nav-left cat-right


Taglish or Tagalog

You might be saying, what is Bruce talking about, is that a word? Well it is how the language is used here.  In the Philippines there are of 70 languages. Many call them dialects but most are so different from each other it is more lake languages. There is also a problem where a word in on language is used in another with a totally different meaning.  For instance, the word “Libog” in Cebuano/Bisaya means confused, but in Tagalog means horny or aroused.

Now some years ago, the government decided to standardize the languages and come up with an official national language. This new language was to be called Filipino. Well since the government is in Manila and the local language is Tagalog, Filipino is about 90% Tagalog.

Now back to Taglish. As you listen to Filipinos talk, no matter which language/dialect they use, you will hear English words or even complete sentences in English, then back to their language. When you watch TV and see the politicians in session in Congress or the President talking you will hear English words used. I have asked if it might be there is no word in Tagalog for the English word they used and I am told there is, they just are speaking Taglish.

Something I realized and was funny to me, I was sitting with the family as they watched a soap opera. As the actors are talking Tagalog, many English words were used. The funny part was when I realized this is a show where the actors are speaking from a script. And the writers use English words while writing dialog.
While writing, I decided to carry this further and spoke to one of my nieces who enjoys reading novels. I asked her if she reads novels in Tagalog. She said of course. I then asked if there are English words mixed in with the Tagalog words in the novels and she said yes.

With all this, I think jokingly that Taglish should be the national language.

6 Responses to “Taglish or Tagalog”

  1. Seth says:


    I know what you are talking about. I have heard my wife do it many times when she is talking with her mother or other family members. When I asked her if there was no word for it in Tagalog or Visaya she always tells me yes but it is to long. And then sometimes she says,”I prefer the English word”. So it gets somewhat confusing to me when they talk so I normally just return to my corner, LOL.


  2. Lonnie Carreau says:

    My wife says the same thing. For certain phrases, English is used as a short cut where it would take many more words in tagalog to get across the same idea. This is really a good thing for us English speaking spouses as it can give a clue to what the conversation is about. Tagalog also shares some words with Spanish. My wife is able to get bits and pieces out of folks here in Texas speaking Spanish.


    • Bruce says:

      Yes, hearing an English word gets your ears perked up but then it goes back and your still confused. With the Spanish words, look at the spelling and it has been changed. Even the word here for people you go to school with are Klasmyt (classmate)

  3. passerby says:

    This is more of an exact language since there would be a term for everything, american english also uses different terms such as boondocks (bundok in the phil. meaning rural or undeveloped area),bonanza (its a spanish word which means prosperity) resume (a french word for a summary of work related experience) and there are lost more. Its all good for the filipino’s I hope those frequently english words be patented by the US and British government then that would be a big problem.

    just my two cents

    • Bruce says:

      All languages derived from somewhere. A lot of English is from German. And there are new words added to the Websters Dictionary every year. It just is interesting how here they use the English word instead of the Tagalog or Bisaya words.


  1. Lonnie carreau | Teamsellers - [...] Taglish or Tagalog | American in DavaoLonnie Carreau says: … Lonnie, Yes, hearing an English word gets your ears…

Leave a Reply