Politics Magazine

A Look at the Tagalog Language

Posted on the 28 January 2016 by Calvinthedog

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Tagalog language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Philippine
Greater Central Philippine
Central Philippine
Tagalog

We recently looked at two easy languages, Bahasa Indonesia and Malay, which are actually two forms of the same language. A well-known nearby language is Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines. Tagalog is much harder than Malay or Indonesian. Compared to many European languages, Tagalog syntax, morphology and semantics are often quite different. Also, Tagalog is typically spoken very fast. Unlike Malay, verbs conjugate quite a bit in Tagalog. The main idea of Tagalog grammar is something called focus. Once you figure that out, the language gets pretty easy, but until you understand that concept, you are going to have a hard time. Everything is affixed in Tagalog.

However, articles and creation of adjectives from nouns is very easy.

Compare:

ganda –   “beauty” (noun)
maganda – “beautiful” (adjective)

Tagalog gets a 4 rating, very difficult.


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