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Tagalog vs. Cebuano


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BlancoDiablo

What sage advice would the more experienced forum members give in regards which language to learn before I move to Cebu?

 

My thinking is, nearly all Filipinos know Tagalog...right...

 

 

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Paul

True. But, it isn't necessarily what they know. It's what they speak. Most Filipinos, who are NOT Tagalogs, would prefer to speak their own language. Cebuanos would prefer, in most cases, to do the same. 

 

Tagalog is not used in Cebu like you may think it to be. 

 

Keep in mind, now, they are forced to learn it in school. Even while watching Tagalog shows, Cebuanos still speak Cebuano.

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NOSOCALPINOY

When we were in Cebu for a short vacation a few months ago, a lot of the waiters and or waitresses would mainly speak in Cebuano to us, but when our friends tell them that we're from Luzon, they would switch over to speaking Tagalog and same goes with most of the taxi drivers we used to around Cebu and also at the airport, they would do the same when we talk to them in Tagalog. Tagalog is pretty much used all over the different regions in the Philippines, except for those isolated areas not exposed to Tagalog and or English. 

So, when in Cebu, try to learn a little bit of both Cebuano and Tagalog so it won't be a Tagalog vs Cebuano controversy! Me personally, I do not not know any Cebuano and Tagalog has worked for me almost anywhere in the region of Luzon and got by in Cebu, because the people there were most accommodating to speak Tagalog to us.   

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contraman

I only speak French and English, But get by just fine in Cebu.

I have found in the shops that most understand and want to speak English.

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Melissa Mae

What sage advice would the more experienced forum members give in regards which language to learn before I move to Cebu?

 

My thinking is, nearly all Filipinos know Tagalog...right...

While I'm not an experienced forum member yet, I grew up and still live one half of the year in the Visayas and I would suggest anyone wanting to live here to learn Cebuana. You will be better understood.

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Skywalker

Tagalog is the lingua franca for the Philippines, like Mandarin is to the Chinese.  

 

It's the Country's official language, as well as English.

 

My filipino friends tell me that there are literally hundreds of dialects.  I live in Cebu City, and I've never encountered a situation where I wasn't able to be understood.  But it is also true that I am rarely alone.  My filipino close friends are very happy when I speak to their kids in my British English, because they know that a good command of the English language will help enormously when they are looking for employment, post education.

 

I don't have the inclination or the patience to learn another language.  Good luck.

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Paul

 

 

My filipino friends tell me that there are literally hundreds of dialects.

 

Take a look here.

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Monsoon

Why not learn both? If you want to get a foundation for the language, start with Tagalog or Binisaya, or Cebuano even. "What!?!" You might say? WTF I just want to pick a language? Well, its not that easy here in the Philippines. IF you want to understand the differences - try Google - you will learn a lot!

 

 The first Filipino language I started to learn was Cebuano. That is only because I landed in Cebu and lived there for a while. Later on I moved to Luzon for my work. I quickly learned that although many (most actually) people in Luzon understand Binisaya because they are from the Visayas region - I wanted to communicate like a native so I learned Tagalog. I now speak pretty good Tagalog. My wife calls me fluent - but I know I still have so much to learn. I would say I am 60% there - people tell me I am 80% there - Eh, semantics. There are times when I converse with Filipinos and my wife will sit back in amazement that I am able to say and pronounce things in such a way that she is very surprised. In fact, I need to sometimes be careful - because my wife was my primary teacher of Tagalog - so she is sometimes curious how I might learn certain new phrases or perfect certain annunciation. (When you go to work with 300 Tagalog speakers every day, you learn something - at least that is my official story and I'm sticking to it!)

 

 I still retain some of the foundation of what I first learned here. In fact, I took my wife to the Visayas (Cebu) for the first time in her life several year ago, and we both got into the back of a taxi and the driver naturally looked towards my wife and asked her where are we going? I was the one to answer him in Cebuano. He was shocked, took a double take and along the way proceeded to ask me, "Sir, what kind of Filipino are you?" 

 

That was a compliment to me. 

 

He knew I was no native Cebuano, but nonetheless I knew more about the language than my Filipina wife. My wife is from Luzon. They don't learn Binisaya in school up there. Yet, so many of our friends originate from the Visayas region. In fact, it was just a few weeks ago - we were out to dinner with some very good friends of ours and two of the girls there are from the Visayas. They are native Binisaya speakers (technically neither are Cebuano speakers) - but nonetheless both were speaking to eachother in Tagalog. I found this fascinating, and asked them, "Why?" 

 

"We are practicing our Tagalog." was the answer. 

 

The short answer to your question is, regardless of where you are in the Philippines, they will understand Tagalog. If you can seriously hope to be in only one region of the Philippines for the duration of your stay, then why not perfect the appropriate dialect. I know I would give it my best shot. 

 

But please - whatever you do - aspire to do more than most kanos do - please try to learn more than a few cute catch phrases and whatever you do - please try to pronounce what you do learn like a native speaker. It means a lot and no matter what any kano might try to tell you - it does matter. 

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Jim Sibbick

What sage advice would the more experienced forum members give in regards which language to learn before I move to Cebu?

 

My thinking is, nearly all Filipinos know Tagalog...right...

Several years ago, I conducted my own mini survey of Bisaya speakers..

 

I asked them do all your Filipino friends and relatives speak Tagalog to which the reply was 100 percent NO

 

I asked them did they want foreigners speaking to them in Tagalog. That was nearly 100 percent no. The only person who said yes was a driver on Bohol who said it is was his job.

 

I asked them if they wanted foreigners speaking to them in Bisaya. It was a mixed result. But mainly came down to yes, if you could speak the language otherwise, just speak in English.

 

My own personal experience on Leyte is that no one speaks Tagalog in everyday conversation. Most of my ex wife's family do not speak Tagalog. I do not know about my girlfriends family but I know her son is not very good at speaking it but he does speak English very well.. 

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Headshot

Not everyone's brain is wired to learn languages easily...and as you grow older, the ability to learn languages decreases (connections disappear in the brain if not used). Also, if you learn multiple languages when you are very young (baby to small child), you are more likely to be able to pick up additional languages later on. Most Americans have a hard time with picking up new languages because the only language they heard from birth was English. I learned Spanish when I was a young adult, but it seems impossible for me to learn Bisayan (Cebuano is just a dialect) now. I have tried, but I seem to forget words faster than I learn them. My brain is able to understand many words when I hear them, but isn't able to formulate a reply in Bisayan. Oh well...at least I still know how to speak English.

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Salty Dog

The-Universal-Language-Best-Demotivational-Posters.jpg

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ILoveCyrus

It's all GREEK.............to me

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