How to learn Tagalog

One way to learn Tagalog is to be immersed in the language. In other words, going to the areas or country in which it is spoken and living there. Language immersion is one good way of how to learn a language such as Tagalog. Of course there are other methods of learning Tagalog which include taking classes, hiring a tutor or studying from books and audio.

In this article we will look at one situation in which someone who lived in one area where Tagalog was not spoken but then due to circumstance had to move and became immersed in the language and learned it that way.

Moving to another country or city because of study, due to employment or other reason are common reasons why some people find themselves in a place where another language is spoken.

Let’s take for example, someone going to live with an aunt in another country so that they can further their studies. Even within the same country different languages (dialects) can be spoken and this can be the case in the Philippines where different languages are spoken.

Let’s say the province you are from does not speak much Tagalog, but you go to live with your aunt and in her city they speak Tagalog. Your aunt receives you very graciously into her home. There is a slight difference in your dialects but you are sure you can make the switch to learning her language easily.

You are now immersed in Tagalog because everyone around you speak it and you begin learning words.
For instance your aunt asks: She would ask if you know how to cook by asking “marunong ka ba kung paano magluto?” If the topic is food then she might ask what your favorite vegetables are and words such as “ labanos”( white radish) and “sitaw” (string beans) might be used. From the conversation you might learn that okra (the word “okra” is also used in Tagalog) is eaten quite frequently there and that the word for “eggplant” is “talong.”

Going out and mingling with locals daily is another way how to learn Tagalog and in time one will undoubtedly pick up some words. In the supermarket or market (palengke) one might hear that the word for “mangoes” is “mangga” and “pineapple” is “pinya.” In describing food or colors the word for “yellow” is “dilaw,” while “green” is “berde” and to say “very sweet” one could say “napaka tamis.”

The above words are vocabulary associated with food but if the reason for going to a country is for studying then another different set of words will also be learned. This is what being immersed in the language means since one is surrounded by it all day and everyday. This is one way how to learn Tagalog.

By continually chatting with those around and by living in an area or country one should learn more and more Tagalog words. As mentioned earlier, there are other methods of learning Tagalog which include taking classes, hiring a tutor, studying from books and audio, and using the internet. Don’t underestimate the power of listening to foreign music or watching foreign films as a way to learn a language.