When planning to visit the Philippines, one might be a bit anxious or even nervous because Filipino (Tagalog) is the national language of the Philippines. However, it might be a relief to know that English is regarded as the country’s second language, therefore one will find that many Filipinos can speak and understand English. For the most part, English speaking tourists do not have to worry that a language barrier may cause problems during their vacation. That being said, it will still be to ones benefit to also learn (Filipino) Tagalog, which is the national language.
The use and influence of the English language in the Philippines can be attributed to the American influence in the Philippines because for a time the Philippines was colonized by America. Today in the Philippines, American influence can be seen in everyday life in such things as food, the music that is listened to, and the programs on television. Moreover, American products are widely available.
The English language in the Philippines is often used along with Tagalog. As a result you will find that people mix English with Tagalog. This is commonly called Taglish.
English is also the primary medium of instruction in the country in elementary school, high school, college, and beyond. Almost all the subjects are discussed in English, with the exception of the Filipino subject, which is taught in the Filipino language.
There are schools that encourage students to express themselves in English while on campus and whenever talking to those in authority. In some families, parents teach their children at an early age to speak and use English in everyday conversations.
In the Philippine islands different languages are spoken, therefore, Filipinos who travel to another region of the country where a different dialect or language is spoken will find that they can communicate with fellow Filipinos using either the Filipino language (Tagalog) or the English language. That is if they do not speak the local language.
Some words used in Filipino were borrowed from English. Some borrowed words cannot be directly translated into Filipino so they are used as is but may be spelled in Filipino according to their pronunciation. Some of the English words that are used in Filipino include words such as: printer, fax, bar, and cell phone. Other commonly used English words in Tagalog include: hello, hi, escalator, and so on..
In the Tagalog language, there are also English words that are spelled according to their pronunciation when used in Filipino. Examples of these words are telebisyon (television), oben (oven), and kamera (camera). There are countless others but here are a few more: traysikel (tricycle), dyip (jeep), and miting (meeting).
It is a good idea and might be advantageous to learn even basic Tagalog or words from the dialect spoken in the region one is visiting. At some point knowing the language could come in handy. For instance, if you go off the beaten path you might find that you are more at ease due to the added peace of mind of knowing that you can communicate with locals, in Tagalog or another dialect; when necessary.