Philippines Travel Guide

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Useful Expressions in Tagalog

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Getting by with Filipino

When you traveled to France, it was a necessity to learn their language – along with all the difficult little nuances to it like pronunciation and understanding how the spelling works – so as not to lose yourself literally in the beauty of Paris. But even if it wasn’t a necessity, a true-blue-traveler would still make it a goal to learn the language of any country he visits because it’s a good way of learning a country’s way of living and culture and maybe, briefly, even becoming a part of it.

It’s the same situation when you travel to countries like Germany, Spain or China.
But what if you’re about to travel to the Philippines, considered to be the Asian country with the best English speakers? Is there still a need to learn its language?

No matter what part of the Philippines you travel to, you can always feel certain that you’d find at least one person who can converse in English. If this is the situation, why still learn Filipino?

The answer is simple: If you want to appreciate fully the beauty of the Philippines, learning its language would be the first step to take. And so, if you agree with me, read on and learn your first few lessons about the Philippine language.

Don’t be confused if natives sometimes still refer to their official language as “Tagalog”. That was the original name but because it only symbolized the Tagalog region of the Philippines, the government thought it was better to change the name of their language to Filipino to encompass the whole Philippine community, tribes and all.

When learning Filipino, you’d no doubt notice that the language puts a lot of importance on showing respect to your elders and betters. That’s why they have the words “po” and “opo” which you can usually add to the end of your sentence as a sign of respect if you’re talking to someone older or one occupying a higher position. You can also call someone “Manong” when you’re talking to someone older but whose name you don’t recall. The female version for that on the other hand is “Manang”.

Stress and accent are two important parts of the Philippine language so if you’re decided about your travel destination, you’d do well to remember that. A differently stressed syllable can easily convey a whole new meaning. For instance, the word “paso” may either mean a flower pot or being burnt, depending on which syllable you stress.

 

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