Tagalog Alphabet

Tagalog used to be written with the Baybayin alphabet, which probably developed from the Kawi script of Java, Bali, and Sumatra, which in turn descended from the Pallava script, one of the southern Indian scripts derived from Brahmi. Today the Baybayin alphabet is used mainly for decorative purposes and the Latin alphabet is used to write to Tagalog.

The modern Tagalog alphabet follows the basic 26-letter Latin script, with the addition of 2 letters between N and O: Ñ and Ng. Tagalog originally followed the abakada alphabet, which excluded the letters C, F, J, Q, V, X, and Z, but included Ñ and Ng.

The 28 letters of the Tagalog alphabet are called títik or létra, and each represents a spoken sound. These are classed either as patínig or bokáblo (vowels) and katínig or konsonánte (consonants).

Each letter in the Tagalog alphabet has two names, one based on English, and one based on the Abakada. For example, Aa: ey, a, Bb: bi, ba, Cc: si, se, and so on.

Tagalog words can be very long and can have 3 or more vocals after each other. These vowels are each pronounced separately, thus with a glottal stop in between, like Maaari (perhaps) pronounced as ma-a-a-ri.

Spelling in Tagalog is generally very phonetic, but the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF, or the Commission on the Filipino Language) set up rules in various aspects. Diacritics, except the tilde in Ñ (found in personal names and toponyms from Spanish), are considered optional, and readers must depend on context for correct pronunciation

Tagalog Vocabulary

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FAQs about Tagalog

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