Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies




Antonio Galang, Jr.

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Email: phstudies.iaaw (at)



Tagalog (Fipino) is one of the two official languages in the Philippines, the other being English. The 1987 Philippine constitution did not specifically mention Tagalog as the basis of the national language, but instead acknowledged Filipino as a language in development that is to be enriched by local dialects and foreign languages. It is taught in all school levels side-by-side with English.

Prior to “Filipino”, the term “Pilipino” was used in reference to the Tagalog-based national language as promulgated in 1946 under Commonwealth Act No. 570. Tagalog is the lingua franca in Manila and its neighboring provinces. Today, it is understood in almost all parts of the country. No other dialect in the Philippines is as widely spoken as Tagalog. With an estimated 70 million local and international speakers, Tagalog is a predominant language of Philippine culture and way of life. Like many Philippine dialects, Tagalog falls into the category of Malayo-Polynesian languages, one of the biggest in the family of the Austronesian languages.