Four In One: Tagalog, Mandarin, English, Indonesian


What a rainy day today! It rained in the morning when I went out for breakfast but fortunately, it was not heavy. Typhoon just passed Taiwan last night, leaving so much destruction to the southern cities like Kaohsiung and Pingtung. Hopefully everything goes well around there.

There was a language event today for Tagalog, Mandarin, and English at South East Asian Migrant Inspired (SEAMI), and because I can help them with Indonesian, they added Indonesian language at the last minute. So, everyone had the chance to learn four languages at the same time: Tagalog, Mandarin, English, and Indonesian. However, the focus was actually on Tagalog.

We started by learning basic phrases, some essential words in conversation, and we end our event with a little drama to practice what we have learnt.


Basic Phrases

1. "Magandang umaga" Good morning

The word "magandang" contains the root word that is "maganda" means "beautiful". It gets the prefix "-ang" to become an adjective. The same rule applies for "Magandang hapon" for "Good afternoon" and "Magandang gabi" for "Good evening".

The reply to this greeting is simply done by repeating the phrase and add "rin" or "naman", which means "also/ too".

A: Magandang gabi
B: Magandang gabi naman

C: Magandang hapon
D: Magandang hapon rin

2. "Kumusta ka?" How are you?

The next one we learnt was asking how someone is, "Kumusta ka?" means "How are you?". Note that this way of speaking is for informal situation. And the reply to this question is "Mabuti" means "(I'm) fine".  The word by word translation is as the following:

Kumusta ka? = How are you?
Mabuti = Good


3. "Ito may problema ako" I have a problem

If you are in trouble, here is a useful phrase that you need. "Ito may problema ako" means "I have a problem". This phrase may be familiar to you if you had known Spanish. Notice the words "may problema", that is "hay problema" in Spanish.

Then, you can ask "Pwede mo ba ako tulungan?" means "Can you help me?". And again, "pwede" is a loanword from Spanish's "puede". "Tulungan" means "to help" is the verb, and the noun is "tulung" means "help".

4. "Paki" Please

Last but not the least, we also learnt three important phrases – "paki", "salamat po", and "walang anoman". They means "please", "thank you (formal)", and "you are welcome", respectively.

Notice the "po" at the end of "salamat po". "Po" is the formal marker, so you can attach "po" in your sentence to make it formal or polite. It is highly recommended to use "po" when you are talking with someone older than you or someone respected, like teachers, doctors, etc.

Francia Balderama is a Tagalog speaker

Time For Real Practice

After learning several basic phrases, we were given the task to be paired and create a dialogue.






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