Tagalog is the basis of the Filipino national language.
When you ask a native of the Philippines what the country's official language is, the answer will be English and Filipino. That is decreed in the country's Constitution and that is what is taught in schools.
Highly educated Filipinos are very compulsive about making a distinction between the Tagalog language and the Filipino language. A Tagalog sentence has few borrowings from English and Spanish, while a Filipino sentence liberally uses English- and Spanish-derived words, as well as words and expressions from other Philippine languages, such as Cebuano, Ilocano, and Kapampangan.
Since 2002, the aim of this website has been to help foreigners converse with the average Filipino who naturally mixes Tagalog with words from English, Spanish, and other Philippine languages.
HOW TO PRONOUNCE "TAGALOG"
Matutong magsalita ng Tagalog.
Learn to speak Tagalog.
Dito sa "Tagalog Lang."
Here at "Tagalog Lang."
Don't pronounce "Tagalog" like the English word 'tagalong' -- No!
WHAT IS TAGALOG?
(natives living by the river)
Tagalog refers to a people and to their language.
1. The Tagalogs (the Tagalog people) live in Manila and nearby areas.
2. The Tagalog language is the basis of the Filipino national language.
Ask a native of the Philippines if the country's official language is Tagalog, and the answer will be "No, it's not Tagalog, but Filipino." This is because that is what the law says and that is what is drilled in the educational system.
A foreigner who says that the Philippine national language is "Tagalog" may offend politically conscious Filipinos from other parts of the country where Tagalog is not the first language. Cebuano, Kapampangan, Ilocano and such are NOT mere dialects of Tagalog -- they are completely distinct LANGUAGES that are very different from each other.
Tagalog and Cebuano are as different as Spanish is from French, if not more so. The same goes with Kapampangan, Ilocano, and other languages spoken in the Philippines, a country of diverse geography with more than 7,000 islands.