Tagalog study for westerners?

L

Liam_G

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Hello, all --

I'm getting ready to take the plunge and begin studying Tagalog, and am just wondering if any of you either:
1) are westerners who have studied Tagalog, and have advice, tips, etc.; or
2) are native speakers who also have advice or tips.

As a bit of background on me, I'm a native English speaker, and have done some language study in the past, mostly in Arabic. I seemed to have a knack for it, and attained a good degree of proficiency in Arabic, although my memory is fairly rusty now.

Thanks for any advice!

Regards,
Liam
 
Take a class if possible.

Practice with any Tagalog speaking friends.

You could try this site: http://www.mylanguageexchange.com/Learn/Tagalog.asp

to get a Tagalog chatpal, penpal, or e-mail pal.

Just as a word of warning, a lot of the FMA techniques you learn might not even be in Tagalog. I've always been learning a blend of different styles, and each style comes from a different province, so I get a mix of different languages for each technique.

For example, "hubad" means naked in Tagalog.
 
Liam,

I think it's great that you want to learn Tagalog. Although I've been around Tagalog my whole life I didn't really learn to speak it until I was in High School and lived in Manila. My family is from Botolan Zambales and they spoke Sambal rather than Tagalog for the most part at home.

I learned Tagalog from cousins, friends, the street (commuting, buying food, etc), and the media (tv/movies/radio/comics). As it was, my relatives told me I sounded like a thug. So I supplemented my study by doing all of the lessons in Basic Tagalog for Foreigners and Non-Tagalogs by Paraluman S. Aspillera (ISBN 0804819106). It covered grammar like none of the other books that I had looked at or bought. Tagalog is very straightforward once you get the grammar and structure of the language.

A lot of people in the FMA community downplay Tagalog as a language to learn, but it really is worthwhile and will be moreso in the future. The medium of instruction in most schools in the Philippines was English, but during the last few years many schools including the public school system have changed their curriculum to Pilipino (Tagalog), treating English as a foreign language subject. My youngest nephews receive far less education in English than my older nephews and neices as a result. And boy does it show.

Your background states that you do Doce Pares and eventually you will probably want to learn Bisaya. But the good thing about starting in Tagalog is that you will be understood everywhere in the Philippines and not just in the Visayas or by Visayans, but also there is much more instructional media available for Tagalog. Once you learn the structure of the malayo-polynesian branch of languages in your Tagalog, the Bisaya will come easier and quicker. Best of luck to you.
 
Thanks for the tips, Bart and Mormegil ---

Mormegil: Thanks! I found that same website the other day, and have signed up ... I'll pursue that once I get started and at least know a few words / phrases. A local community college has Tagalog classes, and I might get to take one this summer. By the way, I was doing hubad tonight ... but with clothes on ;)

Bart: Thanks for the encouragement. I'll check out that book. I have 'Conversational Tagalog: A Functional-Situational Approach' by Teresita V. Ramos, a dictionary, and the Language 30 tapes (just bought those for some quick words and phrases and pronunciation examples). As far as dialects, I'll have to see what happens. I mainly wanted to learn Tagalog / Pilipino in case I ever get the chance to travel and train there. Yes, if I continue with Doce Pares, I imagine I will want to learn the dialect that the Canete family speaks!


Once again, thanks to both of you for the advice and encouragement!

Regards,
Liam
 
How to Learn Any Language: Quickly, Easily, Inexpensively, Enjoyably and on Your Own, by Barry J. Farber, is an excellent primer on well - you guessed it.

The book is a little dated insofar as there are few references to software. There is also too little on how to learn the syntax of a language. However, it is chock full of tips, tricks, and in general, fun and interesting ways to make sure that you become totally immersed in the language that you are studying.

You may also wish to consider going on eBay or Amazon.com and purchasing video tape, VCD, or DVD movies in Tagalog. A simple search using the key words "Tagalog" or "Filipino" should do the trick. The value of this approach is that after you have learned the basics of the language, you can hear conversational Tagalog whenever you want, and can zero in on specific conversations to learn specific phrases and responses and hear them repeated whenever you want.

Best,

Steve Lamade
 
Originally posted by Liam_G
Hello, all --

I'm getting ready to take the plunge and begin studying Tagalog, and am just wondering if any of you either:
1) are westerners who have studied Tagalog, and have advice, tips, etc.; or
2) are native speakers who also have advice or tips.


I am a Filipino American who grew up in a Filipino household, being the youngest in my family (both my sisters and my brother grew up in the PI and speak it fluently) I grew up with informal training in Tagalog, mainly being yelled at...I know all the curse words!!! Just being around it you pick it up pretty easy. Most people in this situation will proably tell you the same as this.. "I can understand almost every word being spoken to me...but it is more difficult for me to construct sentences to reply back. Not that I can't do it..it just doesn't flow out as smoothly as coming in.

I took 3 years of Spanish in High school and there are alot of similarities to Tagalog, thats why i took it...but it can also confuse you more...so now my tagalog comes out Spanish-English-Tagalog. At leat my mom knows what i'm saying!
 
Originally posted by arnisandyz
Most people in this situation will proably tell you the same as this.. "I can understand almost every word being spoken to me...but it is more difficult for me to construct sentences to reply back. Not that I can't do it..it just doesn't flow out as smoothly as coming in.

Hi, Arnisandyz --

I know exactly what you mean. When I studied Arabic, I spoke with anyone who would put up with me. When I spoke to my instructors' kids, they would invariably answer me in English. They understood everything I said, but were more comfortable speaking English ...

Thanks for the post,
Liam
 

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