(tinatamasa, tinamasa, tatamasahin) v., inf. enjoy wealth, good health, etc.

Understanding the Tagalog language

Tagalog /təˈɡɑːlɒɡ/ (Tagalog: [tɐˈɡaːloɡ]) is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a quarter of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by the majority. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV (CALABARZON and MIMAROPA), of Bulacan and of Metro Manila. Its standardized form, officially named Filipino, is the national language and one of two official languages of the Philippines, the other being English.

It is related to other Philippine languages such as the Bikol languages, Ilokano, the Visayan languages, and Kapampangan, and more distantly to other Austronesian languages such as Indonesian, Hawaiian and Malagasy.



The word Tagalog is derived from the endonym taga-ilog ("river dweller"), composed of tagá- ("native of" or "from") and ílog ("river"). Very little is known about the ancient history of the language; linguists such as Dr. David Zorc and Dr. Robert Blust speculate that the Tagalogs and other Central Philippine ethno-lingistic groups had originated in Northeastern Mindanao or the Eastern Visayas.

The first written record of Tagalog is the Laguna Copperplate Inscription which dates to 900 CE, and exhibits fragments of the language along with Sanskrit, Malay, Javanese and Old Tagalog. The first known complete book to be written in Tagalog is the Doctrina Christiana (Christian Doctrine), printed in 1593. The Doctrina was written in Spanish and two transcriptions of Tagalog; one in the ancient, then-current Baybayin script and the other in an early Spanish attempt at a Latin orthography for the language. Throughout the 333 years of Spanish occupation, there were grammars 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). The indigenous poet Francisco Baltazar (1788–1862) is regarded as the foremost Tagalog writer, his most notable work being the early 19th-century epic Florante at Laura.

Historical changes

Tagalog differs from its Central Philippine counterparts with its treatment of the Proto-Philippine schwa vowel *ə. In Bikol and Visayan, this sound merged with /u/ and [o]. In Tagalog, it has merged with /i/. For example, Proto-Philippine *dəkət (adhere, stick) is Tagalog dikít and Visayan & Bikol dukot.

Proto-Philippine *r, *j, and *z merged with /d/ but is /l/ between vowels. Proto-Philippine *ŋɡajan (name) and *hajək (kiss) became Tagalog ngalan and halík.

Proto-Philippine *R merged with /ɡ/. *tubiR (water) and *zuRuʔ (blood) became Tagalog tubig and dugô.

Official status

Tagalog was declared the official language by the first constitution in the Philippines, the Constitution of Biak-na-Bato 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 1959, 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.

Article XIV, Section 7 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines specifies, 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.

In 2009, the Department of Education promulgated an order institutionalizing a system of mother-tongue based multilingual education ("MLE"), wherein instruction is conducted primarily in a student's mother tongue until at least grade three, with additional languages such as Filipino and English being introduced as separate subjects no earlier than grade two. In secondary school, Filipino and English become the primary languages of instruction, with the learner's first language taking on an auxiliary role.


Tagalog is a Central Philippine language within the Austronesian language family. Being Malayo-Polynesian, it is related to other Austronesian languages such as Malagasy, Javanese, Indonesian, Malay, Tetum (of Timor), and Tao language (of Taiwan). It is closely related to the languages spoken in the Bicol and Visayas regions such as Bikol and the Visayan group including Hiligaynon and Cebuano.


At present, no comprehensive dialectology has been done in the Tagalog-speaking regions, though there have been descriptions in the form of dictionaries and grammars on various Tagalog dialects. Ethnologue lists Lubang, Manila, Marinduque, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Tanay-Paete, and Tayabas as dialects of Tagalog. However, there appear to be four main dialects of which the aforementioned are a part; Northern (exemplified by the Bulacan dialect), Central (including Manila), Southern (exemplified by Batangas), and Marinduque.

Some example of dialectal differences are:

  • Many Tagalog dialects, particularly those in the south, preserve the glottal stop found after consonants and before vowels. This has been lost in standard Tagalog. For example standard Tagalog ngayon (now, today), sinigang (broth stew), gabi (night), matamis (sweet), are pronounced and written ngay-on, sinig-ang, gab-i, and matam-is in other dialects.
  • In Teresian-Morong Tagalog, [ɾ] is usually preferred over [d]. For example, bundók, dagat, dingdíng, and isdâ become bunrók, ragat, ringríng, and isrâ, e.g. "sandók sa dingdíng" becoming "sanrók sa ringríng".
  • In many southern dialects, the progressive aspect infix of -um- verbs is na-. For example, standard Tagalog kumakain (eating) is nákáin in Quezon and Batangas Tagalog. This is the butt of some jokes by other Tagalog speakers, for should a Southern Tagalog ask nákáin ka ba ng patíng? ("Do you eat shark?"), he would be understood as saying "Has a shark eaten you?" by speakers of the Manila Dialect.
  • Some dialects have interjections which are considered a regional trademark. For example, the interjection ala e! usually identifies someone from Batangas as does hane?! in Rizal and Quezon provinces.

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 is 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 early 20th century; they have since merged with the infinitive.

Manila Tagalog Marinduqueño Tagalog English
Súsúlat sina Maria at Esperanza kay Juan. Másúlat da Maria at Esperanza kay Juan. "Maria and Esperanza will write to Juan."
Mag-aaral siya sa Maynila. Gaaral siya sa Maynila. "[He/She] will study in Manila."
Magluto ka na! Pagluto! "You cook now!"
Kainin mó iyan. Kaina yaan. "Eat that."
Tinatawag tayó ni Tatay. Inatawag nganì kitá ni Tatay. "Father is calling us."
Tutulungan ba kayó ni Hilario? Atulungan ga kamo ni Hilario? "Will Hilario help you?"

Northern dialects and the central dialects are the basis for the national language.

Geographic distribution

The Tagalog homeland, or Katagalugan, covers roughly much of the central to southern parts of the island of Luzon—particularly in Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Rizal, and large parts of Zambales. Tagalog is also spoken natively by inhabitants living on the islands, Marinduque, Mindoro, and large areas of Palawan. It is spoken by approximately 64 million Filipinos, 96% of the household population. 22 million, or 28% of the total Philippine population, speak it as a native language.

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. In 2010, the US Census bureau reported (based on data collected in 2007) that in the United States it was the fourth most-spoken language at home with almost 1.5 million speakers, behind Spanish or Spanish Creole, French (including Patois, Cajun, Creole), and Chinese. Tagalog ranked as the third most spoken language in metropolitan statistical areas, behind Spanish and Chinese but ahead of French.


The Tagalog language also boasts accentations unique to some parts of Tagalog-speaking regions. For example, in some parts of Manila: a strong pronunciation of i exists and vowel-switching of o and u exists so words like "gising" (to wake) is pronounced as "giseng" with a strong 'e' and the word "tagu-taguan" (hide-and-go-seek) is pronounced as "tago-tagoan" with a mild 'o'.

Batangas Tagalog boasts the most distinctive accent in Tagalog compared to the more Hispanized northern accents of the language. The Batangas accent has been featured in film and television and Filipino actor Leo Martinez speaks this accent. Martinez's accent, however, will quickly be recognized by native Batangueños as representative of the accent in western Batangas which is milder compared to that used in the eastern part of the province.


Taglish and Englog are portmanteau names given to a mix of English and Tagalog. The amount of English vs. Tagalog varies from the occasional use of English loan words to outright code-switching where the language changes in mid-sentence. Such code-switching is prevalent throughout the Philippines and in various languages of the Philippines other than Tagalog.

Code mixing 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.

"Magshoshopping kami sa mall. Sino ba ang magdadrive sa shopping center?"
"We will go shopping at the mall. Who will drive to the shopping center?"

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 this.

The practice is common in television, radio, and print media as well. Advertisements from companies like Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart, Albertsons, McDonald's, and Western Union have contained Taglish.


Tagalog has 33 phonemes: 19 of them are consonants and 14 are vowels. Syllable structure is relatively simple, being maximally consonant-ar-vowel-consonant, where consonant-ar only occurs in borrowed words such as trak "truck" or sombréro "hat".


Tagalog has ten simple vowels, five long and five short, and four diphthongs. Before appearing in the area north of Pasig river, Tagalog had three vowel qualities: /a/, /i/, and /u/. This was later expanded to five with the introduction of words from Northern Philippine languages like Kapampangan and Ilocano and Spanish words.

They are:

  • /a/ an open central unrounded vowel roughly similar to English "father"; in the middle of a word, a near-open central vowel similar to Received Pronunciation English "cup"
  • /ɛ/ an open-mid front unrounded vowel similar to General American English "bed"
  • /i/ a close front unrounded vowel similar to English "machine"
  • /o/ a close-mid back rounded vowel similar to General American English "sole" or Philippine English "forty"
  • /u/ a close back rounded vowel similar to English "flute"

Nevertheless simplification of pairs [o ~ u] and [ɛ ~ i] is likely to take place, especially in some Tagalog as second language, remote location and worker class registers.

The four diphthongs are /aj/, /uj/, /aw/, and /iw/. Long vowels are not written apart from pedagogical texts, where an acute accent is used: á é í ó ú.


Below is a chart of Tagalog consonants. All the stops are unaspirated. The velar nasal occurs in all positions including at the beginning of a word.

Table of consonant phonemes of Tagalog
Labial Dental/
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Stop p b t d tʃ dʒ k ɡ ʔ
Fricative s ʃ h
Tap ɾ
Approximant l j w
  • /k/ between vowels has a tendency to become [x] as in Spanish "José", whereas in the initial position it has a tendency to become [kx], especially in the Manila dialect.
  • Intervocalic /ɡ/ and /k/ tend to become [ɰ], as in Spanish "agua", especially in the Manila dialect.
  • /ɾ/ and /d/ were once allophones, and they still vary grammatically, with initial /d/ becoming intervocalic /ɾ/ in many words.
  • A glottal stop that occurs in pausa (before a pause) is omitted when it is in the middle of a phrase, especially in the Metro Manila area. The vowel it follows is then lengthened. However, it is preserved in many other dialects.
  • /ɾ/ can be pronounced [r].

/tʃ dʒ ʃ/ are written ts, dy, sy.

Glottal stop is not indicated. Glottal stops are most likely to occur when:

  • the word starts with a vowel, like "aso" (dog)
  • the word includes a dash followed by a vowel, like "mag-aral" (study)
  • the word has two vowels next to each other, like "paano" (how)
  • the word starts with a prefix followed by a verb that starts with a vowel, like "mag-aayos" ([will] fix)

Writing system


Tagalog was written in an abugida, or alphasyllabary, called Baybayin prior to the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, 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, Baybayin gradually fell into disuse in favor of the Latin alphabet taught by the Spaniards during their rule.

There has been confusion of how to use Baybayin, which is actually an abugida, or an alphasyllabary, rather than an alphabet. Not every letter in the Latin alphabet is represented with one of those in the Baybayin alphasyllabary. 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 consonant without a following vowel was simply left out (for example, bundok being rendered as budo), forcing the reader to use context when reading such words.

Baybayin is encoded in Unicode version 3.2 in the range 1700-171F under the name "Tagalog".

Latin alphabet


Until the first half of the 20th century, Tagalog was widely written in a variety of ways based on Spanish orthography consisting of 32 letters called 'ABECEDARIO':

Majuscule Minuscule Majuscule Minuscule
A a Ng ng
B b Ñ ñ
C c N͠g / Ñg n͠g / ñg
Ch ch O o
D d P p
E e Q q
F f R r
G g Rr rr
H h S s
I i T t
J j U u
K k V v
L l W w
Ll ll X x
M m Y y
N n Z z


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:

Majuscule Minuscule Majuscule Minuscule
A a N n
B b Ng ng
K k O o
D d P p
E e R r
G g S s
H h T t
I i U u
L l W w
M m Y y

Revised alphabet

In 1987 the department of Education, Culture and Sports issued a memo stating that the Philippine alphabet had changed from the Pilipino-Tagalog Abakada version to a new 28-letter alphabet to make room for loans, especially family names from Spanish and English:

Majuscule Minuscule Majuscule Minuscule
A a Ñ ñ
B b Ng ng
C c O o
D d P p
E e Q q
F f R r
G g S s
H h T t
I i U u
J j V v
K k W w
L l X x
M m Y y
N n Z z

ng and mga

The genitive marker ng and the plural marker mga are abbreviations that are pronounced nang [naŋ] and mangá [mɐˈŋa]. Ng, in most cases, roughly translates to "of" (ex. Siya ay kapatid ng nanay ko. She is the sibling of my mother) while nang usually means "when" or can describe how something is done or to what extent (equivalent to the suffix -ly in English adverbs), among other uses. Mga (pronounced as "muh-NGA") denotes plurality as adding an s, es, or ies does in English (ex. Iyan ang mga damit ko. (Those are my clothes)).

  • Nang si Hudas ay nadulás.—When Judas slipped.
  • Gumising siya nang maaga.—He woke up early.
  • Gumalíng nang todo si Juan dahil nag-ensayo siya.—Juan greatly improved because he practiced.

In the first example, nang is used in lieu of the word noong (when; Noong si Hudas ay madulas). In the second, nang describes that the person woke up (gumising) early (maaga); gumising nang maaga. In the third, nang described up to what extent that Juan improved (gumaling), which is "greatly" (nang todo). In the latter two examples, the ligature na and its variants -ng and -g may also be used (Gumising na maaga/Maagang gumising; Gumaling na todo/Todong gumaling).

The longer nang may also have other uses, such as a ligature that joins a repeated word:

Naghintáy sila nang naghintáy.—They kept on waiting" (a closer calque: "They were waiting and waiting.")

po/ho and opo/oho

The words po/ho and opo/oho are traditionally used as polite iterations of the affirmative "oo" ("yes"). It is generally used when addressing elders or superiors such as bosses or teachers.

"Po" and "opo" are specifically used to denote a high level of respect when addressing older persons of close affinity like parents, relatives, teachers and family friends. "Ho" and "oho" are generally used to politely address older neighbours, strangers, public officials, bosses and nannies, and may suggest a distance in societal relationship and respect determined by the addressee's social rank and not their age. However, "po" and "opo" can be used in any case in order to express an elevation of respect.

Example: "Pakitapon naman po/ho yung basura". ("Please throw away the trash.")

Used in the affirmative:

Ex: "Gutóm ka na ba?" "Opo/Oho". ("Are you hungry yet?" "Yes").

Po/Ho may also be used in negation.

Ex: "Hindi ko po/ho alam 'yan."("I don't know that.")

Vocabulary and borrowed words

Tagalog vocabulary is composed mostly of words of native Austronesian origin (most of the words that end with the diphthongs -iw and -aw, e.g. words such as banlaw, saliw, etc.). However it has a significant number Spanish loanwords. Spanish is the language that has bequeathed the most loanwords to Tagalog. According to linguists, Spanish has even surpassed Malay in terms of loanwords borrowed. About 40% of everyday (informal) Tagalog conversation is practically made up of Spanish loanwords.

Tagalog also includes loanwords from Indian (Vedic Sanskrit, Sanskrit and Tamil), Chinese (Hokkien, Yue Chinese (Cantonese), and Mandarin), Japanese and other Japonic languages, Arabic, Persian, various Altaic languages (which came from various ancient Central Asian and Chinese merchants settled in the Philippines through the time of the Silk Road trade), Nahuatl (Aztec) and English. Examples of Tagalog words that are Altaic in origin are the words pera, ulan, bayan, tabi, aral, etc.[citation needed] In pre-Hispanic times, Trade Malay was widely known and spoken throughout Southeast Asia.

Due to trade with Mexico via the Manila galleons from the 16th to the 19th centuries, many words from Nahuatl were introduced to Tagalog, but some of them were replaced by Spanish loanwords in the latter part of the Spanish colonization in the islands.

English has borrowed some words from Tagalog, such as abaca, barong, balisong, boondocks, jeepney, Manila hemp, pancit, ylang-ylang, and yaya, although the vast majority of these borrowed words are only used in the Philippines as part of the vocabularies of Philippine English.

Other examples of Tagalog words used in English
Example Definition
boondocks meaning "rural" or "back country," was imported by American soldiers stationed in the Philippines following the Spanish–American War as a mispronounced version of the Tagalog bundok, which means "mountain."
cogon a type of grass, used for thatching. This word came from the Tagalog word kugon (a species of tall grass).
ylang-ylang a tree whose fragrant flowers are used in perfumes.
Abaca a type of hemp fiber made from a plant in the banana family, from abaká.
Manila hemp a light brown cardboard material used for folders and paper usually made from abaca hemp.
Capiz also known as window oyster, is used to make windows.

Tagalog has contributed several words to Philippine Spanish, like barangay (from balan͠gay, meaning barrio), the abacá, cogon, palay, dalaga etc.

Cognates with other Philippine languages

Tagalog word Meaning Language of origin Original spelling
bakit why Kapampangan obakit
akyat climb/step up Kapampangan ukyát/mukyat
at and Kapampangan at
bundok mountain Kapampangan bunduk
huwag don't Pangasinan ag
aso dog South Cordilleran or Ilocano (also Ilokano) aso
tayo we (inc.) South Cordilleran or Ilocano tayo
ito, nito this, its South Cordilleran or Ilocano to
ng of Cebuano
sg (pronounced as /sang/)
araw sun; day Visayan languages adlaw
ang definite article Visayan languages
Central Bikol

Austronesian comparison chart

Below is a chart of Tagalog and twenty other Austronesian languages comparing thirteen words.

English one two three four person house dog coconut day new we what fire
Tagalog isa dalawa tatlo apat tao bahay aso niyog araw bago tayo ano apoy
Tombulu (Minahasa) esa zua (rua) telu epat tou walé asu po'po' endo weru kai, kita apa api
Bikol saro duwa tulo apat tawo harong ayam niyog aldaw ba-go kita ano kalayo
Cebuano usa/isa duha tulo upat tawo balay iro lubi adlaw bag-o kita unsa kalayo
Waray usa duha tulo upat tawo balay ayam/ido lubi adlaw bag-o kita anu kalayo
Hiligaynon isa duha tatlo apat tawo balay ido lubi adlaw bag-o kita ano kalayo
Aklanon isaea, sambilog, uno daywa, dos tatlo, tres ap-at, kwatro tawo baeay ayam niyog adlaw bag-o kita ano kaeayo
Kinaray-a sara darwa tatlo apat tawo balay ayam niyog adlaw bag-o kita ano kalayo
Tausug hambuuk duwa tu upat tau bay iru' niyug adlaw ba-gu kitaniyu unu kayu
Maranao isa dowa t'lo phat taw walay aso neyog gawi'e bago tano tonaa apoy
Kapampangan metung adwa atlu apat tau bale asu ngungut aldo bayu ikatamu nanu api
Pangasinan sakey dua, duara talo, talora apat, apatira too abong aso niyog ageo balo sikatayo anto pool
Ilokano maysa dua tallo uppat tao balay aso niog aldaw baro datayo ania apoy
Ivatan asa dadowa tatdo apat tao vahay chito niyoy araw va-yo yaten ango apoy
Ibanag tadday dua tallu appa' tolay balay kitu niuk aggaw bagu sittam anni afi
Yogad tata addu tallu appat tolay binalay atu iyyog agaw bagu sikitam gani afuy
Gaddang antet addwa tallo appat tolay balay atu ayog aw bawu ikkanetam sanenay afuy
Tboli sotu lewu tlu fat tau gunu ohu lefo kdaw lomi tekuy tedu ofih
Indonesian satu dua tiga empat orang rumah/balai anjing kelapa/nyiur hari baru kita apa/anu api
Javanese siji loro telu papat uwong omah asu klapa/kambil hari anyar/enggal kita apa/anu geni
Acehnese sa duwa lhèë peuët ureuëng rumoh/balèë asèë u uroë barô (geu)tanyoë peuë apuy
Lampungese sai khua telu pak jelema lamban asu nyiwi khani baru kham api apui
Buginese sedi dua tellu eppa tau bola asu kaluku esso baru idi aga api
Bataknese sada dua tolu opat halak jabu biang harambiri ari baru hita aha api
Tetum ida rua tolu haat ema uma asu nuu loron foun ita saida ahi
Maori tahi rua toru wha tangata whare kuri kokonati ra hou taua aha ahi
Tuvaluan tasi lua tolu toko fale kuri moku aso fou tāua  ā  afi
Hawaiian kahi lua kolu kanaka hale 'īlio niu ao hou kākou aha ahi
Banjarese asa duwa talu ampat urang rūmah hadupan kǎlapa hǎri hanyar kami apa api
Malagasy isa roa telo efatra olona trano alika voanio andro vaovao isika inona afo
Dusun iso duo tolu apat tulun walai tasu piasau tadau wagu tokou onu/nu tapui

Religious literature

Religious literature remains one of the most dynamic contributors to Tagalog literature. The first Bible in Tagalog, then called Ang Biblia ("the Bible") and now called Ang Dating Biblia ("the Old Bible"), was published in 1905. In 1970, the Philippine Bible Society translated the Bible into modern Tagalog. Even before the Second Vatican Council, devotional materials in Tagalog had been circulating. At present, there are four circulating Tagalog translations of the Bible—the Magandang Balita Biblia (a parallel translation of the Good News Bible), which is the ecumenical version; the Bibliya ng Sambayanang Pilipino; the 1905 Ang Biblia is a more Protestant version; and the Bagong Sanlibutang Salin ng Banal na Kasulatan, one of about ninety parallel translations of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures published by Jehovah's Witnesses. The latter was released in 2000. Jehovah's Witnesses previously published a hybrid translation: Ang Biblia was used for the Old Testament, while the Bagong Sanlibutang Salin ng Griegong Kasulatan was used for the New Testament.

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) has been published in Tagalog since at least the 1950s. 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.



The numbers (mga bilang) in Tagalog language are of two forms. The first form is native to the Tagalog language and the other from are Spanish loanwords. For example, when a person refers to the number "seven", it can be translated into Tagalog as "pito" or "syete" (Original Spanish is siete).

Number Cardinal Spanish loanword
(Original Spanish)
0 sero / wala / bokya sero (cero) -
1 isa uno (uno) una
2 dalawa [dalaua] dos (dos) pangalawa / ikalawa (or ikadalawa in some informal compositions)
3 tatlo tres (tres) pangatlo / ikatlo
4 apat kuwatro (cuatro) pang-apat / ikaapat ("ika" and the number-word are never hyphenated. For numbers, however, they always are.)
5 lima singko (cinco) panlima / ikalima
6 anim sais (seis) pang-anim / ikaanim
7 pito siyete (siete) pampito / ikapito
8 walo otso (ocho) pangwalo / ikawalo
9 siyam nuwebe (nueve) pansiyam / ikasiyam
10 sampu [sang puo] diyes (diez) pansampu / ikasampu (or ikapu in some literary compositions)
11 labing-isa onse (once) panlabing-isa / pang-onse / ikalabing-isa
12 labindalawa dose (doce) panlabindalawa / pandose / ikalabindalawa
13 labintatlo trese (trece) panlabintatlo / pantrese / ikalabintatlo
14 labing-apat katorse (catorce) panlabing-apat / pangkatorse / ikalabing-apat
15 labinlima kinse (quince) panlabinlima / pangkinse / ikalabinlima
16 labing-anim dissisais (dieciséis) panlabing-anim / pandyes-sais / ikalabing-anim
17 labimpito dissisyete (diecisiete) panlabimpito / pandyes-syete / ikalabimpito
18 labingwalo dissiotso (dieciocho) panlabingwalo / pandyes-otso / ikalabingwalo
19 labinsiyam disinuwebe (diecinueve) panlabinsiyam / pandyes-nwebe / ikalabinsiyam
20 dalawampu bente / beinte (veinte) pandalawampu / ikadalawampu (or ikalawampu in some literary compositions both formal and informal (rarely used))
30 tatlumpu trenta / treinta (treinta) pantatlumpu / ikatatlumpu (or ikatlumpu in some literary compositions both formal and informal (rarely used))
40 apatnapu kuwarenta (cuarenta) pang-apatnapu / ikaapatnapu
41 apatnapu't isa kuwarenta'y uno (cuarenta y uno) pang-apatnapu't isa / ikaapatnapu't isa
50 limampu singkuwenta (cincuenta) panlimampu / ikalimampu
60 animnapu sesenta (sesenta) pang-animnapu / ikaanimnapu
70 pitumpu setenta (setenta) pampitumpu / ikapitumpu
80 walumpu otsenta / utsenta (ochenta) pangwalumpu / ikawalumpu
90 siyamnapu nobenta (noventa) pansiyamnapu / ikasiyamnapu
100 sandaan siyento (cien) pan(g)-(i)sandaan / ikasandaan (or ika-isandaan in some formal or informal literary compositions (rarely used))
200 dalawandaan dos siyentos (doscientos) pandalawandaan / ikadalawandaan (or ikalawandaan in some formal or informal literary compositions (rarely used))
300 tatlondaan tres siyentos (trescientos) pantatlondaan / ikatatlondaan (or ikatlondaan in some formal or informal literary compositions (rarely used))
400 apat na raan kuwatro siyentos (cuatrocientos) pang-apat na raan / ikaapat na raan
500 limandaan kinyentos (quinientos) panlimandaán / ikalimandaán
600 anim na raan sais siyentos (seiscientos) pang-anim na raan / ikaanim na raan
700 pitondaan siyete siyentos (sietecientos) pampitondaan / ikapitondaan (or ikapitong raan)
800 walondaan otso siyentos (ochocientos) pangwalondaan / ikawalondaan (or ikawalong raan)
900 siyam na raan nuwebe siyentos (novecientos) pansiyam na raan / ikasiyam na raan
1,000 sanlibo mil (mil) pan(g)-(i)sanlibo / ikasanlibo
2,000 dalawanlibo dos mil (dos mil) pangalawang libo / ikalawanlibo
10,000 sanlaksa / sampung libo diyes mil (diez mil) pansampung libo / ikasampung libo
20,000 dalawanlaksa / dalawampung libo bente mil (veinte mil) pangalawampung libo / ikalawampung libo
100,000 sangyuta / sandaang libo siyento mil (cien mil)  
200,000 dalawangyuta / dalawandaang libo dos siyento mil (dos cientos mil)  
1,000,000 sang-angaw / sangmilyon milyon (un millón)  
2,000,000 dalawang-angaw / dalawang milyon dos milyon (dos millones)  
10,000,000 sangkati / sampung milyon dyes milyon (diez millones)  
100,000,000 sampungkati / sandaang milyon syento milyon (cien millones)  
1,000,000,000 sang-atos / sambilyon bilyon (un billón)  
1,000,000,000,000 sang-ipaw / santrilyon trilyon (un trillón)  
Number English Ordinal Spanish Cardinal
1st first primero una / ika-isa
2nd second segundo ikalawa
3rd third tercero ikatlo
4th fourth cuarto ika-apat
5th fifth quinto ikalima
6th sixth sexto ika-anim
7th seventh séptimo ikapito
8th eighth octavo ikawalo
9th ninth noveno ikasiyam
10th tenth décimo ikasampu
1/2 half media kalahati
1/4 quarter cuarta kapat
3/5 three-fifths tres quintas partes tatlong-kalima
2/3 two-thirds dos tercios dalawang-katlo
1 1/2 one half un medio isa't kalahati
2 2/3 two two-thirds dos de dos tercios dalawa't dalawang-katlo
0.5 salapi / lima hinati sa sampu
0.005 bagol / lima hinati sa sanlibo
1.25 isa't dalawampu't lima hinati sa sampu
2.025 dalawa't dalawampu't lima hinati sa sanlibo
25% twenty-five percent veinticinco por ciento dalawampu't-limang bahagdan
50% fifty percent cincuenta por ciento limampung bahagdan
75% seventy-five percent setenta y cinco por ciento pitumpu't-limang bahagdan

Months and days

Months and days in Tagalog language are also Tagalized form of Spanish months and days. "Month" in Tagalog is buwan (the word moon is also buwan in Tagalog) and "day" is araw (the word sun is also araw in Tagalog). Unlike Spanish, months and days in Tagalog are capitalized whenever they appear in a sentence.

Month Original Spanish Tagalog (abbreviation)
January Enero Enero (Ene.)
February Febrero Pebrero (Peb.)
March Marzo Marso (Mar.)
April Abril Abril (Abr.)
May Mayo Mayo (Mayo)
June Junio Hunyo (Hun.)
July Julio Hulyo (Hul.)
August Agosto Agosto (Ago.)
September Septiembre Setyembre (Set.)
October Octubre Oktubre (Okt.)
November Noviembre Nobyembre (Nob.)
December Diciembre Disyembre (Dis.)
Day Original Spanish Tagalog
Monday Lunes Lunes
Tuesday Martes Martes
Wednesday Miércoles Miyerkules / Myerkules
Thursday Jueves Huwebes / Hwebes
Friday Viernes Biyernes / Byernes
Saturday Sábado Sabado
Sunday Domingo Linggo


Time in Tagalog language are also Tagalized form of Spanish time. "Time" in Tagalog is panahon or more commonly, oras. Unlike Spanish, time in Tagalog are capitalized whenever they appear in a sentence.

Time English Original Spanish Tagalog
1 hour One hour Una hora Isang oras
2 min Two minutes Dos minutos Dalawang sandali/minuto
3 sec Three seconds Tres segundos Tatlong saglit/segundo
Morning Mañana Umaga
Afternoon Tarde Hapon
Evening/Night Noche Gabi
Noon Medio dia Tanghali
Midnight Media noche Hatingabi
01.00 am One o'clock morning Una de la mañana Ika-isa ng umaga
07.00 pm Seven o'clock night Siete de la noche Ikapito ng gabi
01.15 Quarter past one
Fifteen past one
Forty-five to two
Una y cuarto Kapat makalipas mag-ikaisa
Labinlima makalipas mag-ikaisa
Apatnapu't-lima bago mag-ikaisa
02.30 Half past two
Thirty past two
Dos y media Kalahati makalipas mag-ikalawa
Tatlumpu makalipas mag-ikalawa
03.45 Three-quarter past three
Forty-five past three
Fifteen to four
Tres y cuarenta y cinco Tatlong-kapat makalipas mag-ikatlo
Apatnapu't-lima makalipas mag-ikatlo
Labinlima bago mag-ikaapat
04.25 Twenty-five past four
Thirty-five to four
Cuatro y veinticinco Dalawampu't-lima makalipas mag-ikaapat
Tatlumpu't-lima bago mag-ikaapat
05.35 Thirty-five past five
Twenty-five to six
Cinco y treinta y cinco Tatlumpu't-lima makalipas mag-ikalima
Dalawampu't-lima bago mag-ikaanim

Common phrases

English Tagalog (with Pronunciation)
Again mulí [muˈli], ulít [ʊˈlɛt]
Because kasí [kɐˈsɛ] or dahil [dɑˈhɪl]
Do you speak English? Marunong ka bang magsalitâ ng Ingglés? [mɐˈɾuːnoŋ ka baŋ mɐɡsaliˈtaː naŋ ʔɪŋˈɡlɛs],

"Marunong po ba kayong magsailitâ ng Ingglés?" (polite version for elders and strangers) Marunong ka bang mag-Ingglés? (short form), "Marunong po ba kayong mag-Ingglés? (short form, polite version for elders and strangers)

English Inglés [ʔɪŋˈɡlɛs]
Filipino Pilipino [ˌpiːliˈpiːno]
Generic toast Mabuhay! [mɐˈbuːhaɪ] [literally—"long live"]
Good afternoon! (from 1 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) Magandáng hapon! [mɐɡɐnˈdaŋ ˈhaːpon]
Good evening! Magandáng gabí! [mɐɡɐnˈdaŋ ɡɐˈbɛ]
Good morning! Magandáng umaga! [mɐɡɐnˈdaŋ uˈmaːɡa]
Good noontime! (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) Magandáng tanghali! [mɐɡɐnˈdaŋ taŋˈhaːlɛ]
Good-bye paálam [pɐˈʔaːlam]
Here dito [dɪˈtoh], heto [hɛˈtoh] ("Here it is")
How are you? kumustá [kʊmʊsˈta]
How much? Magkano? [mɐɡˈkaːno]
How? Paánó? [pɑˌɐˈno] (literally—"By what?")
Hurry! dalí! [dɐˈli], bilís! [bɪˈlis]
I don't know hindî ko álam [hɪnˈdɛʔ ko aːlam]

Very informal: ewan [ʔɛˈʊɑn], archaic aywan [ɑjˈʊɑn] (closest English equivalent: colloquial dismissive 'Whatever')

I don't understand Hindî ko naiintindihan [hɪnˈdiː ko nɐʔɪɪnˌtɪndiˈhan] or

Hindi ko nauunawaan [hɪnˈdiː ko nɐʔʊʊnawaʔˌʔan]

It is fun to live. Masaya ang mabuhay! [mɐˈsaˈja ʔaŋ mɐˈbuːhaɪ] or Masaya'ng mabuhay (contracted version)
No hindî [hɪnˈdɛʔ], often shortened to [dɛʔ]

hindî pô (formal/polite form)

Please Depending on the nature of the verb, either pakí- [pɐˈki] or makí- [mɐˈki] is attached as a prefix to a verb. ngâ [ŋaʔ] is optionally added after the verb to increase politeness. (e.g. Pakipasa ngâ ang tinapay. ("Can you pass the bread, please?"))
Sorry pasensya pô (literally from the word "patience") or paumanhin po [pɐˈsɛːnʃa poʔ] patawad po [pɐtaːwad poʔ] (literally—"asking your forgiveness")
Tagalog Tagalog [tɐˈɡaːloɡ]
Thank you salamat [sɐˈlaːmat]
That one iyan [ʔiˈjan], When pointing to something at greater distances: iyun [ʔiˈjʊn] or iyon [ʔiˈjon]
There doon [dʒan], hayan [hɑˈjan] ("There it is")
This one ito [ʔiˈtoh], sometimes pronounced [ʔɛˈtoh] (literally—"it", "this")
What is your name? Anó ang pangalan ninyo/nila*? (plural or polite) [ɐˈno aŋ pɐˈŋaːlan nɪnˈjo], Anó ang pangalan mo? (singular) [ɐˈno aŋ pɐˈŋaːlan mo]
What? Anó? [ɐˈno]
When? Kailan? [kɑjˈlɑn], [kɑˈɪˈlɑn], or [kɛˈlɑn] (literally—"In what order?/"At what count?"")
Where's the bathroom? Nasaán ang banyo? [ˌnaːsɐˈʔan ʔaŋ ˈbaːnjo]
Where? Saán? [sɐˈʔan], Nasaán? [ˌnaːsɐˈʔan] (literally - "Where at?")
Why? Bakít? [bɑˈkɛt]
Yes oo [ˈoːʔo]

opô [ˈʔopoʔ] or ohô [ˈʔohoʔ] (formal/polite form)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagalog_language