Tagalog is one of the major languages used in the Philippines. Its standardized form, Filipino, is the principal language of the national television and radio, though broadsheet newspapers are almost completely in English. It is the primary language of public education. As Filipino, it is, along with English, a co-official language and the sole national language. Tagalog is widely used as a lingua franca throughout the country, and in overseas Filipino communities. However, while Tagalog may be prevalent in many fields, English, to varying degrees of fluency, is more prevalent in the fields of government and business.
The word Tagalog derived from tagá-ílog, from tagá- meaning "native of" and ílog meaning "river." Thus, it means "river dweller." There are no surviving written samples of Tagalog before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. Very little is known about the history of the language. However, according to linguists such as Dr. David Zorc and Dr. Robert Blust, the Tagalogs originated, along with their Central Philippine cousins, from Northeastern Mindanao or Eastern Visayas.
The first known book to be written in Tagalog is the Doctrina Cristiana (Christian Doctrine) of 1593. It was written in Spanish and two versions of Tagalog; one written in the Baybayin script and the other in the Latin alphabet. Throughout the 333 years of Spanish occupation, there were grammar and dictionaries written by Spanish clergymen such as Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala by Pedro de San Buenaventura (Pila, Laguna, 1613), Vocabulario de la lengua tagala (1835) and Arte de la lengua tagala y manual tagalog para la administración de los Santos Sacramentos (1850). Poet Francisco Baltazar (1788–1862) is regarded as the foremost Tagalog writer. His most famous work is the early 19th-century Florante at Laura.
In 1937, Tagalog was selected as the basis of the national language by the National Language Institute. In 1959, Tagalog, which had been renamed Wikang Pambansa ("National Language") by President Manuel L. Quezon in 1939, was renamed by the Secretary of Education, Jose Romero, as Pilipino to give it a national rather than ethnic label and connotation. The changing of the name did not, however, result in acceptance at the conscious level among non-Tagalogs, especially Cebuanos who had not accepted the selection..
In 1971, the language issue was revived once more, and a compromise solution was worked out—a "universalist" approach to the national language, to be called Filipino rather than Pilipino. When a new constitution was drawn up in 1987, it named Filipino as the national language. The constitution specified that as that Filipino language evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.
Tagalog speakers are found in other parts of the Philippines as well as throughout the world, though its use is usually limited to communication between Filipino ethnic groups. It is the sixth most-spoken language in the United States with over a million speakers. In Canada it is spoken by 235,615 .
Tagalog was declared the official language by the first constitution in the Philippines, the 1897 Constitution of Biak-na-Bato (Philippines)#ARTICLE VIII: OFFICIAL LANGUAGE in 1897.
In 1935, the Philippine constitution designated English and Spanish as official languages, but mandated the development and adoption of a common national language based on one of the existing native languages. After study and deliberation, the National Language Institute, a committee composed of seven members who represented various regions in the Philippines, chose Tagalog as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines. President Manuel L. Quezon then, on December 30, 1937, proclaimed the selection of the Tagalog language to be used as the basis for the evolution and adoption of the national language of the Philippines. In 1939 President Quezon renamed the proposed Tagalog-based national language as wikang pambansâ (national language). In 1939, the language was further renamed as "Pilipino".
The 1973 constitution designated the Tagalog-based "Pilipino", along with English, as an official language and mandated the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino. The 1987 constitution designated Filipino as the national language, mandating that as it evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.
As Filipino, Tagalog has been taught in schools throughout the Philippines. It is the only one out of over 170 Philippine languages that is officially used in schools and businesses, (info from culturegrams) though Article XIV, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines does specify, in part:
Subject to provisions of law and as the Congress may deem appropriate, the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system.
The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.
Some example of dialectal differences are:
Perhaps the most divergent Tagalog dialects are those spoken in Marinduque. Linguist Rosa Soberano identifies two dialects, western and eastern with the former being closer to the Tagalog dialects spoken in the provinces of Batangas and Quezon.
One example are the verb conjugation paradigms. While some of the affixes are different, Marinduque also preserves the imperative affixes, also found in Visayan and Bikol languages, that have mostly disappeared from most Tagalog dialects by the early 20th century; they have since merged with the infinitive.
|Manileño Tagalog||Marinduque Dialect||English|
|Susulat sina Maria at Fulgencia kay Juan.||Másúlat da Maria at Fulgencia kay Juan.||"Maria and Fulgencia will write to Juan."|
|Mag-aaral siya sa Maynila.||Gaaral siya sa Maynila.||"He will study in Manila."|
|Magluto ka!||Pagluto ka!||"Cook!"|
|Kainin mo iyan.||Kaina mo yaan.||"Eat that."|
|Tinatawag tayo ni Tatay.||Inatawag nganì kitá ni Tatay.||"Father is calling us."|
|Tutulungan ba kayó ni Hilarion?||Atulungan ga kamo ni Hilarion?||"Will Hilarion help you (pl.)?"|
Code switching also entails the use of foreign words that are Filipinized by reforming them using Filipino rules, such as verb conjugations. Users typically use Filipino or English words, whichever comes to mind first or whichever is easier to use.
Although it is generally looked down upon, code-switching is prevalent in all levels of society; however, city-dwellers, the highly educated, and people born around and after World War II are more likely to do it. Politicians as highly placed as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have code-switched in interviews.
There are four main diphthongs; /aɪ/, /oɪ/, /aʊ/, and /iʊ/.
Proto-Philippine *r, *j, and *z merged with /d/ but is /l/ between vowels. Proto-Philippine *ngajan (name) and *hajək (kiss) became Tagalog ngalan and halík.
Proto-Philippine *R merged with /g/. *tubiR (water) and *zuRuʔ (blood) became Tagalog tubig and dugô.
Tagalog was written in an abugida called Baybayin prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. This particular writing system was composed of symbols representing three vowels and 14 consonants. Belonging to the Brahmic family of scripts, it shares similarities with the Old Kawi script of Java and is believed to be descended from the script used by the Bugis in Sulawesi.
Although it enjoyed a relatively high level of literacy, the script gradually fell into disuse in favor of the Latin alphabet during Spanish colonial rule.
There has been confusion of how to use Baybayin. Each letter in the Latin Alphabet is not represented with one of those in the Baybayin alphabet. Rather than letters being put together to make sounds as in Western languages. Baybayin uses symbols to represent syllables.
A "kudlit" resembling an apostrophe is used above or below a symbol to change the vowel sound after its consonant. If the kudlit is used above, the vowel is an "E" or "I" sound. If the Kudlit is used below, the vowel is an "O" or "U" sound. A special kudlit was later added by Spanish missionaries in which a cross placed below the symbol to get rid of the vowel sound all together, leaving a consonant. Previously, the final consonant was just left out, leaving the reader to use context to determine the final consonants.
Baybayin is encoded in Unicode version 3.2 in the range 1700-171F under the name "Tagalog".
Until the first half of the 20th century, Tagalog was widely written in a variety of ways based on Spanish orthography. When the national language was based on Tagalog, grammarian Lope K. Santos introduced a new alphabet consisting of 20 letters called ABAKADA in school grammar books called balarilà; A B K D E G H I L M N Ng O P R S T U W Y.
Ex#1: Nang si Hudas ay madulas. - When Judas slipped.
Ex#2: Siya ay kumain nang nakatayo. - He ate while standing.
Comment: Ex#2 is one of many common "allowable mistakes" in Tagalog grammar. Due to persistent usage, they have been thought of as correct. The above example based on the English translation is really "Siya ay kumain habang nakatayo.". If the idea "He ate standing up." is translated "Siya ay kumain NA nakatayo.". To make things more complicated, Ex#2 may mean "He ate something (which is) standing.".
English has borrowed some words from Tagalog, such as abaca, adobo, aggrupation, barong, balisong, boondocks, jeepney, Manila hemp, pancit, and yaya, although the vast majority of these borrowed words are only used in the Philippines as part of the vocabularies of Philippine English.
For the Min Nan Chinese borrowings, the parentheses indicate the equivalent in standard Chinese.
|Tagalog||meaning||language of origin||original spelling|
|kumustá||how are you? (general greeting)||Spanish||cómo está|
|sugál||gambling||Spanish||jugar (to play)|
|ensaymada||a kind of pastry||Catalan||ensaïmada|
|lumpia (/lum·pyâ/)||spring roll||Min Nan Chinese||潤餅 (春捲)|
|siopao (/syó·paw/)||steamed buns||Min Nan Chinese||燒包 (肉包)|
|pansít (/pyan·i·sit/)||noodles||Min Nan Chinese||便食 (麵)|
|susì||key||Min Nan Chinese||鎖匙|
|kuya (see Philippine kinship)||older brother||Min Nan Chinese||哥亚 (哥仔)|
|ate (/ah·chi/) (see Philippine kinship)||older sister||Min Nan Chinese||亜姐 (阿姐)|
|bwisit||annoyance||Min Nan Chinese||無衣食|
|bakyâ||wooden shoes||Min Nan Chinese||木履|
|hikaw||earrings||Min Nan Chinese||耳鈎 (耳環)|
|dalamhatì||grief||Malay||dalam + hati|
|luwalhatì||glory||Malay||luar + hati|
|tayo||we (inc.)||Luzon languages|
|Pangasinan||isa, sakey||dua, duara||talo, talora||apat, apatira||too||abong||aso||niyog||agew||balo||sikatayo||anto||apoy|
Yo-yo is reportedly a Tagalog word, however no such word exists in Tagalog.
Tagalog has contributed several words to Philippine Spanish, like barangay (from balañgay meaning barrio), the abacá, cogon, palay, etc.
When the Second Vatican Council, (specifically the Sacrosanctum Concilium) permitted the universal prayers to be translated into vernacular languages, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines was one of the first to translate the Roman Missal into Tagalog. In fact, the Roman Missal in Tagalog was published as early as 1982, while not published in English until 1985.
Jehovah's Witnesses were printing Tagalog literature at least as early as 1941 and The Watchtower (the primary magazine of Jehovah's Witnesses) was being published in Tagalog since at least the 1960s. New releases are now regularly released simultaneously in a number of languages, including Tagalog. The official website of Jehovah's Witnesses also has some publications available online in Tagalog.
Tagalog is quite a stable language, and very few revisions have been made to Catholic Bible translations. Also, as Protestantism in the Philippines is relatively young, liturgical prayers tend to be more ecumenical.
(Every person is born free and equal with honor and rights. They are given reason and conscience and they must always trust each other for the spirit of brotherhood.)
|1||isá / uno||una / ika-isa|
|2||dalawá / dos||pangalawá / ika'lawa|
|3||tatló / tres||pangatló / ika'tlo|
|4||apat||pang-apat / ika-apat|
|5||limá||panlimá / ika-lima|
|6||anim||pang-anim / ika-anim|
|7||pitó||pampitó / ika-pito|
|8||waló||pangwaló / ika-walo|
|9||siyám||pansiyám / ika-siyam|
|10||sampû||pansampû / ika-sampu|
|11||labíng-isá / onse (Spanish numbers are commonly used above 10)||panlabíng-isá / pang-onse / ika-labing-isa|
|12||labingdalawá / dose||panlabindalawá / pandose / ika-labing-dalawa|
|20||dalawampu||pambente / ika-dalawang-pu|
|100||(i)sán(g)daán / syento||pang-isán(g)daán / pansyento / ika-isang-daan|
|200||dalawáng daán / dos syentos||pang-dalawang daan / ika-dalawang-daan|
|400||apat-na-raán / kwatro syentos||pang-apat-na-daan (pang-apat-na-raán)/ ika-apat-na-daan (ika-apat-na-raán)|
|600||anim-na-raán / saís syentos|
|2,000||dalawáng libo / dos mil|
|10,000||sanlaksa / dyes mil|
|100,000||sangyuta / syento mil|
|1,000,000||isáng milyón / sang-angaw|
|2,000,000||dalawáng milyón / dalawang angaw|
|100,000,000||isang daang milyon|
Ang hindî marunong lumingón sa pinanggalingan ay hindî makaráratíng sa paroroonan. (Jose Rizal)
He who does not look back to his origin will never reach his destination.
Ang hindî magmahál sa sariling wikà ay higít pa ang amóy ng mabahong isdâ. (Jose Rizal)
He who does not love his own language is worse than a smelly fish.
Hulí man daw at magalíng, nakákahábol pa rin. (Hulí man raw at magalíng, nakákahábol pa rin.)
It was said that even he is late and excellent, he still catches up.
Magbirô ka na sa lasíng, huwág lang sa bagong gising.
Make joke to a drunk person, not to the one who just woke up.