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, May 22, 2004

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... ;)


At 8:53 PM, Blogger annais said...

this is really nice. i never thought anyone would blog something like this but, ei, you did. i'm not exactly needing the lessons as bisaya is my native tongue but this is something i can recommend to my friends. keep this up dude!

At 1:49 AM, Blogger The Jester said...

Thanks verlaine. Hmmm... Haven't updated this blog in a long while. Hard to find the free time these days. :(

At 12:16 AM, Blogger teya said...

Thank you so much. My husband is Visayan and I am born in the States and would so much love to learn to speak his language.


At 10:38 AM, Blogger jedrick said...

walay lawm2x nga bisaya dira?hehehe... anyways this blog is cool..

At 10:45 PM, Blogger Bboy Blog said...

san na ang lesson 2?
sana magawa ng maaga :)) parang outdated na ata to sayang.. dami ko natutunan by the way :)) . Grammar need ko para ma apply ung bisaya in right way.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Tiradauno said...

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