The Focus of This Lesson is the History of Filipino
Linguistics and History
Filipino is one of the official languages of the Philippines, and the other is English. Filipino is a mixture of several foreign languages including Spanish and Malay. The language is commonly used in Manila, the capital of the country and as a first or second language for other parts the country.
Filipino is constructed from eight different languages in the Philippines, but heavily bases its sentence construction on Tagalog, which is the common language in the capital. Though the differences are mild and can barely be detected, certain vocabulary in Filipino that is derived from foreign languages such as Spanish is translated or adopted in Tagalog in a strict manner. But clear differentiation between the two languages is vague and commonly used together.
The mixture of several languages in Filipino comes from its historical relationship with foreign countries such as Spain and the United States. The people of the Philippines, since it was a Spanish colony for over 300 years, were taught to speak the language, and also experienced the spread of Roman Catholicism. Many customs and traditions are still maintained by modern Filipino culture and Roman Catholicism still maintains to be the most popular religion.
Since the end of the Spanish-American war, English has been taught to the people in the country, thus becoming of the two official languages. English is usually used in professional and industrial environments, whereas Filipino or other dialects are used in the household.
About the Philippines: Culture
Geographically located in Southeast Asia, the Philippines consists of three major islands: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. There are around 120 to 175 dialects, but the official languages are English and Filipino.
The country consists of different cultures and is a melting pot of various Asian and Western influences. Because of the mix of oriental and western thought and culture, the Philippines holds a unique position. The Filipinos generally maintain conservative beliefs due to their high regard for religion (whether Christian, Islam, or other religions) and close cultural relations with other Southeast Asian countries, but they are well adapted to modern Western thought due to the influence of the West early in its history. These aspects make the country highly receptive to both Asian and Western visitors.
Writing System and Pronunciation
In writing and pronunciation, Filipino follows the Abakada alphabet (A, B, K, D, E, G, H, I, L, M, N, Ñ, Ng, O, P, R, S, T, U, W, Y), meaning it has a very similar pattern to the English alphabet, but it lacks the letters C, F, J, Q, V, X, Z. After revisions and modernization, the alphabet now includes the unique letters N, the Spanish Ñ, and the Tagalog NG.
One example that includes ng is the word Kambing ("Goat") where the Ng is pronounced the same way as the "ng" in "King" in English. By contrast, the word Ngayon ("Today," "Now") maintaining the Tagalog Ng.
Why It Is Important: The Top Five Reasons to Learn this Language Are...
Number 5: Learning a different language is fun! There's nothing like learning about a different culture and language and improving yourself by taking a trip to a new destination.
Number 4: The Philippines is affordable to visit, or to live in! Whether you're on vacation or you're there to live, the Philippines is very cheap.
Number 3: You can bond with the locals! If you familiarize yourself and use the local language to communicate with locals, it will definitely give a better experience and perspective when visiting the country. Filipinos are usually more accommodating and intrigued when you make an effort to understand their culture.
Number 2: It broadens your knowledge of the country's history. As mentioned before, there are many Spanish and English words in Filipino, and this reflects in the country's history. Naturally, Filipino culture itself reflects and has been significantly influenced and shaped by these events. It is interesting to see how the culture develops and has adopted other cultures.
Number 1: Filipinos are known to be some of the warmest people in the world. They are friendly and cheerful and known to be very family-oriented. Why wouldn't you want to experience a new bond with the Filipino culture?