Monday, September 7, 2009
What is the difference between Tagalog and Filipino?
Tagalog used to be the National Language of the Philippines. Its existence can be traced back from the pre-Spanish Era. Tagalog is an olden language. Rajah Sulaiman was the Datu of the Tagalog Kingdom before it was forcefully taken by the Spaniards in the 15th century. The Tagalog people are the people who lived near the Ilog Pasig, hence, the term "Tagalog", which is a contracted word of "taga-Ilog".
The Tagalog alphabet is also known as the "abakada" which is comprised of the following letters:
A B K D E G H I L M N NG S T U W Y
Pronounced as: A BA KA DA EH GA HA I LA MA NA NGA PA RA SA TA U WA YA
The Congress changed the National Language to Filipino in order to unify our divided native tongues, because aside from the Tagalog Language, the Philippines also has other languages/dialects such as Cebuano, Ilonggo, Ilocano, Bicolano, Kapampangan etc.
Although the Filipino Language is mostly based on Tagalog, it offers "direct adaptation" of words or what we call transliteration. For example, the english word "dictionary", when translated to Tagalog, it is "talatinigan". But the Filipino Language gives us more freedom and ease hence the word "diksyunaryo". Other examples are: "airplane = eroplano", "television = telebisyon", "computer = kompyuter", "action = aksyon", "doctor = doktor/duktor", "magazine = magasin", "text = teksto", "context = konteksto".
The Filipino alphabet is comprised of these letters:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N "ENYE" NG O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Therefore, English words can be easily adapted to a Filipino word like cellphone, DVD player, or even the word "polo", "brief", "picture" and "camera".
Although it is the basis of the Filipino Language, Tagalog is more of the national language of the past. The Filipino Language is essentially the Tagalog Language but branding our national language as Filipino is a leeway for adapting words from other native languages such as the word pangga, English words, and words that are closely associated to technology and modern terminologies such as the word "internet". By this process, they can be included in our day to day vocabulary.
The Filipino Language was created or renamed to promote unity and equality among the native languages in the Philippines. It also gave the Filipinos the capability to adapt English words. Therefore these two, Filipino and Tagalog are two different entities, and we should be reminded that Filipino is our National Language.
But why is the Tagalog Language known across our country and not the Bisaya or the other native languages? Majority of non-Filipinos are accustomed to say that the national language of the Filipinos is Tagalog, why?
Rampant usage of Tagalog in our media?
Or was it because ever since the Spanish Era, Manila (where the taga-ilog or tagalog people resides) was the capital of the trade and industry that is why Tagalog flourished over the nation?
Is it the predisposition of our previous lawmakers to make Tagalog the National Language, hence, Tagalog was a required subject to learn?
The 8 rays of the sun in our Philippine flag symbolizes the first 8 provinces who declared revolt against the Spaniards namely; Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna, and Batangas. All of them except Pampanga (not sure about Bataan) are Tagalog-speaking provinces. Was it because of them?
But even the symbolism of our sun in our flag is confusing, the sun allegedly symbolized the Hispanicity of our race.
Amidst these queries, let me assert again that Filipino is the National Language of the Philippines.