Hard to understand - 181 languages for one country
The official language on the Philippines is Filipino. Filipino is based on Tagalog, which is mainly spoken on the island Luzon. About 80% of the population speak and understand Filipino. In the whole insular state there exist many different dialects.

Next to Tagalog in the North you can find e.g. Cebuano (spoken in the region around Cebu), Ilokano or Ilonggo. The 2nd official language is English. It's pretty easy to communicate in English in almost every situation (taxi, hotel, market). Locals very often mix English words with Tagalog (=Taglish). Mainly numbers are used in English. In some regions in the North they also use Spanish numbers. Furthermore many other words show Spanish origins.

Until 1973 Spanish was the official languages on the Philippines. From the beginning of the 20th century onwards, however, when the Americans came to the Philippines the Spanish language lost more and more of its impact. Today English is language of instruction in schools and universities as well as the working language in the business world.


Travelling The Philippines


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