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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.
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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?

Thursday at 02:05 AM
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I'm so incredibly confused... Luzon has a z? Visayas has a V? Filipino has f? Quezon has both q and z? I can think of multiple examples for each of the excluded letters.... are we implying that there are different ways of writing these words in Filipino/Tagalog? Would a Tagalog keyboard still include the excluded consonants?

Bryan Bliss
Wednesday at 08:01 AM
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The audio will not play, love the content of the lessons so far.

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Friday at 02:39 PM
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Hi Anne,

Good insight on this. However, Filipino has mutliple writing systems that have not been used and focused on the use of the current alphabet taught. Glad it helps more people learn Filipino! Salamat!



Team FilipinoPod101.com

Tuesday at 07:24 PM
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The Filipino writing system sure is easier than some other languages I have learnt - especially for someone who already know English! The fact that there are no silent letters and pronunciation is so consistent will make things much easier I am sure!

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Friday at 11:31 AM
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Hi Miguel,

Thank you for sharing this with us! It's interesting how so many words in various languages are connected. Maraming salamat!



Team FilipinoPod101.com

Thursday at 10:37 PM
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Apelyido comes from spanish "Apellido" (family name). May be chamorro too but is identical to the spanish word.

Visual is the same word with same meaning in both english and spanish. Only the pronunciation would vary.

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:39 PM
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Hello Marty,

Thank you very much for your comment! :smile:

I believe you’ll enjoy learning Tagalog with our lessons.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions.

Kind regards,


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Friday at 04:36 PM
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I read, write and speak Chinese. Tagalog is a piece of cake!

Team FilipinoPod101.com
Thursday at 11:15 AM
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Hi Paul!

We're excited to welcome you in our community. If you want to learn more words, you can check out the vocabulary section and even create your own custom lists!



Team FilipinoPod101.com

Sunday at 05:24 PM
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Not Easter but not to hard