Ilocano or Iloco (also Iluko) is the main language of the Northern Philippines. According to the 2005 Census, there are about 8 million people who speak Ilocano as a mother tongue (locally called "kabakketan a dildila") and still another 2 million who speak it as a second language. Although it has no official status in the country, those who use it often call it the National Language of the North. From their traditional homeland (the Ilocandia), Ilocanos have migrated southward, now forming large communities in Central Luzon, Metropolitan Manila and even in the main Urban centres of General Santos City and Zamboanga City in the Island of Mindanao.
There are also a sizable number of Ilocano speakers in the United States, especially in Hawaii, California, Alaska and Washington, as the Ilocanos were the first Filipinos to migrate en masse to the US. Speakers of this language are also found in Canada, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Belonging to the Austronesian family of languages, it is related to all the other languages in the Philippines like the larger Tagalog and Cebuano. It is also distantly related to Malagasy, Malay, Tetum, Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages.
· The Ilocano language has either five or six vowels, depending on what dialect you choose to speak. The language is generally divided into the Amianan (Northern) and Abagatan (Southern) Dialects. The only difference however between these two dialects is the way they pronounce the letter 'E'. In the Abagatan Dialect, only five vowels are present and they are pronounced as follows:
· a,open front unrounded vowel IPA ; like the a in father
· e,open-mid front unrounded vowel IPA [ɛ]; like the e in b"ed
· i,close front unrounded vowel IPA ; like the ea in b"eat
· o,close-mid back rounded vowel IPA ; like the au in author
· u,close back rounded vowel IPA ; like the oo in boot
· On the other hand, the Amianan Dialect has another vowel for the symbol 'e'. For the speakers of the Abagatan Dialect, the 'e' that was given above is used for words of foreign origin (e.g. elepante "from Spanish"). For native words, the sound of a close back unrounded vowel is used. There is no equivalent for this sound in English so some dictionaries use the IPA symbol for the schwa sign. But the proper symbol must be:
· e,close back unrounded vowel IPA [ɯ]; like the ao in the Scots Gaelic caol.
· Historically, Ilocano has only 3 vowels and this reality is still evident until today as the sounds of e and i and o and u' often merges.
· When the letter i precedes another letter, its sound will glide resulting to the sound of This happens also to the letter u where it glides into the sound of [w.
· Spanish cities such as Vigan were in contact with Spanish, hence, the additional open-mid front unrounded vowel "e".
· In modern written Ilocano (based on Tagalog Ortography), there are 16 symbols for the consonnts but there are more than 16 consonant sounds in the language. Here, we include the other letters that may likely occur in some prints.
· b,like the English bed
· c,like the k in sky not as in kite
· d,like the d in the Japanese dojo
· f,(in proper nouns only) like the English feather
· g,like the English go
· g,(in foreign words from Spanish only) like the English house
· h,like the English house
· j,(in foreign words from Spanish only) like the English house
· k,like the k in sky not as in kite
· l,like the l in London
· m,like the m in mother
· n,like the n in nanny
· p,like the p in spot not as in pot
· qu,like the k in sky not as in kite
· r,like the r in right
· r,(in foreign words from Spanish only) like the r in rojo
· s,like the s in seven
· t,like the d in the Chinese Dao De Jing
· v,like the English bed
· v,(in proper nouns only) like the v in vase
· w,like the w in water
· x,(in proper nouns only) like the "x' in si"x'
· x,(in proper nouns only) like the "x' in the Spanish Mexico
· y,like the y in yam
· z,like the s in seven
· z,like the "z' in zebra
· Some consonants change their sounds when followed by a vowel. The the following sounds are produced:
· di,like the j in jack
· si,like the sh in shampoo
· ti,like the ch in "ch'urch
· As mentioned above the digraph ng represents the sound of the same digraph in Singer. However, unlike in English, this sound may be used as initial.
· The inital glotal stop is not written. Thus, it appears as if the word commences with a vowel. When it occurs at the middle of the word, a hypen (-) is inserted to represent the sound.
· There are only three commonly used diphthongs in the Ilocano language. They are as follows:
· ay,like the i in high
· iw,like the iw in Tiw
· oy,like the oy in boy
· Other diphthongs are also likely to occur but they are generally from loaned words. They are usually pronounced as they are foreign.
· Hello.,(There is actually no equivalent for this greeting. Instead, Ilocanos tend to greet in terms of time or by asking how are you.)
· How are you?,Kumusta ka? (also "kumustan?")
· Fine, thank you.,Nasiyaat met, agyamanak! (also "naimbag nak met")
· What is your name?,Ania ti naganmo? (often contracted "ania't naganmo?") It is also "Ana't nagan mo?"
· My name is ______ .,______ ti naganko or siak ni ______. (or more formally although not usually used "Ti naganko ket _____ ." Note: Ilocanos tend to simply give their names.)
· Nice to meet you.,. (" ")
· Please.,Pangngaasi . (" ")
· Thank you.,Agyamanak. ("")
· You're welcome.,Awan ti anyaman na. (coll. "Awan t'anyaman na.")
· Take care,Agaluad ka or Agannad ka
· No.,Saan. (in the Abagatan Dialect "Haan")
· Excuse me. ("getting attention"),Pakawanen-nak. ["also" Excuse me. ("Ilocanos don't usually use the native term anymore.")]
· Excuse me. ("begging pardon"),Dispensar.
· I'm sorry.,Pakawanen nak. (also "Dispensaren nak")
· Goodbye,Agpakadaakon. (also "Kastan" or "kasta pay" lit. Till then.)
· Goodbye ("informal"),Innakon. (lit. "I am going. ")
· I can't speak "name of language".,Diak agsasao ti "name of the language". (meaning: "The speaker has no knowledge of the language.")
· I can't speak "name of the language" well.,Diak nalaing iti or diak unay amo agsao iti"name of the language". (meaning: "The speaker has a knowledge of the language but not with enough competence.")
· Do you speak English?,Agsasao ka iti Inggles? (" ?")
· Is there someone here who speaks English?,Adda kadi tattao nga agsasao ti Inggles? (" ?")
· Look out!,Agan-nad! (or "Agan-nad ka!")
· Good morning.,Naimbag a bigat.
· Good afternoon,Naimbag a malem.
· Good evening.,Naimbag a rabii.
· Good night.,Naimbag a rabii. (Note: Ilocano has actually no equivalent words to express this sentence.)
· Good night ("to sleep"),. (" ")
· I don't understand.,Diak maawatan. (also "Diak matarusan ")
· Where is the toilet?,Ayan-na ti banio?
· 0,awan or sero
· 11,sangapulo ket maysa
· 12,sangapulo ket dua
· 13,sangapulo ket tallo
· 14,sangapulo ket uppat
· 15,sangapulo ket lima
· 40,uppat a pulo
· 60,innem a pulo
· 80,walo a pulo
· 90,siam a pulo
· 101,sangagasut ket maysa
· 150,sangagasut ket limapulo
· 151,sangagasut ket limapulo ket maysa
· Ilocanos use the 12hr clock. So, no more to learn Spanish number beyond that ("for time only").
· 0000,a las dose iti tenggat rabii ("may also be:" Maika-sangapulu ket duwa iti tenggat rabii)
· 0100,a la una iti bigat ("also:" maika-maysa iti bigat)
· 0200,a las dos iti bigat ("also:" maika-dua iti bigat)
· 0300,a las tres iti bigat ("also:" maika-tallo iti bigat)
· 0400,a las kwatro iti bigat ("also:" maika-uppat iti bigat)
· 0500,a las singko iti bigat ("also:" maika-lima iti bigat)
· 0600,a las sais iti bigat ("also:" maika-innem iti bigat)
· 0700,a las siete iti bigat ("also:" maika-pito iti bigat)
· 0800,a las otso iti bigat ("also:" maika-walo iti bigat)
· 0900,a las nuebe iti bigat ("also:" maika-siam iti bigat)
· 1000,a las dies iti bigat ("also:" maika-sangapulu iti bigat)
· 1100,a las onse iti bigat ("also:" maika-sangapulu ket maysa iti bigat)
· 1200,a las dose iti tenggat adlaw("also:" maika-sangapulu ket duwa iti tenggat adlaw)
· 1300,a la una iti malem("also:" maika-maysa iti malem)
· 1400,a las dos iti malem ("also:" maika-dua iti malem)
· 1500,a las tres iti malem ("also:" maika-tallo iti malem)
· 1600,a las kwatro iti malem ("also:" maika-uppat iti malem)
· 1700,a las singko iti malem ("also:" maika-lima iti malem)
· 1800,a las sais iti rabii("also:" maika-innem iti rabii)
· 1900,a las siete iti rabii ("also:" maika-pito iti rabii)
· 2000,a las otso iti rabii ("also:" maika-walo iti rabii)
· 2100,a las nuebe iti rabii ("also:" maika-siam iti rabii)
· 2200,a las dies iti rabii ("also:" maika-sangapulu iti rabii)
· 2300,a las onse iti rabii ("also:" maika-sangapulu ket maysa iti rabii)
· To say half-past an hour or a quarter of an hour, we may use the Spanish system or:
· Half-past one,Maika-maysa ket kagadua
· Quarter past one,Maika-maysa ket sangapulu key lima
· this morning,ita bigat
· noon,tenggaat adlaw
· today,ita nga adlaw
· yesterday,idi kalman
· the day before yesterday,idi sakbay kalman
· tomorrow,inton bigat
· the day after tomorrow,sumaruno a bigat
· this week,ita lawas
· next week,sakbay a lawas
· Days of the Week (Adlaw iti Lawas) follow their corresponding Spanish counterparts:
· Months of the year (dagiti Bulan iti Tawen) follows the names of their Spanish counterparts:
· Once we have leart how to say time and date, writting them is very simple. In writing the date, one genreally gives the day first, followed by the month and the year. If we have to indicate the time, it follows ifter the date.
· 07 March 1983 at 2245,Maika-pito iti Marso 1983 iti maika-sangapulu ket uppat a pulu ket lima iti rabii.
· red,baga (or as an adj. "nalabaga" or "nalabbasit")
· green,berde (or more poetically "nalangto")
· orange,kahel (or simple "orange")
· Note: As adjectives may be places at either sides of the noun, one must not forget the ligature nga (if the next word begins with a vowel) or a (if the next word begins with a consonant) to establish the connection.
· Sample: "yellow dress" may be rendered as bado a duyaw or duyaw a bado.
· How much is the fare to "name of the place"?,Manu ti plete inggana idiay "name of the place"? (Literally: How much to the "name of the place".)
· How many people can take a ride?,Manu nga tao ti mabalin nga sumakay?
· Stop!,Para! (This is used only for modes of transportation and never for people.)
· How much is the ticket for "name of the place"?,Manu ti ticket nga mapan idiay "name of the place"?
· I'll take one ticket.,Mangalaak ti maysa nga tiket
· Where does this bus/ train go to?,Papanan na datoy bus/ tren? (Note: Busses in the Philippines tend to have signboards so you won't be needing to ask this question frequently.)
· Does this bus/ train stop at "name of the place"?,Agsardeng kadi datoy bus/ tren idiay "name of the place"?
· What time does this bus/ train leaves?,Kaatno nga pumanaw datoy bus/ tren? (also: Anya oras nga pumanaw datoy bus/ tren? lit. What time does this bus/ train leave?)
· What time does this bus/ train arrive at "name of the place"?,Kaatno nga sumangpet datoy bus/ tren idiay "name of the place"? (also: Ania oras nga sumangpet 'toy bus/ tren idiay "name of the place"?)
· Excuse me sir, how do I go to "name of the place"?,Excuse me Manong, kasano ti mapan idiay "name of the place"?
· _____ bus station,_____ estasyon ti bus
· _____ airport,_____ airport
· _____ market,_____ palengke
· _____ town proper,_____ ili
· _____ American (Australian, British, Canadian) Consulate,Konsulado ti Amerika (Australia, Britania, Canada) [note: There is actually no Embassy or Consulate in the Ilocandia as almost all of them are in Metro Manila.]
· Where are there many _____?,Ayanna nga lugar ti adu ti _____?
· _____ hotels,_____ hotel
· _____ restaurants,_____ restaurant (note: When visitng the Philippines, a foreigner might want to eat at the Philippine cafetiria called carinderia.)
· _____ bars,_____ bar
· _____ sights to see,_____ mabuya
· Can you show me in the map?,Mabalin nga pakitam kaniak ayanna idiay mapa?
· street,kalye (also "dalan")
· You turn left.,Kumannigidka.
· You turn right.,Kumannawka.
· You go straight ahead.,Lumintegka.
· Near the "name of the place",Asideg iti "name of the place"
· Before the "name of the place",Sakbay iti "name of the place"
· After the "name of the place",Kalpasan iti "name of the place"
· North-West,Amianan nga Laud
· North-East,Amianan nga Daya
· South-West,Abagatan nga Laud
· South-East,Abagatan nga Daya