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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Mabuhay! Hello everyone! Betsey: here.
Becky: Hi everyone, and welcome back to FilipinoPod101.com. I’m Becky, and this is All About, Lesson 2 - Cracking the Filipino Writing System. In this lesson, we are going to give you some details about the Filipino writing system. This will be a good first step towards learning the Filipino language. We hope you enjoy it!

Lesson focus

Betsey: Let's start with the alphabet. First off, the original alphabet of the Filipino language is called ‘ABAKADA.’
Becky: Much like the English alphabet, it includes 5 vowels - A, E, I, O, and U, but there are only 15 consonants.
Betsey: That’s right, there are fewer consonants in ‘ABAKADA’, and they are C, F, J, Q, V, X, and Z. And it also includes additional consonants that aren’t in the English Alphabet, ‘Ñ’,
Becky: which is “n” with a tilde,
Betsey: And ‘Ng’. ‘Ñ’ comes from the Spanish influence, and is pronounced the same way. Naturally, the Ñ is often used for words that come from Spanish. Usually these are names and locations.
For example, “Parañaque City” has the ‘Ñ’ with it, and so does “Malacañang Palace”. And the consonant Ng is pronounced the same way we would pronounce it in English words like “Sing” or “King”.
Becky: Yes. It isn`t too hard to familiarize yourself with these additional pronunciations, but often times the “N”,“g” is the trickiest part of speaking in Filipino.
Betsey: “Ng” in Filipino can be hard because it often comes in the first syllable of a word such as ‘Ngayon’ meaning now or today.
Becky: Other than that, Filipino words are often written the way they’re pronounced.
Betsey: I think the listeners will find it very easy to adjust to writing in Filipino, because it’s pretty much as straightforward as it can be. There aren't redundant letters in spellings, and the consonants like C, F, and Z they are replaced with K, P, and S in Filipino words. So, for example, words like “Café” in Spanish for coffee are written and pronounced as ‘Capé’.
Becky: That’s right! But we have even better news for you! With the adoption of English and Spanish words and pronunciations came a more updated version of the Filipino Alphabet, which includes all 26 letters.
Betsey: Yes. And English words that are commonly used in Filipino are often spelled out the same way.
Becky: Mixing English and Filipino is also common in colloquial conversations.
Betsey: It might be confusing to mash up the two, but it’s good to know you can do it, when you can’t find the word you’re looking for in Filipino!
Becky: And from there you can always learn gradually, and use them.
Betsey: So, another thing that helps when learning Filipino is remembering how many loan words it uses from other languages.
Becky: It's very interesting to find and realize them. Like we mentioned before, it has taken in many words from Spanish, but it’s also brought in a lot of Malay words.
Betsey: I often talk to Malay speakers, and it always surprises me how much the two languages have in common.
Becky: I think that’s one of the best things about learning Filipino. You can feel like you’re learning a lot of different languages all at once.
Betsey: Definitely. But be careful, because there are words that are exactly the same and spelled the same way, but do not necessarily have the same meaning.
Becky: It can be confusing at times, but the differences are usually logical and associated with each other, so it can be a fun puzzle to figure out!


Becky: That’s all for this lesson. Join us for the next, when we’ll talk about Filipino grammar. Until then, bye everyone!
Betsey: Paalam! Bye bye!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:30 PM
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What do you think of the Filipino writing system? Do you think it is easier than other languages?

Daniel Steven Francis
Sunday at 08:26 AM
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I don't find it easier, I think it's similar but that's a good thing. Higher possibility for writing in the language fluently.

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 08:51 AM
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Kamusta Gianna Shelby,

Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.

Kind regards,


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Gianna Shelby
Tuesday at 11:54 AM
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I used to think that the Filipino writing system was completely different than English. (Well, not completely) I thought that there where so many additional letters, and very complicated. But, I learned that the modernized Filipino alphabet is like the English one! I'm looking forward to becoming fluent in Filipino! I never knew that the Filipino language is mixed by the Spanish words and Malay words. But, I always knew that English is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the Philippines. 👍❤️️ This lesson made me learn a lot, I can't count! Thanks, FilipinoPod101.com! I thought I would never be able to even speak a couple Filipino words! Personally, the best website I ever used to learn another language. ❤️️❤️️😉

Tuesday at 10:26 AM
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its so same to enlish and spanish ,sometime its mix with others 😅

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:31 AM
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Hi Errol Lovegrove,

Whether learning the language is easy or challenging, with the right amount of discipline and some motivation, you'll definitely be able to do it! Hoping you have fun along the way with us. You can do it! Salamat.


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Errol Lovegrove
Sunday at 05:08 PM
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At nearly 53 I'm nervous about learning another language so whether it will be easy or not I don't know. But ng is used in the same way Aboriginal peoples of Australia use it. For example, my 'tribe' is Ngarrindjeri. Unfortunately I don't know a lot of that either but I know there are similarities in words. I am looking forward to learning despite my trepidation.

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:32 AM
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Hi glyza,

Glad to hear from you. Feel free to leave us a comment if you have any questions. You can try practicing with us through the comment section as well. Salamat!


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Thursday at 12:55 PM
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hi am glyza i am a filipino that don't speak filipino i hope you well help me ❤️️❤️️

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:19 PM
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Hi Renee,

Thank you for sharing this with us. Hoping that you find joy in learning how to read and write in Filipino as well! Salamat!


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Renee Joy Eguia
Tuesday at 08:03 AM
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I think the Filipino writing system seems easy to understand. I like how the language is influenced by a multitude of other languages, but adds it's own twist thus making it unique. I don't know if it's easier than other languages.