filipino for beginners
Manila Travel Tips, Learn A Language

The Filipino Language – A Beginner’s Must-Know for Basic Phrases and Pronunciation

Filipino for Beginners. 

Interesting Facts About the Filipino Language

  • Tagalog (or Filipino) belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. The name of the language is derived from taga-ilog, from taga (native) + ilog (river).
  • Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is named after a mangrove tree that has white flowers called nilad.
  • Depending on the method of classification, there are 125 to 170 dialects in use in the Philippines, such as Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Bicolano, Waray, and Kapampangan.
  • The word boondocks – used commonly in the English vocabulary – is actually a Tagalog loanword. In Tagalog it means mountain.
  • Tagalog has a vocabulary enriched by its pre-colonial and colonial history. Spanish is the single largest contributor to the Filipino vocabulary and as such Filipino seems to the foreign ear to sound somewhat like Spanish.
  • Tagalog used to be written with the Baybayin alphabet, which probably developed from the Kawi script of Java, Bali and Sumatra, which in turn descended from the Pallava script, one of the southern Indian scripts derived from Brahmi. Today the Baybayin alphabet is used mainly for decorative purposes and the Latin alphabet is used to write to Tagalog.
filipino for beginners
  • Since English is widely spoken in the Philippines, it is common to hear Filipinos use a mixture English and Filipino words or phrases, known as Taglish (a mixture of English and Tagalog), in their everyday conversations.
  • Filipino people are courteous. This can be seen by the Filipino tradition of using the words “po” and “opo”. These words are words of respect. They are used mostly in the Filipino families to show respect to the elders. The thing is that, even when not talking to family, as long as the Filipino people are talking to someone that is older than them, they use these words. There isn’t any translation of the words “po” and “opo” to other languages. Only the Filipino people use them.

Filipino for Beginners: Common Greetings and Phrases in Filipino

EnglishFilipinoPronunciation
HelloKamusta!Ka-mus-ta
Good morningMagandang umagaMa-gan-dang U-ma-ga
Good afternoonMagandang tanghaliMa-gan-dang tang-ha-li
Good eveningMagandang gabiMa-gan-dang ga-bee
GoodbyePaalamPa-a-lam
How are you?Kamusta? Ka-mus-ta
I’m fine, thanks!Mabuti naman, salamat! Ma-boo-ti na-man, sa-la-mat
And you?At ikaw? At i-kaw
Please.Paki Pa-ki
Thank you.Salamat Sa-la-mat
Thank you very much.Maraming salamat Ma-ra-ming sa-la-mat
You’re welcome.Walang anuman. Wa-lang a-nu-man
See you later!Samuling pagkikita! Sa-moo-lung pag-ki-ki-ta
YesOpo(frm), Oo(Inf) O-po, Oh oh
NoHindi Hin-di
What’s your name?Anong pangalan mo? A-nong pa-nga-lan mo
My name is…Ang pangalan ko po ay … (frm)
Ang pangalan ko ay … (inf)
 Ang pa-nga-lan ko po ay
Where are you from?Taga saan ka? Ta-ga sa-an ka
I’m from …Taga… ako Ta-ga … a-ko
Pleased to meet youKinagagalak kong makilala ka Ki-na-ga-ga-lak kong ma-ki-la-la ka
Have a nice dayMagandang araw sa’yo! Ma-gan-dang a-raw sa-yo
I understandNaiintinidihan ko Na-i-in-tin-di-han ko
I don’t understandHindi ko naiintindihan Hin-di ko na-i-in-tin-di-han
Please speak more slowlyPwede mo bang bagalan ang iyong pagsasalita? Pu-we-de mo bang ba-ga-lan ang i-yong pag-sa-sa-li-ta
Please say that againPaki úlit mo yon pa-ki u-lit mo yon
Please write it downPaki sulat mo naman Pa-ki soo-lat mo na-man
Do you speak Tagalog?Nagsasalita ho/po ba kayo ng Tagalog? (frm)
Nagta-Tagalog kaba? (inf)
Nag-sa-sa-li-ta ho/po ba ka-yo ng Ta-ga-log?
Nag-Ta-ta-ga-log ka-ba?
I miss youIkaw ay hanap-hanap ko(frm- old fashioned) I-kaw ay ha-nap ha-nap ko
I love youIniibig kita
Mahal kita
Minamahal kita
I-ni-i-big ki-ta
Ma-hal ki-ta
Mi-na-ma-hal ki-ta
Get well soonMagpagaling ka na, ha Mag-pa-ga-ling ka na, ha
Help!Saklolo! Tulong! Sak-lo-lo! Too-long
Stop!Tigil!
Para! (to tell vehicle to stop)
 Tee-gil!
Pa-ra!
Christmas and New Year greetingsMaligayang Pasko (Merry Christmas)
Manigong bagong taon (Happy New Year)
 Ma-li-ga-yang Pas-ko
Ma-ni-gong ba-gong ta-on
Happy Birthday!Maligayang kaarawan! Ma-li-ga-yang ka-a-ra-wan

Filipino for Beginners: Days of the Week in Filipino

EnglishFilipinoPronunciation
MondayLunes Loo-nes
TuesdayMartes Mar-tes
WednesdyMiyerkules mi-yer-ku-les
ThursdayHuwebes Hoo-we-bes
FridayBiyernes Bee-yer-nes
SaturdaySabado Sa-ba-do
SundayLingo Ling-go

Filipino for Beginners: Months of the Year in Filipino

EnglishFilipinoPronunciation
JanuaryEnero E-ne-ro
FebruaryPebrero Peb-re-ro
MarchMarso Mar-so
AprilAbril A-breel
MayMayo Mah-yo
JuneHunyo Hoon-yo
JulyHulyo Hool-yo
AugustAgosto A-gos-to
SeptemberSetyembre Set-yem-bre
OctoberOktubre Ok-too-bre
NovemberNobyembre Nob-yem-bre
DecemberDisyembre Dis-yem-bre

I hope you find the list helpful. Until then, paalam!

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Polly Amora

Polly Amora is a Filipina businessperson based in Manila, Philippines. She's a life-long learner who is extroverted to the nth degree, speaks 4 languages, loud & talkative, loves adventure: mountains, beach, and the city. Throw her anywhere and she'll manage life like a pro. Ice cream and beer are her weaknesses.

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16 Comments

  1. I have never been to the Philippines but would love to! It is important to understand the language of the place you are visiting!

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