Speak Visayan: Greetings, Pronouns and Questions

When travelling to the Philippines, it pays to learn a bit of the local language despite the fact that most Filipinos can easily speak English. Visayan is one of the most spoken language in the Philippines being used both in Visayas and many parts of Mindanao.

Speak Visayan

Learning Visayan is not as easy, I have had several expat friends who already lived in Cebu for year but never got to speaking the language. Why you may ask? Unlike other Southeast Asian countries, most locals prefer to speak to foreign travelers in English as an effect of years being colonies of foreign countries. If you know a bit of Spanish then you already know a bit of Visayan because some of them have been mixed into the dialects along with some Malay and Chinese words.  I am writing this post to share our dialect and spread awareness, here are some words and phrases that you can use:

Greetings

  • good morning – maayong buntag
  • good noon – maayong udto
  • good afternoon – maayong hapon
  • good night – maayong gabii
  • goodbye – babye
  • thank you – salamat
  • thank you very much – Daghang Salamat
  • please – palihog
  • you’re welcome – walay sapayan
  • yes/no – o/di
  • yes/no (polite) – oo / dili
  • OK – sige
  • just a minute – kadali lang
  • only, merely, simply – lang
  • again, similarly – na pud
  • no problem – walay problema
  • how are you? – kamusta (na) ka?
  • how are you? (plural) – kamusta (na) kamo?
  • where have you been? – Asa ka gikan?
  • where are you going? – Asa ka paingon?
  • I’m coming from Mactan. – Gikan ko sa Mactan.
  • I’m going to Moalboal. – Adto ko sa Moalboal.
  • Good – Maayo
  • Good, thank you and you? – Maayo man, salamat, ug ikaw?
  • Also good – Maayo sab/pud
  • And – Ug

Pronouns

  • I – ako
  • You – ikaw
  • he, she – siya
  • they – sila
  • we (I and you) – kita
  • us ( I and others) – kami
  • you (plural) – kamo
  • this – kini
  • that – kana/kadto(farther)

Questions

  • who (singular) – kinsa
  • who (plural) – kinsa-kinsa
  • how – unsa’on
  • how many – pila kabuok
  • how much – tagpila
  • what – unsa
  • what did you say? – unsa to?
  • when – kanus-a
  • where – asa
  • why – ngano/ng
  • where is the port? – asa ang pier?
  • what is this/that? – unsa ni/na?
  • when is it ready? – kanus-a mahuman/matapos?
  • how far is it? – unsa kalayo (layo)?
  • who is this/that? – kinsa ni/na?
  • what is your name? – unsa may ngalan nimo/mo?
  • how old are you? – pila na may imong edad?
  • where do you come from? – asa ka gikan/ taga diing lugar ka?
  • which bus for the city? – unsang bus ang moadto sa siudad?
  • where is the bus stop? – asa ang hunungan/hulatanan ug bus?
  • where do I catch the jeepney? – asa ko musakay ug jeepney?
  • where does this bus go? – asa paingon/moadto kining bus?
  • where do i get off? – asa ko manaog?
  • how much is the fare? – pila ang plete?
  • what time is it? – unsang orasa na?
  • how much is this/that? – tagpila ni/na?
  • do you have air-con? – nabay air-con?
  • how much is a room? – pila ang usa ka kwarto?

Now you have learned a couple of basic Visayan words and phrases, do use them if you want to win over the hearts of the locals. Up next will be adjectives, numbers, commands and some conversational phrases!

 

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