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Languages---Which One is More Useful, Tagalog or Visayan?

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Kaku

Like all things in life you should have a goal before beginning a project like learning a new language. Ask yourself what do you want to be able to accomplish with this new language? Fluency is an in tangible target. it'd like asking how high is high? I know native english speaking people who I wouldn't consider "fluent" in the english language. If you want to learn enough of the language to be able to greet people properly, tell your girl friend she's beautiful, understand simple directions, barter prices or order food from a street vendor, you're much more likely to obtain your goal. If your goal is to be able to discuss philiosophy in a foreign language you're in for a boat load of disappointment.

Edited by Kaku
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ArieBombarie

Skyman's got it right. The easiest language is the one you started first. But that doesn't make learning the other easier and in fact maybe harder. I was in a Cebuano class with Skyman and I was constanly using Tagalog words and being reprimanded by the teacher. Regardless, ones chances of fluency with either one after the age of 50 is slim to none and Slim left for Bangkok.

As director of the RAO I met several Kano that spoke Cebuano and I would always ask Ron, the office mngr if they spoke it really good. Not so, was her reply. Of course that shouldn't stop anyone from trying. I think Filipinos appreciate hearing a Kano trying. Quite often I get laughed at but it is always good humor.

John

 

yes as an icebreaker it is always usefull and if you settle in an area it is just polite to at least try but the OP gives little context and sounds quite fresh to the place so in that case I would not start any local language courses

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SkyMan

Like all things in life you should have a goal before beginning a project like learning a new language. Ask yourself what do you want to be able to accomplish with this new language? Fluency is an in tangible target. it'd like asking how high is high? I know native english speaking people who I wouldn't consider "fluent" in the english language. If you want to learn enough of the language to be able to greet people properly, tell your girl friend she's beautiful, understand simple directions, barter prices or order food from a street vendor, you're much more likely to obtain your goal. If your goal is to be able to discuss philiosophy in a foreign language you're in for a boat load of disappointment.

You bring up a good point that you aren't truly fluent until you can write complete dictionary and an all encompassing grammar instruction. There are occasionally English words used, even on this forum, I have to Google. But I think if you can carry on a half hour conversion with locals without them having to help you with an English translation or two (unless it's some name of a type of bird or plant or some colloquialism) then you're doing darned good. Hardly enough to run for political office or take a technical or scientific class (if there were any taught in Visayan) but good enough to be considered, in my opinion, fluent.

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Jim Sibbick

Mailman I will beg to differ. Tagalog is the national language. Cebuanos understand it and speak it reasonably well, although with a very discernible accent detectable by native Tagalog Speakers! If you learn Tagalog, not matter where you go in the Phils, you will make out OK. And after you know Tagalog, you are almost halfway there to learning Bisaya!

Obviously that is your experience so your statement is true for you.

 

However, my experience is different.

 

Many of my ex wifes relatives can't speak Tagalog at all.

 

It has been my experience that Filipinos from different regions will sometimes speak in English to each other because that is their only common language.

 

I also had an experience at Xmas time where 2 Filipinos who have Tagalog for a second language could not understand each other while trying to converse in Tagalog, So gave up and started speaking English to each other.

 

So, i am thinking that if 2 Filipinos can't understand each other in Tagalog, what chance does a foreigner have!

 

For me, I am happy with Bisaya!

 

 

Regards; Jim

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Paul

I am not going to get into fluency, ease to learn, etc. But, what I will say, is this.

 

Tagalog is ONLY so widely known, because it is forced on Filipinos in school, otherwise they will not graduate. No other language in this country, of the eight (8) primary languages, are even taught in school - that I know of, anyway.

 

Cebuano, no matter what others may say, is used on a daily basis, and by more people throughout the country. Additionally, many Filipinos, who speak Cebuano / Bisaya anyway, will rarely ever use Tagalog. If they are watching a show in Tagalog, they will still communicate amongst themselves in their local language / dialect. Because of this, I have seen some Filipinos lose their ability to speak Tagalog (fluently), only retaining enough to get by on. In short, they don't use it - because they don't need it.

 

Yes, if you go to a given area as I have just returned from (Bacolod), Cebuano / Bisaya is mostly useless, with the exception of meeting Filipinos from other areas who may work there. (I met a number of Cebuano speaking Filipinos in Bacolod, recently.) Davao City is a good example. Most Filipinos there would speak Bisaya rather than Tagalog. But, the city government forces businesses to communicate in Tagalog to customers, rather than Bisaya. They basically cater to the Tagalogs. In my opinion, Tagalogs should have to learn Cebuano. But, that is solely my opinion, which, as a foreigner here, means very little.

 

I have been learning Cebuano for almost ten years, although focusing on it more so during some times than others, I will admit. When I first began learning Cebuano, I was also learning Tagalog simultaneously. This, most definitely, did not work for me. There are a number of words which sound the same, are spelled the same, but have completely different meanings. This was too confusing.

 

So, go with Mailman's suggestion, as it is right on the money. (I did not read any other replies as I am just home and trying to catch up on posts now.)

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Ba-i

Tagalog is a benefit. Knowing that Tagalog is almost synonymous to our National Language, this means that this is mostly the spoken language from Luzon to Mindanao. How true is this? - Well, since Filipino is Tagalog-based and Filipino is part of the Subject taught at school from Pre-school to the College Level, most Filipino would understand this and will be able to communicate in this manner. IMHO

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Mang Kanor

i beg to disagree on you Ba-i, tagalog is not the widely spoken language in the Philippines, people do understand but can't speak the dialect very well.

Edited by Aldin
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Ba-i

i beg to disagree on you Ba-i, tagalog is not the widely spoken language in the Philippines, people do understand but can't speak the dialect very well.

 

 

Filipino is widely spoken since it is our National language. And Filipino (subject) is part of our curriculum from pre-school up to the tertiary. And since Filipino is Tagalog-based, it is therefore right to state that from Luzon to Mindanao, unless they are out of school youth or people who had not went to school would understand Tagalog. Visayan language is not that widely spoken.

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Baywak

OO is OO no matter where you go.Puckering your lips and moving them upwards is the same everywhere.Neurotic eyelid movements that will get you dizzy is the same everywhere. :D

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Mang Kanor

 

 

unless they are out of school youth or people who had not went to school would understand Tagalog. Visayan language is not that widely spoken.

 

whch is why tagalog isn't the most widely spoken language. out of 80/90 million filipinos, how many percent went to school?

go outside manila and see if people do speak tagalog in their day to day conversation, I highly doubt.

even those highly educated people outside manila wont speak tagalog unless needed.

people do understand but have a hard time speaking the language.

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Easyrider

I believe English is the most widely spoken language in the Philippines. Regardless of which language is spoken in your area, English is spoken by many of the people too. English is taught in elementry and high school and the books are in English except for a couple which are in Filipino.

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Headshot

The simple fact is that if those around you want to converse in something other than English, they will likely use the local language. For most people in the Visayas and eastern Mindanao, that would be some dialect of Bisayan. Therefore, if you want to understand what is going on around you on a day-to-day basis, Bisayan is the language you want to learn. If you want to understand what is being said on Philippine TV and in the Filipino movies, then learn Tagalog.

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Rogersea

I was first introduced to Tagalog many years ago and still retain many of the words I learned.

 

My limited Cebuano allows me to be able to purchase something in the store, restaurant or when traveling. In my opinion, if your going to be spending your time in Cebu/Bohol/Negros/Southern Leyte/Siquijor or much of Mindanao popular with expats Bisayan is the best choice for being able to speak with folks on the street.

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spooks

In my business dealings in Mindanao it was a bit of an event for my Bisayan speaking staff to communicate with Luzon visitors. Sometimes my staff did it on purpose as they got pissed being told to speak Tagalog,,,not Filipino by guys form Manila!! My staff preferred English as a second language and would at times to do this with Luzon visitors I am sure just for the mischief of it. The poorer educated ones , sadly too many do not speak or understand Tagalog or English they are only comfortable in local dialect, TV channels are in local dialect so need for Tagalog etc

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Ba-i

 

whch is why tagalog isn't the most widely spoken language. out of 80/90 million filipinos, how many percent went to school?

go outside manila and see if people do speak tagalog in their day to day conversation, I highly doubt.

even those highly educated people outside manila wont speak tagalog unless needed.

people do understand but have a hard time speaking the language.

 

 

The highly educated person here adapts to whatever language they have to use depending on who their intended listener or who the receiver is. As far as going somewhere and observing how people converse to the local of their own place, well you will for sure hear them speak in their own native dialect :D I am a visayan but people from Cebu will have a hard time understanding what we are saying. there maybe a few words that is quite the same but really the truth is even is people are Visayan, there are still specific dialect that each applies to each region. Talk to people in Cebu or anywhere inthe visayas using other visayan words and they would sometimes have a hard time picking up what you are saying. However, talk to them in FIlipino and most mabe not all would understand you.

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