g2narat

My Indonesian friend isn't having a hard time learning Tagalog...

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I guess it's understandable that neighboring countries learn each other's languages easily. A perfect example of this is my Indonesian friend who didn't take any formal classes to learn Tagalog. He's only been in the Philippines for a couple of months but he can already converse well. It helps that a lot of the Indonesian and Tagalog words are the same like anak, sukat, tali, sakit to name a few. Have you or a friend had a similar experience with a neighboring country?

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I think the similar accents and cultures help a lot. People from neighboring countries probably already feel very at home with the environment and culture of the countries surrounding them and the language already sounds similar so it's probably not as hard as learning something from the other end of the spectrum. I've never tried myself but I have heard the similar tones when I travelled to nearby countries in Asia.

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I guess it's understandable that neighboring countries learn each other's languages easily. A perfect example of this is my Indonesian friend who didn't take any formal classes to learn Tagalog. He's only been in the Philippines for a couple of months but he can already converse well. It helps that a lot of the Indonesian and Tagalog words are the same like anak, sukat, tali, sakit to name a few. Have you or a friend had a similar experience with a neighboring country?

True! I had officemates before who were Indonesians and they told me that we had a lot of common words. We used to ask one another what words we call certain things and indeed, we have a lot in common. I found out that before the Spanish colonized the Philippines, we shared a lot of ties with them such as economic, historical, cultural and even genetic.

We also share the same words with Malaysia. When my family and I went there, we noted some of these similar words like our bato (stone) is batu to them, pinto (door) is their pintu, payong (umbrella) is payung to them, lambot (soft) is lembut to them and many other similar words.

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True! I had officemates before who were Indonesians and they told me that we had a lot of common words. We used to ask one another what words we call certain things and indeed, we have a lot in common. I found out that before the Spanish colonized the Philippines, we shared a lot of ties with them such as economic, historical, cultural and even genetic.

We also share the same words with Malaysia. When my family and I went there, we noted some of these similar words like our bato (stone) is batu to them, pinto (door) is their pintu, payong (umbrella) is payung to them, lambot (soft) is lembut to them and many other similar words.

Yeah. I think it has a lot to do with the cultural/historical/geographical similarities. We have to ba careful with those similarities though. We have some words that are the same but mean different things. Our word for white means something completely different for the Nepalese. As for Indonesians, don't ask them to say their word for fart. What is innocent farting to them has a completely different meaning in Tagalog.  :wacky:

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I'm not surprised your friend found it easy to learn the language! Apart from being close geographically and sharing historical culture, the languages themselves are very close to each other, both being of Austronesian (or Malayo-Polynesian) language family and sharing many similar words, or similar-sounding words. The phonetics tend to be similar too so it's easy for someone fluent in one language to learn the other.

I also have a friend who was able to learn Indonesian in about three months! I was so surprised but she told me retention was very easy because of the inherent similarities between the languages. :)

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I used to have a Chinese acquaintance that arrived here in the Philippines at the age of 8. I met her when she was 20 years old, and she was already fluent with our language although she doesn't understand some words that aren't normally used in everyday informal conversations. I guess when you are surrounded with people that speak Tagalog or any other language then it's much easier to absorb it. That's why I think that immersion is the best way for learning a new language aside form hiring a teacher.

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On 1/12/2014, 4:54:15, g2narat said:

I guess it's understandable that neighboring countries learn each other's languages easily. A perfect example of this is my Indonesian friend who didn't take any formal classes to learn Tagalog. He's only been in the Philippines for a couple of months but he can already converse well. It helps that a lot of the Indonesian and Tagalog words are the same like anak, sukat, tali, sakit to name a few. Have you or a friend had a similar experience with a neighboring country?

Also gunting (scissors). But the indonesian language has a different alphabet, right? 

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I remember when I used to watch MTV Asia as a teenager and I would always hear how the Indonesian VJs speak in their own mother tongue. There are indeed a lot of similarities when it comes to the Indonesian and Filipino language. Maybe that's why your Indonesian friend didn't find it hard to learn the Filipino language. :)

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When I was confined in hospital for a few days, I recall this Indonesian doctor who was one of those who checked my progress.  He can understand Tagalog very well, and even studied medicine in the Philippines.  His classmates got along very well with him as they learned more about his background. It came as a surprise that I have heard of him as one of the hospital's resident specialists.  He even chatted with my father about his Indonesian lineage,

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I'm enjoying all the Spanish and English loanwords. I'll be visiting the Philippines after only 3.5 months of study, so it will be interesting to see how easy it really is.

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