Proper pronunciation in the Filipino language of Tagalog is important for a number of reasons. You want to be able to sound like a native speaker, and you want others to be able to understand your words. Just as grammar is important, proper Filipino pronunciation is vital to knowing the language. It also helps you when you are listening to speakers of the language, so you can understand what it is that they are saying and so you can process it more quickly. Because native speakers speak very quickly, understanding pronunciation and being able to hear it will improve your grasp of what is happening with speakers around you.
Sounds and Syllables
The new Filipino alphabet contains 28 letters. The letters include a, b, d, e, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, m, n, Ñ, ng, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, and z. The older alphabet had only 15 consonants and 5 vowels. The addition of the other 8 letters that make up the current alphabet – c, f, j, Ñ, q, v, x, and z – are used in foreign words. Many of the letters in the alphabet have the same pronunciation as the English alphabet except for Ñ, which is pronounced as enye. You will find that the vowels of the language – a, e, i, o, and u – all have pronunciation that is similar to Spanish or Italian vowels. Filipino pronunciation can take some time to learn if you are only listening to native speakers because they usually speak quickly.
The Filipino language also has several different dialects, and they have different ways of speaking and even different words in some cases. Still, many of the native speakers are able to speak more than one dialect so when you learn Tagalog, which is the most prevalent of the languages, you should have no trouble communicating.
You will find three stresses in Filipino pronunciation. The stress is going to go on the first syllable for words that have two syllables. If the word has three syllables, the stress is going to go on the second syllable. For words that have three or more syllables, the stress is going to be on the third syllable.
Pronunciation is important in any language. It can make all the difference in the world when you are speaking to someone, so it pays to learn the proper way to speak.