Filipino language

Filipino language

Infobox Language
speakers=First language: See "Tagalog"
Second language: "over 60 million"
Overall: 90 millionCitation
title=Results from the 2000 Census of Population and Housing: Educational Characteristics of the Filipinos
publisher=National Statistics Office
date=March 18, 2005
rank=51 (along with other variants of Tagalog)
fam4=Central Philippine
script=Latin (Filipino variant) , Baybayin (less common now)
agency=Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
(Commission on the Filipino Language)

Filipino is the national and an official language of the Philippines as designated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution. It is an Austronesian language that is the "de facto" standardized version of Tagalog. [cite web
title=Language planning in multilingual countries: The case of the Philippines
publisher=SIL International
author=Andrew Gonzalez, FSC
] Sometimes the language is incorrectly used as the generic name for all the languages of the Philippines which, in turn, would be incorrectly termed as "dialects".

The Commission on the Filipino Language, the regulating body of Filipino, envisions a process of popularizing regional dialect usage derived from regional languages, as the foundation of standardizing and intellectualizing a language, based on a "lingua franca".


On November 13, 1936, the "Surian ng Wikang Pambansa" (National Language Institute) selected Tagalog as the basis of a "Wikang Pambansâ" (national language) based on the following factors:cite web
url =
title = Pilipino: The National Language, a historical sketch
accessdate = 2007-03-24
author = Paraluman Aspillera
year = 1993
publisher = from Basic Tagalog for Foreigners and Non-Tagalogs, Charles E. Tuttle Publishing Co., Inc., Tokyo
#Tagalog is widely spoken and is the language most understood in all the regions of the Philippines.
#It is not divided into smaller, separate languages as Visayan is.
#Its literary tradition is the richest and the most developed and extensive (mirroring that of the Tuscan dialect of Italian). More books are written in Tagalog than in any other autochthonous Philippine language.Fact|date=April 2008
#Tagalog has always been the language of Manila - the political and economic capital of the Philippines under both Spanish and American rulers.
#Tagalog is the language of the Revolution and the Katipunan—two very important incidents in Philippine history.

In 1959, the language became known as "Pilipino" to dissociate it from the Tagalog ethnic group.cite journal
author = Andrew Gonzalez
year = 1998
month =
title = The Language Planning Situation in the Philippines
journal = Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
volume = 19
issue = 5, 6
url =
accessdate = 2007-03-24

Later, the 1973 Constitution provided for a separate national language to replace Pilipino, a language which it named "Filipino". The pertinent article, though, Article XV, Section 3(2), mentions neither Tagalog nor Pilipino as the basis for Filipino, instead calling on the National Assembly to:

quote = take steps towards the development and formal adoption of a common national language to be known as Filipino.
cite =

In 1987, the new Constitution introduced many provisions for the language. [cite web
url =
title = 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article XIV, Sections 6-9
accessdate = 2007-04-08
publisher = Chanrobles Law Library
] Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that:

quote = as [Filipino] evolves, it shall be further developed and enriched on the basis of existing Philippine and other languages.
cite =

Meanwhile, Article XIV, Section 7 states that:

quote = Subject to provisions of law and as the Congress may deem appropriate, the Government shall take steps to initiate and sustain the use of Filipino as a medium of official communication and as language of instruction in the educational system.
cite =


quote = The regional languages are the auxiliary official languages in the regions and shall serve as auxiliary media of instruction therein.
cite =

Republic Act No. 7104, approved on August 14, 1991, created the Commission on the Filipino Language, reporting directly to the President and tasked to undertake, coordinate and promote researches for the development, propagation and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages. [cite web
title=Commission on the Filipino Language Act
|publisher=Chanrobles law library
] On May 13, 1992, the commission issued a resolution specifying that Filipino is the

quote = indigenous written and spoken language of Metro Manila and other urban centers in the Philippines used as the language of communication of ethnic groups.cite web
url =
title = Resolusyon Blg. 92-1
accessdate = 2007-03-24
date = 13 May 1992
publisher = Commission on the Filipino language
language = Filipino
cite =
However, as with the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, the resolution did not go so far as to categorically identify this language as Tagalog.

Filipino was presented and registered with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), by then Ateneo de Manila University student Martin Gomez, and was added to the ISO registry of languages on September 21, 2004 with it receiving the ISO 639-2 code fil.cite web
url =
title = Documentation for ISO 639 identifier: fil
accessdate = 2007-07-24
publisher = Summer Institute of Linguistics
] In June 2007, Ricardo Maria Nolasco, Chair of the Commission on the Filipino Language, acknowledged that Filipino was simply Tagalog in syntax and grammar, with yet no grammatical element or lexicon coming from Ilocano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, or any of the other Philippine languages. This is contrary to the intention of Republic Act No. 7104 that requires that the national language be developed and enriched by the lexicon of the country's other dialects and languages, something that the commission is working towards.cite web
url =
title = New center to document Philippine dialects
accessdate = 2007-06-30
author = Inquirer
year = 2007
publisher = Asian Journal
] Furthermore, on August 24, 2007, Dr. Nolasco elaborated further on the relationship between Tagalog and Filipino:

On August 22, 2007, three Malolos City regional trial courts in Bulacan decided to use Filipino, instead of English, in order to promote the national language. Twelve stenographers from Branches 6, 80 and 81, as model courts, had undergone training at Marcelo H. del Pilar College of Law of Bulacan State University College of Law following a directive from the Supreme Court of the Philippines. De la Rama said it was the dream of Chief Justice Reynato Puno to implement the program in other areas such as Laguna, Cavite, Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Rizal and Metro Manila. [ [, 3 Bulacan courts to use Filipino in judicial proceedings] ]


Filipino is considered by Ethnologue to be a variant of Tagalog, a Central Philippine language within the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family.cite web|title=Filipino: A language of the Philippines|url=|publisher=Ethnologue|accessdate=2007-06-26] In practical terms, however, "Filipino" is a synonym for or the formal name of the Tagalog language, especially as used by non-Tagalogs, who may sometimes refuse to refer to their language as "Tagalog". [A similar situation exists with Valencian, which is the name for the Catalan language in Valencia.]

One famous event where the definition between Filipino and Tagalog is challenged was during the impeachment trial of the former president, Joseph Estrada. When the presiding justice Hilario Davide asked in which language would the witness Emma Lim prefer to testify, Lim promptly answered "Tagalog", to which Davide promptly did not agree. According to Davide, nobody could testify in Tagalog because it is not the official language of the Philippines and there is no available interpreter from Tagalog to Filipino. However, the then President of the Senate, Franklin Drilon, sided on the oneness of the two languages saying that an interpreter will no longer be needed because everybody would understand the testimony in Tagalog.



Is he driving you crazy yet?


Learning Resources

Many of the following books are published in the Philippines. Many are available on

* By Vito C. Santos
**"New Vicassan's English-Pilipino Dictionary", ISBN 971-27-0349-5
**"Vicassan's Pilipino-English Dictionary", ISBN 971-08-2900-9
**"Vicassan's Pilipino-English Dictionary (Abridged Edition)", ISBN 971-27-1707-0

* By others
**"Learn Filipino: Book One" by Victor Eclar Romero ISBN 1-932956-41-7
**"Learn Filipino: Book Two" by Victor Eclar Romero ISBN 978-1-932956-42-9
**"Lonely Planet Filipino Tagalog (TravelTalk)" ISBN 1-59125-364-0
**"Lonely Planet Pilipino Phrasebook" ISBN 0-86442-432-9
**"UP Diksyonaryong Filipino" by Virgilio S. Almario (ed.) ISBN 971-8781-98-6, and ISBN 971-8781-99-4
**"English-Pilipino Dictionary", Conuelo T. Panganiban, ISBN 971-08-5569-7
**"Diksyunaryong Filipino - English", Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, ISBN 971-8705-20-1
**" (English: The New Philippine Dictionary)", by Dominador Limeta ISBN 9710866176

ee also

*Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino
*Tagalog language


External links

* [ Commission on the Filipino Language]
* [ Language planning in multilingual countries: The case of the Philippines] , discussion by linguist and educator Andrew Gonzalez
* [ The Language Planning Situation in the Philippines] , by Andrew Gonzalez, FSC
* [ The Metamorphosis of Filipino as a National Language]
* [ Tagalog: A Brief Look at the National Language]
* [ Tagalog dominance must be balanced by support for all languages]

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