Why should you learn Tagalog?

Why should you learn Tagalog?

Are you a university student who is taking up Filipino in a formal setting? Are you language enthusiast looking for this next challenge? Perhaps you learning Tagalog because you have a Filipino spouse, family member or loved one. Perhaps you have Filipino ancestry, but your parents never taught you how to speak Tagalog. And now you’re learning Tagalog to get in touch with your roots. Aside from these personal reason which you may have, let me kick in a few more reasons you can consider to make you feel wonderful you’re learning the Tagalog language.

There are so many Filipinos in the Philippines

The Philippines has over 100,000,000 people living on its islands. Yes that’s right, according to our National Statistics Administration we the one hundred million people mark of live in the Philippines sometime in 2014. While the wikipedia article on Tagalog will tell us that not everyone speaks Tagalog as their first language, and good percent speak what are considered dialects such as Bisaya, Ilocano, Waray and so on, pretty much every Filipino who functions in the modern Philippine society can speak Tagalog.

All over the entire country, whether you are in Luzon, Visayas or Mindano. The Filipino language, or Tagalog, is studied in the earliest level of school, and the language is in TV, and it serves as the lingua franca which unites the entire country. While you are in the Philippines, you can use Tagalog practically everywhere.

There are so many Filipinos outside the Philippines

There are so many Filipinos outside the Philippines it’s crazy. The number of Filipinos overseas is simply a number that is too difficult to give an accurate estimate, given the complex issues of citizenship, ethnicity, migration and the sheer difficulty in trying to get good count over all the territories in big, wide world (believe me, I know for a fact the government is trying), so I won’t even try, but the figure is usually placed at around 12 million Filipinos overseas.

It is even said that you can find a Filipino in every country of the United Nations, and because of my day job, I think this is not just an exaggeration, but perhaps a plain fact. Even in the most least know Carribean island on the opposite end of the globe, you’re likely to have a Filipino band playing at the lobby of the hotel. Of course, cities with high populations like Dubai, Singapore, or Hong Kong, you’ll hear Tagalog spoken all around you by migrant Filipinos.

And hey, after all, Tagalog is only at least the fourth most widely spoken language in the United States (after English, Spanish and “Chinese”). I might say it might even be the third most widely spoken language in America, as whoever did up the survey lumped together Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese and all the other “dialects” together under “Chinese” (American Community Survey 2009  endorsed by the United States Census Bureau).

This number of Tagalog speakers based overseas is growing fast. Tagalog is said to to be the fast growing language in Canada today.

Highly Appreciated by Filipinos

Also, trust me, if you speak Tagalog to a native Tagalog speaker, even if it’s just a “Magandang umaga po”, your efforts will be met only with the most enthusiastic smiles and praise. If you improve to any level beyond greetings and courtesies, you will treated with awe, no matter how much you mangle the syntax or pronunciation. Believe me.

Turning the tables around, imagine a newbie French speaker trying out his stuttering French with a shopkeeper in Paris. Or turning the tables around, image you’re learning English and you use your grating broken English on the streets of a city in America.

It’s true, that almost all Filipinos can speak English, with varying levels of fluency. Yes. But speak to them in Tagalog they will adore you.

 

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