng nga nangan.
Kakatapos ko lang na kumain.
I had just eaten.
Mangan ka pay.
Kumain ka pa.
Kain na tayo.
Sige laeng. Agyamanak. Haanak pay mabisin.
Sige lang. Salamat. Hindi pa ako gutom.
Go ahead. Thank you. I'm not hungry yet.
5. Words of Encouragement
Life isn't all sunshine and blooming flowers. Here are a few encouraging phrases to keep up your sleeve in case you need to help cheer someone up. If they've been experiencing too many of life's ups and downs for one day, thoughtful words in their native tongue may be just what they need.
Phrases for Encouragement
Adda kaasi ni Apo Dios.
May awa ang Diyos.
God has mercy.
Kasta laeng ti biag. Anos laeng.
Ganyan lang talaga ang buhay. Tyaga lang.
That's how life is. Just have patience.
Laengam pay. Ammok nalaeng ka.
Galingan mo pa. Alam ko magaling ka.
Do better. I know you're good and you can do it.
Brightening up someone's day by giving them a compliment is a great way to practice your Ilocano. Complimenting a person in their native language shows them that you appreciate them enough to learn a phrase just to brighten their day.
Ang bilis mo.
You're so fast.
Naglaeng ka met gayam.
Ang galing mo naman pala.
You did so well. I didn't know you have it in you.
Naglaing ka nga ag-Ilocano.
Ang galing mo mag-Ilocano.
You speak Ilocano very well.
7. Work-Related Phrases
Gawin mo na 'yan.
Do that now.
Galingan mo pa.
Ang bagal mo.
You're too slow.
Agsaludsod ka laeng no adda kayat mo nga saludsuden.
Magtanong ka lang kung may gusto kang itanong.
Just ask if there's anything you want to know.
Nagpardas ka nga matuto.
Mabilis kang matuto.
You're such a fast learner.
Late ka na.
You're already late.
Ginawa ko na.
I already did it.
Masapol ko dayta intono bigat.
Kailangan ko 'yan bukas.
I need that tomorrow.
Kayat ko nga makasarita ka.
Gusto kong makausap ka.
I want to talk to you.
8. Phrases for Grocery Shopping and Other Errands
Adda gatangen ko.
May bibilhin ako.
I need to buy something.
Bibilhin ko ito.
I'll buy this.
Mapanak gumatang ti __.
Pupunta ako bibili ng __.
I'm going to buy __.
Nangina. (Amount you're willing to pay) laengen.
Mahal. (Amount you're willing to pay) na lang.
Expensive. My suggested price is (say the amount you're willing to pay).
Ipakilok man daytoy.
Ipakilo ko nga ito.
Kindly/Please weigh this for me.
9. A Lesson on the "I" Pronoun in Ilocano
As you may have noticed, there are some Ilocano phrases on this list that end in n. Often, the letter n is attached to ako, making it akon. Ako is equivalent to the English pronoun "I." When the letter n is attached to the end, it indicates a sense of "now" or "already." You can think of akon as meaning "I now . . ." or "I already . . ." Ako also means "I" in Filippino.
Here are two good examples from the travel-related Ilocano phrases in this article:
- Mapanakon: The verb here is mapan ("leave"). When combined with the pronoun ako ("I") with letter n ("now/already") attached to it, it means "I am leaving now."
- Asidegakon: The root here is asideg ("near/close"). When combined with the pronoun ako ("I") with the letter n ("now/already") attached to it, it means "I'm almost there," "I'm near," or "I'm close." This Ilocano phrase would be handy for anyone on their way to a destination who wants to inform those that might be waiting that they're on their way.
Thanks for Reading
The above list isn't complete and will likely grow over time as additional useful phrases come to mind. If there's something that isn't here that you would like to see added, feel free to leave a message in the comments section.
Dan on July 02, 2020:
A dialect is a variation of a language. Is Ilocano a variation of Tagalog? No. It's a completely different language with its own syntax and lexicon.
Iloc: Ditoy(ak) laeng[en].
Tag: Dito [na] lang (ako).
See? There are congantes, yes, because duh, they're both Austronesian languages, but the syntax is different.
Filipinos are divided. The older generation calls Filipino a language and all others as dialects. The younger generation calls each distinct manner of speech a language and their highly mutually intelligible variants as dialects. As a person who studies about languages, I think the younger generation is correct.
Bella on February 19, 2020:
Filipino is actually the "collective" term for all regional Filipino languages. Tagalog is one of those, and so are other regional LANGUAGES like Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bisaya, Hiligaynon, etc.
Aside from being languages, they are also considered dialects (geographically-speaking) and depending on which part you're from, these dialects have varieties. So an example is the Ilocano language which can be divided into two distinct dialects: the northern (the purest form) and the southern one. The main phonological difference between the two is the pronunciation of the letter 'e.'
precy anza (author) from USA on February 06, 2020:
Do you mean translate it in Tagalog? If so, here it is.
Akala ko ako lang nakakaramdam ng ganito. Pakiramdam ko rin gaya ng sa yo. Kung pumayag ka lang sana na pwede. Hihintayin kita. Mahal na mahal kita Liam.
I don't know ano meaning nung makaib ibitak, pero aridtuyak pay site means "andito pa ako sa site." Saka adadtuyak po yun baka typo lang.
Naiiyak na ako ano. Bakit ba ganun. Akala ko talaga na ok sa yo. Di ako sure sa "Kunak man no madi nak kayaten" Akala ko nga na ayaw mo akong mahalin.
Bakit ganyan ka Liam? Palagi kong sinasabi sa sarili ko na you're my friend ganun eh hindi talaga. It's really hard akala ko ok na sa yo.
Mega on January 10, 2020:
Someone telling us that Tagalog is the national language is outright wrong. The Philippines until now has no national language. Any educated person woud know that the 1987 Constitution states that a National Language Commission shall be constitued and develop Pilipino as national language. This has not happened. There has been no legislation to state that Tagalog is the national language. Most widely spoken dialect in the Phil yes. If ever there thee would be a national language it will not be tagalog, it will be called Pulipino of Filipino.
Name on November 29, 2019:
Ilocano/iloco is a dialect from the northern part of the philippines. Its not a language, since tagalog is the national language, as it is called a Filipino. It is one of the local dialect of the philippines. Correct me if im wrong about the "iloco"
precy anza (author) from USA on October 27, 2019:
I don't do or have formal lessons po on Ilocano grammar. :)
Arcelli on October 22, 2019:
May formal lessons po ba especially on grammar? Thank you sa pagpapaliwanag ng "n" sa dulo ng ako.
Kiko on June 08, 2019:
Please lesson tagalog and english
Daniel on November 17, 2018:
Filipino is basically standardized Tagalog. It's the standardized national language (along with English), but where I live on Luzon, we just call it Tagalog. Actually, I've never heard any of the locals call it Filipino.
With that said, there are many languages here in the Philippines! The area I live in is a Tagalog-speaking region, but if my wife and I head up north to, say, an Ilocano-speaking region, we wouldn't be able to understand any of the locals when they speak Ilocano. The same would be true if we went down to a Cebuano-speaking region, and so on.
I hope that helps.
Janisa from Earth on March 26, 2018:
Never heard of llocano before. What's the difference between llocano and filipino?
precy anza (author) from USA on February 23, 2018:
Nasayaat met. Nice meeting you ditoy Hubpages. Nagjoined ka pala ke 4 years ago
na rin. Ang galing naman. Nasayaat ta adda met sabali ditoy Hubpages nga ammo ti ag-Ilocano :) Thank you sa comment. Followed you ading tapno adda sabali nga bisitahin ko ditoy. :D
Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on February 18, 2018:
Hi! Kabayan, kumusta ka adding, adda gayam ti Ilocano nga hubber ditoy Hubpages kunak no siyak laeng. Haan kadi, kankanaey ti dialect ko met ngem ammok met ti ag-Ilocano ah. Thank you for this hub, it reminds me of our dialects in the Philippines. Good well written dialect hub.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on October 22, 2017:
I, too have never heard of the llocano language. I like the phrases for giving a compliment. Thanks.
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on October 22, 2017:
How interesting. I've never heard of the llocano language before, so this is something new to me! Thanks for sharing. =)