Learn Tagalog 03

Tagalog pronunciation: Long vowels

In this video, we’ll look at the pronunciation of Tagalog words.

Now, generally, Tagalog words are pronounced the way they are written.

Except for a few things, and they’re often overlooked in Tagalog learning materials.

So, what’s usually not written? You have long vowels, glottal stops, and optional sound changes.

And also, there are two commonly-used words that are not pronounced the way they are spelled. These are ng and mga. We’ll talk about what these two words mean in later videos.

Let’s first have a look at long vowels in Tagalog.

Here are a few examples. The long syllables are underlined.

You say Tagalog
meron – which means there is
adobo – is the adobo dish
ngipin – means tooth

Notice here the letters en gee at the beginning of the word. It’s just like the English sound in "ring," but you put the "ng" at the beginning: ngipin.

An important reason to pronounce the long vowels correctly, is that there can be a difference in meaning, depending on whether a vowel is long or short.

buhay – means life
buhay – means alive

That’s it for long vowels. It’s pretty easy. You just need to be aware of them and exaggerate them in the beginning, so you remember where they are.

In the next video, we’ll have a look at glottal stops in Tagalog.

Thank you for watching.

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