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Home » Podcast » Eileen Ramos – Learning Basic Tagalog with Eileen Ramos

Eileen Ramos – Learning Basic Tagalog with Eileen Ramos

Ep 010 - Eileen Ramos
Ep 010 – Eileen Ramos

Derek is joined by Eileen Ramos and they will go over some basic and often used Tagalog words. While Tagalog is not an easy language to learn, it does have its own beauty to it and mastering it would make engaging with Filipinos more entertaining.


  • The islands in the Philippines are separated, being an archipelago, so there are separate identities, separate dialects, separate cultures.
  • The penetration of English in the Philippines and the adoption of the language is phenomenal but that creates a challenge for foreigners to learn the language more easily.
  • While there are many dialects in the Philippines, the official language is Tagalog.
  • Here are some of the words covered;
  1. “Sige” – Yes
  2. “Ano” – What
  3. “Anong”, “ano ang” – What (has to have a word after it)
  4. “Walang”, “wala” – None
  5. “Di ba” – Really?
  6. “Galing – you’re good, good
  7. “Sarap” – delicious
  8. “Tama” – correct, right
  9. “Lang” – for emphasis or minimal
  10. “Talaga” – really? (question)
  11. “Kasi” – Because
  12. “Pwede” – can be
  13. “Bakit” – Why
  14. “Anyare” (“Anong nangyari”) – What happened?

Key Points

  • As a foreigner in the Philippines it is really quite difficult to immerse yourself in Tagalog and really adopt the language since the Filipinos’ adoption of English is amazing
  • The meaning of some Tagalog words changes depending on the intonation used in each sentence.
  • It is a big advantage if you take the time to learn Tagalog especially if you’re planning to outsource or reside in the Philippines.


  • outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode10


Expand transcript

Derek: Hi and welcome to another episode of the outsource accelerator podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and today, we are joined by Eileen Ramos. Today, it’s a bit of a different session, it’s a casual session. We are talking Tagalog. So, Tagalog is the main official language of the Philippines. It’s, I suppose what you might refer to as Filipino. But there is hundreds of dialects if not thousands of dialects in the Philippines and that is spread across the over 7,000 islands that are here.

I’m not a big history buff but these islands were very much separate, there were separate identities, there were separate dialects, separate languages completely, separate cultures. And then the Spanish came long and drew a big circle around this massive 7,000 islands and said you are going to be one country. And they named it after the Spanish King of the time, who was Philippe. So, that’s how it became the Philippines. That’s how there are so many, so many languages in the Philippines but Tagalog now is the official first language. But significantly as well, English, the penetration and adoption of English here is phenomenal especially within Manila and as a foreigner in the Philippines it really does become quite difficult to immerse yourself in Tagalog and really adopt the language. Now, that is also quite a cheap excuse because we can all do things better in situation. But I really do see this as a strength of the Philippines in their adoption of English is absolutely incredible right from the blue-collar workers, the laborers, the taxi drivers, of course in to the more educated business elite but today we’re talking Tagalog.

My friends actually created a list of the more prominent ten or twelve words as a bit of a Tagalog hack. Now, not only is there Tagalog but there’s an adoption of tagalog which they refer to as “Taglish” and some many people speak in a blended Tagalog-English form which if I wanna get on my safe box a little more. If you wanna then learn Tagalog it’s a bit more difficult because people like flicking back and forth between tagalog and English. It’s quite intriguing and a beautiful language certainly but today we are talking through our little hack sheet of ten or twelve words. Discussing this with Eileen and I think if you’re never gonna come here the episode should be fun there’s a little bit of an insight into the language and the beauty of the language and the nature of their language. So, enjoy!

If you want the cheat sheet, if you want any of the transcripts, if you want to see any of the spelling go to our show notes. That is at outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode10


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Derek: So, what does that mean and when do you use it?

Eileen: “Sige”, it means yes.

Derek: What’s an example of that?

Eileen: “Gusto mo bang”, if you wanna go out instead of saying yes “sige”.

Derek: Nice! “Ano”?

Eileen: “Ano”

Derek: what does that mean?

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Eileen: what

Derek: What? So how do you use that?

Eileen: It’s just like you want someone to repeat the word they wanna say, instead of saying, you wanna say “ano”.

Derek: Ano? So what?

Eileen: “Ano”

Derek: Oh yeah, next one “Anong”

Eileen: okay, that one, it has to have a word after “anong”.

Derek: “anong” dinner.

Eileen: “anong pagkain ngayong gabi”

Derek: So, what is “anong” with English following?

Eileen: “Ano”, what is the food tonight? “anong pagkain ngayong gabi”

Derek: So, “anong”

Eileen: “pagkain”, “pagkain” is food

Derek: So, anong food

Eileen: Food, is anong pagkain

Derek: So, is it a question?

Eileen: Yes, “ano” is what, “anong pagkain ngayong gabi”

Derek: but is there a difference between ano and anong?

Eileen: yeah, well basically anong is like “ano ang”, it’s like you conjunct two words.

Derek: so, what is “ano ang”?

Eileen: “ano ang”, “ang” is the, what is the food tonight

Derek: ah really

Eileen: Yes

Eileen:  So, “ano ang pagkain ngayong gabi”, and then you just concise it “anong pagkain ngayong gabi”, what is the food tonight.

Derek: Nice! “Walang”.

Eileen: “Wala, walang”

Derek: So, it’s conjugation between “ang” and “wala”.

Eileen:  Yes

Derek: So, what is “wala”.

Eileen: “Wala” is none

Derek: none, so none

Eileen: There’s no food tonight

Derek: No, the food, so there’s no

Eileen: There’s none, there’s no food. So there’s none.

Derek: “Walang” dinner

Eileen: dinner, there’s nothing, there’s “walang” dinner

Derek: “walang”, and people use that in the end of sentences. They go “walang” or they go the beginning

Eileen: no, they just say wala

Derek: wala

Eileen: If it’s just the end like period. Wala, wala

Derek: When, how do you use it? In Taglish

Eileen: Walang dinner

Derek: there’s no dinner. You’re not getting dinner.

Eileen: Yeah

Derek: Really? Oh yeah. “di ba”?

Eileen: Di ba, di ba, really

Derek: Ah really, di ba. D-i-b-a

Eileen: It’s actually two words. Di ba

Derek: Ah, really, d-i-b-a

Eileen: d-I space b-a, di ba, because is a shortened,” di” is a shortened hindi ba but because they shortened it it’s more conversational di ba but “hindi” is no, “di ba” but “ba” is more of like a question, so hindi or like really. So, like questioning something. Really, there’s a, we’re trying to clarify something.

Derek: Next one, “galing”

Eileen: “galing”

Derek: “galing”

Eileen: yeah, you have to, do it like “galiiiiiing”

Derek: “galing”

Eileen: “magaling”

Derek: “magaling”, what is “ma” very

Eileen: yes, because “ma” is a shortened for “marami”, marami means many, galing means you’re good

Eileen: so, many good is like, magaling, maraming galing, so it’s like shortened, concise “magaling”

Derek: “galing” is like, amazing

Eileen: good, it’s like amazing, you’re good.

Derek: “magaling”, and also in Tagalog, they like double the word like “galing galing”

Eileen: no, no it’s tenses. You get the base form of the word. Let’s say for example “kain”. “Kain” is the base form which is eating, eat. Alright, if you wanna say eating. You’re eating right now “kumakain” you have to put the “k” and you say u-m “kumakain” that’s the present tense. Kumakain then you repeat.

Eileen: If you’re going to say did you eat? It’s past tense. “Kumain” do you understand?

Derek: Yeah

Eileen: “Kumakain” is present, “kumain” past tense.

Derek: Okay

Eileen: So, kumain ka na ba?

Derek: So, “magaling”

Eileen: yes, magaling is you’re very good.

Derek: very good, next one, “sarap”

Eileen: “saraaap” you have to say feelings with it, stop being british. “sarap”

Derek: so, the emphasis is on the second syllable, so the first syllable is really quick and emphasis on the second syllable.

Eileen: Yeah.

Derek: and “sarap” means amazing

Eileen: delicious

Derek: delicious, delicious

Derek: okay, and then, “oo tama”, so that’s two words, oo which is like yes

Eileen: that’s correct

Derek: and then tama

Eileen: is you’re correct, that’s correct, that’s right

Derek: so, people often go oo, which

Eileen: Yes

Derek: I know as a foreigner, people go oo. In the west when you go oo it means uh-oh something’s wrong. Here it means yes.

Eileen: oo means yes, but if you want to be polite “opo”

Derek: Opo

Eileen: yes

Derek: and “po” is like Sir or a Madame

Eileen: “Po” is used for elderly. Like if you want to be respectful “opo”. Doesn’t matter what age “opo”. Just wanna be polite

Derek: so, oo tama, so tama, means correct. So, you are correct, that’s right

Eileen: Yes, Tama, “mali” is wrong. “Mali”

Derek: Ah, “tama” “mali”. So, tama means right but mali means wrong

Eileen: Yes

Derek: So You can say “tama “Mali “and that means right wrong

Eileen: Yeah.

Derek: So, that means wrong

Eileen: You’re right that’s wrong. “Tama, mali siya”

Derek: what is the difference in mali and mali siya. Is that just a

Eileen: mali is word and siya is you, the person is a third person

Derek: so, you can say “oo tama” she

Eileen: no, siya, siya

Derek: siya, so you can say, “oo tama siya”

Eileen: Yes.

Derek: you are right

Eileen: no, but if you say “ikaw” it’s you. Oo tama ikaw. Tama kaw

Derek: so, “siya” is them

Eileen: yeah, third person

Derek: Oo

Eileen: Oo, good job

Derek: So, next one is “lang”, which is only, and it’s used a lot

Eileen: it’s like Singapore, no la, yes la. You’ve never been, have you been to Singapore?

Derek: no

Eileen: Yes la, no la, it la.

Derek: so, it means only and it kind of means unique.

Eileen: To emphasize

Derek: But it’s used in everything like an emphasis

Eileen: it’s well not really, sometimes it depends on the sentence. It doesn’t mean necessarily emphasizing, it’s more of a, it’s like saying something nonchalantly

Derek: and they’re saying okay lang

Eileen: okay lang

Derek: okay lang, is like only okay

Eileen: yeah, it’s okay. It’s like, it’s more of like nonchalantly saying something. It’s like yeah, it’s okay.

Derek:  So it almost like minimizes the sentence.

Eileen: Yes! It doesn’t emphasize it

Derek:  So, could you say, “sarap lang”

Eileen: Yes, that means it’s okay, it’s not that

Derek: it’s amazing but, just amazing

Eileen: it’s minimal. It brings it down

Derek: And you can say galing

Eileen: “galing lang”

Derek: okay and then there’s talaga and talaga?

Eileen: So, Talaga? Its’ a question, really?  and Talaga, it means yes, really

Derek: really, so the emphasis on

Eileen: it’s just the sentence

Derek: So there’s three syllables there

Eileen: it’s just like saying, what, if it’s going up, then it’s a question mark, if it’s going down

Derek: and the emphasis is on the third syllable, talaga

Eileen: on the last syllable. Bakit? bakit

Derek: bakit, and bakit means why

Eileen: pangit, so it’s at the last syllable, whatever the last syllable is, it’s not necessarily the third, if it’s a two-syllable word, it’s the last syllable. If it goes up, then it’s a question. If it goes down then it’s a sentence. Same concept as in English

Derek: Yeah, okay so talaga? is really, “talaga” is really (lower voice)

Eileen: Yes

Derek: “Kasi” is because

Eileen: Yes

Derek: “Kasi” Let’s say example “kasi”

Eileen: Because of you, “Kasi ikaw eh”

Derek: “Kasi ikaw”

Eileen: “eh” is more of like “eh”

Derek: “Kasi galing”, “kasi di ba”, “kasi di ba”

Eileen: No, “di ba” is like, really? This’ll make sense “kasi”

Derek: Is it “kase” or “kasi”

Eileen: “kasi”, it’s short I, so it’s the same concept as long I short I, “kasi”, “eh kasi” but the spelling is I. So, it’s the same with “galing”, it should be I but people because texting, the way they speak, how you pronounce it, they don’t, it’s supposed to be I.

Derek: So, I’ve got an example here, Eat your fish “kasi” might get cold.

Eileen: Okay

Derek: Okay, Does that right? Okay

Eileen: Yeah, Okay. Do you want me to translate that?

Derek: What?

Eileen: Eat your fish “kasi” it might get cold.

Derek: It’ll do.

Eileen: Eat your fish “kasi” it might cold. So, it’s just an example.

Derek: Okay, so next one is “pwede”.and my friend told me this so you can say “pwede” with a question. And, and apparently, “Is this girl hot”?

Eileen: Not necessarily just a girl. it’s like “pwede”, like “pwede ba”, “pwede”, like, can it be possible”, can it? pwede is like can, can it be possible

Derek: So, you say “pwede ba”

Eileen: It’s can, “pwede ba”, it’s possible, “pwede ba” can?

Derek: “Pwede” is not “pwede di ba”, it’s “pwede ba?”

Eileen: Yeah, “pwede ba”

Derek: What is “ba”?

Eileen: “Ba” is technically just to, it’s a question

Derek: So, “pwede ba?” Is it possible?

Eileen: It can be like, sometimes they do remove the “ba” but it’s like “pwede?”

Derek: Yeah, you only have pwede.

Eileen: Yah like you, the second syllable should go up, then ends with a question mark

Derek: So, normally is the whole word, “pwede ba” but they shortened it to “pwede”

Eileen: Yeah, “pwede, “pwede ba” Yeah

Derek: Okay, and then you go “pwede?” Which is

Eileen: which is, it’s a

Derek: Can be

Eileen: sentence

Derek: So, next one is “bakit”

Eileen: Why

Derek: And it’s

Eileen: “Bakit”

Derek: “Bakit”

Eileen: “Bakit”

Derek: So, the emphasis is on the first or second syllable

Eileen: The “a” is not short, “bakit”, “ba-kit”

Derek: So, where is it, where’s the, So it’s the first syllable, “bakit”, “bakit”

Eileen: Yeah, “bakit”

Derek: And that’s

Eileen: Don’t shorten the “A”, “bakit”

Derek: Okay, and that’s why? “bakit”

Eileen: Yeah, “bakit”

Derek: Okay. Next one, man, this is like slang.

Eileen: “Anyare”

Derek: “Anyare”

Eileen: “Anong nangyari?” I don’t like, “Anyare” That’s, there is a conversation so “anyare?” so, it’s like

Derek: What’s happening?

Eileen: It’s so Bronx but “anyare”, “anyare diyan sa kan”, “anyare” It’s more of funny, it’s “anyare”, “anyare” is like what happened?

Derek: It’s super like social

Eileen: “Anyare”, yeah

Derek: like casual

Eileen: Yeah, it’s actually a conjunction of two words, “anong nangyari”, “anyare”, so people like kind of got lazy

Derek: So,” anong” which we covered earlier

Eileen: Yeah “ano” is what “ng” is “ang” and then they shortened it because the, what the hell happened? like what happened? and then conjunction “anong nangyari” and then they shortened it “anyare”

Derek: “Anyare”. Wow, okay. Let’s recap, so we’ve got “sige”

Eileen: “sige”

Derek: “sige”, emphasis on the last one. What does that mean?

Eileen: Yes, it’s like okay.

Derek: “Ano”

Eileen: What

Derek: “Anong”, same

Eileen: it means like what the

Derek: Conjugation

Eileen: Yeah, it’s a conjugation

Derek: “Walang”, which is “wala” conjugation of “ang”

Eileen: Yes

Derek: “Walang”

Eileen: Very good

Derek: Which means, basically no

Eileen: None

Derek: None, no dinner. Okay, “di ba” because which is conjugation of two words, “di” “ba”

Eileen: “Hindi ba”, “hindi” is no “ba” is the question

Derek: Okay, “galing”

Eileen: “Galing”

Derek: “Galing”

Eileen: So, you’re like “galing”, so you’re like, because it’s exclamation

Derek: “Galing”

Eileen: “Galing”, you have to say it smiling

Derek: “Galing”, which means amazing

Eileen: Yeah, awesome

Derek” “Sarap”, delicious

Eileen: Delicious

Derek: “Oo tama”, means yeah that’s right.”Lang”, only or minimizes the sentence

Eileen: Like for example with “lang”, “hindi lang”, “oo lang”

Derek: What’s “hindi”

Eileen: “Hindi” is no

Derek: So, no, a little bit

Eileen: “Hindi lang”

Derek: “Hindi lang”. Okay, “talaga?” means really emphasis on the last one. “Talaga” means really. “Kasi” means because

Eileen: “Kasi” shorten the “I”

Derek: “Kasi”

Eileen: “Kasi”, shorten the “I”

Derek: “Kasi”

Eileen: “Kasi”, say it fast “kasi”

Derek: It’s weird when you say like shorten the I because it actually means like make it sound like an “e”

Eileen: Yeah, it’s the same

Derek: Do you have an e in your

Eileen: Yes, Yeah

Derek: Yeah, it’s like “pwede”, “kasi”

Eileen: But it’s just that, yeah but it’s just that for example in your English and later we’ll discuss it

Derek: “Pwede” means, can it be “pwede”, “pwede” can it be, and “pwede”, can be. “Bakit”, “bakit”

Eileen: “Bakit”

Derek: “Bakit”

Eileen: “Bakit” longer the “A”, “bakit” think of a

Derek: And it’s a short “I”

Eileen: Yeah, “bakit”

Derek: “Anyare”

Eileen: “Anyare”

Derek: What is that?

Eileen: “Anong nangyari”, what happened

Derek: What’s up?

Eileen: It’s concised of “anong” what the happened

Derek: Wow

Eileen: “Anong nangyari” so it’s concised “anyare”

Derek: Perfect

Eileen: Where do you get these words!? “Anyare”

Derek: They’re my party words

Okay, I hope you enjoyed that episode with Eileen. Okay, so this is really not gonna knock your lingo off their pedestal it’s no replacement for the Rosetta Stone but I hope you enjoyed that. If you wanna see any of the show notes, if you wanna see the spelling, if you want our little hack sheet on these words go to our show notes that is at outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode10

See you next time!

Listen to more podcast episodes here:

  1. Derek Gallimore – Centennial Episode’s Big Announcements
  2. Vince Filamor – Time, Process and People Management empowering Outsourcing
  3. Romulo Reyes – Business Opportunities in the Gaming Industry


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