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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Mabuhay! Hi everyone! Welcome back to FilipinoPod101.com. I’m Betsey.
Becky: And I’m Becky. This is All-About, Lesson 12 - Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes in Filipino. In this lesson, we’ll give you our top five tips for avoiding common mistakes in Filipino. So, why don't we get right to it?

Lesson focus

Betsey: The first tip is - “Don’t be afraid to pronounce your words with passion”. This is one of the most basic and important things to understand when learning how to pronounce Filipino. We know that accents and pronunciations are the biggest hurdle in learning a language.
Becky: And don't be afraid to exaggerate your pronunciation, if it helps.
Betsey: That’s actually a good way to put it. A common mistake English speakers make when pronouncing Filipino is that each word tends to end vaguely and drag on until the next word. For example, the sentence ‘Hindi ako nagugutom’ which means “I am not hungry” might sound like ‘Hindi akoW naguWguWtoWm’, where almost every syllable has a ‘W’ at the end. It should be ‘Hindi ako nagugutom’.
Becky: When you pronounce it, make sure you state it with clear and decisive endings to each syllable and word.
Betsey: Remember that Filipino is phonetic - you pronounce the way it’s written. No puzzles or riddles.
Becky: So, let’s see our next tip, which is “Learn basic conjugations”.
Betsey: We tend to lose interest or even give up entirely when it`s time to learn grammar. It’s best to learn some simple Filipino grammatical rules.
Becky: Don't be afraid! One of the more complicated parts of Filipino grammar is conjugation. Well, the basic rules are the same as English - there’s the past, the present, and the future. But what's tricky is how you modify root words in these tenses.
Betsey: We gave you an example of ‘UM’-verbs before, so let’s go over them again quickly, ‘Kain’ is the root word for “eat”. The past tense would be ‘Kumain’, the present tense is ‘Kumakain’, and the future tense is ‘Kakain’.
Becky: The most common mistakes learners make when using the ‘UM’ verbs is just using the root word instead of the conjugated verbs.
Betsey: Let’s give an example with ‘Kain’. This is often used as ‘Kain ka na?’ to mean ‘Kumain ka na?’ which means “have you eaten?” or to even mean ‘Kakain ka na?’ to mean “Will you eat?” Another type of verb is the ‘mag’-verb. These are verbs that are generally conjugated with a ‘Mag’ or a ‘Nag’
Becky: So, let’s give an example here.
Betsey: OK. ‘galit’ is a root word for “angry”. The past tense for this is ‘NAgalit’, the present tense is ‘NAgagalit’, and future tense is ‘MAGAgalit’.
Becky: The ‘Mag’ verbs can be jumbled with the ‘UM’ verbs, and often ‘Mag’-verbs are used for ‘UM’-verbs.
Betsey: For example, ‘Kakain ako’ for “I will eat” is often mistakenly said as ‘Magkain ako’.
Becky: The thing with ‘UM’ and ‘Mag’ verbs is that there aren’t clear separations or rules that apply to differentiate the verbs. But the good thing is that, these two types are all you’ll really need with your verbs.
Betsey: Keep these two types of verbs in mind, and try them out with new root words or root words you already know. It's all about practice, like we mentioned before. You’ll soon get the hang of it.
Becky: Our next tip is to keep to ‘Simple sentence structure’. Just like there are different ways to use sentence structures to emphasize certain subjects in English, it is the same way in Filipino. But it’s best to stick to simple sentence structures.
Betsey: That’s right. The main goal is to have others understand you, and make conversation. The simpler your sentences are, the more likely it is that you’ll be understood.
Becky: Remember that “Verbs first” is the rule for Filipino sentence structure. Or, you will always put the object first, in other words - what your main point is goes first.
Betsey: Let’s give a quick example then. “I’m hungry” is translated as ‘Nagugutom ako’, but literally it’s “Hungry I’m”. And ‘Handa ako’ is “I’m ready” but literally “Ready I’m”. As you can see, the main point, or the verb, goes first in the Filipino sentence. With this very simple rule, you can get away with conversation and most importantly, avoid complication.
Becky: Ok. Our next tip is “Think in Filipino”. In learning a language, it is important to try to think in that language whenever you can.
Betsey: You might have a limitation to what you can express when you’re just starting out, but put your mind to making the best of the words and phrases you already know! Then, you can build on it.
Becky: A common problem for Filipino learners is that people in the Philippines speak English to them, but the locals also actively mix both English and Filipino, which is known as
Betsey: “Taglish”. That’s definitely one hurdle that must be overcome. The key is not to be distracted by Taglish , because that will make your learning process slower. You will just end up using English words.
Becky: Yes. That’s definitely a big problem! Can you give the listeners an example of Taglish please Betsey?
Betsey: Sure. ‘Gusto ko mag play ng basketbol’ is a common use of Taglish for “I want to play basketball”. Now, if you were to talk like this, you would never learn what “play” is in Filipino. It’s ‘laro’.
Becky: The benefit of getting yourself used to speaking as much as possible in Filipino, is that it will broaden your vocabulary.
Betsey: If you know the word ‘laro’, then you will also learn how to conjugate it. In this case, “to play” is ‘maglaro’.
Becky: Now, our last tip is to “Be aware of accents and stresses.” One thing that will set you back when you’re learning any language is incorrect pronunciation.
Betsey: Accents are very hard to lose or adjust to for any learner.
Becky: What simplifies Filipino is its phonetic aspects - you read how you write. But beware - written Filipino doesn’t show how it’s accented or stressed.
Betsey: And accenting and stress are very important for accurate pronunciation.
Becky: There are also many words in Filipino that are spelled the same, but depending on their accent, have completely different meanings.
(Comment from Simone - Please make sure to stress the difference in pronunciation here for the below line. )
Betsey: Let’s give you an example, ‘Samantá-la’ means “meanwhile” whereas ‘Samantalá’ means “take advantage”.
Becky: Being aware of these accents and stresses will help you make fewer mistakes when you learn new words.
Betsey: Well, that brings us to the end of the lesson.


Becky: Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time!
Betsey: Paalam!