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The Explanation about Why Does Tagalog Sound Like Indonesian

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Hi there! Welcome, to the next lesson of Bahasa Indonesia. Today we will learn something that is a very interesting topic. It is about Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesia. Are there any similarities between Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesia? Why does Tagalog sound like Indonesia?


Before we will discuss it, let’s we previous what we already learn before; Is Tagalog and Bahasa Indonesia similar?some Indonesian words similar to TagalogIs Indonesian Useful to Learn? even the differences between Indonesian and Malaysian language.

Why does Tagalog sound like Indonesian? There are many factors that Tagalog sounds like Indonesian. The factors will be explained below here. Let’s go!

It has the same ethnic

Both Indonesia and the Philippines they have the same ethnic. It begins in the 9th century. While the Majapahit empire reached the Philippine archipelago. Many languages from Malay, ancient Sanskrit and Javanese influenced the old Tagalog language at that time. This is the first reason why Tagalog sounds similar to Indonesian.

The old history changes all

You should know that Indonesia and Philipines are both archipelagic countries and they belong to Austronesian ancestry. There are many loan words from ancient Sanskrit and Malay/Indonesian influenced the Tagalog. Below here are the lists of loan words of Sanskrit and Malay/Indonesian you should know.

Loanwords Sanskrit – Tagalog

1.Ācāra (आचार) meaning manner of action, conduct, behavior,Asal; Behaviour, Character
2.Vārtā (वार्ता), meaning account, report Balita; News
3.Dūṣita (दूषित), meaning defiled, violated, injuredDusta; Ignominiously insulted
4.Hīna (हीन), meaning “weaker/lower than; abandoned; deficient”Hina Weakness; fragility
5.Cukra (चुक्र), meaning vinegarSuka; Vinegar

The above lists of Tagalog it sounds similar to Bahasa Indonesia, does it right? In the table above, it can be seen that most of the Sanskrit language vocabulary is incorporated in the Tagalog language and most of it is borrowed directly through Malay or Javanese. Well, let’s compare the Tagalog’s loanwords in Indonesian.

The first loanword is  Asal it means behavior from the Sanskrit word of Ācāra (आचार). Asal in Bahasa Indonesian means the origin place (tempat asal), sometimes we find it on the question; Dari mana asalmu? (Where do you come from?). Then, the answer is saya datang dari Bali. (I come from Bali, Indonesia).

Next, Balita; this word means news in Tagalog otherwise in Sanskrit Vārtā (वार्ता), it means account and report. However, in Indonesia balita is a term for one to five-year-old babies (toddlers). Balita itu harus mendapatkan imunisasi secara bertahap. (The toddlers must get the vaccine in stages)

Well, now let we see the loanwords from Malay/Indonesian belongs to Tagalog. Does it sound similar to Indonesia? 

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The lists of loanwords from Malay/Indonesian belongs to Tagalog

2.AkoAkuI (informal)
5.GulayGulaiVegetables; Curry
7.HariHariKing; Day
9.SalamatSelamatThank you; Safe
10.SandokSendokLadle; Spoon

We will start with the word Abo all words in Malay or Bahasa Indonesian that has a word ends with u, replace it with o. It is like abu (Indonesian) turns to abo (Tagalog). It has the same meaning both languages, it is ash. Kayu terbakar menjadi abu (The wood burned to ashes).  It is similar to Ako (Tagalog) from Aku (Malay/Indonesian). It has the same meaning as I (informal).

Then, the Malay/Indonesian word has a word ends with i, replace it with oy or ay in Tagalog. Api means fire in Tagalog we call it Apoy. The other example; Gulai means curry it is a traditional dish in Indonesia, you can see it on some list of Indonesian dishes. However, in Tagalog it turns to Gulay it means vegetables.

This word has already explained, Balita every word in Tagalog that has l. It turns to r in Malay. Indonesia, Berita. There is another example, Kulang (Tagalog) it turns to Kurang (Malay/Indonesian) it means less. Seratus itu kurang dari lima ratus (One hundred is less than five hundred).

The last example, there are many words in Tagalog sounds similar like Indonesian but it has different meaning, such as;  Salamat (Tagalog) turns to Selamat (Malay/Indonesian); Selamat datang di restoran kami (Welcome to our restaurant) and Sandok (Tagalog) turns to Sendok (Malay/Indonesian); Gunakan sendok untuk makan sup (Use a spoon to eat the soup).

Hopefully, the above of why does Tagalog sound like Indonesia now can answer your big question. May with this you can learn something about the similar sounds between Tagalog and Indonesian. Goodluck.

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