Romantic Cebuano Report
I have been happily married to a Filipina from Cebu City for 17 years. I am your age 62 years young. I have been trying to find a way to learn the language for many years. My wife does not know how to teach or explain the language to me, so I have not got far besides memorizing words,etc.
In the short time that I have had your course it is beginning to come together for me for the first time. I have learned more than the previous 17 years, because you have explained it so I can understand. I think it helps that you explain how to use all the filler words, such as sa, na, mga, ta, etc, and how the sentences are structured. My wife has noticed how much I have learned and is impressed.
Anyway I am just writing to thank you so much for writing and continueing to update this course. Hope to see you in Cebu some time. Thank you !
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This is how to learn Bisaya language.
Okay you are going to the Visayan region of the Philippines, have a Visayan girlfriend, penpal or wife and you want to learn some Bisaya phrases.
First, start with the greetings:
Good morning ”Maayong buntag”
Good afternoon “Maayong hapon”
Good evening ”Maayong gabii”
Then some greeting questions such as
How are you? ”Kumusta ka?”
Where are you going? “Asa ka moadto?”
Where have you been? “Diin ka gikan?”
This is a good start. But you really need to learn the proper pronunciation of these and other words that you will be using. We highly recommend the course “Essential Cebuano: How to Speak and Understand Cebuano” They have lots of good dialogues that you will be able to see and hear the correct pronunciation. You also will be able to download the audio and video files to listen to while driving, jogging or doing other things. Go here for more information about this course to help you learn Bisaya.
Good luck! Swerte ka!
“Learn The Visayan Language? Why Should I?”
I say “Learn the Visayan language!” Why? Keep reading.
This is a common question that I hear foreigners say that have been here in the Visayan region of the Philippines for many years. Their logic is “Everyone speaks to me in English. I don’t need to learn the Visayan language, because everyone here speaks and understands English.”
While the perception is that everyone in the Philippines speaks English, it is simply not true. There are man,many places where not only is English not spoken, but Tagalog, the national language (officially called Filipino) is rarely spoken. Especially out on the Provinces, there can be a reluctance to speak English, for fear of making a mistake in grammar or pronunciation and being embarrassed. However, there are many positive reasons that you need to learn the Visayan language.
Not only are you show respect for the local natives by trying to speak their native language, you also gain valuable insight into the local culuture. Knowing a language is more than just translating words and phrase from one language to another, but it is understanding another culture as well. There are just some concepts in a culture that cannot be translated. The words and phrases may be translated but, many times, the concept is lost in the translation.
For example the Filipino concept of “Utang loob” can loosely be translated as “an inner debt” but it is a very strong concept about how you have a debt to your family and society as a whole.
Another concept is the familial titles given to people of different age groups. Most of the people younger than my age (62) call me “Kuya” which means “older brother. I like this term of respect because it gives us a closer relationship than them calling me Mister Bryant and is not so informal , like in some countries, where people call each other by their first name, even if they have just met. This is a cultural thing and would sound strange if they were to call me in English “Older brother Bryan.” So, you see, there are some things that just loses its impact when it is translated from Bisaya to English.
The Visayan people have a common feeling of unfairness that they can speak to the visitors of their region in Tagalog and English, but the visitors, even Filipinos from outside the Visayas, cannot speak their local language, Bisaya.
So, you can see that, even though the Visayan people may be able to communicate with you in Tagalog or English, it would behoove you to learn the Visayan language.
photo by: Coventry City Council
This is the second of a series on vocabulary building. Here we look into deriving words from adjective roots. Adjectives are words which describe nouns, i.e., things, places, people, events, etc. In Bisaya, many words are derived from roots classified as adjectives.
Let’s start with the adjective “dako” (big).
1. Dakô ang balay. (The house is big.)
2. Dakòdakô ang balay. (The house is somewhat big.)
3. Unsa kadakô ang balay? (How big is the house?).
4. Kinsay inyong dakodakò? (Who’s the leader of your group?)
5. Kini ang kinadak-an. (This is the biggest.)
6. Nagkadakô ang problema. (The problem is getting bigger.)
7. Gipadakô sila sa ilang lola. (They were raised by their grandmother.)
Another adjective is “mahál“ (dear, expensive, costly, valuable).
8. Mahál ang isda karon. (Fish is expensive now.)
9. Mahalón ang imong sinina. (Your dress is expensive.)
10. Ang Iyang Kamahalan (His/Her Excellency)
11. Pagkamahál! (How expensive!)
12. Gimahál ko ikaw. (I cherish you)
13. Mahál kong Nanay. . . (My dear Mother)
14. Ang kinamahalan (the most expensive)
15. Kanimo nagmahál (Lovingly yours)
For our final adjective for this segment, “bug-at” (heavy).
16. Bug-at kaayo ang inyong mga libro. (Your books are very heavy.)
17. Nagkabug-at ang among palas-anon. (Our burden is getting heavier.)
18. Mobug-at ra kanâ unya. (That will become heavy later.)
19. Unsa kabug-at ang karga? (How heavy is the cargo?)
20. Mga usa ka tonelada ang kabug-aton niana. (The weight of that is about one ton)
a. Simple adjectives: dakô; mahál; bug-at
b. Reduplication of the adjective root: dakòdakô -connotes the attribute of the adjective to a lesser degree.
c. Ka- + adjective root: kadakô; kamahál, kabug-at = Noun
d. Pagka- + adjective = Intensive adjective
e. Kina- + adjetive + -an = Superlative adjective
Please cite “Magbinisaya Kita Word Builder” by Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico when you lift any part of this exercise. Thank you.
Dr. Jessie Grace U. Rubrico is an expert consultant in Philippine Languages. Considered the foremost authority on modern Cebuano she has developed and managed numerous linguistic projects all over the world.
The Magbinisaya Kita Primer 1, the result of over a decade of scholarship is Dr. Rubrico’s latest work. She also publishes papers and articles and FREE Bisaya Lessons at her website http://www.languagelinks.org
(c) Copyright – Jessie Grace U. Rubrico, Ph.D. Linguistics
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