Learn Ilocano

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About Ilocano

Ilocano, also called Iloko and Iloco, is the third most spoken language in the Philippines. Its speakers are mostly found on Luzon island and Mindanao. There are over 180 languages spoken in this country, so Ilocano is used as a common second language by about 2 million people. As part of the Austronesian family, Ilocano has links to languages ranging from Hawaiian to Malay to Malagasy. It has absorbed a lot of words from Spanish and English, as well as Hokkien and Sanskrit.

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Fun facts — Ilocano

  • Locals know this language as Samtoy, from 'sao mi ditoy' or 'our language here'.
  • Modern Ilocano speakers tend to use their traditional numbers to count from 1 to 9, and Spanish numerals for higher numbers.
  • The name Ilocano is derived from 'i-' meaning 'from', 'looc' or 'bay' and the Spanish ending '-ano'.

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