Filipino Language for Travelers | Mabuhay
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WORDS & PHRASES TO ASSIST YOU TRAVELLING

Most Filipinos will have a basic understanding of English and will try to converse with you if they can. Most are friendly enough to make conversation but some may be too shy to carry on a full conversation in English especially if they are not well-versed. Do not be offended if they shy away.    Here is a list of some useful words & phrases in Tagalog, the main Filipino dialect used in Metro Manila & may be understood in most parts of the Philippines.

PRONUNCIATION

It is useful to note that Tagalog words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled. Each vowel represents one separate syllable.  Just as “papaya” is pronounced “pa-pa-ya,” the word “marunong” is pronounced “ma-ru-nong”, the word “magsalita” is pronounced “mag-sa-li-ta”.

A pronunciation guide for Tagalog vowels:

A – short “A” sound as in “Papa” or “Tart”
E – short “E” as in “Bed”
I – a long “ee” sound as in “Tweet”
O – as in the “au” sound in “Pauper”
U – a long “oo” sound as in “Pool”

FORMALITIES

It is always wise to add the word “po” to sentences as a form of respect or formality when speaking to elders or those you have just met or are not close with.

TO START OFF

Do you know how to speak English? – Marunong po ba kayong magsalita ng Inggles? 
I don’t know how to speak Tagalog. – Hindi po ako marunong magsalita ng Tagalog.

GREETINGS AND PLEASANTRIES

How are you? / Hi. / Hello. – Kumusta? / Kumusta ka? (Informal. (May also be used to say “hello.”)

I’m fine – Mabuti.
Good morning – Magandang umaga
Good afternoon – Magandang hapon
Good evening – Maganding Gabi
Thank you – Salamat po
You’re welcome – Walang anuman.
My name is … – Ang pangalan ko ay…
What is your name? – Anong pangalan mo? (informal) / Ano po ang pangalan ninyo? (formal) 

USEFUL PHRASES

Sorry / Excuse me – Pasensya na po.
Where is the washroom? – “Nasaan po ang C.R.?” (as in “Comfort Room.” This is colloquial / slang, widely used.  Use this and you will more likely be understood than if you use “washroom”, “restroom”, or “W.C.”)
May I bother you for a moment? – Maaari po ba kayong maabala sandali?
What is this? – Ano po ito?
What is that? – Ano po ‘yan?(referring to something nearer) / Ano po ‘yon?(referring to something far)
Can you please help me? – Maaari n’yo po ba akong tulungan?
Help! – Tulong!
I – Ako
You (informal singular)- Ikaw
You (formal singular or informal/formal plural) – Kayo
Us/ We – Tayo (including the person being spoken to)
Them – Sila
Mine – Sa akin /Sa ‘kin
Yours – Sa iyo / Sa ‘yo
Ours – Sa atin / Sa ‘tin
Theirs – Sa kanila
This – Ito
That – Iyan / ‘Yan
Is – ay

GETTING AROUND

Can you take (drive) me to…? – Pwede nyo po akong dalhin sa…?
I’m lost – Nawawala po ako.
I’m looking for… – Hinahanap ko po ang… (a place)
I’m looking for… – Hinahanap ko po si… (a person)
Where is…? – Nasaan po ba ang…?

Left – Kaliwa / Please turn left – Kumaliwa po kayo.
Right – Kanan / Please turn right – Kumanan po kayo.
Straight ahead – Diretso / Go straight ahead – Diretso lang po.
In front – Sa harap
Behind – Sa likod
Upstairs/Above – Sa taas
Downstairs/Below – Sa baba

BUYING AND BARGAINING

How much is this? – Magkano po ito?
Too expensive – Masyadong mahal. / Ang mahal naman.
May I ask for a bargain? / Please lower the price. – Pahingi naman po ng tawad. / Tawad naman po. / Babaan nyo naman po ang presyo.
Do you have this in a different color? – Mayroon ba kayong ibang kulay?  (Then specify color in English)
Do you have this in a different size? – May ibang size ba kayo nito? (Then specify size in English)
Bigger – Mas malaki
Smaller – Mas maliit

 AGREEING AND DISAGREEING

Yes – Oo (informal). Opo (formal)
No – Hindi (informal). Hindi po (formal)
Maybe / Might – Siguro / Baka
Please do – Sige (can also mean “go / go ahead”) / Sige na! (Please do! with emphasis)
Don’t – Huwag
Can  /  May – Pwede / Maaari
Can’t  /  May not – Hindi pwede / Hindi maaari
I want /  I like – Gusto ko (informal) / Gusto ko po (formal)
I don’t want /  I don’t like – Ayaw ko (informal) / Ayoko (slang) / Hindi ko po gusto (formal)
Correct – Tama
Incorrect  /  Wrong – Mali

EATING

Breakfast – Almusal,  
Lunch – Pananghalian, 
Dinner –  Hapunan, 

Note:  In several fast food restaurants, you may be asked “Dine in or take out?”  It is not customary to order  “to go” or “for here.”

 DAYS OF THE WEEK – MGA ARAW NG LINGGO:

Monday – Lunes
Tuesday – Martes
Wednesday – Miyerkules
Thursday – Huwebes
Friday – Biyernes
Saturday – Sabado
Sunday – Linggo

DENOTING TIME:

Now – Ngayon
Later – Mamaya
Later this afternoon – Mamayang hapon
Later tonight – Mamayang gabi
Today – Ngayong araw
Tomorrow – Bukas

NUMBERS – MGA NUMERO:

Note: Filipinos use both Tagalog and Spanish words for numbers and may switch from one language to the other depending on usage.  Tagalog numbers are used to count things and people (“one person” – “isang tao” — “one dog” – “isang aso”).  Spanish numbers are used when telling time (“1:00PM” – “ala una” —  “1:30PM” – “ala una imedya” — “2:00PM” – “alas dos”), and used interchangeably with Tagalog numbers when counting money or age (“Two thousand pesos” – “Dalawang libong piso” OR “Dos mil” — “Eighteen years old” – “Labinwalong taong gulang” OR “Disi-otso anyos”)

Tagalog Numbers

Note: When counting MONEY, Tagalog numbers ending with vowels are used with the suffix “-ng”, while numbers ending in consonants are followed by the word “na” (meaning “of”) and followed by the word “Piso” which represents “Pesos”, the Philippine currency. 

English – Tagalog – Tagalog number in currency

One – Isa – Isang piso
Two – Dalawa – Dalawang piso
Three – Tatlo – Tatlung piso
Four – Apat – Apat na piso
Five – Lima – Limang piso
Six – Anim – Anim na piso
Seven – Pito – Pitung piso
Eight – Walo – Walung piso
Nine – Siyam – Siyam na piso
Ten – Sampo / Diyes – Sampung piso

***For numbers 11-19, the prefix “labin-” is added to numbers starting with consonants, while the prefix “labing-” is added to numbers starting with vowels***
Eleven – Labing-isa – Labing-isang piso
Twelve – Labing-dalawa – Labindalawang piso
Twenty – Dalawampo  – Dalawampung piso

***For numbers 21-29, 31-39 and onwards, the contracted form of the word “at” (meaning “and”) is attached, spelled as (‘t) and followed by the corresponding ending number.***  
Twenty-one – Dalawampu’t isa  – Dalawampu’t isang piso 
Twenty-two – Dalawampu’t dalawa – Dalawampu’t dalawang piso
Thirty – Tatlumpo – Taltlumpung piso
Forty – Apatnapo – Apatnapung piso
Fifty – Limampo – Limampung piso
Sixty – Animnapo – Animnapung piso
Seventy – Pitumpo – Pitumpung piso
Eighty – Walumpo – Walumpung piso
Ninety – Siyamnapu – Siyamnapung piso
One Hundred – Isang Daan – Isang daang piso
Five Hundred – Limang Daan – Limang daang piso
One Thousand – Isang Libo – Isang libung piso