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Why learn Tagalog? Here are 10 compelling reasons.


Why learn Tagalog or Filipino when there are other languages to choose from? If you’re studying Tagalog as a second language, there’s a chance that you’ve been asked this question once or twice. But even if you’re still in the process of deciding whether to study Tagalog or not, this is a valid question to ask yourself.

Is the Filipino language so significant that you should spend more than 1000 hours to learn and master it? As a Filipino, I would say that our language may not be too sophisticated, but there are more reasons to study it than you could think of. From widening your professional network to making new friends or finding more opportunities for romance, there are just so many reasons for you to consider it.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about the top 10 reasons why it makes sense to study the language of the Pearl of the Orient Seas. You’ll soon find out why knowing how to speak one of the most dynamic languages in the world is worthy of your passion!

A Man Studying Late at Night with Coffee

Is Filipino so significant that you should spend 1000 hours studying it? Absolutely!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. The Philippines is rich in culture and beauty.
  2. Filipino is an interesting language to learn.
  3. It will deepen your connection with the Filipino people.
  4. It’s a stepping stone to learning more languages!
  5. Filipinos are all over the world!
  6. The Philippines is one of Asia’s hottest tourist destinations.
  7. Learning Tagalog will open up more opportunities for you.
  8. Learning a new language has many self-improvement benefits.
  9. You’ll have something to pass on to the next generation.
  10. Filipino / Tagalog is not that difficult to learn.
  11. Learning Filipino is Easier and More Fun with FilipinoPod101!

1. The Philippines is rich in culture and beauty.

Filipino is the national language of the Philippines, and it’s spoken by 45 million people. This is more than enough reason to learn the Filipino language. But besides the fact that Filipino is widely spoken worldwide, a more important reason to learn the language is that those who speak it belong to a country that’s rich in culture and beauty.

That said, the Philippine culture is worthy of your time and attention. Studying it is enriching, and being able to understand and speak the Filipino language will further improve your experience as you explore the history of the Philippines.

The Filipino culture is a fascinating one. Of all the peoples in the world, Filipinos are known to be among the most resilient—if not the most resilient. They always manage to rise above obstacles; even when faced with the most difficult of challenges, they always pick themselves up and move on.

Filipinos also hold tradition and heritage in high regard. Family life is especially important. Special occasions, such as festivals, reunions, or birthday celebrations should never be missed.

If you want to study Philippine culture, knowing even just basic Tagalog can be very useful in understanding the history, customs, and traditions of the Filipino people.

2. Filipino is an interesting language to learn.

The diversity of the Philippines as a culture makes its language very interesting to learn. For example, the Filipino language actually developed through a complex process. What does this mean? If you don’t know it already, Filipino/Tagalog is not a pure language. That’s because the Filipino race is made up of various ethnic groups, each influencing the national language in some way. 

Even the early ancestors of the Filipinos were not originally from the archipelago, but were Negritos from Asia who arrived in the country through land bridges. These people had their own language, but they later adopted the language of other races who also came to settle in the Philippines from neighboring countries. 

Moreover, as part of the Austronesian family of languages, the Filipino language has been influenced by Malay, Indonesian, Sanskrit, Chinese, and many others. Its development was also significantly impacted by the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, as well as the arrival of the Americans and the Japanese. And for those who love to study languages and their origins, this collection of facts should be an exciting reason to study Filipino!

3. It will deepen your connection with the Filipino people.

There’s a huge chance that you know someone who’s Filipino, whether it’s a colleague, a friend, a romantic partner, or even a relative. (Who knows, you may even have Filipino blood flowing in your veins!) Learning the language will definitely help take your relationships with these people to a deeper level. 

As you might know already, language is our superpower. It’s the key to the success of the human species. It’s the key to the effectiveness of any relationship. In a way, it’s because of language that we are who we are. 

When you speak the same language as the people you’re communicating with, the connection goes beyond simply being able to understand each other. When you’re a foreigner and you speak to a Filipino in his or her language, you’re acknowledging that person’s uniqueness. And that leaves a lasting impression that helps strengthen your bond with them.

One of the things you’ll surely appreciate when you visit the Philippines is the hospitality of the Filipino people. In particular, you’ll find the older generation to be the best people to talk to. Talking with the lolos and lolas (elders) will surely be an enriching experience for you. They’re the ones who have lived through many of the historical changes in the country, and they won’t hesitate to share with you all their amazing encounters from the past several decades!

An Old Asian Couple

Talking to the lolos and lolas will surely be an enriching experience for you!

4. It’s a stepping stone to learning more languages!

Tagalog is a bit more difficult to learn than French or Italian. In one of our blog posts, we mentioned that it takes a total of 1100 hours to learn and master the language, so once you master it, there’s no stopping you from learning more languages—even the more difficult ones! 

In that sense, it will help boost your confidence. If you were able to overcome the complexity of Tagalog verb conjugation or the pronunciation difficulties posed by some Tagalog words, what could stop you from learning other languages?

5. Filipinos are all over the world!

The Philippines has a population of 110 million people, 10 million of which currently live outside the country either as immigrants or overseas contract workers. A great reason as to why you should learn Tagalog is that doing so will help you communicate with Filipinos all around the world. 

There’s just no denying that Filipinos are everywhere. You go to work, and one or two of your colleagues or higher-ups are Filipinos. You attend the church service on Sunday and many of the attendees are Filipinos. You probably know this already, but Filipinos are very religious and won’t miss the opportunity to be at church on a Sunday. You’ll also find them in the park or the children’s playground. You’ll find them in the malls and on the street. The guy next door may even be a Filipino! 

So, if you come to think of it, there’s always that chance you’re going to have to communicate with a Filipino on a daily basis—no matter which part of the world you’re in. And while most Filipinos are good communicators in English and could easily learn any language or dialect, it would be great if you could speak and understand Tagalog yourself and be able to communicate with them in their own language.

6. The Philippines is one of Asia’s hottest tourist destinations.

There’s no question that the Philippines is one of the best tourist spots in the world. I have no doubt that it’s even on your bucket list! Learning the language of the locals will help you get the most out of your experience as you visit the country as a tourist. 

Of course, it’s possible to enjoy your tour of the country while speaking only English since most Filipinos understand the language. In fact, aside from the beautiful beaches, awesome surfing spots, and mesmerizing tourist attractions, one of the reasons many foreigners love visiting the country is that they can get by with English alone. If you want to make a lasting impression, though, you’ll want to invest time in learning Tagalog, even if it’s just the basics.

You’ll also have a more convenient time getting around if you know Tagalog. When riding the jeepney, for instance, you won’t have to wonder what bayad (fare), sukli (change), or para (stop) means. You’ll also amaze the locals with your Tagalog speaking skills as you converse with them, whether that’s asking them for directions or telling them how beautiful the Philippines is!

A Guy Surfing

With over 7,000 islands and a coastline of 36,279 km, the Philippines is home to some of the best surfing spots in the world!

7. Learning Tagalog will open up more opportunities for you.

Whether it’s getting a job, being promoted at work, finding more business partners, or even making new friends, more doors will open for you in the Philippines if you can speak Tagalog well. The Philippines may be a developing country and the work system may not be as efficient compared to that of other countries. However, the main advantage of working here is that the cost of living is generally low. In fact, that’s one of the reasons many foreigners decide to live, study, or work in the Philippines.

You could already live comfortably in many cities within the archipelago on $800 a month. And yes, it’s possible to earn more than that here in the country if you know which opportunities to take advantage of. And knowing how to speak Filipino is definitely one way to open more doors for you!

8. Learning a new language has many self-improvement benefits.

Aside from simply being able to understand and speak a new language, learning a language other than your native tongue can bring many self-improvement benefits.

A- You will become a better listener.

Anyone can easily express what they feel with words, but not everyone has the skill to listen. And listening is a very important life skill. If you want to have an authentic connection with another person, for instance, you’ll want to learn how to listen without interrupting. One way you can develop that skill is by learning a new language. When doing so, you have no choice but to master the art of listening, as listening is important if you want to master the accent, tone, and pronunciation of a word. 

B- Your creativity will improve.

Learning a new language is a lot like piecing a puzzle together. When you’re just starting, you may be able to understand several words—but not all—and this forces you to be more creative with your approach. It’s not a surprise that a particular study shows bilinguals think outside the box more than monolinguals do.

A Group of Friends Having Dinner and Drinks Together

Learning a new language can make you a better listener.

C- You will learn things faster.

No mental training is superior to learning a new language. It stretches your cognitive agility to the limit, and without a doubt, this form of mental exercise can do more for your brain than you know. It improves your memory retention, helps your brain absorb information better, enhances your focus, and helps significantly reduce your learning curve. That’s because language learning forces your brain to take in fresh information and not simply re-learn something that you already know.

D- You will be more self-confident.

I mentioned earlier that learning Tagalog will increase your self-confidence when it comes to learning more languages. And that translates to other areas of your life, too! Learning a language means dealing with obstacles  and problems you’ve never faced before. This develops within you a mental toughness that will help get you through any life challenges you may encounter in the future.

9. You’ll have something to pass on to the next generation.

One of the most important benefits of learning Tagalog is that it gives you a legacy to pass on to the next generation. This is especially true if you’re a Filipino who was born and raised outside of the Philippines and would like to rediscover your heritage. Yes, there are millions of Filipinos living outside the Philippines, but many of them wouldn’t know how to respond to Kumusta ka? (“How are you?”)

But then, there’s more to passing on the heritage of the Filipino language to your children than simply making sure they know how to speak their nation’s language. By learning Filipino and teaching it to the future generation, you’re also standing up for what your ancestors fought for. Men like Dr. Jose Rizal shed ink and blood to preserve the Filipino identity. If not for brave heroes like him, the Filipinos wouldn’t be enjoying the freedom they have now. And remember: If not for men like him, who knows what the national language of the Philippines would be?

10. Filipino / Tagalog is not that difficult to learn.

This isn’t to say that Filipino is easy to master. But it is easier to learn compared to some languages, especially if English is your first language. Some sources rank Tagalog as the tenth easiest Asian language to master, making it easier than Thai, Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese. Here are some reasons why you won’t have a difficult time learning Filipino:

  • Filipino uses the Latin script.
    The modern Filipino alphabet is composed of 28 letters, and this includes all 26 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet. The Spanish Ñ and the digraph Ng make up the two additional letters. And in case you’re wondering, the five vowel sounds are pretty much the same as in English, and there are only 16 consonant sounds in contrast to the 21 in English.
  • The words are pronounced the way they’re spelled. 
    This is one of the best aspects of the Filipino language. It’s a phonetic language, so learning how words are pronounced won’t really involve a lot of tongue-twisting on your part.
  • Most Filipino words have a direct equivalent in English and other languages.
    This makes learning vocabulary very simple. Yes, there are a few words here and there that are unique to the Filipino language, but most words have an equivalent in English. Add to that the fact that many Filipino words have been borrowed from more than a dozen other languages.
  • Filipino word order / sentence structure is flexible.
    Filipino follows the V-S-O (Verb – Subject – Object) word order, but what makes it unique is that there are up to six ways you can write or say a specific sentence while still conveying the same meaning.

Verb conjugation may be a little bit trickier, but at the end of the day, learning all these things is much like learning how to drive or play a sport. It may be challenging at first, but the more you practice, the more you’ll get used to it—and before you know it, it’s become second nature to you!

Four Kids Playing with Bubbles and Laying in the Grass

Learning Filipino gives you an opportunity to pass on a legacy to the next generation.

11. Learning Filipino is Easier and More Fun with FilipinoPod101!

I was serious when I said learning Filipino is not that difficult. Things can get even easier if you have someone to help you with your journey of studying and mastering the language of the Philippines. 

You’ve probably come across many language learning systems and are wondering where to learn Tagalog online for the best experience. I can reassure you that you’ve never found anything quite like FilipinoPod101. With us, you can make your Tagalog learning experience easier and a lot more exciting! 

Start by signing up for a free account today. Once you’re in, you’ll gain access to a wide range of free resources you can use to start your learning journey. This is in addition to other useful tools, such as a Filipino dictionary, lists of Tagalog vocabulary, and various lessons like those found on our blog page.

One reason we’re confident to say that learning Filipino is easy and that you should start today is that FilipinoPod101 offers a special Premium PLUS feature: MyTeacher. With MyTeacher, you can learn the Filipino language through a guided learning system where you’ll have one-on-one interaction with a real Filipino teacher. This means you’ll constantly be receiving guidance and feedback, making sure you’re always leveling up!

I hope you enjoyed this post on why you should learn Tagalog. Don’t hesitate to let us know what you think by dropping your thoughts in the comments section! Cheers!

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