Learn Filipino (Tagalog)

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About Filipino (Tagalog)

Filipino is the standardised form of the Tagalog language and is an official language of the Philippines alongside English. Roughly a quarter of the population are native speakers of Tagalog, while the rest speak it as a second language. It is related to many of the other 182 languages of the Philippines, especially Cebuano and Hiligaynon. Spanish has had a major influence on Tagalog’s vocabulary, and there are also lots of loan words from languages such as English, Sanskrit, Tamil and Chinese.

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Fun facts — Filipino (Tagalog)

  • Any object can become an action by simply adding a prefix. Kape is 'coffee' and magkape is 'to drink a coffee'. Taxi can become magtaxi - 'to ride a taxi' - and mag-gym means 'to go to the gym'!
  • Tagalog speakers love using slang. One common way to make a word 'cool' is to reverse the syllables. So a Tagalog-speaking teenager might talk about his lodi - idol - to his ermat - mother - and his erpat - father.
  • Tagalog has a huge number of words borrowed from Spanish and English which it will sometimes fuse together - for example, a boxer is a boksingero from the English 'boxing' and Spanish '-ero'.
  • Tagalog is the 6th most spoken language in the United States.

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