Home 9 Guide to Language 9 Filipino Language: History And Unrevealed Interesting Facts
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Jan 28, 2023 | Guide to Language

What languages are spoken in the Philippines?

Did you know the origin of Filipino language? It belongs to the Austronesian language family and is commonly known as the national language of the Philippines.

As per the data in the 2000s, the growth of the Philippine economy has been boosted. Also, economic growth has increased in the last two decades from the lower to the middle-income group. The rough idea of the per capita income is between $1000 – $3000

Some facts on varied philippine language history

  • Till the 16th century, Spanish was the official language of Philippines. No other common languages were spoken in the Philippines.
  • Even after three centuries of Spanish colonization, Spanish used to be the official language of the Philippines.
  • The country says the confrontation of native speakers in the Philippines with English speakers. It was the period between 1898 to 1946. Also, it was the time when American rule existed.
  • The joint wealth government decided in the 1930s. According to this thought, the country Philippines must have its national language. From then, people started adopting the Filipino language.
  • There were several languages and dialects in the several territories of the philippines. But, people staying in metro manila spoke Tagalog.

Explore here what is Tagalog.

The Differences Between Filipino and Tagalog

The Differences Between Filipino and Tagalog

The Tagalog language has come first in the Philippines. Later the Philippines language has become the official language of the country.

The Tagalog language is an independent language mainly spoken by the people in metro Malina of the Philippines. But, the Philipino language is a combination of 3 languages. i.e., Tagalog, Spanish, and English.

Tagalog is  major languages spoken in mero Malina, regarded as a little complex language. , But the Filipino language allows transitional phrases. Thus, it is flexible.

One of the oldest languages in the Philippines is Tagalog, after the Spanish language. It is the spoken language in the Philippines around the 1970s. But, in the 1980s, another Filipino language was officially labeled. Thus, Tagalog vs Filipino is something you must know.

Is Spanish spoken in the Philippines?

Yes, Spanish is one of the most well-spoken languages in the Philippines. Spain colonized the Philippines between the years 1565 to 1898. Thus, Spanish was regarded to be the philippines official languages till 1987.

According to the latest report, even today, 0.5 % of the entire population in the Philippines speaks Spanish. The figure is less. But, in reality, it comes to 3 million people in the Philippines.

Why was Tagalog changed to Pilipino?

Why was Tagalog changed to Pilipino?
Tagalog was a native language in philippines. But, the country has decided to work on a language that is the upgraded version of Tagalog. It was primarily the effort of President Ferdinand Marcos. He wanted to make the same language aesthetically pleasing.

It was the effort to create a new society that would make speaking the language easier. It is a combination of Spanish, Tagalog, and English. Thus, language helps native speakers communicate easily by keeping an aesthetic impression.

In addition, you can also get several impacts if you are into the hardship of speaking other foreign languages.  Hungarian language is one on the list, which you should not deny.

Are the languages of the Philippines mutually intelligible?

Before answering the question, let’s learn about some basics. R. David Paul Zorc was the linguist who added several languages spoken in northern Sulawesi and the Philippines region together. They are combined into a great group known as the Philippine language. Also, another linguist supported the attempt to combine all the languages.

Did you know that the languages spoken in the Philippines region have similarities in pronunciation and the terms used? Now, the question is whether the languages in the Philippines are mutually intelligible.

No, these languages spoken in the Philippines are not mutually interchangeable. But, from the above graph, you can look at a few languages with many similarities. Yet, the overall languages in the Philippines regions are different from one another. Here, you can explore everything about the Esperanto Language.

Official languages of the Philippines

Official languages of the Philippines

The two most widely speaking languages in the Philippines are Tagalog and Cebuano. But, these are not just the only two languages the people staying in Philippines speak. Other native philippine languages are:

  • Bikol
  • Masbateňo
  • Waray
  • Kapampangan
  • Pangasinan
  • Maguindanao
  • Maranao
  • Tausug
  • Ilocano
  • Hiligaynon

Yet people speak many local languages in the Philippines in several family gatherings.

Widely spoken languages in the Philippines

Widely spoken languages in the Philippines

1. Cebuano (Bisaya) 

The Western, meaning Indonesian, branch of the family of Austronesian languages includes the Cebuano dialect, also called Bisaya or Sugbuhanon. The Bisaya language is spoken by about 18.5 million people in the Philippines, primarily in eastern Cebu, Negros, west Leyte, and the western shores of Mindanao.

Cebuano is commonly categorized as a Visayan (Bisayan) dialect with the Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) & Waray-Waray languages due to their many similarities.

The second-largest ethnolinguistic group in the Philippines comprises approximately a fifth of Cebuano speakers. Despite being widely used, Cebuano is rarely utilized in literature, yet it is used in media and movies.

2. Ilocano

The third most widely spoken native language in the Philippines is Ilocano. It is also called Iloco and is frequently written as Ilokano or Ilokan.

The Ilocano people are established in the Ilocos region. They possess a brief coastal plain in northwest Luzon. As the population increased, people moved to nearby provinces, Hawaii, and the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

The Ilocano language, which is a member of the Austronesian language family, is closely related to those in spoken northern Luzon. In total, there are about 10 million Ilocano speakers. Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union are the three central Ilocano provinces.

Are Filipino and Tagalog the same?

Are Filipino and Tagalog the same?

It is the most frequently asked question by people outside the Philippines. If we answer it from a linguistic point of view, Tagalog and Filipino are two different dialects of the same language.

Also, both languages use quite similar tenses, verbs, and adjectives when using grammar. In addition, both languages use different lexical terms. You will be glad to know that people replace unsound Tagalog words with new ones. These new words are pleasing to the ears.

Some interesting facts about Tagalog language

Some interesting facts about Tagalog language

In 1937, former Philippine president Manuel L. Quezon proclaimed Tagalog as the national language.

The term Tagalog came from” taga ilog,” meaning the river dwellers along the Pasig River during Spain’s occupation of the Philippines.

The precursor of Filipino, the Tagalog language, is not a pure language. It developed from various influences.

The endonym taga-ilog, meaning “river-dweller,” is whence the term “Tagalog” originates.

The Doctrina Christiana was composed in Tagalog in 1593 to convert more native Filipinos to Roman Catholicism. The first book written in Tagalog is thought to be this one.

Before the Spanish arrived in the 1520s, Tagalog was written using a script based on alpha-syllabic letters known as Baybayin.

The Tagalog term bundók, which means mountain, is the source of the English phrase “boondocks,” which designates a remote, undeveloped location.

Multilingualism in the Philippines

The country named the Philippines has diverse language culture. For example, people from the older generation speak Tagalog. Also, they have their language for expression. Several other languages are spoken by people residing in the Philippines or those who migrate to the nation.

Filipino Alphabets

If you want to know about the modern Filipino alphabet, it consists of 28 letters. Also, it includes the complete set of 26 letters. The set also belongs to the ISO basics Latin alphabet. You can also see the Ng digraph from Tagalog, Spanish N, etc.

Just like the English language it has five vowels. But, the consonants are 23.

Is it challenging to learn Tagalog?

Is it challenging to learn Tagalog?

Learning the Tagalog dialect of the Filipino language is simple. The reason is its compatibility with the English alphabet. The words in Tagalog share the same sounds and a similar writing system, and some have had foreign terms from other languages modified for them.

In addition, native Tagalog speakers are among the best English speakers in several South-East Asian nations, along with other native speakers of regional dialects.

Do you have interest to know more about the Tagalog language? There is no justification for finding Tagalog challenging to grasp since learning Filipino terms is similar to learning English. Try the top language learning app if you are sincere about learning it. Some people still think Tagalog is Hardest Languages To Learn.

How Widely Is English Spoken in the Philippines?

How Widely Is English Spoken in the Philippines?

As you can see in the above graph, more than 60% of the people in the Philippines speak English. Since the people of the Philippines speak English widely. The country has become a big source of IT hub.

Before the discovery of the philippines official languages filipino language, English was one among themost widely spoken languages in the Philippines. Even today, it is one of the Philippines official language. According to the latest data, more than 14 million people speak a particular language.

There was a Spanish colonial period when Spain ruled the Philippines. During that time, people took English as one of their native languages. That was the time when both English and Spanish were used.

What is Taglish?

What is Taglish?

The language is not an official language but combines English and Tagalog. But, the language is not only an unofficial philippines language. Instead, people belonging to other countries also speak Taglish. Some facts about the Taglish language are:

  • Taglish language is mostly spoken in the capital city of Philippines named ‘Manila.’
  • It is a common language to communicate. In other words, the language is ‘de facto lingua Franca.
  • Taglish language is the acceptable style of conversation in the informal setting.

What are the indigenous languages spoken in the Philippines?

What are the indigenous languages spoken in the Philippines?

As you can see in the above diagram, the list of indigenous languages include:

  • IIocano
  • Waray- waray
  • Bikol
  • Maranao
  • Tausug
  • Cebuano
  • Hiligaynon
  • Kapampangan
  • Maranao

Why was Tagalog regarded as the basis for the national language in the Philippines?

In 1934 the constitution of the Philippines created a sense of nationalism in a brand new form. According to that, the native language of the Philippines will be regarded as its national language.

Language experts from America and Filipinos such as Najib Mitry Saleeby also preferred Tagalog over other languages in the Philippines.

But, there were conflicts when the other delegates from the contagion region opposed the decision to make tagalog the national language.

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Some unknown facts about the Spanish and filipino language

Some unknown facts about the Spanish and filipino language
  • Spanish priests did most of the early studies on the Tagalog language. Clergy members and Spanish missionaries were the ones who collected the grammatical rules of the language and its vocabulary
  • Lope K. Santos, a Filipino grammarian, writer, and senator, introduced the Abakada alphabet, adapted from the Latin alphabet
  • About 33% of the Filipino word roots came from Spanish

Major immigrant languages in the Philippines

Major immigrant languages in the Philippines
  • Several immigrants travel from other parts of the nation to the Philippines. Thus, a population speaking a different language is not at all surprising. According to the National Language Institute, Tagalog was treated as the basis of the national language in 1937.

    However, the major immigrant languages spoken in the Philippines region are :

    1. Arabic

    Right from the 14th century, the language named Arabic has had a good influence in a country like Philippines. Instead, most of them were Filipino Muslims. They speak Filipino and Arabic language.

    A recent report shows that around 2.2 million people in the Philippines speak Arabic.

    1. Spanish

    Spanish is one of the oldest languages that is spoken by the people staying in the Philippines region. It started during the 16th century. Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi came to the Philippines during that time.

    Spanish is different from the language that dominates today in the Philippines region. But, the vast influence of the past is still there. Thus, Spanish words are used in the local languages.

    1. Hokkien

    It is one of the Chinese languages; rather, it is one of the heritage languages of Chinese immigrants. It is also considered one of the languages spoken by people in the Philippines.

    One reliable source report says that almost 12% of Chinese residing in the Philippines speak Hokkien.

    1. South Asian languages

    Right from the pre-Spanish times, there were small Indian communities. Those communities’ spoken languages in the Philippines include Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, etc.

    Also, in recent times the languages spoken are Nepali, Tamil, Marathi, etc.Now when you are thinking about migrating to Philippines,  translation services australia can help 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do all Filipinos speak Tagalog?

Almost a quarter of the population in the Philippines speaks Tagalog. Especially in the southern and central portion of Luzon, speaks and regards it as a second language.

But, for most the Filipinos, Tagalog is the first language. Also, around 50 million Filipinos speak Tagalog. Yet, only some people in the Filipinos region speak Tagalog.

2. How do you say hello in Filipino?

The most common greeting in the Filipino language is Kumusta. Also, people in the Philippines region has a beautiful gesture of greeting stranger. They go ahead with a soft handshake and smile.

3. What are some essential Filipino words?

Some of the most common words spoken in Philippines are:

  • Hello (formal) = Kumusta.
  • Hello (informal) = Musta.
  • What is your name? (informal) = Anong pangalan mo?
  • Nice to meet you = Kinagagalak kong makilala ka.
  • What is your name? (formal) = Ano po ang pangalan nila?
  • Good morning (informal) = Magandang umaga.

4. Is English spoken in Philippines?

Yes, along with other native languages, English is very well spoken in the Philippines region. Before the introduction of other languages, English and Spanish words were widely in use. Also, it is one of the two official languages in the philippine.

5. What are the 3 Filipino languages?

The three most common languages of Filipino are:

  • Bisayan
  • Hiligaynon
  • Cebuano

6. What is the Philippines’ actual language?

Tagalog was the natural language of people residing in the Philippines. However, other philippine languages are Malay, Chinese, English, etc.

7. Are Filipino and Tagalog the same language?

Filipino and Tagalog are separate languages. But, in reality, these are almost identical. Filipino is the advanced version of the Tagalog language.

David Lee

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