Translate English to Tagalog Idioms

Translate English to Tagalog idioms and converse naturally in Filipino. Here are some common idiomatic expressions.

"Hello" in Tagalog

  • Hoy - sometimes used as a greeting [remember to smile] in some parts of the Tagalog region. Depending on the tone however, this may also be an address that demands an urgent answer.
  • Saan ka pupunta (Where are you going), Pasa'n ka, San ka [variations] - usually this question follows "Hoy". Almost always, this question is rhetorical when used as a greeting. One can simply answer "D'yan lang" (There, not very far), or "Dine/dito" (Here, near the speaker), or "Doon" (There, farther away). Unless the question demands an answer, there will be a follow up question, but usually, this is an apt response to a cultural form of "hello".
  • Kamusta ka (How are you) nearest idiomatic equivalent of "Hello"

"Anybody home?" in Tagalog

  • Tao po - before entering a home, knocking on doors is politely accompanied by this formal address. Literally this simply calls on somebody to answer the door. Tao means man or woman, po is a polite expression in the Tagalog region only.
  • Sino po sila (Who's there), Sino pong hinahanap nila (Who are you looking for)
  • Sino pong kailangan nila (Who do you need/Who do you want to see) - [Common responses].
  • Wala po rito (He/She is not here)
  • Sandali lang po (A moment please) [A second response]. Remember that "po" sometimes becomes "ho". Both carries the polite tone of the language.

"Welcome" in Tagalog

  • Tuloy po kayo/ Pasok po kayo (Come in). A Filipino "welcome" depending on context, can mean more than allowing somebody into one's home for just a moment. So, if you are invited to "Pasok muna po kayo't magkape" (Come in and have coffee), this simply means that you may linger long. In some parts of the Tagalog region, even if you're just passing by, a host will call on you and extend a spontaneous invitation: "Daan muna't magkape" (Stop by and have coffee). But you may decline and interpret this as a form of "Hello"
  • If you are welcome to stay then you will be told "Dito ka na muna lumagi" or "Dito ka na muna tumuloy" or "Puwede kang matulog dito" (You can stay/sleep over here in my house for a short while).
  • "Welcome" in a corporate sense [for example, when you are welcoming participants to a convention or seminar] is also "Welcome" in Filipino or Tagalog. You don't even have to change the English spelling because everybody understands this word. One applicable translation is "Tuloy po kayo" (Come in) plus "Maligayang Pagdalo" (We are happy that you are attending).
  • "Bahala na po kayo dyan" (It's up to you to enjoy) [Nearest equivalent] 
  • "Pagdamutan po ninyo ang aming nakayanan" (We prepared something small, but hopefully, you'll enjoy your stay)  

For learners of Tagalog out there, these Tagalog idiomatic expressions carry the Filipino trait of hospitality. Other English to Tagalog idioms hint at other Filipino cultural traits.

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