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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Mabuhay! Hello everyone! Betsey: here.
Becky: Hi everyone, I’m Becky, and welcome back to FilipinoPod101.com! This is All About, Lesson 4 - Filipino Pronunciation Made Easy. In this lesson, we’ll be talking about pronunciation, and tips to improve your Filipino.
Betsey: Some English speakers may have trouble with certain long Filipino words, but we assure you that it’s all about practice!
Becky: And we’ll be helping you every step of the way.

Lesson focus

Betsey: As we mentioned before, Filipino vowels are more or less the same as English.
Becky: So let’s start by giving you examples of what those vowels sound like.
Betsey: The Filipino vowels are “A”, “E”, “I”, “O”, “U”.
Becky: “A” is pronounced like in “Car”.
Betsey: “E” is pronounced like in “Get”.
Becky: “I” is pronounced like in “tea”
Betsey: “O” would be pronounced like in “toe”
Becky: And “U” would be pronounced like in “flu”
Betsey: Now that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Becky: It’s pretty straightforward. And there aren't any additional sounds in the vowels section. So, once you remember and understand these basic sounds, you’re good to go.
Becky: Now let’s move on to the consonants.
Betsey: Well, the initial ‘Abakada’ Alphabet only had 15 consonants. And all of them, with the exception of ‘Ñ’ and ‘NG’ are used the same as in the English Alphabet.
Becky: So let’s try practicing those two.
Betsey: First off, the ‘Ñ’ sound comes from the Spanish. So, when you pronounce it, it sounds like ‘Nya’.
Becky: Just like in the word “Piñata”.
Betsey: ‘Piñata’. Just think of it as N and Y coming together. For example, ‘Piña.’ ‘Piña’ is “pineapple” in Filipino.
Becky: Now let’s talk about the next sound, the “n”,“g” combination. This sounds like the last two letters of “sing” or “king”.
Betsey: It shouldn’t be hard, but what can be different with the ‘ng’ sound in Filipino, is that it can be placed in the first syllable, in the middle, or at the end. Unlike with English, where it is usually in the end.
Becky: Betsey, let’s give an example.
Betsey: Sure! “Tooth” in Filipino is ‘Ngipin’. (slow, by syllable) - ‘Ngipin’.
Becky: Let’s give another example with this combination in the middle of the word.
Betsey: Ok. How about ‘langit’, which means “heaven”. (slow) ‘La-ng-it’
Becky: One useful tip is to practice the word with a “sing-along”. Keep on saying it and take out the “-long” at the end, and just say “sing-a”.
Betsey: “Sing-Along.” “Singa.” By the way, ‘singa’ means “sneeze” in Filipino.
Becky: These are the most distinct ones. Other than that, we’ve pretty much covered it.
Betsey: Well, there’s maybe one more we can cover. The ‘R’ sound can also be different from the way it’s pronounced in English.
Becky: That’s right - it’s closer to the way it’s pronounced in Spanish.
Betsey: More of a rolling ‘r’. For example, “listen” in Filipino is ‘Rinig’, (slow) ‘Ri-nig’.


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


Please to leave a comment.
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FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What do you think of Filipino pronunciation? Do you think it is easier than other languages?

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:20 PM
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Hi Dan,

It would be helpful if you found words in your native language that might have this sound. In English, you can practice with words like king or ping to help you get used to making the NG sound. Maraming salamat!


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Tuesday at 05:12 AM
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I a.m having a very difficult time pronouncing ng. No matter what examples you give me, I cannot make the sound. Any suggestions?

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 11:15 AM
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Hi Daniel Steven Francis,

Good to know you're finding pronunciation easy! Hopefully, easy pronunciation of the letters will help you pronounce words comfortably as well! Keep it up! Salamat!

Kind regards,


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Daniel Steven Francis
Sunday at 10:13 AM
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I think that Filipino pronunciation is very easy. At least, the basics of pronouncing individual letters are. We'll see what happens when words get introduced! 😄

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:57 PM
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Hi Herve Houde,

I understand how nerve wracking it is to hear words that have multiple meanings or need a lot of context to know the meaning. I'm glad you enjoyed the lesson and that it eased things up for you! Kaya mo iyan~



Team FilipinoPod101.com

Hervé Houde
Friday at 03:33 AM
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Hi, Betsey and Becky. When there are one or two differences in the pronunciation, we tend to believe that everything will be different and we panic! I feel much more comfortable now that I know how few differences there are and how to deal with them. Thanks a lot! I like the way you explain. Paalam!

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:47 AM
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Hi Errol Lovegrove,

That's so great! Those sounds are usually more challenging for speakers of languages without them. Good to hear there are many more languages with similar sounds as Filipino. Thank you for sharing this with us. Salamat!


Team FilipinoPod101.com

Errol Lovegrove
Sunday at 05:48 PM
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Kumusta Betsey,

the pronunciation is mostly easy for me, ng, enye, a, u are all sounds familiar through Aboriginal languages. An example is 'kurangk' which means long neck in Ngarrindjeri. the u, a and ng sounds are the same as Filipino! 😄

FilipinoPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 07:26 PM
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Hi Bayani,

The vowel i doesn't really change in how its pronounced. However, what changes is how different people say the word "hindi." It is acceptable to say hindi with a stronger i while some would make it sound like it ends with an e like saying hinde.

About the Norwegian u, I think this is a typo and meant to say Filipino u. Thank you for pointing it out! Salamat



Team FilipinoPod101.com

Thursday at 02:28 AM
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How can we distinguish the different sounds each of the vowels make? The "i" at the end of "hindi" sounds different in:



-Hidi ako!

Also, I can't find any reference on the reason why Filipino would adopt the Norwegian "u"... Can you help us understand what you mean by: The Norwegian letter -u is pronounced like the [u] in "flu."? (Hopefully I'm not trying your patience.