Tagalog  
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  • an Austronesian language, commonly spoken in the Philippines, and is the basis for the national language called Filipino.

  • There are an estimated 17 million native speakers of Tagalog and about 50 million others who speak it as a second language.

  • While most Filipinos are capable of speaking some form of Tagalog, the native speakers are concentrated in southwestern regions of Luzon island, especially in the areas around Manila. Some 17 million people in this area speak Tagalog as their native tongue while many Filipinos in other parts of the country understand the language and is usually their secondary language.

  • Tagalog has five vowel sounds, corresponding to the five vowels. The vowel a is pronounced as in hat while u is pronounced as in moon.

  • Before the Spanish colonization, Tagalog had only 3 vowels, a, o/u, and e/i. With the introduction of a romanized alphabet, however, the language differentiated the o from the u sound and the e from the i sound. This can explain why the adopted Spanish words such as ventana are written as bintana, because essentially the Tagalog e and i are of the same vowel, varying only in degree of vocal intensity.

  • Modern Tagalog is written using a modified Latin alphabet. Tagalog used to have diacritics in written text to indicate pronunciation, but has gradually been dropped in modern texts. The only diacritic remaining is the tilde (~), which is used for the letter .


Online Dictionaries
Other resources
  • Ailanto: Pilipino - History of Pilipino including basic grammar, orthography and links to related sites.
  • Free eBooks in Tagalog at Project Gutenberg
  • Lexical Categories and Voice in Tagalog - A book chapter by Nikolaus Himmelmann.
  • Metamorphosis of Filipino - Examines the history of Filipino as it was developed from Tagalog.
  • Project Filipino - Focuses of on the Filipino language and culture, the learning of Tagalog, the dialects of Filipino speech, the history of the Republic of the Philippines, the phenomenon that is called the Filipino identity crisis, and Filipino sociology.
  • Sari-Sari Etc. - Comprehensive site with information on Ang Baybayin, the ancient form of Filipino writing, sample texts, free Baybayin fonts, explanations of English idioms in Filipino and other topics.
  • Tagalog Alphabet - Information on the Tagalog alphabet with pronunciation guide, sample text, history and links to related sites.
  • Tagalog and other Filipino Languages - Tagalog language software. Hear Tagalog and Visayan words and phrases. Language newsletter.
  • The Tagalog Script - Information on the now extinct Tagalog writing system including history, orthography, sample texts and links to related sites.
  • The Tagalog Site - A site dedicated to learning Tagalog. Includes a multiplayer Tagalog quiz game, message board for answering Tagalog translation questions, and a Tagalog dictionary/translation program.
  • Tagalog.org - Philippine lexicography and linguistics.
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