Spoken by over 28 million people around the world, Tagalog is the national language and one of two official languages in the Philippines, the other being English. Tagalog is also referred to and currently known as Filipino. It is considered the most important of the numerous tongues and dialects throughout the Philippines, because it is understood the greatest and has developed the most. It is mainly spoken in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and the surrounding eight provinces around it including the provinces of Bataan, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite Batangas, Quezon, Mindoro, Marinduque, and Bulacan. It is also spoken in multiple outer-lying islands and seaport towns throughout the archipelago. Today, Tagalog is spoken as a first language by around 23 million people and as a second language by over 66 million people.
Tagalog is ones of the many dialects derived from the Malay language family and belongs to the Malayan branch of the great Malayo-Polynesian linguistic family. The Malay language is not specifically a language of any nation, but of communities spread throughout the Pacific islands such as Sumara, Sunda, Java, Bornea, Flores, Timor, and the Philippines. In the early sixteenth century Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, and his Malay interpreter both noticed how the interpreter could easily be understood from one island to the next, indicating that there was a similarity between the different dialects of the Malay language.
Tagalog can attribute the majority of its influence from the Spanish, but it does contain some minor influences of Sanskrit, Arabic, and some other Semitic languages. Found in the oldest dictionaries in the Philippines, the Noceda and Sanlucar dictionary of 1832 contains 16,842 roots in Tagalog with 284 of these words being derived from Sanskrit. During a short period of time before 1450 to 1500, Mohammedan religion and Arabic had a slight influence on Tagalog. Some Tagalog contains Arabic words. Spanish has greatly influenced the Tagalog language, containing numerous amounts of words that can be thoroughly naturalized. Surprisingly, English, Japanese, and Chinese have contributed either few or none to the Tagalog language.
BASIC GRAMMAR STRUCTURE
In the Tagalog language, there are sixteen consonant sounds, five vowels sounds, and six diphthongs. The syllables are either stressed (’) or unstressed. Stress in Tagalog is usually in the last two syllables of the word. The Tagalog consonants are b, d, k, g, h, l, m, n, ng, ’, p, r, s, t, w, and y. ‘Ng’ represents the velar nasal sound and ’ represents the glottal stop. The glottal stop represented by ’ is a key feature of the Tagalog language, because the absence or presence of it as the final sound may have a difference in meaning. The velar nasal sound, ‘ng’, is difficult for most non-native speakers to pronounce, because the initial position of the syllable is not common found in most languages. Most may substitute the...