Is Tagalog Hard To Learn? (Plus 3 Tips To Make It Easier!) (2023)

It's true that the vast majority of Filipinos speak English.

But if you're spending significant time with people from Manila and southern Luzon, then life gets richer and more enjoyable as your Tagalog improves.

After all, it's the language of daily life. And as any learner will tell you, it's about as foreign as a language can get.

If you're frustrated with your progress, or just want to get started without piles of grammar books, then check out an app called Glossika. You can visit their website, or start with my review here for some background on what to expect.

Meanwhile, this article will look at just what makes a language "hard" or "easy" to a native English speaker, and how all that applies to Tagalog.

Table of Contents

  • Here's whether Tagalog is hard to learn
  • Is Tagalog the same as Filipino?
  • What really makes a language hard to learn?
  • Why is Tagalog hard for English speakers to learn?
    • Tagalog words aren't related to English ones
    • Tagalog pronouns and verbs are nothing like we're used to
  • Is anything in Tagalog easy to learn?
    • The Tagalog alphabet is basically the Roman alphabet
    • There are just five vowels in Tagalog
    • Tagalog is not a tonal language
    • The biggest variable: your personal interest and motives
  • How long does it take to learn Tagalog?
  • Is learning Tagalog worth it?
  • These 3 tips make Tagalog learning easier
    • Keep requesting feedback from native speakers
    • Prioritize words for your daily routine
    • Use all the "Taglish" you need
  • Bottom Line: Is It Hard To Learn Tagalog?

Here's whether Tagalog is hard to learn

Tagalog is relatively difficult for English speakers to learn. This is mostly because of major grammatical differences (especially verb-pronoun relationships) and the origins of its vocabulary. However, Tagalog pronunciation and writing are straightforward, and a few grammatical features are refreshingly simple.

I'll go into far more detail on all of this in a moment. First, though, it's worth getting some terminology straight.

Is Tagalog the same as Filipino?

This site uses "Tagalog" and "Filipino" interchangeably, but it's worth a quick note to explain their relationship.

Tagalog and Filipino are not technically the same, even though the terms are used interchangeably both inside and outside the Philippines.

Strictly speaking, Tagalog is the indigenous language of a people native to southern Luzon. Filipino is a standardized, official version of the Manila dialect of Tagalog. There are currently between 4-8 dialects of Tagalog, but "Filipino" denotes only the Manila variant.

Again, however, "Tagalog" and "Filipino" mean the same thing in casual, practical use.

What really makes a language hard to learn?

Wherever you're from, you've probably noticed that parts of the country speak more and more differently from the most standard form of your language (e.g., how national news anchors talk).

If you're American, consider the difference between Tom Brokaw and someone from the rural Deep South. Or, if you're from the UK, think about the difference between a BBC presenter in London and a factory worker in Glasgow.

The accents are obviously different, there are plenty of changes in vocabulary and even in grammar. The farther you get, both geographically and socioeconomically, the more the dialects diverge.

However, either one could learn to speak like the other without too much effort.

But, at some point, the dialects become so different that they are less than 80% mutually intelligible (meaning at least one of the two speakers, usually whoever speaks that "standard" dialect, cannot understand even 80% of what the other says).

At that point, linguists generally call it a separate language, no longer just a dialect.

Even so, you can imagine how a foreign language that's just below the 80% threshold would be far easier to learn than one that's only 20% understandable--let alone almost 0%, like Tagalog and English.

(How to measure this in the first place is extremely complicated and not always agreed upon, but that's another matter.)

For example, English speakers find that French and German both have quite different grammar and sounds, but a whole lot of similar words. And, on a deeper level--like how verbs handle subjects and objects--there are many more similarities.

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That shouldn't be too surprising, since English, French, and German are all part of the Indo-European language family. That means they share common ancestors, from which they all inherited certain traits (although they took on wildly different forms over the centuries).

Most people look at least somewhat like their parents and siblings, not much like their second cousins, and not whatsoever like random strangers across the world.

So it goes with languages, too.

Why is Tagalog hard for English speakers to learn?

All in all, Tagalog is a tough language for English speakers to learn--especially compared to language "relatives" like Spanish, French, and German.

Tagalog is a member of the Austronesian language family, which covers much of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

By definition, no Austronesian language shares any ancestor with any Indo-European language. Tagalog began with separate origins and developed along a separate path, which has a few implications that we'll briefly look at.

Tagalog words aren't related to English ones

Obviously, words are different and unrelated--not counting the many Spanish and later English words that Filipinos have adopted into their language.

(These are called "loanwords" and they do not indicate any relationship. Still, they're very convenient for learners! Just know that some don't mean exactly what you'd think. Here is a quick overview of surprising Filipino English differences.)

Because most vocabulary is so unfamiliar, we can't expect to hear or read a Tagalog word and figure it out by way of something vaguely similar in English.

If you're studying German, you might see the word wissen (to know) and be reminded of the English wise. They're not the same, but it's easy to see the relationship.

Tagalog has no such similarity to English.

Now, with hundreds of years of Spanish control followed by decades of American control, there are scores of Spanish and English loanwords. That's a nice head-start. Regardless, the overwhelming majority of your new Tagalog vocabulary will be totally unfamiliar.

Fortunately, Tagalog has no grammatical gender, which does reduce the effort of learning vocabulary at least a little bit.

It is worth mentioning that syllable emphasis can completely change certain words' meaning. A classic (and funny) example is suka. Emphasize the first syllable ("SU-ka") and you have "vomit." Emphasize the second ("su-KA") and you have "vinegar"!

Tagalog pronouns and verbs are nothing like we're used to

Earlier, I mentioned how even though Indo-European languages have big grammatical differences, their verbs still handle subjects and objects in a similar way.

For instance, "I" is the subject and "me" is the object form of that pronoun, similar to je and moi in French.

The underlying pattern is close, so French pronoun usage is relatively intuitive to English speakers. If you can use "I" and "me" correctly, then it won't be too hard to wrap your mind around using je and moi, either.

In Tagalog, on the other hand, the closest equivalents of I/me/my follow a totally different pattern that goes against cardinal rules of English.

This, I believe, is the hardest part of learning Tagalog.

For example, let's say you've just eaten a mango. (Highly recommended, as they're delicious and abundant in the Philippines!) The simplest way you could tell somebody in English would be something like "I ate the mango."

However, an equally simple Tagalog phrase could use something like "I" or "me" depending on what you want to emphasize.

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"I, not somebody else, ate the mango" could use one version whereas "I ate the mango, not the other fruit" could use the other.

Specifying "I ate the mango using a knife" may require a third variation.

Along with the pronoun, the verb "eat" gets different letters as a prefix or stuck in the middle, and the equivalent of "the" also changes a little.

If you jumble them (and you will sometimes!), it sounds as odd to a Tagalog speaker as "me ate the mango" or "the knife was eaten by mango with I" sounds to you. The meaning is still in there, so you'll probably make sense, but the exact relationships are unclear.

In many cases, at least two variations in Tagalog are grammatically valid, but one just feels right to a Filipino whereas the other seems a little odd. Again, neither is actually wrong, but the best choice isn't always self-evident.

The difference looks kind of like the active versus passive voice in English, but it's not exactly the same thing grammatically speaking. More importantly, even though passive construction is poor style in English, all these variations are equally acceptable in Tagalog.

As tricky as this feature is, it's also quite interesting. Tagalog and its close relatives are among the most unusual languages in the world in this respect. Here's a great article if you really want to geek out with me.

Is anything in Tagalog easy to learn?

Most beginners--including me--also find aspects of Tagalog very easy to learn. That's a relief, since there are plenty of challenges to stay occupied with.

We looked at differences first because that's probably what you're here to read about. They're also the most interesting.

However, focusing only on differences gets discouraging! It doesn't paint an accurate picture of what it's like to learn Tagalog, either.

A few things are a breath of fresh air for students of Tagalog. In fact, in a handful of ways, it's much easier than even the closest relatives of English. (That's a good thing, since you'll want all the time you can get to study verbs!)

The Tagalog alphabet is basically the Roman alphabet

The written language is super phonetic. Aside from ñ ("ny") and a standalone ng ("nahng"), every letter is familiar to English speakers and usually makes only one sound.

Compared to English, with oft-observed inconsistencies like "rough," "through," and though," it's a piece of cake!

Why is this so straightforward?

English has used the Roman alphabet for ages, but never with a central governing authority like France's Académie Française or the Philippines' Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. English spelling actually was phonetic back in the day, but hasn't kept up with hundreds of years of changing pronunciation.

Tagalog spelling, on the other hand, was last updated in 2013!

There are just five vowels in Tagalog

Tagalog has only five vowels: a, e, i, o, and u.

They are pronounced almost exactly as in Spanish, and their diphthongs (combinations of two vowels, as in how or bay) are all intuitive to English speakers.

If there's one oddity, it's that a written "i" at the end of a word sometimes takes on an "eh" sound, depending on which syllable is emphasized. This doesn't affect meaning, and you'll be understood either way, but I found it confusing to hear as a new student.

Tagalog is not a tonal language

I can't begin to guess why, but tonal languages are more prevalent in Asia than in most of the world.

Fortunately, unlike many languages in mainland Asia, Tagalog and its relatives are not tonal. As mentioned earlier, syllable emphasis sometimes changes meaning, but I find that vastly easier to keep track of than the complex tones of, say, Cantonese!

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The biggest variable: your personal interest and motives

All of the relative difficulties and challenges are moot if you have a deeper personal interest in the places or people who speak a language.

What if you learn Dutch (arguably English's closest major relative) for no purpose besides an exam? It will be a grind, difficult to recall, and unlikely to be of practical value. I call this "classroom language syndrome": learning a language because you have to, then arriving in the country only to find your classroom knowledge nearly useless!

But if you learn Tagalog (an objectively harder language) to talk with friends or loved ones? You'll find more opportunities to practice, more motivation to push through the difficult early stages, and a more useful and rewarding experience all around.

How long does it take to learn Tagalog?

The US Foreign Service Institute estimates 1100 hours of classroom study to reach "Professional Working Proficiency." That's a fairly high standard, at which they say you are:

  • "able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most conversations on practical, social, and professional topics
  • "able to understand the essentials of all speech in a standard dialect including technical discussions within a special field
  • "able to read within a normal range of speed and with almost complete comprehension a variety of authentic prose material on unfamiliar subjects"

It's worth browsing the whole list of languages by time to proficiency. Some will probably come as a surprise.

Most languages close to English are estimated at 600-750 hours of study. German, falls around 900 hours, probably due to its more complex case system.

The 1100-group includes Tagalog, the more distant Indo-European languages (e.g., Albanian, the Slavic branch, and essentially the whole Indo-Iranian side of the family), and languages from most other families.

The most time-intensive category includes only Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, and an intimidating 2200 hours! (Of course, other languages take at least as long to master, all else being equal. They're just not on the list.)

Firstly, keep in mind that we're talking about averages, so any one person may take significantly more or less time to reach the same level.

Secondly, they're targeting far higher proficiency than most travelers or even long-term residents really need. With equal diligence, you'll reach a simply useful level in far less time.

Finally, the Foreign Service Institute has great data on averages for diligent learners in similar settings. What they can't measure is your own motivation. If Tagalog--or something even more time-intensive--enriches your life, then you'll progress farther and faster than in a theoretically easier that is merely an intellectual exercise.

The data clearly say that Tagalog is difficult, but experience clearly says not to worry about it.

Is learning Tagalog worth it?

On average, Filipinos are famously warm and welcoming to foreigners. In my observation, foreigners are never expected, let alone assumed, to speak any local language.

Since most speak English, they're keenly aware of its vast differences from Tagalog or whichever other language(s) they speak personally. There's no ignoring the prestige factor, either: proficient English conveys education and worldliness, so many people are eager to use it.

However, that's not to say your attempts at Tagalog will go unnoticed. Far from it! On the whole, Filipinos greatly appreciate any effort to speak Tagalog, or whichever local language applies.

Read this article for a more detailed look at what makes Tagalog worth learning--or not.

These 3 tips make Tagalog learning easier

Keep requesting feedback from native speakers

We all know that feedback is critical to learning. Continual feedback is one of the main reasons that children learn languages so quickly. Some researchers argue that it's the single biggest factor by far.

But there's also a cultural factor that I rarely encounter in Western countries.

Part of the remarkable Filipino hospitality is a sort of humility that encourages locals not to correct a foreigner's speech--or, if necessary, to do so in the gentlest and subtlest way possible!

If you find yourself practicing Tagalog with anyone on a regular basis, be sure to ask (and remind) them to correct your mistakes, preferably by restating your words correctly, much as we'd correct a child in our native language.

It never hurts to give extra reassurance that their corrections are welcome, greatly appreciated, and not offensive whatsoever.

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Prioritize words for your daily routine

Most of us recall the useless classroom phrases from high school Spanish, or whatever we took all those years ago.

"My aunt's pen is on the table."

"The spotted cow jumped over the fence."

Yeah...I never used them, either.

Fortunately, most newer resources avoid dwelling on grammar via silly phrases. (In my experience, Glossika does the very best job of this. You can get a free trial here from their website.)

However, whether you're teaching yourself or taking a class, the curriculum will never be exactly the same as your daily life.

As a supplement, try taking a mental inventory of the conversation you have in the course of a normal day.

To be clear, that includes both sides of the conversation! It's easy to recount what you say (like ordering coffee or greeting a security guard), but the key is to think about what the other person says in return. This helps you avoid the classic "phrasebook paralysis" wherein you use a textbook-perfect question or comment only to be totally stumped by the response. Followed, of course, by more English…

To put it another way, the goal is to make a personalized word frequency list, or better yet, a phrase and variation frequency list.

Use all the "Taglish" you need

It won't take long among Filipinos, especially younger Manileños, to realize that there is a lot of English in use.

Some will switch in pure English from time to time, even in conversation with other Filipinos. But it's more often in the form of Taglish: the fusion of English words with mostly Tagalog grammar.

If you're studying Tagalog, it may feel a bit like cheating to pull out English, but in reality, it sounds more "local" than you might think!

For instance, the verb prefix mag-[noun] often means to do or to use that noun. If you're stumped on how to say "wear a t-shirt," mag-t-shirt gets the point across!

That's very casual speech, and arguably sort of hip, but far from proper Tagalog. All the same, it's a great way to make yourself understood if you can't remember the word for "to wear," or don't know the local name for a t-shirt, or are stumped on which pronouns to use.

Bottom Line: Is It Hard To Learn Tagalog?

All in all, Tagalog has a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary and unintuitive or downright perplexing grammar. These factors make it hard for most native English speakers to learn.

And since English is so widely spoken in the Philippines, it's easy for foreigners to get stuck in the comfort of using English for all of daily life. That tends to undermine the motivation that every language learner needs.

However, you'll find some very easy features of Tagalog, too. Writing and pronunciation are straightforward to learn, and there is no grammatical gender, nor any tones in speech.

It's uncommon for non-Filipinos to learn Tagalog, so those foreigners who do usually have a personal interest: friends, family, a partner, extended travel plans, or perhaps all the above.

If those kinds of things have piqued your interest in the Tagalog language, then its difficulty need not be a problem. As with practically every language on the planet, many foreigners have become impressively fluent even without much formal instruction, just heaps of practice.

Obviously, good resources matter, but finding satisfaction and enrichment in the process is the true "secret" to learning a language.

P.S. If you're thinking about learning Tagalog, then it's much easier with the right guidance. Glossika Tagalog helps me progress faster than I ever did on my own. Check out my full review of it here.

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What's the easiest way to learn Tagalog? ›

The best way to learn Tagalog fast is by immersing yourself in the language whenever you can. If you don't know any Tagalog speakers, you can use apps like Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone to start speaking fast. Apps like italki can also connect you with native Tagalog tutors to help you learn quickly.

Is learning Filipino language hard? ›

Like in any language, there are factors that can make Filipino hard to learn. That said, it's actually one of the easiest languages to study and master. That doesn't mean that you can become fluent overnight, but compared to other languages, Filipino is a bit more straightforward.

Is Tagalog the 2nd hardest language to learn? ›

In fact, Tagalog, also known as Filipino, is ranked as a Category IV language by FSI's ranking. Due to its linguistic and cultural differences with the English language, Tagalog is considered relatively hard for English speakers to learn. In fact, the ranking shows it will take around 1100 hours to attain fluency.

Why is Tagalog hard translation? ›

Filipino is an interesting language as it uses foreign loanwords quite heavily. This makes Filipino one of the easiest and best languages to learn. But because of its confusing grammatical quirks and untranslatable words, it can also be hard enough to want to make you want to rip your hair out of frustration.

Is Tagalog easy or hard? ›

Tagalog is relatively difficult for English speakers to learn. This is mostly because of major grammatical differences (especially verb-pronoun relationships) and the origins of its vocabulary. However, Tagalog pronunciation and writing are straightforward, and a few grammatical features are refreshingly simple.

Is Tagalog a easy language to learn? ›

Basic Tagalog is rather easy to learn compared to other languages. However, it is quite different from English. It takes some time to get used to the language. Learning Tagalog is much like learning how to drive.

How fast can I learn Tagalog? ›

This depends on several factors. Let's assume that you're fluent in English. In this case, it will take you around 150-200 hours to learn basic Filipino (that is, if you study at least one hour per session on a daily basis).

What is the toughest language? ›


As mentioned before, Mandarin is unanimously considered the most difficult language to master in the world! Spoken by over a billion people in the world, the language can be extremely difficult for people whose native languages use the Latin writing system.

What is the 2 hardest language to speak? ›

The Hardest Languages To Learn For English Speakers
  1. Mandarin Chinese. Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. ...
  2. Arabic. ...
  3. Polish. ...
  4. Russian. ...
  5. Turkish. ...
  6. Danish.
25 Feb 2021

What is the 2nd easiest language? ›

2. Swedish. Our second easiest language to learn also comes from Scandinavia and the Germanic family of languages.

What is the hardest language family? ›

Let's explore the 10 hardest languages for English speakers to learn, and the challenges they deliver:
  1. Mandarin. Mandarin is spoken by 70% of the Chinese population, and is the most spoken language in the world. ...
  2. Arabic. ...
  3. 3. Japanese. ...
  4. Hungarian. ...
  5. Korean. ...
  6. Finnish. ...
  7. Basque. ...
  8. Navajo.
16 Sept 2022

What language is easiest to learn? ›

15 of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers - ranked
  • Frisian. Frisian is thought to be one of the languages most closely related to English, and therefore also the easiest for English-speakers to pick up. ...
  • Dutch. ...
  • Norwegian. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • Portuguese. ...
  • Italian. ...
  • French. ...
  • Swedish.
24 Oct 2021

What are hard Filipino words? ›

Try practicing these words so you could pronounce it properly.
  • Bababa ba? "Going down?" ...
  • Bulaklak "flower" Okay. ...
  • Dumadagundong “rumbling” Dumadagundong meaning “rumbling” ...
  • Di kapani-paniwala "unbelievable" ...
  • Kagilagilalas "astounding" ...
  • Kinakailangan "important" ...
  • Kumukutikutitap "twinkling" ...
  • Mamasamasa "moist"

What is the longest word in Tagalog? ›

The longest known Filipino word in a dictionary is the 32-letter, 14-syllable Pinakanakapagpapabagabag-damdamin, which means "the most emotionally disturbing (or upsetting) thing" from the root bagabag which means "to upset".

What language is most like Tagalog? ›

Tagalog language, member of the Central Philippine branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family and the base for Pilipino, an official language of the Philippines, together with English. It is most closely related to Bicol and the Bisayan (Visayan) languages—Cebuano, Hiligaynon (Ilongo), and Samar.

What language are easy for Filipinos? ›

Spanish. This may not come as a surprise considering how far back our history with the Spaniards goes. That being said, Spanish is perhaps the easiest path to take when starting your language learning journey.

Is Chinese is easy? ›

The language is actually easier to acquire than romance tongues like Spanish or French because Mandarin Chinese shares a similar grammatical system with fewer commonly-used words. There is no conjugation in whatever form. The widely-held view that tones are inscrutable to Westerner ears is a myth.

Is English hard to learn? ›

The English language is widely regarded as one of the most difficult to master. Because of its unpredictable spelling and challenging to learn grammar, it is challenging for both learners and native speakers.

How can I improve my Tagalog skills? ›

5 Ways To Improve Your Filipino Speaking Skills
  1. Read out loud. If you're listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. ...
  2. Prepare things to say ahead of time. ...
  3. Use shadowing (repeat the dialogues as you hear them). ...
  4. Review again and again. ...
17 Sept 2015

Is Tagalog a first language? ›

Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a quarter of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by the majority. Its standardized form, officially named Filipino, is the national language and one of two official languages of the Philippines, the other being English.

How long has Tagalog been spoken? ›

The origins of this language date back to more than 1,000 years ago. Interestingly, Tagalog has changed throughout the years as various countries have influenced the Philippines.

What is oldest language in the world? ›

1. Egyptian – 2690 BC (circa. 4700 years old) The first known language ever was a proto-language on the African continent, and the first known proto-writing system was created in Nigeria. So, it is perhaps no surprise that the oldest language on this list is also from and used in Africa – Egyptian.

What is the 7 hardest language to learn? ›

At the same time, for some other speaker with different characteristics, that same languages will be a lot harder to learn.
7 Most Difficult Languages to Learn for Native English Speakers
  • 1 – Chinese (Mandarin)
  • 2 – Arabic.
  • 3 – Japanese.
  • 4 – Korean.
  • 5 – Hungarian.
  • 6 – Finnish.
  • 7 – Xhosa.
7 Feb 2020

What is the 3rd hardest language to learn? ›

3. Japanese Comes In The List Of Top 10 Hardest Languages To Learn. Belonging to the top 10 hardest languages to learn, Japanese is more comfortable speaking compared to Mandarin, but what makes it exist in this list? Japanese has a wide range of alphabets that need to be learned before writing in this language.

Which language has most words? ›

Korean includes many words of Chinese origin, and borrows words from English and other languages as well. Still, it's a stretch to say that Korean has the most words of any language in the world because one of its dictionaries has over a million headwords.

Can you learn a language while sleeping? ›

Not a lot, unfortunately. As Jennifer Ackerman notes in her splendid 2007 book Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream, learning a language while sleeping “is probably impossible, [and] attempts to teach slumbering adult subjects vocabulary of foreign languages or lists of items have failed miserably.”

Which language is best to learn? ›

The Most Important Languages To Learn In 2021
  1. Mandarin Chinese. With over one billion Mandarin Chinese speakers in the world, of course it tops the list of most important languages to learn in 2021. ...
  2. Spanish. ...
  3. German. ...
  4. French. ...
  5. Arabic. ...
  6. Russian. ...
  7. Portuguese. ...
  8. 8. Japanese.

What is the most softest language? ›

Italian language, or Italiano—as it is commonly known, is a Romance language and one of the languages most people would readily agree on as one of the softest and sweetest languages in existence. The language of revolutionists like Dante da Vinci, and Pavarotti, Italian is spoken by 66 million people globally.

What is the hardest language in the world 2022? ›

Chinese (Mandarin Chinese & Cantonese)

Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese are widely spoken languages, Mandarin being the second most spoken language in the world. They are considered to be some of the hardest languages to learn. This is primarily because of their complex writing systems, which use thousands of characters.

What is the hardest language for a child to learn? ›


Though Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, it has been notorious for being one of, if not the, most difficult language to learn for English speakers.

What are the Top 5 easiest languages? ›

5 easy languages to learn
  • English. It's the most widely spoken language in the world, making practice possible. ...
  • French. French has over 100 million native speakers and is – as the official language in 28 countries – spoken on almost every continent. ...
  • Spanish. ...
  • Italian. ...
  • Swahili.
29 Feb 2016

Which language is closest to English? ›

The closest language to English is one called Frisian, which is a Germanic language spoken by a small population of about 480,000 people. There are three separate dialects of the language, and it's only spoken at the southern fringes of the North Sea in the Netherlands and Germany.

What is the most unpopular language? ›

Also known as Tetawo, the Tanema language is again only spoken by one person, Lainol Nalo, on the island of Vanikoro, in the easternmost province of the Solomon Islands. The population of the island is around 150, most of whom speak the related language of Tetau and speak some Tanema as a second language.

Is English a slow language? ›

' Many students say: “English people speak so fast. I can never understand them.” In fact, English is one of the slowest languages. On average, native speakers use 150 syllables a minute. But Spanish people go along at an amazing 300 syllables a minute. Japanese is another fast language.

What are the top 3 hardest languages to speak? ›

8 Hardest Languages to Learn In The World For English Speakers
  • Mandarin. Number of native speakers: 1.2 billion. ...
  • Icelandic. Number of native speakers: 330,000. ...
  • 3. Japanese. Number of native speakers: 122 million. ...
  • Hungarian. Number of native speakers: 13 million. ...
  • Arabic. Number of native speakers: 221 million. ...
  • Polish.
22 Jan 2021

What is the top 10 easiest language? ›

10 Easiest Languages for English Speakers to Learn
  1. Afrikaans. Like English, Afrikaans is in the West Germanic language family, once thought of as a Dutch dialect. ...
  2. French. Ah, the language of love. ...
  3. Spanish. ...
  4. Dutch. ...
  5. Norwegian. ...
  6. Portuguese. ...
  7. Swedish. ...
  8. Italian.
3 Nov 2022

Can you learn 2 languages at once? ›

Answer: Thankfully, your brain can definitely handle learning two (or more!) languages at once! (Two down, 6,998 to go.) But there are also some ways you can make this linguistic task easier on yourself.

How fast can you learn a language? ›

The correct answer is: “it depends,” but you probably already knew that. The next and most accurate answer is that it can take anywhere between three months to two years to learn how to speak, write, and read in a new language fluently.

Is there an F sound in Filipino? ›

F, J, V, and Z represent sounds that are native to Philippine languages, in spoken or written form, while they may not be present in Tagalog and other “major” languages (of this later).

How do you say lazy in the Philippines? ›

English:You're so lazy. Tagalog:Ang tamad mo! English:The child is lazy. Tagalog:Tamad ang bata.

What is the shortest word? ›

The shortest word is a. Some might wonder about the word I since it consists of one letter, too. In sound, a is shorter because it is a monophthong (consists of one vowel), while I is a diphthong.

How long will it take to learn Tagalog? ›

According to their research, Tagalog is a Category III language and takes a total of 1100 hours to learn. That means Tagalog is more difficult to learn than French, Italian, or Spanish!

What is the hardest Tagalog word to pronounce? ›

Try practicing these words so you could pronounce it properly.
  • Dumadagundong “rumbling” ...
  • Di kapani-paniwala "unbelievable" ...
  • Kagilagilalas "astounding" ...
  • Kinakailangan "important" ...
  • Kumukutikutitap "twinkling" ...
  • Mamasamasa "moist" ...
  • Misteryoso "mysterious" Next one is Misteryoso meaning “mysterious” ...
  • Patalastas "commercial"

What are the basic Tagalog words? ›

Here are some common Tagalog words and phrases to get your started:
  • Hello (informal) = Musta.
  • Hello (formal) = Kumusta.
  • What is your name? (informal) = Anong pangalan mo?
  • What is your name? (formal) = Ano po ang pangalan nila?
  • Nice to meet you = Kinagagalak kong makilala ka.
  • Good morning (informal) = Magandang umaga.

How old is the Tagalog language? ›

The origins of this language date back to more than 1,000 years ago. Interestingly, Tagalog has changed throughout the years as various countries have influenced the Philippines.

What is the longest Filipino word? ›

The longest known Filipino word in a dictionary is the 32-letter, 14-syllable Pinakanakapagpapabagabag-damdamin, which means "the most emotionally disturbing (or upsetting) thing" from the root bagabag which means "to upset".

What is the longest word in English Tagalog? ›

The longest word in Tagalog, according to the Guinness World Records, is Pinakanakapagpapabagabag-damdamin, which is a verb meaning to cause great distress or annoyance.

What is the Tagalog word for words? ›

sinabi - [noun] word; words; said 4 Example Sentences Available » more...

What do you say to a Filipina girl? ›

Tagalog Love Phrases
  • Mahal Kita (Common) / Iniibig Kita (Poetic)
  • Gusto Kita.
  • Gagawin Ko Ang Lahat Para Sa'yo.
  • May Gusto Ako Sa'yo.
  • Nandito Lang Ako Para Aa'yo.
  • Kailangan Kita.
  • Ikaw Lang Ang Gusto Ko.
  • Kulang Ako Kung Wala Ka.
12 Oct 2021

Is Tagalog a real language? ›

Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken by the Tagalog people, who represent a quarter of the population of the Philippines. While Filipino is the official language, Tagalog is also spoken as a second language in the Philippines by the rest of the population.

Why do Filipinos always say po? ›

Aside from this, you can hear in the Philippines saying “po” and “opo.” These are the words that Filipinos are using to show their respect when talking to elders and/or to someone that they respect. They usually punctuate or end a usual sentence in a conversation.

What is the meaning of Ukinam? ›

"Ukinnam" means I love you.

Do Filipinos hug? ›

Among women, a smile and a hand wave is the usual greeting. Close friends and family may accompany a handshake with a pat on the back. Females may hug and kiss to greet each other. Typically, people greet each other by saying, 'kumusta kayo' ('how are you?


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