Tagalog Language Services

Also known as Filipino, Tagalog is among the most widely spoken languages in the Philippines. The first language of most Filipinos, it is today one of the two official languages, along with English, of this island nation. But native translators working for Trusted Translations are aware that this is only the bilingual tip of a multilingual iceberg: almost 114 million Filipinos speak over 170 languages and dialects!

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This diversity is reflected in a core concept of Filipino society: the Bayanihan spirit. Weaving all these cultural threads into a cohesive social fabric, Bayanihan is the essence of kindness and cooperation that steered these communities through centuries of various waves of inhabitants.

A Pacific ‘Rosetta Stone’?

One of the many Austronesian languages that developed across the Pacific Ocean, Tagalog shares its proto-Philippine linguistic heritage with Hawaiian, Māori, and Malay. Unsurprisingly, there are few records of pre-Colombian languages in the Pacific Region.

However, in 1992, the Laguna Copperplate Inscription was discovered. Dating back to the 9th century, this ancient tablet is engraved with Javanese, Malay, and Sanskrit script. This hints at a mysterious culture with Hindu influences in the Philippines, long before the arrival of Muslims in the 12th century, or the Spanish expedition headed by explorer Ferdinand Magellan in March 1521.

Casting off 500 Years of Subordination

This was the start of Spanish colonization. Quashing several uprisings, Spain ruled the Philippines until 1898, when it ceded the islands to the USA after losing the Spanish-American War. Crushing Filipino hopes of independence, the U.S. extended this colonial rule. Nevertheless, its three main islands saw significant economic and educational reforms, with structural modernization and urbanization.

After its liberation from Japanese occupation during World War II, the next step was recognition as an independent republic in 1946. An upside of this patchwork history is that most Filipinos are multilingual, fluent in the standardized Wikang Filipino, as well as Tagalog and English. Its young and fast-growing population learns both official languages under the 1987 Bilingual Education Policy Act.

Did You Know?
Filipino is a standardized variety of Tagalog.
Did You Know?
Tagalog was declared the Philippines national language in 1937.
Did You Know?
There are approximately 1.8 million Tagalog speakers in the U.S.
Did You Know?
Tagalog has about 4,000 Spanish loanwords.
Did You Know?
Did You Know?

Business Outlook

An emerging and newly industrialized market, the Philippine economy is moving away from its agricultural roots (mainly fruit and coconut oil) toward an economy based more on manufacturing and services. With annual growth averaging out at around 6%, this Tiger Cub is a notable performer in the Asia-Pacific region.

Primary exports include electronics and semiconductors, as well as chemicals, garments, and transport equipment. With 55 mines already in operation, its rich deposits of copper, gold, nickel, and other precious minerals are still largely untapped.

An attractive pharmaceutical market, and with public infrastructure outlays planned at over 5.0% of GDP, the Philippines seems set for growth and prosperity. During the first quarter of 2023, total foreign investment approvals more than doubled, up from almost USD 160 million to USD 3 billion, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Avoiding Social Pitfalls in the Philippines

Although keeping pace with modern technology, many Filipino traditions are still firmly rooted in everyday courtesies, particularly deep respect for elders. For foreign businesses eager to close their deals, the smartest move is to call on Trusted Translations’ professional language experts, to handle all your language needs.