Home 9 Guide to Language 9 Avail Some Helpful Knowledge on Tagalog vs Filipino Languages
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Feb 3, 2022 | Guide to Language

Avail Some Helpful Knowledge On Tagalog vs Filipino Languages

In the Philippines, Filipino and Tagalog are both widely spoken languages. For more than 50 years, millions of individuals have utilized both as the national language. But are Tagalog and Filipino the same or distinct languages? Does it appear to be difficult? It’s all right. In this write-up, we will take knowledge more about Tagalog vs Filipino.

Let’s be clear that Tagalog and Filipino appear to be nearly interchangeable. But, it is a fact that Tagalog is entirely different from Filipino. You will understand better if you know the brief origins of Tagalog and the Filipino language.

Brief History Of Tagalog Language

Brief History Of Tagalog Language

Despite its origins in the Philippines, Tagalog is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages. Previously, Tagalog was primarily spoken in Metro Manila and the neighbouring provinces of the Philippines. But, at present, more than 50 million Filipinos speak Tagalog in the country, while the language is spoken by 24 million people internationally. The literal translation of the Tagalog term is “from the river.” This language’s origins may get traced back more than 1,000 years.

Interestingly, Tagalog has evolved through time as different nations’ languages have influenced the Philippines. For example— Tagalog incorporates traces of various languages, such as English and Spanish. Tagalog was designated as the official language of the Philippines Islands in 1879. Besides that, click here to know the Top 10 Hardest Languages To Learn

A Brief History Of The Filipino Language

A Brief History of the Filipino Language

When the Philippine Commonwealth Constitution was adopted in the 1970s, the Philippines Government determined it needed a new language and established the Pilipino, which was eventually renamed Filipino in the mid-1980s. This new language was constructed on top of the old Tagalog and contained new terms and words from other languages such as—-Spanish, Sanskrit, English, Arabic, etc. It also added non-native letters and foreign speech sounds, including c, ch, f, j, x, and z.

Filipino was designated as the official language of the Philippines, and it quickly became the dominant language used in commerce and education. Because the Filipino emerged from Tagalog, it has many Tagalog origins. It means that many of the words you will come across will be in Tagalog. As a result, many individuals believe that both languages are the same. But, this is not the case. Yes, there is a difference between Tagalog and Filipino. We will discuss it later, but first, let’s go through the history of the Filipino languages, which revolves around Tagalog and Filipino.

If you are unaware about the main difference between translator vs interpreter you can read this article.

A Brief History Of Philippine Languages

Several people ask—- ‘what language do the Philippines speak?’ According to reports, the Philippines has around 120 languages spoken. The official language, Filipino, is a standardized variant of Tagalog used in formal education across the country.

You might be wondering how the word Filipino got derived? Tagalog was the official and native language of the Philippines until 1937 when Filipino replaced it. Not only did Tagalog have certain “aesthetically unpleasing” vocabulary, but ‘Cebuano’ speakers disputed Tagalog’s status as the official language. Unfortunately, due to sure delegates’ concerns, the concept of a lingua franca was postponed and is being examined as a future goal. In 1959, Tagalog was renamed “Pilipino.” Pilipino was further developed and enriched in the 1970s by changing and integrating vocabulary from other languages. Filipino was the name given to this newly developed language. In this way, Filipino evolved from Tagalog to become a more visually beautiful variant sound language. 

Filipino was ultimately designated as the Philippine language by the government in 1987. The official Filipino alphabet now includes some new Western letters. Meanwhile, if you want to know the Top 5 Facts To Know About The Official Language Of Australia, click here.

Now the main parts come. From the beginning, you might be wondering know the differences between Tagalog and Filipino. Yes, it was necessary to learn the brief on both the languages and history of the Philippine language before knowing Tagalog vs Filipino. Why? The reason is it the short knowledge of the language will give you a better understanding of the differences. 

Also, explore what is Tagalog?

What Is The Distinction Between Tagalog And Filipino?

What Is the Distinction Between Tagalog and Filipino?

Tagalog is, after all, the native language of the Filipinos. Additional terms are borrowed from the Spanish and English languages and Tagalog words. These terms were subsequently nativized and included in the Filipino language vocabulary. Aside from that, as the Philippines’ native language, Filipino allows for transliteration. Words can be spelled differently depending on how the locals pronounce them.

As an example, the term ‘driver’ in English may be written ‘drayber,’ which most locals pronounce.

Moreover, Filipino is still a developing language that continues to borrow words from other languages spoken vocabulary. Now let’s look at the differences with details closure.


Tagalog is the indigenous language of the Taga-ilog ethnic group that lives near the Pasig River. Filipino is a language that originated in the Philippines and has subsequently adopted terms from other languages such as Spanish, English, and Chinese. You can now come across many people speaking the filipino language on a wider scale.


In the Philippines, Tagalog has been spoken for over a century. The origins of the Tagalog language may be traced back over 1,000 years. Meanwhile, the term “Filipino” or “Philippine” has been used for about 50 years. Filipino was officially designated as the national language by the government in 1987. The official Filipino alphabet now includes some new Western letters.


The Tagalog alphabet contains 20 letters. But, the Filipino alphabet has 28 letters. As per the data, 20 letters of Filipino are from Tagalog, and others such as c, f, j, x, and z are from other languages. Notably, Tagalog alphabets do not consist of the N alphabet. Only words from other languages are used in Filipino. Thus, two languages have the same grammatical structure, verbal affixes, pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, and linkers.


Tagalog has a substantially larger vocabulary, many regulations, and a tight sentence structure. Tagalog also has a more significant number of technical terminology. Filipino is a primary language that is straightforward to learn and build phrases in. It’s also a lot more forgiving, with fewer regulations.

Language of the Nation

In the year 1897, Tagalog became the official language of the Philippines. But, several terms in the speech were deemed “aesthetically unpleasing.” As a result, Cebuano speakers challenged Tagalog’s status as the national language. Thus, Filipino was developed as an improved variant of Tagalog to improve its aesthetic appeal. In 1987, Filipino was designated as the official language of the Philippines.


Sociolects are social dialects or linguistic variants used by a particular socioeconomic class. Tagalog has a number of them. On the other hand, Filipinos have none that are particularly prominent in society.

So, the mentioned factors in detail will clarify everyone’s query regarding the Tagalog and Filipino differences. Another thing that gets highlighted in this article is the western influences in the Filipino language. It depicts that the language is different from Tagalog. But, still, let’s learn some of it in the below passage.

The Influences Of Other Languages On The Filipino

As said earlier, Filipino, sometimes known as Philipino, is a language formed from Tagalog and numerous other languages. The extensive use of terms originating from English and Spanish and the use of “Western” letters like j, c, x, z, and f. Before the entrance of immigrants from Spain and the Americas, these were not natural sounds to the natives of those islands, but they swiftly became part of the Filipino alphabet.

Several current English and Spanish terms have been introduced into the Filipino language. For example, the Filipino term “diksyunaryio” has been derived from the Spanish word “Diccionario.”

Filipino is, without a doubt, still a developing language. Filipino is far more receptive to terms from other languages, such as English and Spanish. In a nutshell, the fundamental distinction between the two popular languages is that Tagalog is an older language that gets employed to create the new and better Filipino. The updated language incorporates borrowed words from other languages besides unique alphabets. But, People who often speak Tagalog can comprehend Filipino and vice versa.

It’s no surprise that Tagalog and Filipino have a significant global following and influence. Fortunately, several translation businesses provide language translation services that might assist you in reaching out to your Tagalog-speaking audience. Because of the differences in dialects, basic translation systems like Google Translate aren’t always accurate in Tagalog and Filipino. When it comes to Language translation services, accuracy is crucial, so the expert translation is required. If you need to translate the Tagalog language to English or others, you must contact a reputable translation firm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Filipinos understand Tagalog?

Most Filipinos understand and speak Tatalog, as the study shows more than 50 million people in the Philippines can speak Tatalog. It is one of the official languages of the Philippines and 2nd most spoken language across the country. 

Is it better to learn Tagalog or Filipino?

Suppose you plan to go to the Philippines for job or business purposes. In that case, you should learn Tagalog because Tagalog is also spoken in America, Canada, Macao, Britain, Guam, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries. Learning Tagalog will open the door to opportunities to work abroad. For this reason, most learners choose to learn this language. 

Can people who speak Tagalog understand Filipino?

Tagalog is closely connected to many Filipino languages. That includes Kapampangan, Ilocano, Pangasinan, the Visayan languages, the Bikol languages, etc. Both Tagalog and Filipino have dialects of the same language group with several common lexical items. Also, their grammatical structures are very similar. So, learning Tagalog will help you understand and learn Pilipino easily. 

David Lee

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