Saturday, November 8, 2008

Learn Tagalog Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
   /tɑˈgɑlɔg, tə-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [tah-gah-lawg, tuh-] Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -logs, (especially collectively) -log for 1.
1. a member of a Malayan people native to Luzon, in the Philippines.
2. the principal language of the Philippines, an Indonesian language of the Austronesian family.

It's a beautiful language, for one- and unfortunately I can only speak the "low class" type. I love hearing people speak in the old Tagalog, so to speak. It's a very poetic and descriptive language.

For the most part, Tagalog is very easy to learn. Harden your tongue a bit, and read the words as they look. Not much to think about on the pronunciation side of things- at least for the most part, until you're faced with a word like nginunguyanguya.

Anyhow, here are rules and some simple and quick phrases to learn:

Each Filipino vowel sound consists of only one sound.
Compare with English "a" as in "baby, which has two sounds: "bEIbi"
or English "o" as in "post": "pOUst"
or, finally, English "i" as in "bike": "bAIk."

In this sense Filipino vowels are pure
like vowels in Spanish or Italian.

Pronounce every vowel as a separate sound.
There are no diphthongs in Filipino; diphthongs are vowel combinations pronounced as one syllable.

Pronounce as in English Example
a father Magandang umaga, good morning
e egg Nene
i each ibig, want
o long totoo, true
u food kukunin, will take

Pronounce consonants as in English with the following considerations:

1. "g" is always hard, as in "get," never as in "gel."
2. "c, f, q, v, x" exist only in words adopted from other languages.
3. Pronounce adopted words as in their home language.
4. All other consonants are pronounced as in English.
5. In addition, there is the "ng" consonant; in the Filipino alphabet, it comes after "n"
6. More on the pronunciation of "ng" shortly.

To produce the "nga" sound, do the following.
a. Say "hanger"
b. Say "hang a."
c. Say "ang a."
d. Say "ng a."
e. Say "nga."

Practice "nga" with the following words:
· ang
· mga (short for "manga," the plural marker for nouns and pronouns)
· nang
· ng (pronounced like "nang," but is a different word)
· mangarap, to dream
· sanga, branch
· ngayón, now
· kailangan, need

There are four classes of word stress and accent. All Filipino words fall into one of these four classes:

malumay no accent
malumì grave accent
mabilís acute accent
maragsâ circumflex accent

Each class name is an example the stress and accent of the words in the class, that is, the words in each class have the same word stress and accent as the class name. Thus, all words in the malumay class have no accent. All words in the malumì class have the grave accent. All words in the mabilís class have the acute accent. All words in the maragsâ class have the circumflex accent.

Technically, the accents are part of the written language. In practice, many Filipino writers omit the accents. If you grew up with the language, you would know how to pronounce words from the context. If not, you would find the accents useful aids to pronunciation.

Kumustá Hello (casual)
Kumustá pô Hello (respectful)
Mabuti I'm fine (casual)
Mabuti pô I'm fine (respectful)

Go to Tagalog1 to learn more.

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