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Stelle’s Taga-log

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Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 1466 days ago

949 posts - 732 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 1 of 117
27 December 2013 at 1:48am | IP Logged 
I've made up my mind: this year I will learn Tagalog.

I'm married to a Tagalog-speaker who moved to Canada in his mid-20s. We've been together for over a decade.
All of those people who swear up and down that the best way to learn a foreign language is by falling in love with
someone who speaks it? Well, it didn't quite turn out that way for me! Maybe it works better if your other half
doesn't speak English better than most monolingual anglophones...

While he's a great built-in language practice buddy, my husband isn't a Tagalog teacher. At all. I'll need to learn
on my own, and then use him as a sounding board to practice what I've learned.

My goal: to be able to carry on simple Tagalog conversations with my in-laws without them having to switch to
English to include me. They're already impressed when I throw in a single Tagalog word in a conversation, so I
know that they'll be very encouraging.

My original plan was to start learning Tagalog in May 2014. Until then, my main focus will be Spanish. But I
thought that it couldn't hurt to get a bit of a head start. ! I've been curious for some time about Memrise. It
looked like fun, but it wasn't really something that I wanted to do with Spanish, since I already have more than
enough Spanish materials. So today I started a Tagalog course on Memrise:

Foundation Tagalog

My goal for the next three months is to spend just a few minutes each day on Memrise. I'm going to explore the
"plant" and "water" cycle with five words per day, doing nothing else for Tagalog until May. It will be a fun little
experiment to see if I like Memrise, it will let me play with a new language, and it will give me a bit of a head start
on Tagalog - without losing my focus on Spanish. I'll update this log weekly(ish) until May, when I plan on
jumping into the six-week challenge with Tagalog.

Just for fun, I made a list of all of the Tagalog words that I already know (spelling may be very off, since I only
know how to say them):

masarap - delicious
pogey - good-looking
magaling - good
aso - dog
salamat (po) - thank you
komusta - how are you
mabuti - fine
bigas - rice (uncooked)
canin - rice (cooked)
tubig - water
malamig - cold
mainit - hot
tulog - sleep

I think it's really interesting that Tagalog has a different name for rice, depending on whether or not it's cooked!

Edited by Stelle on 30 January 2014 at 2:18am



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 1466 days ago

949 posts - 732 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 2 of 117
27 December 2013 at 1:55pm | IP Logged 
I thought of 6 more Tagalog words that I already know:

maganda - pretty
oo - yes
hindi - no
bakit - why
sigue - ok
mahal - love

So rather than starting from zero, I guess we can say that I'm starting from 19 random words!

Edited by Stelle on 27 December 2013 at 1:56pm



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 1466 days ago

949 posts - 732 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 3 of 117
30 December 2013 at 4:56pm | IP Logged 
I started the course on Memrise, and quite like the setup! Memrise is surprisingly addictive, and - at least at the
absolute beginner stage - doesn't seem to take up that much time. I spend about 5 minutes in the morning
planting five new items, and then I log on three or four times a day to water whatever needs watering. Watering
sessions generally take between 1 and 3 minutes. I'm sure that will increase as my words increase, but my
current plan is to spend no more than 15-20 minutes on Tagalog every day until May. If the watering starts
taking too long, I'll just take a break from planting for a few days.

I'm surprised at how helpful "mems" are. I've never really experimented with mnemonic devices, but I find myself
using them often to remember the new words that I've learned.

So far I've planted the first two lessons of Foundation Tagalog:

Foundation Tagalog

This gave me numbers from 1-20, as well as 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90. I also learned 3 interrogative words:
who, what, where. The next lessons, though, seem kind of abstract. Lots of "building words", but very few
concrete nouns, which is what I really want to focus on to start out with.

So I decided to put planting on hold for that course and come back to it later. For now, I'm starting a second
course with more concrete vocabulary:

Basic Tagalog

So far, my experience with memrise is very positive!



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 1466 days ago

949 posts - 732 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 4 of 117
01 January 2014 at 3:19pm | IP Logged 
I've been listening to Tagalog very passively for years now. I love the sound of my husband and his family
chattering away. It's always been background music, though, unless I hear my name or someone throws in an
English word - which happens all the time. Code-switching is huge amongst filipinos. Anyway, if you asked me to
pretend to speak Tagalog using nonsense syllables, my fake words would be full of "ng" and "n" sounds.

And now I understand why!

Tagalog uses "ng" and "na" as links between words.

So, for example…

white = puti
house = bahay

white house = puting bahay OR bahay na puti (interesting: word order seems to be very flexible for nouns and
adjectives)

happy = masaya
woman = babae

happy woman = masayang babae OR babaeng masaya

I've always loved the sound of Tagalog. And I love the words even more when I can say them myself. I honestly
don't know why it took me so long to get started...
2 persons have voted this message useful



viedums
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Thailand
Joined 1988 days ago

327 posts - 200 votes 
Speaks: Latvian, English*, German, Mandarin, Thai, French
Studies: Vietnamese

 
 Message 5 of 117
02 January 2014 at 3:29am | IP Logged 
Hi Stelle! That flexible word order might make it harder to process when you listen though, don’t you think? To my ear, all the ngs etc make Tagalog sound like that wordless song from ‘The Muppet Show’ – ‘mnah mnah’. I don’t know if that rings any bells…

Just a little input about materials, although I realize you aren’t starting in earnest now. I tried using the ‘Tara Mag-Tagalog’ book that you mentioned when it first came out, and I got about halfway through it. It’s very good, although some of the activities are meant for the classroom – information exchange kind of stuff. It has tons of vocabulary, and the content has a real domestic focus – there are 3 or 4 unit blocks, each with a common theme of family, clothes, food or similar. It would be great if you are a heritage learner or have family members that speak it, as you do.

Anyway, best of luck with Tagalog.

1 person has voted this message useful



greatdaytonihon
Newbie
United States
Joined 1359 days ago

19 posts - 1 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese

 
 Message 6 of 117
02 January 2014 at 4:47am | IP Logged 
Do you guys have TFC TV? Given the dearth of resources for studying Tagalog, watching the Filipino
Channel is a great way to immerse yourself. Can't wait to see how you handle learning grammar
1 person has voted this message useful



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 1466 days ago

949 posts - 732 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 7 of 117
02 January 2014 at 2:07pm | IP Logged 
viedums wrote:
Hi Stelle! That flexible word order might make it harder to process when you listen though,
don’t you think? To my ear, all the ngs etc make Tagalog sound like that wordless song from ‘The Muppet Show’
– ‘mnah mnah’. I don’t know if that rings any bells…

Ha! Your Muppet reference made me laugh out loud! Yes, Tagalog is full of "m", "n", "ng", "k" and "l" sounds. I
honestly think it sounds more like singing than words sometimes. I do suspect that the flexible word order will
make it harder to internalize sentence structure. Luckily, my goal for Tagalog is very modest - hold simple
conversations with very patient and encouraging speakers - so I'm just going to jump in and give it my best.

viedums wrote:


Just a little input about materials, although I realize you aren’t starting in earnest now. I tried using the ‘Tara
Mag-Tagalog’ book that you mentioned when it first came out, and I got about halfway through it. It’s very
good, although some of the activities are meant for the classroom – information exchange kind of stuff. It has
tons of vocabulary, and the content has a real domestic focus – there are 3 or 4 unit blocks, each with a common
theme of family, clothes, food or similar. It would be great if you are a heritage learner or have family members
that speak it, as you do.

Anyway, best of luck with Tagalog.

Thanks for the feedback on the book that I purchased! I'm glad to hear that you liked it! I bought it because the
dialogues got the native-speaking-husband seal of approval. I was originally planning on starting out with
Pimsleur, but that got vetoed immediately: "Nobody talks like that. Nobody."

Thanks for the encouragement! Happy 2014!


1 person has voted this message useful



Stelle
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
tobefluent.com
Joined 1466 days ago

949 posts - 732 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 
 Message 8 of 117
02 January 2014 at 2:18pm | IP Logged 
greatdaytonihon wrote:
Do you guys have TFC TV? Given the dearth of resources for studying Tagalog,
watching the Filipino
Channel is a great way to immerse yourself. Can't wait to see how you handle learning grammar

Nope, no Tagalog at all in this house. Aside from talking to his parents/siblings/friends on the phone, on
Facebook or in person, my husband doesn't speak, read or listen to Tagalog. He immigrated to Canada in his
mid-20s, and his English is absolutely beautiful - better than many monolingual English-speakers I know.

Here are the resources I'm planning on using for learning Tagalog as a beginner:
- memrise (this is the only thing that I'm starting now. The rest will wait until May.)
- Tara Mag-Tagalog textbook and workbook
- italki tutors

I'll probably also sign up for one more resource - either filipinopod101 (although their email marketing campaign
is pretty much the most obnoxious thing online) or - hopefully! - the resource described on this
thread.

As for learning grammar…well…luckily my in-laws are very easily impressed. Ha!

Edited by Stelle on 02 January 2014 at 2:20pm




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