A Guide in Learning the Filipino Language

Updated on July 28, 2020
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With a Bachelor of Science in Information and Communications Technology degree, Darius was a former high school literary and feature writer.

What is it about the Philippines that makes it different from the rest of the world? Photo/Art by Geraldine Sy via Culture Trip
What is it about the Philippines that makes it different from the rest of the world? Photo/Art by Geraldine Sy via Culture Trip | Source

What is Filipino?

Filipino is the national language of the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country located on the West of the Pacific Ocean. It belongs to the Austronesian language family. It also means the people who are born in the Philippines or of those with Filipino blood and family. The language, country, people, and everything else has a very, very, very long, and rich history that shaped them into what they are today.

In this article, I won't be going much, much in-depth on how to learn the Filipino language. I will, though, leave helpful tips and strategies for either beginners or those willing to learn the language, the country, and the culture.

Sneak Peek

  1. Introduction
  2. Filipino VS Tagalog
  3. Difficulty
  4. Letters and Pronunciations
  5. Filipino Words
  6. Practice Makes Perfect
  7. Filipino Grammar
  8. Filipino Affixes and Conjugations
  9. Learning Outside the Box
  10. Brief History
  11. Resources

The Banaue Rice Terraces
The Banaue Rice Terraces | Source

1. Before We Begin

Ako si Darius. I am Darius.

Kumusta? How are you?

Ikinagagalak kong makilala ka. It's very nice to meet you.

I am born and raised in the Philippines for almost 22 years. I am native to both Filipino and English languages and currently learning a few languages like Korean and Japanese. I can also speak and understand a little of Ilonggo, or Hiligaynon language, an Austronesian regional language, and understand other local and regional languages found in the Philippines even if I have never heard them before.

In my opinion, you'll have to learn the Filipino language in five key areas with each having increasing difficulties:

  • spelling and writing
  • pronunciation, tone, and diction
  • reading, listening, and comprehension
  • sentence structure and grammar
  • affixes and word conjugations

These are just some of the areas that I could think of. There are more things to learn in the Filipino language that I will be discussing in this article and I hope that they may, somehow, help you with learning the language.

I had this passion for teaching other people things that I know through research and expertise. So, in this article, I will be teaching those beginners who are trying to learn the Filipino language by giving out helpful tips and strategies as a native speaker of the language. And I am hoping that these may help you in the long run. This will also act as an initial disclaimer that I am not a licensed teacher or professional to teach the language, but instead a native speaker that will teach you on how to learn the Filipino language easily and smoothly by giving out research, facts, history, tips, and strategies.

English to Tagalog and Tagalog to English Dicitionary. Photo by Romana via Klee/Flickr
English to Tagalog and Tagalog to English Dicitionary. Photo by Romana via Klee/Flickr | Source

2. Filipino VS Tagalog: Which is the Proper Term?

If you're somehow confused with the terminology, the word "Filipino" is the most appropriate word used to denote the national language and the general inhabitants of the country or with blood and citizenship.

The Tagalog language is one of the foundations, or basis, for the Philippines to create its national language. The Tagalog and the people of it are found dominantly in the northern part of the country, in Luzon, where the country's capital is located. You see, the Philippines is made up of thousands of islands. It's an archipelago with a deep history and one with the most diverse people living on earth. This country also has around 120 to 175 languages and dialects and at least 16 recorded ancient writing systems.

Now you must be thinking that if people in the country are speaking that so many languages, how do they communicate with each other? The answer is the creation of national identity: a national and official language. Filipinos use the Filipino language and English language for both written and spoken communications, so don't be surprised when a Filipino talking to you is jumping back-and-forth with Filipino and English.

Source

Written within the country's constitution, the two existing official languages of the country are both Filipino and English. Back then, there isn't a national language for the country. So, the late President Manuel L. Quezon and the Philippine Government created institutions and commissions to birth a national, official language for the country, one that the majority of the Filipino people will be using in their everyday life.

Tagalog was the official name of the language of the country until post-WW2. To avoid a potential civil war because of the regional tensions that arose when these institutions were built to find or create a unifying, official language, these commissions are composed of several representatives from major regions of the country. These representatives are then tasked to create a national language for the country, to enrich the language, and to make sure that all citizens, and their native local languages of the country, are included and are not left out. That is to say, those in charge of it changed Tagalog into Filipino to both define the official language of the country and its people.

Both Tagalog and Filipino differ from each other in terms of being a language and defining a person. In short, Filipino is the term used for the official language of the country and the people speaking it while Tagalog is one the languages dominantly found in the Philippines that was used to standardize the national, official language of the country. Other languages that built (and still building) the Filipino language today are Kapampangan, Ilocano, and Panggasinense found in most of northern and central regions of Luzon; Bicolano and Waray-Waray found in regions of Visayas; Hiligaynon and Cebuano languages, and languages of Muslim Mindanao found across in region of Visayas and Mindanao.

Learning a new language. Photo by Kelly Sikemma via Unsplash.
Learning a new language. Photo by Kelly Sikemma via Unsplash. | Source

3. The Difficulty to Learn the Filipino Language

I've seen search queries about people trying to learn this language fast and easy. And as a native speaker, I am telling you, this language could either be easy or difficult for you to learn. To be honest, it's not that hard. But to be specific, on a scale of one to ten where ten is the hardest, learning the Filipino language would be between seven and eight if you want to be fluent with the language as fast as you want. Like most languages, this intricate and distinct language takes time and effort for fluency. It will be a rough ride, but it will also be an enjoyable one.

My first tip for you would be to take your time learning it, just like learning anything else. The Filipino language isn't practically hard especially for those speaking either Spanish or English, in my opinion, because some of the words and the wording structures are almost the same as them yet not entirely exactly as them.

What's easy about the Filipino language is the spelling and the pronunciation of words. Filipino words are spoken and spelled as it is, that means we don't have those pesky silents or hard-to-pronounce letters.

For example, the Filipino word bahay. This word is a house or a home in English. You spell and write the word as it is. You speak and pronounce the word as it is. You don't say it as va-hey or ve-hay. You have to say it with stress and effort: ba-hay. If you don't get my point, try pasting the word in Google Translate box and listen to how it is spoken.

Filipino language is not only a stress language but also a tone language.There are words in Filipino that change in meaning when the stress and/or tone of saying the word are changed, omitted, or purposely placed, like the Filipino word basa. Basa, when pronounced as /ba/ and then elongated /sa/, translates to "read" in English. Basa, when pronounced as /ba/ and quick, toned /sa/, translates to "wet" in English.

The modern Filipino alphabet consists of 28 letters: the English alphabet plus the Spanish Ñ and the Ng digraph of Tagalog. The reason why 28 is because Filipino and English is the official language of the country. Here's a table below with the English alphabets removed:


Consonants
Special Consonants
Vowels
B
NG
A
K
Ñ
E
D
 
I
G
 
O
H
 
U
L
 
 
M
 
 
N
 
 
P
 
 
R
 
 
S
 
 
T
 
 
W
 
 
Y
 
 
The ABAKADA Alphabet

You have to trail the /R/ sound while speaking it in Filipino.

4. Letters and Pronunciations

As you can see, some of the letters are omitted from the original 28. This is because Filipino is also deemed as a standardized version of Tagalog, a regional local language in the country. The original 28 letters are the modern Filipino alphabet, while the one above only consists of 21 letters. This is called the Abakada alphabet. We'll learn the reasons for that later on in the article.

Always keep in mind that the way you pronounce the vowels in Filipino is not equal to how you would pronounce it in English unless they are used in English words. That is to say:

  • the vowel "a" is not pronounced as /ey/ or /ei/ but instead pronounced like /ah/;
  • the vowel "e" is not pronounced as /ee/ but instead pronounced as /eh/;
  • the vowel "i" is not pronounced as /ay/, /ae/, or /ai/ but instead pronounced as /ee/;
  • the vowel "o" is not pronounced as /ow/ or English /oh/ but instead pronounced as stressed /oh/;
  • the vowel "u" is not pronounced as /eu/, /yu/, or /yoo/ but instead pronounced as stressed /ooh/;

The letter "C" is not present in most Filipino word spelling because it is interchanged with the letter "K" or "S" and the letter "V" is also not present because it is interchanged with the letter "B." The letters "X," "Z," and other letters do not exist since there are no existing Filipino words with their spellings. They are instead reformed into combinations of Filipino letters to make their sound. Although, these letters do exist in most Filipino names.

You can practice your Filipino pronunciation using the table above. You can also sing the Filipino alphabet (those in the table) using the ABC song. All you have to do is end every consonant with the letter "a." This practically is easy for those that already belong in the Austronesian language family, like Indonesian and Malay, and even some romance languages, like Spanish, because their pronunciations almost share the same factors as those who are speaking Filipino. I think this would be difficult for those that are used to their native languages, especially those that are not familiar with stressed languages.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso via Unsplash
Photo by Patrick Tomasso via Unsplash | Source

5. Words in Filipino Language

The words in the Filipino language are written and spoken in an alphasyllabary manner. This means that the words are segmented by a consonant-vowel sequence of letters. They are far easier to spell, write, and read. But these letters can be tricky when they are added as affixes for word conjugations.

Filipino words are either original or loan words. Original words are those that came from the Filipino ancestors and are still used in the present, while loan words are words that are "loaned" from other languages such as

  • Spanish
  • English
  • Japanese
  • Sanskrit
  • Mandarin
  • Hokkien
  • Arabic
  • Polynesian
  • Tamil
  • Persian
  • Nahuatl
  • Malay

And many more that are not mentioned because, to be honest, our country's history is a bit of a mess especially when depicting timelines during pre-colonial period.

Apart from the natural words that are in the Filipino dictionaries, there are also deep words, loanwords, slang words, street words, and many more.

Loanwords

A loanword is a word adopted from one language and incorporated into another language without translation. When you study the Filipino language, you'll somehow notice that some Filipino words are almost the same as other words from other countries. Examples of these are the words telebisyon for television from English, kumusta for como esta from Spanish, and dahan-dahan from Japanese.

Talinghaga

The word talinghaga (pronounced as /ta/ - /ling/ - /ha/ - /ga/) is literally translated to metaphor in English, although they almost do not share the same function in the Filipino language. Talinghaga is deep words or phrases commonly used in literary pieces, especially during the colonization era, that are uncommonly used in everyday conversation between native speakers. They are also used in Filipino crossword puzzles and used in dictionaries as additional words that exist in the Filipino words pool. Talinghaga can also be an idiom in a sentence or a parable in a paragraph. This is considered as the highest form of Filipino language.

Pabalbal

Pabalbal (pronounced as /pa/ - /bal/ - /bal/) is the Filipino word translation for slang terms and street words. These words are most commonly used in the streets, the slums, or in poor neighborhoods. This is considered as the lowest form of Filipino language.

Bekimon and Jejemon

The Filipinos are pretty creative when it comes to brewing new languages that some of these languages slowly integrate themselves in the Filipino culture. The Bekimon are people who are "hard-core users" of gay language whether they are homosexuals or not. a Jejemon is a person "who has managed to subvert the English language to the point of incomprehensibility." The Philippine Daily Inquirer, an English-language newspaper in the Philippines, describes "Jejemons" as a "new breed of hipsters who have developed not only their own language and written text but also their own subculture and fashion." These are also considered as slang terms or street words.

6. Practice as Much as You Can

The title is pretty much self-explanatory. Once you’ve learned the basic sounds and letters of the Filipino alphabet, it’s important not to get lost in trying to memorize massive vocabulary lists. Instead, focus on learning some common conversational phrases in context.

There is no better way to get comfortable with a language than to speak it. Optimally, language learners should strive to fit Tagalog lessons into their schedule once a day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. By doing g this, you are training both your tongue and your vocabulary on Filipino words.

One more way of practicing is listening to the native speakers of the language. You can listen to Filipino music (which most are pretty bop) and practice tongue-twisters. You can also watch videos of Filipino speakers, such as those on YouTube.

Source

7. The Filipino Language Grammar

The Filipino word for grammar is balarila.

Filipino grammar is somehow similar to those of other languages, such as Spanish and English. It also almost follows the same sentence structure as the ones mentioned above. But there are some exceptions, twists, and turns that do not exist in other languages and only exist in the Filipino language.

One thing that learners should know first is that the Filipino language does not have many gender-specific words or pronouns unlike in English or Korean. For example, the Filipino word ikaw means you in English. When it is incorporated within a sentence, it will either mean talking about a girl/woman or a boy/man.

There are words in Filipino that use hyphens, but they still count as one word, and they are pretty much common in the language. One example is the word pag-ibig or love in English. A misspelling error one would do to that word is to forget to place the hyphen. There are also words that sound like they are hyphenated, but in fact, they are not. One example could be the word mandirigma from the root word digma. The former is translated to warrior or fighter in English, while the latter is translated to war in English. If you hyphenate the first word, that would be a misspelling. These kinds of words are explored further in the affixes and word conjugation area of the Filipino language.

Some words sound and spell the same, but they have tons of meaning. These words are called homonyms. For example, the Filipino for masa. This word means "mass" in Spanish. But in Filipino, even though the spelling and the pronunciation are the same, this could either mean "the people" or "dough."

The Filipino language doesn't use those many honorifics for formality words in their sentences. Instead, it uses the word po and opo as words of giving and receiving respect. Hence, add these words to make the sentence formal and remove them to make it informal. Filipinos has this respectful nature and culture embedded within them. Where to put these words within, before, or after a word or sentence can also be tricky, and the correct usage of them is always a must.

The Filipino language commonly uses the words ng and nang, as well, with each having purposes and different rules. For example, ng is used to point out an object and to express ownership. Nang, on the other hand, is used to replace “noong” (when in English) and “para” (for in English) or “upang” (to in English) to connect an adverb and to connect two repeating verbs.

The Filipino language also has words like din and rin. These languages are, commonly used for/during conversations and informal talks. You could either use one of them or both of them within the same sentence. But there is a Filipino rule that din is used when the preceding word ends with a consonant letter except for "w" and "y" while rin is used when the preceding word ends with a vowel letter, "w," and "y." This rule of interchanging the letters D and R is also present among any other Filipino words that start D and R, especially root words.

Another example is the usage of the words sina and sila. Use sila if referring to two or more people without naming them (they/them). Use sina if referring to two or more people with names (sina + names).

Filipinos write and read Filipino words per syllable, and sometimes there are rules within these syllables to change the tense (past, present, future) of the word. Also, there are rules where letters within the word during a change of tense would need to change or shift, like the D and R rule above. Syllables are also used to know how many letters are present within the word since there are no silent or hidden letters in the spelling.

These are just several of Filipino grammar rules out there. Filipino language grammar is an extensive, tricky, almost confusing, and difficult thing to discuss and learn, even for native speakers. Native speakers can also say a sentence in Filipino with wrong grammar. But, in my opinion, you as a learner don't need to mind so much about Filipino grammar. If your listener understands you, or what you are trying to imply, the way you use the language will be deemed acceptable. Those with keen ears and eyes, especially Filipino writers, will correct you on some grammar mistakes. But again, if your idea is very much understandable by the receiver or listener it will be okay.

You can learn more about Filipino grammar on this website.

Source

8. The Confusing Cases of the Affixes and Conjugations

In English, there are three existing affixes: prefix, suffix, and interfix. The suffix and prefix are commonly found on English vocabulary while the interfix is, rather, rare.

In Filipino, there are five existing affixes. And, oh boy, one wrong spelling, positioning, structuring of an affix will definitely change the meaning of a word. The correct affix to use in a Filipino root word also depends if the root word is a noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, etc.

These affixes are:

  1. prefix or panlapi
  2. suffix or hulapi
  3. interfix or gitlapi
  4. magkabilaan (pronounced as /mag/ - /ka/ - /bi/ - /la/ - /an/) or "on both side" in literal English translation
  5. laguan (pronounced as /la/ - /gu/ - /an/) that somehow literally translates to "all over"

You may be familiar with the first three, so let's talk about magkabilaan and laguan. The former is when affixes are present at the beginning and the ending of a word while the latter is when affixes are present at the beginning, middle, and ending of a word. Also. Filipino words where an affix is present on either the front and middle or middle and end are also called as magkabilaan. To make it, somehow, clear, let me give the Filipino word basa as an example:

Filipino Word
(Literal) English Translation
Affix Word Used
Affix Used
Basa (root word)
Read
None
None
Babasa
Read in past tense
ba-
Prefix
Basahin
Read in present tense
-hin
Suffix
Bumasa
Has/have read.
-um-
Interfix
Babasahin
Will/shall read
ba- and -hin
Magkabilaan
Pagbabasahin
Asking someone to read. The word is used in imperative form.
pag-, -ba-, and -hin
Laguan
A table of an example for a Filipino word, it's (almost literal) translation, and the affixes used in each.

The above words are just a few example. That word can change its meaning if the wrong affix or is inserted or if the conjugation is wrongfully used. There are also tons of affixes that can be present in that single word. Which affixes and conjugations to use is also affected by the word or letter before or after it.

In my opinion, when to put an affix, what correct affix to use, and how to use the affix in Filipino should be learned in your late stages of learning the languages because this can be tricky, confusing, and a bit of a tongue-twister. Adding affixes can sometimes lengthen a very short Filipino word just to make sure that it is within correct usage. One or more wrong affixes can drastically change the meaning of a Filipino word, and sometimes adding an affix does not compliment a Filipino word to make it a new word (ie, changing its tense and meaning). Plus, apart from the daily conversational and common Filipino words, there are tons of affixes that you need to memorize that it could lead to too much information. In short, it's better to practice on learning the common words, phrases, and sentences first so that when you're used to these words and you are finally learning the affixes, it will be easier for you to learn the affixes.

Photo by Kelli McClintock via Unsplash
Photo by Kelli McClintock via Unsplash | Source

9. Learning Outside the Box

Learning a language means learning the country it belonged to, its roots, its history, and culture, etc. This applies to any kind of new language that you wish to learn. And the reason for this is that language is deeply rooted within them.

Learning these things will only take you a short while, especially if you're learning the Filipino language. For example, basic facts about the geography of the country. The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of three major island regions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It belongs in the ASEAN region, or Southeast Asia, and lies in the Pacific Ring of Fire. If you don't know what that is, the Pacific Ring of Fire is an arc around the Pacific Ocean where many volcanoes and earthquakes are formed. This place is also called the Pacific Rim where many typhoons are formed. The country is made up of 7, 647 islands where at least 2000 of it is inhabited. The country has no sharing of land borders because of the bodies of water around it. There are currently 17 regions found within the Philippines, where each region contains provinces and cities and each of these contains the Barangays or the smallest administrative division in the Philippines and is the native Filipino term for a village, district, or ward. The Philippines is also called "Pearl of the Orient Seas," where natural resources are very rich. Three of the world's largest malls are found in the country, as well as the 8th Wonder of the world.

After geography, you'll have to take a look at its culture. The culture of the country and the Filipinos are very diverse. Almost every province and barangay in the country celebrate festivals all year round. In fact, there are at least 42,000 known minor and major festivals in the Philippines. And even though the Philippines is the 5th largest speaker of the English language in the world, there are around 120 to 175 spoken local languages in the country. There is also a number of existing indigenous tribes in the country that are also rich with history and culture, each having their own clothing, music, songs, etc. The majority of the population are Catholics while the rest are either Protestants or Muslims.

After that, you'll have to get a short glimpse of the country's history, which will be discussed below. Knowing the history of the Filipino language means you'll also get to know the culture behind it. The Filipino language is a language that keeps evolving and adapting through time. And like the theories, when all of those who know the language are gone the language, itself, will follow suit.

Source

10. Detailed Brief History: Cultivating the Filipino Language

Perhaps you're asking yourself why do you need to learn the history of language. The answer is simple: to learn a new language, you have to dig on its roots. Imagine planting a seed of a tree: it will start with the roots, and then it turns into a sapling, and then it grows more branches, and then the leaves, and then the flowers it will bloom, and finally the tree will soon create fruits for you to harvest. It's a natural process of learning, possibly, anything. And learning the history of the language means that you can grasp some ideas on why the Filipino language is made and crafted that way.

Theories of Languages

In our class during high school, specifically during Filipino subject classes, we had a topic about the origins of the languages found in the Philippines. Most of them are theories and hypotheses made by researchers, linguists, and historians alike. Several theories indicate that the first Filipino settlers were from East Asia that migrated to Taiwan until they've reached Southeast Asia. These are the Austronesians. The original Filipinos were shorter and darker in skin color. Most of them are also wayfinders, spreading across Polynesia. These people brought their religion, culture, and language with them as they build tribal kingdoms in the country.

Pre-Colonial Era: Foreign Trading

And then came the age of foreign trading, where the Chinese, Arab, Indonesians, Malaysians, Indians, and other Asian countries traded their goods and commodities with the Philippines, along with their languages, beliefs, religion, and way of life during the pre-colonial era. Foreign trade with Borneo, Japan, and Thailand also played an integral part in building the language of what mostly the Filipinos know today. They have taken and adapted words from all of these languages to make them part of the Filipino language. They have, however, still maintained their languages, and maintained distinctions from one language to another.

Colonial Era: Spain

A Portuguese explorer and navigator named Ferdinand Magellan, the guy who successfully circumnavigated the world, landed on the Islands of the country in 1521 and claimed it for the name of Spain, thus naming it La Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Austria. It wasn't until 1563 that the country was successfully colonized by Spain under Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. After that were 333 years of Spanish colonization and, just like any other colonized countries, oppression. Numerous Filipino figures and heroes were born and died during these times. Small pockets of revolutions for independence sprouted in small pockets within regions in the country. But it wasn't until 1898 that the Filipinos had finally had enough of the Spanish oppression. In these 333 years gravely influenced the Filipinos, even today, that the majority of Filipino words and vocabulary are from Spanish words.

Colonial Era: USA

After that was the colonization of the Americans in 1898. This happened during major independence movements and revolutions across the country against Spain. Of course, the Filipinos back then also fought for the country's independence. The Filipinos saw this as revolutions while the Americans saw this as insurgencies. The Filipinos lost during the Philippine-American war where hundreds of thousands of Filipinos died, both as military personnel and as civilians. When the Americans won after the war, they finally claimed the Philippines as their own colony. And unlike the Filipinos' Spanish predecessors, the Americans educated and assimilated the Filipinos and forced them to learn the English language as well as learn other fields like nursing, engineering, etc. They called it a "kind, benevolent colonization." The Philippines was promised total independence by the Americans until 1946, but that almost didn't happen because of the Japanese occupation in the 1940s. The usage of Filipino during this era is permitted, as well as the heavy influence of English words. A number of words in English are made into Filipino, just like the words television, radio, coup de'tat, commercial, control, and many more.

Colonial Era: Japan

Although the Japanese colonized the country for only roughly three years, they were so much different than the Spanish and the Americans. But even though the Japanese highly encouraged the country to speak their native tongue, English was banned and the Filipinos were then forced to learn the Japanese language. They also had strict rules that are enforced with brutal force. Of course, the Filipinos were trying to have their independence by fighting back. Most didn't end well. It was only until 1945, with the help of the Americans during the second world war, that the country was finally freed from the hands of the Japanese. But with a cost. You see, the Japanese in the Philippines knew that they were losing to the combined forces against the Americans and Filipinos. So, in an act of "final attack," and because of the low morale in the Japanese military, they killed numerous Filipino civilians. This was called "The Manila Massacre." General Yamashita, the one who's in control of the Japanese army in the Philippines, was found guilty of committed war crimes and atrocities in the country and was sentenced to death. The Japanese lost the country and lost the war. And though the occupation of the Imperial Japanese was short in the Philippines, some of their vocabularies were added into the Filipino language and are written/spoken in a Filipino way. Some of these words are boat, candle, bread, soap, etc.

Colonial Era: Independence

In accordance with the Philippine Independence Act, or known as the Tydings-McDuffie Act, where President Harry S. Truman issued Proclamation 2695 of July 4, 1946, officially recognizing the independence of the Philippines. The country's independence day is commemorated on June 12 of every year because the Philippine Declaration of Independence from Spain happened on 12 June 1898

Post-Colonial Era: National Identity

The Commission on the Filipino Language is the official regulating body of the Filipino language and the official government institution tasked with developing, preserving, and promoting the various local Philippine languages. The commission was established in accordance with the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines. Upon establishing an Institute of National Language on January 12, 1937, former President Manuel Luis Quezón y Molina appointed the members to compose the INL. Quezon was also deemed as the country's "Father of the National Language."

In 1938, the INL was dissolved and replaced with the National Language Institute. Its purpose was to prepare for the nationwide teaching of the Tagalog-based national language by creating a dictionary and a grammar book with a standardized orthography. In the School Year of 1940-41, the teaching of the national language, with its new standardized orthography, was set by law in the fourth year of all high schools in both public and private schools throughout the country. The Tagalog-based national language was taught in school only as one of the subject areas in 1940 but was not adopted as the medium of instruction. During the Second World War, the Japanese occupiers encouraged the use of the national language rather than English in the schools. The Tagalog-based national language was, therefore, propagated not only in education but also in mass media and in official communication.

This is still continued until today. And although Filipino is also deemed as a "standardized Tagalog," it is a language where not only Tagalog is included to mold its form. That means that it also includes several major local languages in the Philippines and foreign languages such as English, Spanish, and Japanese.

The Filipino language is not only taught but it is also an official subject in schools in the Philippines. Kids from kindergarten to high school will always have a Filipino subject. It is also a subject in chosen curriculums and courses in colleges and universities. It is a profession by translators, transcribers, teachers, and interpreters alike, especially if it is Filipino to English and vice-versa. This is because it is embedded in the country's constitution as well as mandated by the Commission of the Filipino Language.

11. Use Your Available Resources

We are now on the digital age and learning something is just one search away. There are a lot of available courses online or via applications that you can use to learn the Filipino language. Just type in the search keywords and you'll find either free or paid courses for learning the language. You can also download applications like "Drops" and "HelloTalk" to help you with your learning. "Drops" is an application that is like "Duolingo" or "Lingodeer" where you can learn languages by sessions while "HelloTalk" is like a social media application where you can meet people online, teach your language, and learn your language at the same time. You can also search for YouTube videos for learning the Filipino language, listen to Filipino songs and music, watch shows or Vlogs made by Filipinos, etc.

Some of these a bit pricy, though, because you may be paying for the course. Some offer them for free, but they are only accessed daily. Either way, you'll still be learning the language.

You can also buy books to learn the language if the internet is not much of your thing. You might as well try and talk to native speakers of the language, especially if you have friends or peers that are Filipinos. You can ask them questions and they will be happy to teach you.

Tagalog for Beginners: An Introduction to Filipino, the National Language of the Philippines (MP3 Audio CD Included)
Tagalog for Beginners: An Introduction to Filipino, the National Language of the Philippines (MP3 Audio CD Included)
If you are interested in learning more about the Filipino language, do check this book out! It also includes an MP3 Audio CD for you to listen to that will help you in the pronunciation of the words in Filipino. It's more like a workbook, where you learn phrases and more while also doing fill in the blank. Whether you're traveling to the Philippines for a vacation or a business trip, or you have ties to the sizeable Tagalog-speaking community in the U.S., or you're merely a language lover, this book will help you learn the language in a quick, accurate way.
 

I hope this article helped you for learning the language as a beginner. This article is subjected for more improvements and changes in the future. For more information about the article, ask and use me as a resource. If there are wrong information written in this article or if I forget important information to add in this article, do notify me as soon as possible. Thank you!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Darius Razzle Paciente

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    • davrowpot profile imageAUTHOR

      Darius Razzle Paciente 

      2 weeks ago from Taguig City, Metro Manila, The Philippines

      Thank you! @Hertha :)

    • Hertha David profile image

      Hertha David 

      3 weeks ago from Windhoek, Namibia

      Very well detailed.

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