Tagalugin mo nga?

Living in Taiwan means that I don’t get to speak Filipino – also known as Tagalog – often. I only speak Tagalog when I’m with other Filipino friends, but we’re all too busy with our studies to socialize regularly. I miss speaking it from time to time, and I always get so happy whenever I hear random tourists speaking Tagalog in the streets of Taipei. It just sounds so Β expressive.

But for me, Tagalog is also quite weird, because when Filipinos speak it weΒ often code-switch with English. This means that there are some words that we know in English but not in Tagalog because the Tagalog equivalent of the word is not spoken anymore.

Because of this, my friend and I decided to quiz ourselves and see if we still know the Tagalog words to some of the most common English words! Filipino speakers will find this funny, and I think non-Filipino speakers would be entertained too because of how far some of our answers are from the actual words! Enjoy!

(Don’t worry, there are English subtitles!)

PS: Quiz from here!


  1. Hahahaha I was entertained (as a non-Tagalog speaker). I understand what you mean about code switching words with English because I’ve been to regions / countries like Hong Kong and Singapore where Chinese words are often code switched with English words that the people don’t even know what the Chinese words are anymore! But then again neither do I so I can’t be 100% sure. XD

    I thought you two did a great job, and I like hearing the Tagalog language. It sounds so delicate. ^^

    1. Hahaha thanks Liv! I’m glad you liked it! XD

      I know Singaporeans have Singlish, but I didn’t know people in Hong Kong code-switched a lot too! That’s really interesting to know πŸ˜€

  2. It’s kind of like Spanglish honestly. English and Spanish peppered throughout to create something new. Tagalog sounds beautiful. I don’t speak any other language than English but I have heard it through my husband sprinkling English words in place of Spanish words.

  3. AHHHHH THIS IS SO CUTE. I don’t speak much tagalog (I simply don’t know enough of it especially as I grew up in the UK) but I understand it fluently so hearing it was wonderful. It reminded me of the times I would go to the Philippines and understand everyone around me. But as I dont look filipino (people often call me korean/japanese when I visit the Philippines!) I felt like a sort of spy understanding but not speaking it (I would usually respond in English because I can’t find the Tagalog words in my head xD) It has it’s pros and cons – obviously I wish I spoke more Tagalog.


    1. Lol! Thanks Pauline! πŸ˜›

      I actually think it’s impressive that you can understand Tagalog really well despite growing up in a foreign country! Haha and I really liked your comparison of your situation to being a “spy” XD I get you though, I also felt that when I was just learning how to speak my mom’s dialect! πŸ˜›

  4. I live in California, the most populous, not to mention the most diverse, state in the entire U.S. So if you think about it, at least here in the San Francisco Bay Area, Filipino/Tagalog is everywhere LOL (Hawaii would be the other state that has a lot of Filipinos). I was only 10-yrs-old when my family and I moved here, and fortunately, the town where a few relatives live (and eventually where we moved) has heaps of Filipinos. Jollibee, Red Ribbon, Goldilocks, you name it, we have it here LOL. So in short, after 30 years of living here in the U.S., I still speak, at least, 5th grade level Tagalog LOL. I had to, my parents are pretty strict, they’d kill me if I speak no word of Tagalog at home haha. Unfortunately, my siblings can’t speak Tagalog anymore, but they still understand, somewhat.

    Man, that quiz is wrong on some words. Who the heck made that quiz? lol “Almires” is more Spanish than Tagalog, though my parents call the mortar and pestle “almires” because it’s in the Ilocano vocabulary (they’re both Ilocano, that’s a giveaway lol). You guys were right the first time (dikdikan). I even looked it up in my mom’s ages-old English-Filipino dictionary LOL and even though “almires” is common for Ilocanos, “dikdikan” is the real Tagalog word for it.

    “Pipino” is cucumber, “atsara” from what I know is just a general term for pickles, though I always think of it as “pickled papaya.”

    I had fun watching your video and LOL’d throughout the quiz. There’s even some words I’ve never heard of or never really thought of the meaning (like some words were too obvious, you know?).

    For some reason, like Pauline, Filipino women (mainly the older ones) don’t see me as Filipino to the point that they don’t even speak Tagalog to me (or even try), but Filipino men of all ages automatically identify me as Filipino. Weird.

    1. Haha, my family is like that too! My extended family lives in New Jersey, but they still speak Cebuano at home XD It’s great that you can still speak Tagalog though, you won’t have a hard time communicating with other people when you come back to the Philippines for a visit.

      It’s actually pretty hard to distinguish real Tagalog words from Spanish loanwords, so sometimes we don’t know which one we to say (just like in “matadero” LOL)!

      Thanks for watching and I’m glad you liked our video! Haha! πŸ˜€

      1. I took four years of Spanish in high school, plus my great-great-grandfather on my Dad’s side (my late lolo’s lolo) is Spanish, so the Spanish language somewhat installed to the family and growing up, I picked up some of the words from them. That pretty much helped me the differences between the “real” Tagalog words and Spanish-derived words. I’ve had some relatives from the Philippines come and visit us whenever they have some business travels here, so it’s not so much of a language struggle for me. What doesn’t make sense to me though is that the younger generation of my family try so much to sound fluent in English, even though a lot of my Facebook posts (in my family account, I have two FB accounts LOL) are in Tagalog.

        I thought about putting up an audio or podcast clip on my blog of me speaking in Tagalog in some form after watching your video. I’m not very familiar with videos myself, but maybe I can attempt on that also. 😁

        1. Oh, I missed this too. “Banana Fritter” is more Maruya than Turon. Turon is simply “lumpia na may saba’t langka.” Yeah, inconsistent quiz LOL.

          1. OMG I actually feel bad that I don’t know what a “maruya” is. LOL! XD

            Because you said this, I’m going to ask my mom to make me maruya so that I can see what it looks like XD

  5. Thank you for your comment. πŸ™‚

    I definitely should have, I know, that’s why I apologized almost immediately….and it pi*sed me off that she kept being rude even after my apology, there was no reason to.
    And yeah, that’s the trend in that graphical community. Makes no sense to me. :/

  6. When I lived at school, I never really spoke Cantonese because I’d be away from home most of the time. I can totally relate with remembering terms XD. Though, after getting back to the vibes, you’ll catch on to Tagalog no problem ;).

  7. I have no clue what happened to my comment. Here it is again.

    I grew up speaking both English and Korean, and when I was with others who spoke both, I would speak both in one sentence because I wouldn’t know the Korean word for it, so I replaced it with an English equivalent XD Even now, I do that, because sometimes the word just won’t come to me! I imagine that’s the same with a lot of people who are bilingual.

    1. Lol, that’s exactly what I do with my Tagalog/Chinese/English too! Hahaha!

      Now that I’ve seen people’s comments about code-switching during everyday conversations, I think I agree that most bilingual people have a tendency to code-switch. At first I thought only Tagalog speakers did that XD

  8. I feel like some of those words aren’t commonly used in normal conversations! I don’t blame you for not knowing the words for them! I wouldn’t know the Chinese words for a lot of them. I’ve noticed that when people speak Cantonese, they tend to switch some of the words with English ones too. I definitely do it because I forget a lot of words, haha.

    I can relate to that feeling of being in a country that doesn’t speak one of the languages you know. Being in the US, I really only use Cantonese with my family, so I’m super rusty now. I’m trying to pick it back up!

    1. You’re right, Cat! We don’t hear these words during everyday conversations, and just like you, we just substitute the English words because they’re faster and easier to say. Hahaha!

      Good luck with your Cantonese and I’m sure you’ll pick it back up with a little practice πŸ˜€

  9. This was such a funny video! I loved watching you both trying to get the answers, and your reactions when you found out the real answers. It must be great to know multiple languages though!

    I can’t speak any languages apart from English. I’ve always wanted to learn, but it’s so hard to stick to language learning, especially when there aren’t many opportunities to converse with people in any other language. Plus I’ve never actually been out of the UK, so I’d never get a chance to put it into practice! Maybe someday!

    1. Thanks Amy and I’m glad you were entertained! πŸ˜€

      I know what you mean about language learning. It’s hard to retain it when you can’t find other people to speak it with you. But it can also be very fulfilling when you do make progress so I hope you get to learn another language someday and become fluent in it! πŸ™‚

  10. I enjoyed watching this video! I wish I could speak Tagalog, but my mum didn’t speak it to me when I was younger. I can understand simple, simple sentences but I definitely want to learn it properly though!

    I was cracking up at the fritter sounding fancy, bit XD

    1. Haha it’s understandable that your mom never spoke Tagalog with you since you’re in a foreign country, but it’s great that you can still understand some words πŸ˜€

      The word fritter really sounds fancy to my ears, lol. I would never think that it was the English word for one of the most common snacks/street food in our neighborhood XD

  11. Cool haha, i can understand how it’s so thrilling hearing someone speak tagalog in the streets. And yes we really switch codes when we dont know the Tagalog equivalence! hahhaha, though this is a quiz, perhaps it’s a great way to practice the native tongue!

    some words:
    Bato Balani.
    IDK these in tagalog:

    1. Eeek I don’t know what bato balani is! HAHA! Is it magnet?

      Chandelier is aranya in Tagalog! I just found out because that word is my colleague’s surname and she’d never stop telling people that her surname meant chandelier XD

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