Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About learning Tagalog

About the course

About the downloads

About buying

Other questions

About learning Tagalog

Is Tagalog easy to learn?

Yes, anyone can do it. Basic Tagalog is rather easy to learn compared to other languages. However, it is quite different from English. It takes some time to get used to the language.

Learning Tagalog is much like learning how to drive. It’s not difficult, it’s just a matter of getting used to it. And like driving, the more you do it, the better you become. Eventually, speaking Tagalog will become second nature to you.

It’s important to use good materials when you learn. Not just to make learning easier and avoid guesswork, but also to learn what people really say in particular situations, and to make good use of your time. A quality course is worth its price several times over in terms of time savings.

See also: The best way to learn Tagalog.

How can I learn to speak Tagalog fluently?

Speaking a language fluently doesn’t involve a lot of thinking. In fact, the language should be second nature in order to speak it at fluent speed.

You can achieve this level of familiarity through regular (ideally, daily) practice and review. By setting aside 15–30 minutes per day for the course, you’ll build a solid foundation of Tagalog in 6 months. You’ll learn the natural way to ask questions and respond to them in various situations. You will have made the necessary mental connections to speak without having to pause and think first. Start practicing with native speakers as soon as you feel comfortable.

Real-life dialogues are irreplaceable to become fluent. This is why we place a lot of importance on natural, authentic dialogues. Fluency doesn’t come from consciously applying rules. The grammar is certainly necessary to clarify how the language works, but in the end, fluency comes from regular exposure to and repetition of natural Tagalog sentences.

See also: The best way to learn Tagalog.

What is the best way to learn Tagalog?

From our experience, an optimal learning process consists of the following elements:

  • learn daily for 15 to 30 minutes to form a habit
  • learn from a carefully-designed course with fully-explained dialogues
  • apply what you’re learning in conversations with native speakers as soon as possible

See also: The best way to learn Tagalog.

How long does it take to learn Tagalog?

How long it takes depends mostly on the materials you use and how much you practice.

Regular self-study with good materials is the fastest way to reach a speaking level. With our materials, this would take you about 6 months at a pace of 15 to 30 minutes per day (for a total of about 70 hours).

If you have more time, you could do 2 or 3 sessions a day. This way, you could even be fluent in 3 months.

Practicing what you have learned with native speakers for a few months in everyday situations is necessary to become fluent. Start practicing before you finish the course. The earlier, the better!

See also: The best way to learn Tagalog.

Do I really need to speak Tagalog?

You can actually get by with English. However, in social gatherings and everyday situations, you may find that Filipinos speak Tagalog among one another. In such a situation, you may feel left out.

Speaking Tagalog will bring you a lot closer to your Filipino family and friends. Even just understanding what is going on around you will totally transform your experience. But the best part is to join in and crack a joke. Or to have an intimate conversation.

Many long-time residents in the Philippines report that learning the language has been their best time investment since they arrived and they highly recommend it.

If you work in the Philippines for some time, learning Tagalog will definitely improve your relationships with people and your experience overall.

What is the difference between Tagalog and Filipino?

Filipino is essentially the same as Tagalog.

See also: Tagalog, Filipino, Pilipino: What’s the difference?

Where is Tagalog spoken?

In the Tagalog-speaking regions in the Philippines and wherever there are Filipino communities. Tagalog serves as the common language among Filipinos from different regions. Outside the Philippines, the areas where Tagalog is most widely spoken are the Middle East, the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and European cities with a large Filipino community.

How does Tagalog compare to other languages?

Without going into the linguistic details, one could say that basic Tagalog is grammatically rather simple. Most words don’t have a gender and words don’t have plural forms. Many simple sentences don’t even have a verb.

Writing Tagalog is easy, because most words are spelled the way they are pronounced, with the exception of long vowels, glottal stops and optional sound changes.

The main challenges are getting used to the Ang, Ng and Sa phrases (some call them cases), the enclitic words (words with a fixed position in the sentence) and the verbs. Tagalog also has many affixes for nouns, adjectives, verbs and numbers.

Of course, Tagalog is very different from English and it takes some practice to get used to those differences.

Tagalog is most related to other Philippine languages, especially Bicolano and the Visayan dialects, such as Cebuano, Hiligaynon and Waray-Waray.

I’m not so young anymore. Can I still learn Tagalog?

Yes. There are many retirees who learn a new language to keep their minds sharp.

Focus on the benefits to motivate you.

Understanding Tagalog will really help you feel more at home in the Philippines.

Many expats report that learning Tagalog has been their best time investment since they moved.

It’s never too late to learn. Just get started!

About the course

Are your materials suitable for beginners?

Yes, the course was designed for beginners. All Tagalog words are translated literally, to break down the Tagalog sentences into parts that are easy to understand. The audio has a natural-speed version and a slower version. The notes in the lessons introduce grammar and cultural points as you go. For a complete overview of a particular topic, you can consult the grammar reference.

If you’re a total beginner, you can also watch the videos. They’ll give you a thorough introduction to Tagalog.

What is the right product for my level?

If you aren’t fluent yet, the best place to start is the course (which includes the grammar). You can try the Online Edition free or download the free samples.

If you’re already fluent, the comprehensive grammar is surely a handy resource. You might also want to use the course as a refresher.

What can I expect to learn?

An overview of what you will learn can be found here and on pages 18–19 of the Course Book Sample.

Do the different editions contain the same material?

Yes, the different editions contain the same material (same 60 lessons, audio, workbooks, grammar).

In addition to the material, the Ebook and Print Editions contain introductory texts and quick references. These can be downloaded from the Downloads page.

Also, the Ebook and Print Editions include downloadable MP3s, which are very useful for offline listening practice.

The Online Edition includes flash-card exercises using the phrases in the lessons (in addition to the workbook exercises).

What edition of the course should I buy?

For an overview of all editions, click here.

Can I try the course without signing up?

Yes, you can try Lesson 1. The advantage of signing up is that you can start tracking your progress.

Can I download the Online Course?

The Online Course (web app) cannot be downloaded. You can add a shortcut to it on the home screen of your device. However, you will still need an Internet connection.

If you prefer to study offline, you can use the Ebook Edition (PDFs and MP3s) or the Print Edition.

Can I put a shortcut, like an app shortcut, to the Online Course on my device?

Yes, you can add a shortcut on the home screen of your Android, iOS/iPad/iPhone/Apple, Windows, Blackberry or other device. That way, you can easily access the Online Course like an app.

Search add home screen website shortcut + device name in your favorite search engine for instructions.

Why don’t you have a native iOS or Android app?

The short answer is that the advantages of native apps don’t outweigh the disadvantages in our case.

With a web app (mobile website):

  • You are always sure to have the latest version. You don’t need to update the app whenever you update your software, or whenever we update the app.
  • You can access it on all devices, even the newest ones, whether on iOS, Android or other platforms.
  • You don’t need to download and install anything.
  • There is a single database saving your progress for all your devices. For example, you can continue a lesson on your iPhone right where you left off on your Android tablet.
  • We can keep the costs lower by avoiding the 30% cut app stores take.
  • You benefit from a simpler, easier-to-understand offering. There is less to read, fewer decisions to make and so on.

How can I sign in or sign up?

Go to the online course. Click or tap the icon on the top-right corner.

I forgot my password. What should I do?

Go to the online course. Click on the sign-in icon (top-right corner). Then, click the "I forgot" button and follow the instructions.

Why should cookies be enabled?

Cookies are needed for identification after signing in. Without cookies, you would need to identify yourself by signing in every time your progress is saved or whenever you load a new lesson. This would be so impractical that we require cookies to be enabled to use the online course.

If you prefer not to allow cookies for all sites, you can also just accept them from and other trusted sites.

How can I enable cookies?

It depends on your browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera etc.). Search enable cookies + browser name in your favorite search engine for instructions.

In what order should I take the course (Online/Ebook/Print Edition)?

This is the order in which we recommend to take the course. Feel free to do more than one item in a single session.

For each lesson:

  1. Go through the story.
  2. Go through the drills.
  3. Review the whole lesson (story and drills) at least once.
    (In the Online Edition, you will earn a star each time you complete the lesson.)
  4. Do workbook exercises for the lesson.

After Lesson 10, review the lesson overviews for Lessons 1 to 5, then after Lesson 15 for Lessons 6 to 10, and so on. There will be reminders for this in the course.


  • For total beginners: Watch the videos before starting with the course.
  • Listen to the audio several times to help you remember the phrases (while on the go, doing the dishes etc.).
    • Print and Ebook Editions: Listen to the lesson audio (MP3 download).
    • Online Edition: Under Settings, select "Show lesson overviews only" to listen to a whole lesson with one click and easily switch lessons with the < and > buttons.
  • Online Edition: Do flash-card exercises before or after doing the workbook exercises.

For the 7-Book Set (Print Edition), in what order should I use the different books?

You can simply follow the course books. They will tell you at what point to use the grammar book and the workbooks.

The course books indicate the page numbers of the parts of the grammar book that provide more details. The workbooks can simply be used in parallel with the course books.

The grammar book also includes topics not covered in the course, which you can refer to at any time.

Where can I find the bundled 7-Book Set?

In June 2021, our printer stopped offering multi-volume sets. Therefore the bundled 7-Book Set with ISBN 978-3-902909-07-7 has been discontinued. The books are now available as a series.

Is there a testing feature, like taking an exam to test our progress?

Yes. You have the following options.

1. Workbooks (Online Edition, Ebook Edition, Print Edition)

The workbooks allow you to check your progress after you’ve reviewed a lesson a few times and you’re very familiar with it. The exercises in it will test both your vocabulary and grammar using new sentences. The PDF version can be printed out if you like. Alternatively, you can simply write down your answers on a piece of paper and check them against the answer key at the end of the workbook when you’re done.

2. Flash card mode (Online Edition only*)

The Online Edition has a Flash card mode with the following exercises from easiest to most challenging:

  • Guess the missing Tagalog words
  • Translate into English
  • Translate into Tagalog (with hints)
  • Translate into Tagalog (without hints)

Flash card mode can be enabled via the gear icon (top right) > checkmark icon (the first one from the left) > check Flash card mode and select one of the four options above. Then, return to the lesson. Some of the text will be hidden. By going to the next slide, the answer will be shown. Flash card mode can be disabled by unchecking it in the same location.

* If you’d like to do a similar exercise with the books or ebooks (on a tablet or phone), you can use a piece of paper to cover either the Tagalog or the English translations and move it up or down to reveal the answer.

About the downloads

Where can I get the free audio download for the Print Edition?

You can get it here.

Can I download the ebooks or MP3s to a different device?

Of course.

Can I download the videos?

Yes. Although we do not provide them as a download, you can search for tools to download YouTube videos.

When will I receive my download links and/or account details?

You should receive an email with your download links and/or account details within seconds or minutes after completing your order. If this doesn’t happen, check your spam folder. If it isn’t there, contact us.

What do I do if I can’t download or open a purchased product?

Try the following:

  • If you’re using an Android, iOS/iPad/iPhone/Apple or other device, you probably need an unzip app, and an app to read PDF files or play MP3s. You can find apps by searching on Google Play (for Android) or the App Store (for Apple).
  • Some of the files are quite large and may take a few seconds or minutes to download completely. Perhaps the file is still downloading in the background.
  • Try a different browser or device, and then copy or sync the file(s).

If you’re still having trouble, you can contact our reseller FastSpring.

Do the download links expire?

Yes, they expire after 7 days or after a number of download attempts, which depends on the file size. This is set by our reseller FastSpring to prevent sharing of links.

If you experience any download issues or need to reset the download links, you can contact FastSpring.

It’s always a good idea to back up your files. There are many options: Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive, Bvckup, CrashPlan, external hard drives, SD cards etc.

Can I reset my download link(s)?


For orders before August 14, 2015, you can contact us at

For orders on or after August 14, 2015, you can contact our reseller FastSpring.

How do I use the Audio MP3s download?

After clicking the download link in your order email, the zip file will be downloaded to your device. If this does not happen, you might need to install an unzip app.

The next steps are:

  1. Create a folder or directory where you would like to keep the audio files.
  2. Move the audio download to that folder or directory.
  3. Unzip (or “extract”) the file containing the audio MP3s.
  4. Add the MP3s to the music library of your MP3 player app.
  5. Locate the audio files in your music library to play them.
  6. Recommended extra step: back up the zip file to some external drive or to a cloud storage solution (Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, Google Drive or a similar service).
  7. Each folder contains a .m3u file, which is a playlist file. In most apps, clicking or playing that file will play all files in the folder.

How to perform each of the steps depends on your device’s operating system. Since operating systems vary and evolve over time, we cannot give a full set of instructions for every case in this FAQ.

If you need help, please contact us at Tell us the operating system of your device (examples: Windows 10, macOS Mojave, iOS 12.3, Android 9.0 etc.) and we’ll be happy to look up specific instructions for you.

Where can I find the Course Audio on 7 CDs?

To simplify our offering, we discontinued the Course Audio on 7 CDs in January 2021. If you purchased the Course Print Edition, you can get the Course Audio MP3s for free.

About buying

How much do your materials cost?

See our store.

Where can I buy your materials?

You’ll find all the information in our store.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes. See our discounts page.

Can I pay a lower price for the online course and limit access to one year?

To keep things simple, we don’t offer this option.

Do you accept payment by bank transfer (deposit) to a Philippine bank account or other payment methods?

For bulk orders (10 or more copies or accounts) from the Philippines, we accept payment by bank transfer to BPI or Metrobank.

We don’t accept payment through other Philippine banks, cash on delivery, LBC, M Lhuillier, Smart Money, GCash or other methods.

Can I buy your course as a gift?

Yes. In the store, go to the Online Edition or the Ebook Edition, and below the Buy Now button, click on Buy as Gift / Group Buy.

By selecting this option, you can buy a gift certificate for the Online Edition and/or the Ebook Edition for one or more people. You will receive coupon codes which the recipients can use to order the course for free. This way, their accounts will be created in their name and using their email address.

Is it possible to buy as a group?


For the Online Edition:

In the store, go to the Online Edition, and below the Buy Now button, click on Buy as Gift / Group Buy. With this option, you get a coupon code for the Online Edition for each of your students. See bulk orders for details.

For print books:

If you prefer to use print books, please contact us. We offer bulk discounts.

Other questions

Is the course suitable for classroom use?

Yes. See Learning Tagalog for classroom use (PDF).

Where can I find answers to questions about grammar or the meanings of words and sentences?

You can look in the grammar ebook, which is fully searchable. Alternatively, you can search the site through Google as follows:


If you haven’t already, you might want to take our course and learn Tagalog in a systematic way. All the words and sentences in the lessons are translated into English, and grammar points are clearly explained and illustrated with examples. You’ll see, your questions will be answered as you progress through the course.

Do you offer tutoring services?

Not at the moment.

What dialect do you teach?

Our materials teach standard Tagalog or Manila Tagalog. This is the dialect commonly used in the national media in the Philippines. It includes many English words.

It is certainly true that Manila Tagalog is far from pure. We had to strike a balance between authenticity and practicality. The course only uses words that are really used in and around Manila and don’t sound literary.

Do you have any recommendations for advanced materials?

You can read the advanced topics in Essential Tagalog Grammar or watch videos online, preferably ones with subtitles. We don’t have any specific recommendations that would suit everyone.

Is the course suitable for children?

The course is intended for adult and teenage learners. Children below 12 may need the guidance of an adult tutor.

Can I learn English with your Tagalog materials?

Even though our materials aren’t specifically designed for it, some Tagalog speakers have reported learning English using Essential Tagalog Grammar.