Filipino and English are two official languages in the Philippines, but Filipino is the national language of this country. According to a survey in 2019, there were 45 million habitants who speak Filipino among 108.2 Philippines population. Hence, if you want to get to know more about this Asian country and its languages, here are some interesting Filipino language facts that might surprise you.
Filipino and Tagalog are not the same
Many people assume that Filipino is the same as Tagalog, however, they are two different languages. While Filipino is widely spoken at the national level, Tagalog is mostly used in Central Luzon. Since 1897, Tagalog was the official language, however, this changed to Filipinos in 1987.
A foreigner influenced the establishment of a native national language
In 1924, Najeeb Saleeby, a Lebanese naturalized American citizen serving the U.S to teach self-government to the Filipinos, suggested the institution of a national language from one of the available languages that are spoken in the country. He was against the use of English as the medium of instruction in the Philippines and encouraged Tagalog. The reason is that he believed that it has more advantages than other local languages and Tagalog is related to a lot of Philippines heroes and used in the national capital, Manila. However, the request was not approved since many regional representatives against it. They wanted Spanish and English remained to be the official language of the Philippines.
One-third of the Filipino word derives from Spanish
About 33% of the Filipino words originated from Spanish as a result of more than 300 years of colonization. One of the most obvious heritage in language is how Filipinos name their month: January – Enero (Enero), Febuary – Pebrero (Febrero), March – Marso (Marzo), April – Abril (Abril), May – Mayo (Mayo), June – Hunyo (Junio), July – Hulyo (Julio), August – Agosto (Agosto), September – Setyembre (Septiembre), October – Oktubre (Octubre), November – Nobyembre (Noviembre) and December – Disyembre (Diciembre). The same applies to the days of the week, namely, Monday – Lunes (Lunes), Tuesday – Martes (Martes), Wednesday – Miyerkoles (Miércoles), Thursday – Huwebes (Jueves), Friday – Biyernes (Viernes), and Saturday – Sabado (Sábado).
The Filipino language is the identity of Filipinos
As a result of history, the Philippines have been influenced by colonizers, which lead to the nation’s mix, or even loss of identity. However, no matter how many languages are taught in this Asia country, Filipino is a unique language and a manifestation that reflect the Filipinos’ identity.
Many people find Filipino is a tongue twister language, the reason might be because of the influences from other languages. However, Filipino is an interesting language and if you know more fascinating Filipino language facts, don’t hesitate to comment below!