So many Tagalog speakers?

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A short time after I joined, I already realized that there really are many Tagalog speakers. They could even outnumber the (Non-Filipino) natives of English . Now I am considering to return to this very language. I only took a look at the 101 of the 101 before. In case I continue, would there be any difference between Standard Tagalog and what is actually spoken there? Some said that it isn't really the same (although similar), that's why I am asking.

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#1
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Posts385Likes192Joined11/7/2018LocationManila / PH
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Hi! I'm from the Philippines and I'm not sure what the question is. Also not sure what you mean by "Standard Tagalog."

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ikay

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#2
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Hi ikaymoreno!


There actually were two questions. The implied one is, "How come there are so many Tagalog speakers here"? Because this currently is a not-so-big forum (which has its advantages too, no doubt).


And the second one is, "Is there any (major) difference between the official language of the Philippines and the variant actually spoken there?". Because for some countries, the difference is so big that one would need to decide to learn this or that (or even both at the same time).


What I would like to do is to be able to talk to people from the Philippines who live abroad. And I fully do realize that many of you are among Asia's more/most fluent English speakers. But still, I do aim for some language knowledge that is more unique to any particular country whenever possible. And I'd also like to be able to participate (after some time) in any Tagalog-based conversation in this forum. 


So if I can restrict myself to one variant of Tagalog/Filipino, rather than learning two different ones, I would prefer that.


And as for what I mean by "Standard Tagalog", maybe I simply would quote something from a Tagalog learning site. However, it isn't at all the only thing I read about it. Currently, I still don't really know to which extent the official language could differ from the one used for (spoken) conversations.


(learningtagalog . com/articles/tagalog_filipino_pilipino_difference.html) wrote:

Tagalog is the native language of the Tagalog ethnic group in the Philippines. It has several dialects, the most prominent of which is Manila Tagalog. Considered to be standard Tagalog, it is the language used in the national media, and the lingua franca of Filipinos both in the Philippines and outside the country.

[...]

Nobody can claim to be a native speaker of Filipino but not of Tagalog. It would be absurd to ask someone to speak Filipino instead of Tagalog. And the majority of people—from native speakers to foreign linguists—still call the language Tagalog.

So what's the difference between Tagalog, Filipino and Pilipino? In reality, there is none. Filipino and Pilipino are simply different names for Tagalog.

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#3
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 "How come there are so many Tagalog speakers here"?

- Referrals, I think. That several of the people who signed up from here wanted to sign up as teachers. :)


"Is there any (major) difference between the official language of the Philippines and the variant actually spoken there?"

- The Philippines is made up of about 7000 islands so we have a boatload of dialects. It's divided into three major regions though: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.


Tagalog is the dialect spoken in Metro Manila. This is in Luzon and is a defined cosmopolitan area made up of 16 cities, including our capital, Manila. Almost very Filipino can understand Tagalog. Almost everyone in Luzon (and even Visayas and Mindanao) can speak it well. I travel around the country a lot and the only people I've encountered who couldn't understand Tagalog were those who grew up in really far flung provinces. That and really old people who grew up speaking only their dialect.


The move to making "Filipino" the national language is more of for inclusion rather than because it's a separate language or dialect from Tagalog. People from Luzon are called Tagalog and so calling the national language Tagalog didn't sit well with a lot of people. 


I've lived here all my life and I honeslty can't think of a single difference (grammar, spelling, vocabulary) between Tagalog and Filipino. The only time I've ever seen people make the distinction is when we're talking about national languages. A lot of people still say Tagalog so someone is bound to correct them and say it's Filipino. I think when they called it Filipino, they also re-did the alphabet and included Western ones we didn't have. So I guess Filipino is the "standard" Tagalog you were referring to.


So if you want to speak to Filipinos from abroad, study Filipino. If you find Tagalog materials online, don't fret. It really is just the same thing.

--

ikay

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#4
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Maraming salamat sa iyo. More than what I even was expecting.

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#5
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Posts864Likes523Joined18/3/2018LocationBellingham / US
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SGP wrote:
How come there are so many Tagalog speakers here?

That's due to me learning Tagalog for almost the entire creation period of this site. I've invited friends and tutors, and word spread.


wrote:
Is there any (major) difference between the official language of the Philippines and the variant actually spoken there?
This is always controversial, but I'll tell you the situation/argument I believe based on my personal experience. Nobody speaks pure Tagalog, they speak Filipino which is basically a mixture of Tagalog, English (I don't include Spanish because it's been there for centuries and feels like a true part of the language now). 


There many languages in the Philippines, but the only other one wide spread enough to consider learning as the best language for a foreigner to learn to communicate with Filipinos is Cebuano. However, after much experimenting and asking people when I travel, I can assure you that almost everyone can speak Filipino, but only about half of them can speak Cebuano. The same is true if you run into Filipinos outside of their country - you will always be able to talk to them in Filipino, but that's not so with Cebuano.


A note about learning Tagalog. I don't know about you, but if I just practice listening, my listening skills won't go beyond a certain level. Having active skills boosts my listening skills much higher, to the levels it takes to be a decent listener in a language. That's why I recommend aggressively studying and producing pure Tagalog. I mean that's the goal you should shoot for; you'll inevitably fall short at times due to resources code switching on you. Otherwise, when natives switch to Tagalog versions of words, which happens very often, you will be lost. There will be a time in your studies when you can allow yourself to code switch as much as natives, but that should come after you've developed your ear imo.


I'm reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

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#6
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Posts385Likes192Joined11/7/2018LocationManila / PH
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Learning English, Korean

SGP wrote:
Maraming salamat sa iyo. More than what I even was expecting.


Walang anuman. Kung mag-aaral ka ng Filipino, maraming pwedeng tumulong sa'yo dito. :)


Re what Leo said, if you're planning to relocate to Visayas, go for Cebuano instead of Filipino. People from that region can speak better English than they do Tagalog. When I conduct training in that area, I have to train in straight English because a lot of the learners are more comfortable with English than they are with Filipino. But if you want to learn the language so you can communicate with random Filipinos you meet, Filipino is definitely the way to go.

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ikay

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