Bisaya 101

Wanna learn Bisayâ in a practical, informal and come-what-may kind-of-way? Then this might be the blog for you. Target audiences are Tag/Lish speaking people. Feel free to comment on the lessons. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Ako Ay Pinoy

Tagalog: Ako ay Pilipino.
English: I am Filipino
Bisaya: Ako kay Pilipino.

This sentence order is seldom used because it is awkward to use it this way in Bisaya. It is more common to construct it this way:

Bisaya: Pilipino ko.
Tagalog: Pilipino ako.

A verb and an adverb could also be used in the sentence this way, i.e.,:

[Verb | Adverb] [Subject].


Bisaya: Nalipay ko.
Tagalog: Masaya ako.
English: I am happy. (Literally "Happy I am." --> a la Yoda)

Bisaya: Patay ka.
Tagalog: Patay ka.
English: You're dead. (Literally, "Dead you are.")

Bisaya: Nanga-on sila.
Tagalog: Kumakain sila.
English: They are eating. (Literally, "Eating they are.")

"Kay" is more commonly used as a contracted form of the cuse type of adverb clause, placed before the dependent clause:

Bisaya: Tungod kay
Tagalog: Dahil | Kasi
English: Because

Usage: [Subject] [kay | tungod kay] [Dependent Clause]


Bisaya: Nanga-on sila kay gigutom [sila].
Tagalog: Kumain sila dahil gutom [sila].
English: They ate because they're hungry.

Bisaya: Natulog ang iring kay gikapoy [siya].
Tagalog: Natulog ang pusa dahil napagod [siya].
English: The cat slept because it is tired.

Well, that's it for now. It's been more than a year since my last post. My gosh! :O Maybe it wold be better for me to post short lessons rather than longer ones.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Lesson 2

Lesson in a glance:
  1. Did You Know?

  2. Bisayâ By Example: Simple Sentences

    1. Kamusta ka na?

    2. Saan ka?

    3. Anong pangalan mo?

    4. Magkano yan?

    5. Kailan tayo magkikita?

    6. Anong oras ka darating?

    7. Kung di mo maintindihan, tanong ka na lang

    8. Punta ako sa office

  3. Vocabulary

  4. Journalism Questions

A. Did You Know...
...that there are about 5,000 terms in the Cebuano language that trace their roots from Spanish? Compare it to 2,000 terms in the Tagalog language. That's what my Spanish teacher said back in college. I dunno if it's true though. Hehe...

B. Bisayâ by Example: Simple Sentences:

1.Tagalog:Kamusta ka na?
 Bisayâ:Kamusta na ka?

Kumusta / Kamusta
from the Spanish phrase como esta, meaning How are you?

Note: In the language's interrogative form, the placement of ka and na are reversed.
Kumain ka na?Nika-on na ka?
Naligo ka na?Naligô na ka?
Naghilamos ka na?Naghilam-os na ka?

2.Tagalog:Saan ka?
 Bisayâ:Asa ka?



variations: aha, dis-a, di-a

Long form of the sentence:

Tagalog:Saan ka pupunta?
Bisayâ:Asa ka mo-adto? / Asa ka paingon?


to go


future tense (pupunta)

synonym: paingon

3. Tagalog: Anong pangalan mo?
Bisayâ: Unsa'y pangalan nimo?

unsa = ano / what
unsa'y = contracted form of "unsa ang" ("ano ang" / "what is")

pangalan = name (same tagalog term)
ngalan = contracted form of pangalan
ngan (long a) = "pangalan" contracted further

nimo = mo
= cannot be contracted to "mo." should always bi "nimo"

4. Tagalog: Magkano yan?
Bisaya: Pila nâ?

pila = contracted form of "tagpila" (how much)
nâ = yan / that
= contracted form of kanâ

kini = this / ito
= contracted form: ni (e.g., "pila ni?")
kato = that / yun
= contracted form: to (e.g., "pila to?")
kanâ = that (intermediate distance, between kini ang kato)

5. Tagalog: Kailan tayo magkikita/
Bisayâ: Kanus-a ta magkitâ?

Kanus-a = when / kelan
ta = us / tayo
= contracted form of kita. It's seldom to use the sentence is "Kanus-a kita magkita?" since the language is fond of contracting terms.

magkitâ = magkikita
= same with the tagalog term, but this is the form of the future tense.

nagkitâ = past tense
e.g., "Nagkitâ mi ganiha." (Nagkita kami kanina)
ganiha = kanina / a while ago
mi = contracted form of kami (usually used than "kami").

gakitâ = present tense (ongoing)
e.g., "Gakita sila ron" (Nagkikita sila ngayon)
ron = contracted form of karon (ngayon/now)

6. Tagalog: Anong oras ka darating?
Bisayâ: Unsa'y oras ka maka-abot?

Unsa'y = contracted form of "unsa nga" (anong)

- take note that "unsa ang" and unsa nga" is contracted to the same term "unsa'y." Meaning, "unsa'y" has to be contextualized to get the exact meaning, whether it's "unsa nga" or "unsa ang"

oras = oras / time
= synonym: taknâ

maka-abot = darating
= from the root word "abot" - to arrive
= maka + abot = future tense of "abot"

past tense = naka-abot

7. Tagalog: Kung di mo maiintindihan, tanong ka na lang.
Bisayâ: Kung di nimo masabtan, pangutana na lang.

mo = refer to no. 3

masabtan = maiintindihan
= root word "sabot" (to understand)
= ma + "sabot" + an = masabutan (future tense) => contracted to "masabtan"

pangutana = to ask

8. Tagalog: Punta ako sa office.
Bisayâ: Mo-adto ko sa opisina.

adto/mo-adto = refer to no. 2

ko = ako
= contracted form of "ako" (same as the Tagalog term)
= frequently used than the long form "ako" in everyday language

opisina = office. ;)

C. Vocabulary
a. Takbo = dagan

tatakbo = modagan (future)
tumakbo = nidagan (past)
tumatakbo = gadagan (present perfect)

invitational (tumakbo tayo) = Managan ta.
command (tumakbo ka) = Dagan.
(tumakbo kayo) = Dagan mo.

b. Upo = lingkod

uupo = molingkod (future)
umupo = nilingkod (past)
umuupo = galingkod (present perfect)

invitational (umupo tayo) - Manglingkod ta. (ta - kita, contracted form)
command (umupo ka) - Lingkod
(umupo kayo) - Lingkod mo / Panglingkod kamo (long-form)

c. TayƓ = tindog

tatayo = motindog (future)
tumayo = nitindog (past)
tumatayo = gatindog (present perfect)

d. Kain = ka-on

kakain = moka-on (future)
kumain = nika-on (past)
kumakain = gaka-on (present perfect)

to invite somebody (kain tayo): Ka-on ta... / Mangaon ta
command (kumain kayo) = Ka-on [na] mo / Panganon na mo.
(kumain ka) = Kaon.

e. Tulog = tulog (same)

matulog = matulog

command: matulog na kayo = tulog na mo / pangatulog na kamo (long form).
invitational: matulog na tayo = tulog na ta / mangatulog na kita (long form).

D. Journalism questions:

What = unsa
When = kanus-a
Where = asa / dis-a / aha
How = gi-unsa
Why = ngano

Lesson 1

Light muna tayo

In this lesson we will tackle:
- The general facts of the language
- Conventions
- Dissecting a sentence
- Vocabulary
- Directional terms

General facts about the Visayan language:

  • - usually synonymous with the Cebuano dialect, can be referred to as Bisayâ.

  • - spoken in Cebu and majority of cities and towns in Mindanao. Other languages in Mindanao include Ilonggo ang Muslim languages.

  • - the language can be broken down into different dialects, some differing slightly in vocabulary, or usual terms used for everyday language, others differ in the contraction of different words. That's why a Bisayâ from one place might find it funny or "weird" to hear someone speaking Bisayâ from another place (just like the Tagalog language).

  • - generally a heavily accented language usually the ending vowels are pronounced heavily (e.g., like the Tagalog terms lupâ and sirâ)

heavy vowels will be spelled with a caret above, i.e.,
vowele.g. (Tagalog)
Tagalog terms/sentences are colored blue and terms/sentences in Bisayâ are colored green.

The lesson will be divided into sections (all sections may not be included in one lesson):

  1. Vocabulary

  2. Usage

  3. Syntax and grammar

  4. Dissecting sentences and phrases

I make no assurances na systematic tong lessons natin, basta kung ano lang ang maiisip ko at the moment, or kung may tinatanong kayo, yun ang gagawan ko ng lesson. :)

For this lesson let's base it from the sentence below:

Sentence: Ayo-ayo na lang dinhâ day ha.
Translation (Tagalog): Ingat na lang diyan hija ha.


take care (english)

ingat (tagalog)

na lang

na lang (tagalog) ;)


short for Inday.

A term of endearment specially used when the speaker is addressing a younger female.

Normally used to address little girls but it's used also to address a female regardless of age, as long as the speaker is older or the same age with the person he/she is addressing. Sometimes the rule can be broken - the person can use this to address a female older than he/she is, but not that old because it would be impolite to do so.

Its usage is almost similar to the term baby (English) pero usually may romantic connotation pag ginamit ng older people ang baby.


short for dodong.

male equivalent for day.

nang / manang

a polite way of addressing an female much older than the speaker.

original meaning: ate (older sister). But in our generation this is very rarely used. Ate lang talaga ang ginagamit namin.

When you address someone as manang or nang who is not much older than you are, it might insult her. ;)

nong / manong

male equiv. for nang / manang.

orig. meaning: kuya (older brother). But in our generation this is very rarely used. Kuya lang talaga ang ginagamit namin.

When you address someone as manong or nong who is not much older than you are, it might insult him. ;)

By The Way: You might be wondering if there's a Cebuano term of endearment in a romantic sense, it's palanggâ. The term's gender is neutral (so pwedeng gamitin for either male or female). Contracted form is . It can also be used as a verb, meaning to love. When someone says palangga tika, it means you are dear to me / i like you / i love you / i'm fond of you. Synonym for the verb palanggâ is nahigugma (root word is gugma, for love). Like / gusto is ganahan (root word is gana - like)

Nahigugma ko nimo. - I love you.
Ganahan ko nimo. - I like you.

Moving on...



While we're at it, let's tackle the directional terms:


diyan (proximate distance)

variations of dinha: di-anha (long form), danhâ, dihâ, (contracted form)


doon (there)

long form: di-adto, di-ato


dito (here)

variations: danhi, di-anhi (long form), dire, di-are (long form)

Note: the variations of dinhâ, and dihâ can be used in another context, apart from its original meaning. The statements:

Dihâ ka? / Jâ ka? - means Are you kidding? / Talaga lang? / Stir? / Hindi ngâ?

That's it for now. nguyain nyo muna ang mga na na-discuss natin for this lesson before proceeding to the next one.

Signing off... ;)