Tagalog Speech Segments

Ten Tagalog speech segments or parts of speech were identified as follows:

  • Pangngalan - Noun
  • Panghalip - Pronoun
  • Pandiwa - Verb
  • Pang-uri - Adjective
  • Pang-abay - Adverb
  • Pantukoy -Pointer
  • Pangatnig  -Conjunction
  • Pang-ukol -Preposition
  • Pang-angkop- Connector
  • Pandamdam - Interjection

Meanwhile the 2003 edition of Makabagong Balarilang Filipino by Alfonso O. Santiago and Norma G. Tiangco, classifies the parts into two:

Tagalog Speech segments carrying content (Content Words) Nouns (pangngalan) and pronouns (panghalip) name the subject of the Tagalog sentence, while verbs (pandiwa) name the action. Adjectives (adjectives) modify the nouns, while adverbs (pang-abay) modify the verbs. As in English, these parts of speech also carry the main meaning of the sentence.

Tagalog Speech segments acting as pointers and connectors (Function Words) Conjunctions (pangatnig), connectors (pang-angkop), and prepositions (pang-ukol) serve as markers of the main parts to indicate function, while pointers (pantukoy) and the linker "ay" (pangawing na "ay") link the parts to complete the meaning. 

Classifying Tagalog speech segments or parts of speech into "content" words and "function" words is based on the traditional use of the Tagalog language, that is, how native speakers use them. Content words when taken out of the sentence will have their meanings intact and they will have new meanings in an intended context as they become parts of another phrase or segment. Meanwhile,function words need to be in a sentence for smooth structure and grammatical flow. 

Nouns in the linguistic sense

Whether a word names a person, animal, thing, place, attribute, event is not the main concern in classifying a noun as noun. Rather, any word or group of words following the markers <i>ang/si, ng/ni, sa/kay</i> and their plural equivalents is a word playing the noun part. The markers identified here are not arbitrary, with the first set used in a direct intention, and the next two sets, in an indirect intention. (We are using a hyphen to show how the parts literally place themselves in a word-for-word translation.) 

First set examples:

  • Nakabayad - sa pagkakautang - ang abogado ng - gastador. [Was able to pay - debts - the lawyer - spendthrift.] The spendthrift lawyer was able to pay his debts.
  • Ang pagbagsak - ng kompanya - ay pagbagsak - rin - ng angkan. (The fall - of company - is fall - also - of clan.) The fall of the company is also the fall of the clan.

Second set examples:

  • Hindi mapapalitan - ng ginto - ang oras - ng magulang - sa kanyang anak. (Not replace - with gold - the time - parent - to his/her child.) Gold can't replace a parent's time with his child.
  • Kapitan - ng barangay - si Jose. (Captain - of barangay - Jose.) Jose is a barangay captain.
  • Nagsilbing halimbawa - ng manunulat - ang istilo - ni Bob Ong. (Serve as example - of writer[s] - the style - of Bob Ong.) Bob Ong's style set an example to writers.
  • Hindi nabawasan- ang katapatan - ng mga empleyado - kay Ginoong Gokongwei. (Not diminished- the trust - of employees - to Mr. Gokongwei). Employees' trust in Mr. Gokongwei was not diminished.

Note that translators will also translate the English sentences above as written below, that is, following the English sentence word order as closely as possible:

  • The spendthrift lawyer was able to pay his debts. (Ang gastador na abogado ay nakabayad ng kanyang mga utang.)
  • The fall of the company is also the fall of the clan. (Ang pagbagsak ng kompanya ay pagbagsak rin ng angkan.)
  • Gold can't replace a parent's time with his child. (Ang ginto ay hindi maipapalit sa oras ng magulang sa kanyang anak.)
  • Jose is a barangay captain. (Si Jose ay kapitan ng barangay.)
  • Bob Ong's style set an example to writers. (Ang istilo ni Bong Ong ay nagsilbing halimbawa sa mga manunulat.)
  • Employees trust in Gokongwei was not diminished. (Ang tiwala ng mga empleyado kay Gokongwei ay hindi nabawasan.)

Sometimes, following the English word order faithfully will make the Tagalog sentence sound unidiomatic and awkward. The translator or editor must make sure that the Tagalog word order for nouns and other parts follow the Tagalog rules of grammar without ruining the meaning of the source text. Sometimes, too, applying the English word order for Tagalog speech segments will make the tone formal.Unless this is expressed as the intention, a more idiomatic translation is preferred.

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Basta & Whatever

Anong problema?
What's the problem?
O, eh bakit ang sungit mo?
So why are you so grumpy?
Basta, lumayo ka nga.
Whatever, go away.
Anong basta, bakit ba? 
What do you mean "whatever", tell me why?
Basta ayoko sa yo
No reason, I just don't like you
Basta, ganon lang, basta?
Oo, basta, wala lang, basta.
Yes, whatever, can't say no more, that's just it.
Ang labo mo naman.
You confuse me.