What’s Your Name?

The Tagalog word for ‘name’ is pangalan.

Ano ang pangalan mo?

Combine the first two words in conversation:

Anong pangalan mo?
What’s your name? (casual)

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‘Happy Birthday’

The Tagalog word for ‘birthday’ is kaarawan.

The traditional way of greeting a Filipino a happy birthday is to say:

Maligayang Bati

Maligayang Bati
Maligayang Bati

This means “Happy Wishes” or “Joyful Greetings” but it’s understood to be referring to one’s birthday.

With the influence of English, most Filipinos translate the phrase “Happy Birthday” literally and these days say…

Maligayang Kaarawan!
Happy Birthday!

Maligayang Bati sa Iyong Kaarawan!
Happy Wishes on Your Birthday!

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How to Swear in Tagalog

The Tagalog word

puta literally means ‘whore’ but is used as an expletive to express anger or frustration like ‘fuck’ in English.

Anak ng puta!
Son of a bitch!
– sounds more extreme in Tagalog than in English

Putang ina mo!
Your mother’s a whore!
– contraction of puta ang ina mo
– the strongest way to express anger at someone
– something like ‘Fuck you!’

Tangina!
– contraction of Putang ina mo, but different usage
– this is more like an expletive like ‘Damn’ or ‘Fuck’

Tangina mo!
Fuck you!

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The 5 Basic Tagalog Greetings

The Tagalog word maganda means ‘beautiful’ but it is used as the equivalent of the English ‘good’ in greetings. It is common for Filipinos to greet each other with the phrase “Beautiful Day!”

Magandang araw.
Beautiful day ~

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‘Do You Understand?’

The English word ‘understand’ can be translated into Tagalog in at least two ways:

intindi
understand

unawa
comprehend

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The Most Basic Tagalog Vocabulary

 
Magandang umaga.
Good morning.
 
 
Magandang araw.
Beautiful Day!
 
 
Magandang hapon.
Good afternoon.
 
 
Paalam.
Goodbye.
 
 
Magandang gabi.
Good evening.
 
 
Teka.
Wait.
 
Kamusta?
How are you?
 
 
Ingat ka.
Take care.
 
 
Mabuti.
Fine.
 
 
Ikaw rin.
You too.
 
 
Salamat.
Thank you.
 
 
Tara na.
Let’s go. (to leave)
 
Walang anuman.
Don’t mention it.
 
Oo.
Yes.

Hindi.
No.
 
Sandali lang.
Wait a moment.
 
Ewan ko.
I don’t know.
 
Mamaya.
Later.
Paumanhin.
Sorry.

“That’s Life” in Tagalog

buhay
life

buhay sa Pilipinas
life in the Philippines

buhay sa Amerika
life in America

Ganyan talaga ang buhay.
That’s the way life is.

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‘What Time is It?’ in Tagalog

Adding po makes it polite!

Anong oras na po?
What time is it?
(speaking to older people)

Ano?
What?

Anong…
What…

oras
time

na
now / already

Anong oras na?
What time is it?
(casual)

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