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The difference between Tagalog and Filipino language in the Phils.


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Even some native speakers in the Philippines do not know somehow that there are difference between Tagalog and Filipino.

Most of the time Tagalog is being associated as the national language of the Phils. but this is actually not correct. The official language of the Phils. is actually Filipino and Tagalog is the native dialect of the Tagalog ethnic group, this group is based in the provinces of Central and Southern Luzon. It was true, that this native language was declared as the official language way back then, but lost its officiality in 1897. The new and latest constitution declared Filipino as the official and national language of the country. 

Although, it is hard even myself to exactly point out the difference between the two. It is clear that if you would be asked what is the official language of the Philippines, you would not say next time- Tagalog, rather your response would be, Filipino.

Edited by multilingo
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The problem with having a national language in a country as big and diverse in the Philippines is that it sidesteps many of the languages present here. In some cases, it could even cause hostilty--I have a friend from Cebu who shared that some Cebuanos aren't too receptive of Filipino speakers, mainly because it's just Tagalog given a fancy title. There so many languages worthy of mentioning and giving value, like Bisaya, Chavacano, Ilocano. Having a national language is convenient, yes, but we mustn't forget about all the other beautiful languages we have.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's interesting, I have a friend from Mindanao who speaks Cebuano and he tells me that most people in his hometown try to avoid speaking Tagalog unless absolutely necessary. He says that most of his Cebuano speaking family and friends regard Filipino as nothing more than "glorified Tagalog" :)

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I think I actually made a suggestion to rename this subforum to Study Filipino instead of Study Tagalog. But they probably thought I was wrong. To be honest though, I'm not surprise or disappointed. I can't blame them. Even many Filipinos are not aware that our national language is called Filipino, so what more if you're from another country and is used to referring to Philippines national language as Tagalog.

I think teaching Filipino in school is not very important, but at least teach the students here that our national language is Filipino and not Tagalog.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 17.11.2015, 15:09:42, Looper said:

I think I actually made a suggestion to rename this subforum to Study Filipino instead of Study Tagalog. But they probably thought I was wrong. To be honest though, I'm not surprise or disappointed. I can't blame them. Even many Filipinos are not aware that our national language is called Filipino, so what more if you're from another country and is used to referring to Philippines national language as Tagalog.

I think teaching Filipino in school is not very important, but at least teach the students here that our national language is Filipino and not Tagalog.

I absolutely get you here. You can not really blame anyone, but I think, those who know exactly the difference would take the chance to educate people about its difference. That way, atleast we can inform some or say many in the process. 

About the suggestion, I think that is really not a bad idea, I am sure if the admin would read this, they would consider it again. What can you say Admin team ;-) 

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I agree with you. But even some Filipinos do not know that. As to the differences, I think Tagalog has more difficult words. I remember a friend from Lucena City who would say words I don't even understand. I was born and raised in Metro Manila. But then, I am not even sure if the language I know is the official Filipino language. I just know that both my husband and I, having been from the same city in Metro Manila, understand each other perfectly well. We do not use words unfamiliar to each other. But friends like the one from Lucena, or others from Batangas, Bulacan, they sometimes use words I've just heard for the first time so I have to ask what it meant. At times, I know what they mean; it's just that it's used differently where I'm from.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/17/2015, 10:09:42, Looper said:

I think teaching Filipino in school is not very important, but at least teach the students here that our national language is Filipino and not Tagalog.

Why would teaching Filipino in school not be important though? That's a completely different topic altogether.

As for the thread, in theory, I agree that Tagalog and Filipino are not the same since the former is the language of the people hailing from Tagalog regions, whereas the latter is Tagalog + bits and pieces of words from other languages in the Philippines to create our national language.

In practice though, the Filipino language is 90% Tagalog so I can understand why people don't bother differentiating the two. In schools, the subject isn't called Tagalog, it's called Filipino but outside, I would prefer it if people mention what the Filipino language being taught is because the Philippines has 127 living languages, and "Filipino" doesn't properly encompass them all. Here in Linguaholic for instance, if this subforum will be changed to "Study Filipino", then there should be sections for Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, etc since those are some of the most common language in the country. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

I think that Tagalog is the Filipino word for the official language in the Philippines which is "Filipino". Filipino is the English term for it. It's like the Greek language being called Ellinika by Greek speakers. Tagalog ethnic group are the main speakers of the Tagalog language which is the official language of the country. Filipino is an english term for the subject, the people and the language, as I remember that the letter "F" is not included in the Filipino alphabet. In tagalog, Pilipino is the term for the people and tagalog is for the language. 

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  • 2 months later...

A similar debate has been raging on and off in Malaysia for decades. The official language is Malay, originally known as 'Bahasa Melayu'. 'Bahasa' simply means language (yes, it's derived from Sanskrit), so the word means 'the Malay language'. When Malaysia became an independent nation, the official language was renamed 'Bahasa Malaysia' (Malaysian language) instead. 

Some purists claimed that the original name should be retained while others say that 'Bahasa Malaysia' belongs to all Malaysians and not just to the majority Malay ethnic group. The debate rages on.

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