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Because of 300 years of Spanish colonial rule, Tagalog has a large amount of Spanish vocabulary. However before the arrival of the Spaniards, Tagalog had vocabulary from other languages such as Chinese languages, Sanskrit and, of course, Malay.
Not only do Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia share cultural, genetic, geographic, economic and historical ties with the Philippines but also in language too. This is mainly because the languages are part of the Austronesian family. The older Austronesian languages came from Taiwan and later spread out into the Malay Archipelago, the Pacific Islands and as far as Madagascar.
Although, the Tagalog people of Manila would’ve gotten Malay words after being connected politically with Brunei. Not only was Tagalog influenced by Malay but a number of other Philippine languages were also influenced by Malay. But for this article, I will focus on Tagalog mainly because that is the Philippine language I’m most familiar with.
Although there are more than 5000 Tagalog words of Spanish origin, there are more than 3000 words of Malay or Indonesian origin.
NOTE: There are some words in Tagalog that are same/similar to Malay or Indonesian however those words may have come via other languages especially Sanskrit.
Here are some words both found in Tagalog and Malay and mean the same thing.
|kami||we (excludes 2nd person)|
If the Malay/Indonesian word has a ~u, replace it with an ~o in Tagalog.
|Ako||Aku||I (informal in Malay)|
If the Malay/Indonesian word ends with ~i, replace it with ~oy or ~ay in Tagalog.
If the Malay/Indonesian word has a ~e, replace it with a ~a in Tagalog.
If the Malay/Indonesian word has a ~r, replace it with a ~l in Tagalog.
Here are some false friends between Malay/Indonesian and Tagalog.
|dapat||to have to do||dapat||to manage to do|
|saya||happy, skirt||saya||I (formal)|
Even when either the Malay and/or Indonesian word is of Portuguese origin, the Tagalog word would be of Spanish origin for the same meaning.
Here are other words in Tagalog that are similar to Malay and/or Indonesian that mean the same thing.
|tanghali||tengah (half) hari (day)||noon|
Here are other words in Tagalog of Malay and/or Indonesian origin that mean the something different.
|dalamhati||dalam (inside) hati (liver)||grief|
|luwalhati||luar(outside) hati (liver)||glory|
This is an abridged list of the Tagalog words similar to Malay or Indonesian as there are bound to be more words. Chances are that if you know Spanish and Malay/Indonesian, then learning Tagalog wouldn’t be much of a problem when it comes to vocabulary.