“Essential Tagalog for the Foreigner Married to a Filipina”: I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time but I keep wanting to make it perfect, so it never gets done. So instead of making it perfect, I’m going to make it fun and random — I’m going do this first installment as a speedpost — almost stream of consciousness, putting whatever comes into my head. I have poured myself a nice vodka and buko juice (there’s one word, “buko”), and it is now 7:15 PM. I promise to post this at exactly 7:45. So …. 30 minutes to do this. I hope I don’t offend anyone. These are things you will actually hear around the house if you just listen, and if you learn them you can use them pretty much one word or one small expression at a time — i.e. you don’t have to string together long sentences. Just sprinkle this in like spices……
First, I’m going to skip the two things that every foreigner learns even if they learn nothing else: “Mahal Kita” and “Maganda ka”. You already know these two.
So, here goes.
oo — (oh-oh) — yes
hindi — (hin – deh) no. (the more emphatic you want it to be, the shaper the “deh” part of it.
hindi pwede — can not, more like “no way”
pera (pera) money
puti (puti) white (also you, as in a white person)
kano (kano) American (as in Amerikano)
wala (wala) none, it doesn’t exist
wala ng pera (there is no money, I have no money
ayoko — I don’t like
ayaw — “he/she doesn’t like”
huwag! — (whag!) — don’t!
bakit naman? why in the world?
bakit ayaw? why don’t you like?
hiya … (hiya) shame, embarrassment
nahiya ako … I feel ashamed, embarrassed
talaga .. (sounds like dalaga) — really
lalaki — (lalaki) man
babae — (baba-eh) woman
anak — (anak) child
pwet — butt
ikaw — you (at the beginning of a sentence)
ikaw eh? — you’re too much
ka — you (at the end of a sentence)
_______ ka — you are ________
bastos ka! — you’re being rude/vulgar!
Si …. (goes before a proper name … Si Rena)
Ang … (goes before a regular noun — Ang bulaklak — the flower)
ni lo loko mo ako …. you are driving me crazy (you don’t say it, just understand it when she says it to you)
napagod … (napagod) tired
ma– the beginnng of all adjectives
mayabang — (mayabang) arrogant (foreigners often are; you won’t be if you learn some Tagalog)
chedeng (chedeng) Mercedes (as in, she deserves one .. from Mercedes pronounced “merchedez” hence “chedeng”)
matalino — (matalino) smart
magulo — (magulo) confused, also confusing
makulit — (makulit) annoyingly persistent (as in your three year old wanting something, or you if you are feeling frisky and she’s not)
masipag — (masipag) industrious
mayaman — (mayaman) wealthy
matanda — matanda) old
madaling — (madaling) easy
4M — you, probably…(matandana, mayaman, madaling, mamatay — literally old, rich, and soon to die…..someone’s probably saying it behind your back so better to learn it and use it, as in “I know I’m 4M”…)
matigas — (matigas) hard (as in you know what on a good night)
malambot — (malambot) soft (as in you know what on a bad night)
bastos — (bastos) rude, vulgar (as in what I wrote above about matigas and malambot)
malibog (malibog) horny (you will be accused of this often if you are not dead yet)
“matadana ako, madaling napagod” I’m old, it’s easy to get tired (your excuse for occasional malambot)
mataray — (mataray) stern pain in the ass, ballbuster
puso — heart
pagibig — love
pasalubong — (pasalubong) — gift you bring back from a trip (and don’t dare forget it, one for everybody!)
pamasahe — (pamasahe) — money for transportation (phonetic, not sure how it’s spelled)
baon — (baon) food you take with you, like a lunchbox, also the money for food you’ll need at work, also just money you’ll need when you go anywhere … as in “I need some baon, honey”.
sakit (sakit) pain (physical, but also emotional)
masakit — it hurts
masakit ng loob — I’m hurting inside (as in, you hurt my feelings)
utot — (utot) fart
meron? (meron?) do you have/do we have?
meron! (meron!) we have
masarap .. (masarap) tasty (you better know that and say it often!)
matamis (matamis) sweet
gusto ko … I like
gusto mo? … do you like/want?
pero … but
aso (aso)… dog
sige (sigeh)…go ahead, or okay let’s do it, or okay i agree
sige na … go ahead (as go ahead, make my day)
biro (sounds like beeroh) joke
Okay, time’s up. Ha….this was like taking a 30 minute quiz. Not sure how I did. A shrink could probably have fun with this.
UPDATE BASED ON COMMENTS ON FACEBOOK
kain (kain) food (very important)
kain na! — let’s eat! or ‘have you eaten’?