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This article is a quick explanation of the differances in the Languages of the Philippines. With over 175 dialects, and the confusion over what is Tagalog , what is Filiipino, this article explains what you need to know.

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Language, Tagalog, Filipino, Pilipino

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Learning the Tagalog Language is essential if you plan to communicate in the Philippines. Tagalog is sometimes also called Filipino or the Pilipino Language. So as not to get confused, let me explain the difference between the terminologies. Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines. It is spoken by about 23% of the population. The remaining spoken languages, the remaining 77%, is divided among approximately 175 other dialects. Tagalog, being the Official National Language of the Philippines, is considered as the base language. If you look at the other dialects, you will see numerous Tagalog and Tagalog derivatives in them. And most who do speak these other dialects, understand some Tagalog.
So learning Tagalog is essential.

That being said, you may wonder what Filipino or Pilipino is. This is a combination of both Tagalog and other dialects and languages. Filipino or sometimes Pilipino (its older name) is an amalgamation of all the Philippines languages, English and Spanish combined together. Since English as well as Tagalog is taught in the schools in the Philippines, many people tend to speak Tagalog with English words mixed in the sentence. At that point they are talking Filipino.
So now you see how important it is to learn Tagalog. Once you take the time to learn some Tagalog, you will be able to communicate in Tagalog as well as Filipino.
I hope this information has given you insight into the differences of the terminology which sometimes becomes confusing.
Please feel free read my other articles which will help provide a crash course on the essential knowledge you need about the Philippines.
Salamat !