Ilocano language: Wikis

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Ilokano
Spoken in  Philippines,
 United States
Region Northern Luzon
Total speakers 7.7 million, 2.3 million 2nd language = 10 million total; 3rd most spoken native language in the Philippines[1]
Ranking 82
Language family Austronesian
Writing system Latin (Ilokano or Filipino variant);
Historically written in Baybayin
Official status
Official language in Regional language in the Philippines
Regulated by Commission on the Filipino Language
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 ilo
ISO 639-3 ilo

Ilokano (Ti Pagsasao nga Iloko) (also called Ilocano, Iluko, Iloco, Iloko, Ylocano, and Yloco) is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines.

An Austronesian language, it is related to such languages as Indonesian, Malay, Fijian, Maori (of New Zealand), Hawaiian, Malagasy (of Madagascar), Samoan, Tahitian, Chamorro (of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands), Tetum (of East Timor), and Paiwan (of Taiwan).

Contents

History

Ilocanos are descendants of Austronesian-speaking people from southern China via Borneo.[citation needed] Families and clans arrived by viray or bilog, meaning "boat". The term Ilokano, as commonly accepted, originates from i-, "from", and looc, "cove or bay", thus "people of the bay." But some modern scholars, however, argue that as taking into consideration the Ilocano tradition of giving names to their place of residency is concerned, the i + looc etymology is not of local origin. These scholars suggest that the term Ilocano comes from "i-", "from", and "lukong", "the flat lands" or "the lowlands". Ilokanos also refer to themselves as Samtoy, a contraction from the Ilokano phrase sao mi atoy, "our language here".

Classification

Ilocano comprises its own branch in the Philippine Cordilleran family of languages. It is spoken as a native language by eight million people.[citation needed]

A lingua franca of the northern region, it is spoken as a secondary language by more than two million people who are native speakers of Pangasinan, Ibanag, Ivatan, and other languages in Northern Luzon.[citation needed]

Geographic distribution

Ilokano population distribution. Enlarge picture to see percent distribution.

Ilocanos occupy the narrow, barren strip of land in the northwestern tip of Luzon, squeezed in between the inhospitable Cordillera mountain range to the east and the South China Sea to the west. This harsh geography molded a people known for their clannishness, tenacious industry and frugality, traits that were vital for survival.[citation needed] It also induced Ilokanos to become a migratory people, always in search for better opportunities and for land to build a life on. Although their homeland constitutes the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Abra, their population has spread east and south of their original territorial borders.

Ilocano pioneers flocked to the more fertile Cagayan Valley, Apayao mountains and the Pangasinan plains during the 18th and 19th centuries and now constitute a majority in many of these areas.[citation needed] In the 20th century, many Ilokano families moved to Metro Manila and further south to Mindanao. They became the first Filipino ethnic group to immigrate en masse to North America (the so-called Manong generation), forming sizable communities in the American states of Hawaii, California, Washington and Alaska. Ilokano is the native language of most of the original Filipino immigrants in the United States, but Tagalog is used by more Filipino-Americans because it is the basis for Filipino, the national language of the people of the Philippines.[citation needed]

A large, growing number of Ilokanos can also be found in the Middle East, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Europe.[citation needed]

Writing system

Our Father prayer from Doctrina Cristiana, 1621.

Pre-Colonial

Pre-colonial Ilocanos of all classes wrote in a syllabic system prior to European arrival. They used a system that is termed as an abugida, or an alphasyllabary. It was similar to the Tagalog and Pangasinan scripts, where each character represented a consonant-vowel, or CV, sequence. The Ilokano version, however, was the first to designate coda consonants with a diacritic mark - a cross or virama - shown in the Doctrina Cristiana of 1621, one of the earliest surviving Ilokano publications. Before the addition of the virama, writers had no way to designate coda consonants. The reader, on the other hand, had to guess whether the vowel was read or not.

Modern

In recent times, there have been two systems in use: The "Spanish" system and the "Tagalog" system. In the Spanish system words of Spanish origin kept their spellings. Native words, on the other hand, conformed to the Spanish rules of spelling. Nowadays, only the older generation of Ilocanos use the Spanish system.

The system based on that of Tagalog is more phonetic. Each letter receives one phonetic value, and better reflects the actual pronunciation of the word.[2] The letters ng, however, constitute a digraph and counts as a single letter, following n in alphabetization. As a result, numo humility appears before ngalngal to chew in newer dictionaries. Words of foreign origin, most notably those from Spanish, need to be changed in spelling to better reflect Ilokano phonology. The weekly magazine Bannawag is known to use this system.

Samples of the two systems

The following are two versions of the Lord's Prayer. The one on the left is written using the Spanish-based orthography, while the one on the right uses the Tagalog-based system.

Amami, ñga addaca sadi lañgit,
Madaydayao coma ti Naganmo.
Umay cuma ti pagariam.
Maaramid cuma ti pagayatam
Cas sadi lañgit casta met ditoy daga.
Itedmo cadacam ita ti taraonmi iti inaldao.
Quet pacaoanennacami cadaguiti ut-utangmi,
A cas met panamacaoanmi
Cadaguiti nacautang cadacami.
Quet dinacam iyeg iti pannacasulisog,
No di quet isalacannacami iti daques.
Amami, nga addaka sadi langit,
Madaydayaw koma ti Naganmo.
Umay koma ti pagariam.
Maaramid koma ti pagayatam
Kas sadi langit kasta met ditoy daga.
Itedmo kadakam ita ti taraonmi iti inaldaw.
Ket pakawanennakami kadagiti ut-utangmi,
A kas met panamakawanmi
Kadagiti nakautang kadakami.
Ket dinakam iyeg iti pannakasulisog,
No di ket isalakannakami iti dakes.

Ilokano and education

With the implementation of the Bilingual Education System of 1897, Ilocano, together with the other seven major languages (those that have at least a million speakers), was allowed to be used as a medium of instruction until the second grade. It is recognized by the Commission on the Filipino Language as one of the major languages of the Philippines.[citation needed] Constitutionally, Ilocano is an auxiliary official language in the regions where it is spoken and serves as auxiliary media of instruction therein.[3]

In recent years, a movement in both the Lower and the Upper House of the Congress pressed for the usage of the mother tongue as a medium of instruction until the sixth grade.[citation needed]

Literature

Ilocano animistic past offers a rich background in folklore, mythology and superstition (see Religion in the Philippines). There are many stories of good and malevolent spirits and beings. Its creation mythology centers on the giants Aran and her husband Angngalo, and Namarsua (the Creator).

The epic story Biag ni Lam-ang (The Life of Lam-ang) is undoubtedly one of the few indigenous stories from the Philippines that survived colonialism, although much of it is now acculturated and shows many foreign elements in the retelling. It reflects values important to traditional Ilokano society; it is a hero’s journey steeped in courage, loyalty, pragmatism, honor, and ancestral and familial bonds.

Ilocano culture revolves around life rituals, festivities and oral history. These were celebrated in songs (kankanta), dances (sala), poems (daniw), riddles (burburtia), proverbs (pagsasao), literary verbal jousts called bucanegan (named after the writer Pedro Bucaneg, and is the equivalent of the Balagtasan of the Tagalogs) and epic stories.

Phonology

Segmental

Vowels

Modern Ilocano has two dialects, which are differentiated only by the way the letter e is pronounced. In the Amianan (Northern) Dialect, there exist only five vowels while the Abagatan (Southern) Dialect employs six.

  • Amianan: /a/, /i/, /u/,/ɛ/,/o/
  • Abagatan: /a/, /i/, /u/,/ɛ/,/o/,/ɯ/

The letter in bold is the graphic (written) representation of the vowel.

Ilokano Vowel Chart
Height Front Central Back
Close i /i/ e /ɯ/, u/o /u/
Mid e /ɛ/ o /o/
Open a /a/

For a better rendition of vowel distribution, please refer to the IPA Vowel Chart.

Unstressed /a/ is pronounced [ɐ] in all positions except final syllables, like madí [mɐˈdi] (cannot be) but ngiwat (mouth) is pronounced [ˈŋiwat].

Although the modern (Tagalog) writing system is largely phonetic, there are some notable conventions.

O/U and I/E

In native morphemes, the close back rounded vowel /u/ is written differently depending on the syllable. If the vowel occurs in the ultima of the morpheme, it is written o; elsewhere, u.

Example:
    Root: luto cook
          agluto to cook
          lutuen to cook (something)

Instances such as masapulmonto, You will manage to find it, to need it, are still consistent. Note that masapulmonto is, in fact, three morphemes: masapul (verb base), -mo (pronoun) and -(n)to (future particle). An exception to this rule, however, is laud /la.ʔud/ (west). Also, u in final stressed syllables can be pronounced [o], like [dɐ.ˈnom] for danum (water).

That said, the two vowels are not highly differentiated in native words, due to fact that /o/ was an allophone of /u/ in the history of the language. In words of foreign origin, notably Spanish, they are phonemic.

Example:
    uso use
    oso bear

Unlike u and o, i and e are not allophones, but i in final stressed syllables in words ending in consonants can be [ɛ], like ubíng [ʊ.ˈbɛŋ] (child).

The two closed vowels become glides when followed by another vowel. The close back rounded vowel /u/ becomes [w] before another vowel; and the close front unrounded vowel /i/, [j].

Example:
    kuarta /kwaɾ.ta/ money
    paria /paɾ.ja/ bitter melon

In addition, dental/alveolar consonants become palatalized before /i/. (See Consonants below).

Unstressed /i/ and /u/ are pronounced [ɪ] and [ʊ] except in final syllables, like pintás (beauty) [pɪn.ˈtas] and buténg (fear) [bʊ.ˈtɛŋ] but bangir (other side) and parabur (grace) are pronounced [ˈba.ŋiɾ] and [pɐ.ˈɾa.buɾ].

Amianan and Abagatan pronunciation of /e/

The letter e represent two vowels in the Abagatan (Southern) dialect, /ɛ/ in words of foreign origin and /ɯ/ in native words, and only one in the Amianan (Northern) dialect, /ɛ/.

Realization of 'e'
Word Gloss Origin Amianan Dialect Abagatan Dialect
keddeng assign Native kɛd.dɛŋ kɯd.dɯŋ
elepante elephant Spanish ʔɛ.lɛ.pan.tɛ ʔɛ.lɛ.pan.tɛ

Diphthongs

Diphthongs are combination of a vowel and /i/ or /u/. In the orthography, the secondary vowels (underlying /i/ or /u/) are written with their corresponding glide, y or w, respectively. Of all the possible combinations, only /ai/ or /ei/, /iu/, /ai/ and /ui/ occur. In the orthography, vowels in sequence such as uo and ai, do not coelesce into a diphthong, rather, they are pronounced with an intervening glottal stop, for example, buok hair /bʊ.ʔuk/ and dait sew /da.ʔit/.

Diphthongs
Diphthong Orthography Example
/au/ aw kabaw "senile"
/iu/ iw iliw "home sick"
/ai/ ay maysa "one"
/ei/[4] ey idiey "there" (Regional variant. Standard: "idiay")
/oi/, /ui/[5] oy, uy baboy "pig"

The diphthong [ei] is a variant of [ai] in native words. Other occurrences are in words of Spanish and English origin. Examples are reyna [ˈɾei.na] (from Spanish reina, queen) and treyner [ˈtɾei.nɛɾ] (trainer). The diphthongs [oi] and [ui] may be interchanged since [o] is an allophone of [u] in final syllables. Thus, apúy (fire) may be pronounced [ɐ.ˈpoi] and baboy (pig) may be pronounced [ˈba.bui].

Consonants

Bilabial Dental /
Alveolar
Palatal Velar Glottal
Stops Voiceless p t k (#[6]Ø[7] V/ØVØ/C-V)[ʔ][8]
Voiced b d g
Affricates Voiceless (ts, tiV) [tʃ][9]
Voiced (diV) [dʒ][9]
Fricatives s (siV) [ʃ][9] h
Nasals m n (niV) [nj][9] ng [ŋ]
Laterals l (liV) [lj][9]
Flaps r [ɾ]
Trills (rr [r])
Semivowels (w, CuV) w[9] (y, CiV) [j][9]

All consonantal phonemes except are /h, ʔ/ may be a syllable onset or coda. The phoneme /h/ is a borrowed sound and rarely occurs in coda position. Although, the Spanish word, reloj, clock, would have been heard as [re.loh], the final /h/ is dropped resulting in /re.lo/. However, this word also may have entered the Ilokano lexicon at early enough a time that the word was still pronounced /re.loʒ/, with the j pronounced as in French, resulting in /re.los/ in Ilokano. As a result, both /re.lo/ and /re.los/ occur.

The glottal stop /ʔ/ is not permissible as coda; it can only occur as onset. Even as an onset, the glottal stop disappears in affixation. Take for example the root aramat, use. When prefixed with ag-, the expected form is *ag-aramat /ʔɐɡ.ʔɐ.ra.mat/. But, the actual form is, in fact, agaramat /ʔɐ.ɡɐ.ra.mat/; the glottal stop disappears. In a reduplicated form, the glottal stop returns and participates in the template, CVC, agar-aramat /ʔɐ.ɡar.ʔɐ.ra.mat/.

Stops are pronounced without aspiration. When they occur as coda, they are not released, for example, sungbat [sʊŋ.bat̚] answer, response.

Ilokano is one of the Philippine languages which is excluded from [ɾ]-[d] allophony, as /r/ in many cases is derived from a Proto-Austonesian */G/, compare dugô (Tagalog) and dara (Ilokano) blood.

The language marginally has a trill [r] which was spelled as “rr”, for example, serrek [sɛ.ˈrɛk] to enter. But it is different in proper names of foreign origin, mostly Spanish, like Serrano, which is correctly pronounced [sɛ.ˈrano]. Some speakers, however, pronounce Serrano as [sɛ.ˈɾano].

Prosody

Stress

Lexical

Stress is phonemic or lexical in Ilokano. This results in minimal pairs such as káyo (wood) and kayó (you (plural or polite)) or kíta (class, type, kind) and kitá (see). In written Ilokano, stress is not indicated, thus kayo and kita. Regardless of that fact, phonemic patterns can be found that give a good indication how to determine the primary stress of a given root.

Pitch

Primary stressed syllables are lower in pitch compared to the rest of the prosodic word.

Grammar

Ilokano is typified by a predicate-initial structure. Verbs and adjectives occur in the first position of the sentence, then the rest of the sentence follows.

Ilokano uses a highly complex list of affixes (prefixes, suffixes, infixes and enclitics) and reduplications to indicate a wide array of grammatical categories. Learning simple root words and corresponding affixes goes a long way in forming cohesive sentences.

Lexicon

Borrowings

An Ilocano Dictionary published by the CICM Fathers to help them in evangelising the Ilocandia.

Ilokano's vocabulary has a closer affinity to languages from Borneo. Foreign accretion comes largely from Spanish, followed by English and smatterings of Hokkien (Min Nan), Arabic and Sanskrit.

Examples of Borrowing
Word Source Original Meaning Ilokano meaning
arak Persian drink similar to sake generic alcoholic drink
karma Sanskrit deed (see Buddhism) spirit
sanglay Hokkien to deliver goods to deliver/Chinese merchant
agbuldos English to bulldoze to bulldoze
kuarta Spanish cuarta ("quarter", a kind of copper coin) money
kumusta Spanish greeting: ¿Cómo está? ("How are you?") how are you

Common expressions

English Ilokano
Yes Wen
No Saan

Haan

How are you? Kumusta ka?

Kumusta kayo? (polite and plural)

Good day Naimbag nga aldawmo.

Naimbag nga aldawyo. (polite and plural)

Good morning Naimbag a bigatmo.

Naimbag a bigatyo. (polite and plural)

Good afternoon Naimbag a malemmo.

Naimbag a malemyo. (polite and plural)

Good evening Naimbag a rabiim.

Naimbag a rabiiyo. (polite and plural)

What is your name? Ania ti naganmo? (often contracted to Aniat' naganmo? or Ana't naganmo)

Ania ti naganyo?

Where's the bathroom? Ayanna ti banio?
I cannot understand Diak matarusan/maawatan.

Saanko maawatan (or Saanko nga maawatan).

I love you Ay-ayatenka.

Ipatpategka.

I'm sorry. Pakawan.

Dispensar.

Thanks Agyamannak
Goodbye. Agpakadaakon.

Kastan/Kasta pay. (Till then)
Sige. (Okay)
Innakon. (I'm going)
Inkamin. (We are going)

Numbers (Bilang), Days (Aldaw), Months (Bulan)

Numbers (Bilang)

Ilokano uses two number systems, one native and the other derived from Spanish.

Numbers
0 ibbong
awan (lit. none)
sero (English zero)
itlog (slang egg)
sero
0.25 (1/4) kakappat
0.50 (1/2) kagudua
1 maysa uno
2 dua dos
3 tallo tres
4 uppat kuatro
5 lima singko
6 innem sais
7 pito siete
8 walo otso
9 siam nuebe
10 sangapulo (lit. a group of ten) dies
11 sangapulo ket maysa onse
20 duapulo bainte
50 limapulo singkuenta
100 sangagasut (lit. a group of one hundred) sien, siento
1,000 sangaribo (lit. a group of one thousand) mil
10,000 sangalaksa (lit. a group of ten thousand) dies mil
1,000,000 sangariwriw (lit. a group of one million) milion
1,000,000,000 sangabilion (American English, billion) bilion

Ilokano uses a mixture of native and Spanish numbers. Traditionally Ilokano numbers are used for quantities and Spanish numbers for time or days and references. Examples:

Spanish:

Mano ti tawenmo? (How old are you?)
Beintiuno. (Twenty one.)
Luktanyo dagiti Bibliayo iti libro ni Juan kapitulo tres bersikolo diesiseis.
Open your Bibles to the book of John chapter three verse sixteen.

Ilokano:

Mano a kilo a bagas ti kayatmo? (How many kilos of rice do you want?)
Sangapulo laeng. (Ten only.)
Adda dua nga ikan kenkuana.
He has two fish. (lit. There are two fish with him.)

Days of the week (Aldaw ti Lawas)

Days of the week are directly borrowed from Spanish.

Days of the Week
Monday Lunes
Tuesday Martes
Wednesday Mierkoles
Thursday Huebes
Friday Biernes
Saturday Sabado
Sunday Domingo

Months (Bulan)

Like the days of the week, the names of the months are taken from Spanish.

Months
January Enero    July Hulio
February Pebrero August Agosto
March Marso September Septiembre
April Abril October Oktubre
May Mayo November Nobiembre
June Hunio December Disiembre

Units of time

The names of the units of time are either native or are derived from Spanish. The first entries in the following table are native; the second entries are Spanish derived.

Units of time
second kanito
segundo
minute daras
minuto
hour oras
day aldaw
week lawas
dominggo (lit. Sunday)
month bulan
year tawen
anio

To mention time, Ilokanos use a mixture of Spanish and Ilokano:

1:00 a.m. A la una iti bigat (One in the morning)
2:30 p.m. A las dos imedia iti malem (in Spanish, Son las dos y media de la tarde or "half past two in the afternoon")

More Ilokano words

  • ading = younger brother/sister
  • awan = none
  • adda = there is
  • al-alya = ghost/spirit
  • ama = father
  • apan = to go
  • apay = why
  • apong = grandparent
  • apong baket = grandmother
  • an-nay! = ouch!
  • aso = dog
  • aysus! = oh, Jesus/oh, my God!
  • apong lakay = grandfather
  • babae = female
  • baboy = pig
  • bado = clothing / attire
  • badok = traditional jendo martial arts uniform/my attire/my uniform/my clothing
  • baket = old women / wife
  • balla (or bagtit, which is the most usable word) = crazy
  • bangsit = stink
  • barok = young boy
  • basang = young girl
  • (ag)basa = (to) read
  • basit= small
  • basul = fault, wrongdoing
  • bisin = hunger
  • (ag)buya = (to) watch
  • dadael = destroy/ruin
  • damdama = later
  • digos = bath
  • buneng = bladed tool / sword
  • gayyem = friend
  • kaanakan = niece / nephew
  • kabalyo = horse
  • kabsat = sibling
  • kanayon = always
  • kasinsin = cousin
  • katawa = laugh
  • kuddot/keddel = pinch
  • ina/inang/nanang = mother
  • laing = intelligence
  • lakay = old man / husband
  • lalaki = male
  • mabisin = hungry
  • manang = older sister or relative; can also be applied to women a little older than the speaker
  • mangan = eat
  • manong = older brother or relative; can also be applied to men a little older than the speaker
  • mari = female friend/mother
  • naimas = taste/feel good/delicious
  • nalaing = brilliant/intelligent
  • nana = grandmother
  • nasam-it = sweet
  • naalsem = sour
  • napait = bitter
  • naapgad = salty
  • (na)pintas = beautiful (woman)
  • nataraki = cute (man, slightly impolite connotation, but properly used on an animal, as for a rooster), usually interchanged with 'handsome'
  • nataengan = adult
  • (na)guapo = handsome (man)
  • (na)rago, (na)laad = ugly
  • pari = close male friend
  • padi = father (priest)
  • (na)peggad = danger(ous)
  • (ag) perdi = (to) break/ruin
  • pusa= cat
  • pustaan = bet, wager
  • pimmusay(en)= died
  • rabii = night/evening
  • riing = wake up
  • rupa = face
  • sala = dance
  • (na)sakit = (it) hurts
  • (ag)sangit = (to) cry
  • (ag)surat = (to) write
  • takrot/tarkok = coward/afraid
  • tata = grandfather
  • tatang = father
  • (ag)takder = (to) stand
  • (ag)tugaw = (to) sit
  • (na)tawid = inherit(ed)
  • tun-bigat = tomorrow
  • turog = sleep
  • ubing = child
  • ulo = head

Notes

  1. ^ Philippine Census, 2000. Table 11. Household Population by Ethnicity, Sex and Region: 2000
  2. ^ The reverse is true for the vowel /u/ where it has two representations in native words. The vowel /u/ is written o when it appears in the last syllable of the word or of the root, for example kitaemonto /ki.ta.e.mun.tu/. In addition, e represents two vowels in the southern dialect: [ɛ] and [ɯ].
  3. ^ 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, thecorpusjuris.com (Article XIV, Section 7)
  4. ^ The diphthong /ei/ is a variant of /ai/.
  5. ^ The distinction between /o/ and /u/ is minimal.
  6. ^ The '#' represents the start of the word boundary
  7. ^ the symbol 'Ø' represents zero or an absence of a phoneme.
  8. ^ Ilocano syllables always begin with a consonant onset. Words that begin with a vowel actually begin with a glottal stop ('[ʔ]'), but it is not shown in the orthography. When the glottal stop occurs within a word there are two ways it is represented. When two vowels are juxtaposed, except certain vowel combinations beginning with /i/ or /u/ which in fact imply a glide /j/ or /w/, the glottal stop is implied. Examples: buok hair [buː.ʔok], dait sew [daː.ʔit], but not ruar outside [ɾwaɾ]. However, if the previous syllable is closed (ends in a consonant) and the following syllable begins with a glottal stop, a hyphen is used to represent it, for example lab-ay bland [lab.ʔai].
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Letters in parentheses are orthographic conventions that are used.

External links

Ilokano language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Ilocano phrasebook article)

From Wikitravel

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.

Alagadan or Grammar

Ilocano is an agglutinative language. Meaning, it employs a number of affixes to signify changes in meaning. If you are having a hard time looking for a word in the dictionary, try dropping the following suffixes:

--ak or -k 
I or my
--tayo 
we or our
--mo 
you or your (singular)
--yo 
you or your (plural)
--na 
his, her or its
--da 
their
--en or -n 
already

Pronunciation guide

Like all its sister languages, Ilocano is fairly easy to pronounce. And although there are two orthographic systems that are in common use, the one based on Tagalog is more commonly found in publications. The general rule is one sound for each letter. However, the language, like all the Borneo-Philippine Languages, employ the digraph ng to represent an initial velar nasal consonant (the ng in English sing).

Accents are very unpredictable and must be learnt while learning the new word. Although books about the language will show these signs, they are often not found in publications like newspapers.

Vowels

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:

open front unrounded vowel IPA [a]; like the a in father
open-mid front unrounded vowel IPA [ɛ]; like the e in bed
close front unrounded vowel IPA [i]; like the ea in beat
close-mid back rounded vowel IPA [o]; like the au in author
close back rounded vowel IPA [u]; 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:

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 [j]. 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".

Consonants

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.

like the English bed
like the k in sky not as in kite
like the d in the Japanese dojo
(in proper nouns only) like the English feather
like the English go
(in foreign words from Spanish only) like the English house
like the English house
(in foreign words from Spanish only) like the English house
like the k in sky not as in kite
like the l in London
like the m in mother
like the n in nanny
like the p in spot not as in pot
qu
like the k in sky not as in kite
like the r in right
(in foreign words from Spanish only) like the r in rojo
like the s in seven
like the d in the Chinese Dao De Jing
like the English bed
(in proper nouns only) like the v in vase
like the w in water
(in proper nouns only) like the x' in six'
(in proper nouns only) like the x' in the Spanish Mexico
like the y in yam
like the s in seven
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.

Common diphthongs

There are only three commonly used dipthongs 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 dipthongs 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? 
Kumustak? (also kumustan?)
Fine, thank you. 
Nasiyaat met, agyamanak!
What is your name? 
Ania ti naganmo? (often contracted ania't naganmo?)
My name is ______ . 
______ ti naganko. (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 agyaman. (coll. Awan t'agyaman.)
Take care
Ag aluad ka
Yes. 
Wen.
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. 
Pakawan. (also Dispensar)
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 nagsasao 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 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? ( ?)
Help! 
Tulong!
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?
Leave me alone. 
Ibatidak! (or: Ibatinak!)
Don't touch me. 
Dinak ig-igaman.
I'll call the police! 
Agayabak ti pulis!
Stop! Thief! 
Esardeng! Agtatakaw!
I need your help. 
Masapulko ti tulong mo. (or when talking to many people: Masapulko ti tulong yo!)
I am lost. 
Napukawak! (also: Na-iyaw-awan nak!)
I lost my bag. 
Mapukaw ti bag ko.
I lost my wallet. 
Mapukaw ti petakak.
I am sick. 
agsakitak (Note: Filipinos generally equate this sentence with I have a fever. To say this, it is more proper to say, ag-gurigurak)
I met an accident. 
Naaksidente ak!
I need a doctor. 
Masapulko ti doktor.

Numbers

There exist two names for the numbers in Ilocano. The native Ilocano and the Spanish names. Generally, Ilocanos use the Spanish terms if they are talking about time of very large quantities. You will however see the native terms if you would read literary books. If you are going on a shopping, prices of small values are given in this form.

awan or sero
maysa
dua
tallo
uppat
lima
innem
pito
walo
siam
10
sangapulo
11
sangapulo ket maysa
12
sangapulo ket dua
13
sangapulo ket tallo
14
sangapulo ket uppat
15
sangapulo ket lima
20
duapulo
30
tallopulo
40
uppat a pulo
50
limapulo
60
innem a pulo
70
pitopulo
80
walo a pulo
90
siam a pulo
100
sangagasut
101
sangagasut ket maysa
150
sangagasut ket limapulo
151
sangagasut ket limapulo ket lima
200
duagasut
300
tallogasut
400
uppatgasut
500
limagasut
1000
sangaribu
10000
sangariwriw
100000
sangabillion

Time

Telling the time is rather complicated in Ilocano. People use a combination of the Spanish system and the native style of telling time. However, even the Spanish system has changed that those who has learnt how to tell time in Spanish may not understant it quite easily. Here are some phrases:

Clock Time

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
now 
ita
later 
madamdama
before 
sakbay
after 
kalpasan
morning 
bigat
this morning 
ita bigat
noon 
tenggaat adlaw
afternoon 
malem
evening 
rabii
night 
rabii
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
seconds 
segundo
minutes 
minuto
hours 
oras
day 
aldaw
week 
lawas
month 
bulan
year 
tawen

Days

Days of the Week (Adlaw iti Lawas) follow their corresponding Spanish counterparts:

Domingo 
Sunday
Lunes 
Monday
Martes 
Tuesday
Mierkoles 
Wednesday
Juebes 
Thursday
Biernes 
Friday
Sabado 
Saturday

Months

Months of the year (dagiti Bulan iti Tawen) follows the names of their Spanish counterparts:

January 
Enero
February 
Febrero
March 
Marso
April 
Abril
May 
Mayo
June 
Junio
July
Julio
August 
Agosto
September 
Setiembre
October 
Octubre
November 
Noviembre
December 
Disiembre

Writing time and date

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.
blue 
asul
red 
baga (or as an adj. nalabaga or nalabbasit)
yellow 
duyaw
green 
berde (or more poetically nalangto)
orange 
kahel (or simple orange)
violet 
violet
black 
ngisit
white 
pudaw
brown 
kayumanggi
grey  
dapo

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.

Transportation

Like the rest of the Philippines, busses and taxis are not the primary mode of transportation in Ilocandia (i.e. the Northern Philippines). For short distances, the tricycles remain to be the most available form of transportation. For average distance travels, the modified Filipino jeep will be the best way to navigate the area. Indeed, these jeepneys dominate the streets of the Philippines that they are often called The King of the Streets throughout the archipelago. Busses and trains are only used for very long distances.

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 didiay idiay name of the place?
I'll take one ticket. 
Maysa nga ticket ti alaek , Mangalanak ti maysa nga ticket
Where does this bus/ train go to? 
Papanan 'toy 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 'toy bus/ tren idiay name of the place?
What time does this bus/ train leaves? 
Kaano nga pumanaw 'toy bus/ tren? (also: Anya ti oras nga pumanaw 'toy bus/ tren? lit. What time does this bus/ train leave?)
What time does this bus/ train arrive at name of the place
Kaano nga sumangpet 'toy bus/ tren idiay name of the place? (also: Ania ti 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 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
Intersection 
Rotonda
North 
Amianan
East 
Daya
South 
Abagatan
West 
Laud
North-West 
Amianan nga Laud
North-East 
Amianan nga Daya
South-West 
Abagatan nga Laud
South-East 
Abagatan nga Daya
D you an available room? 
Adda pay ti kwartoyo?
How much is a single room? 
Manu ti kwarto para iti maysa a tao?
How much is a room for two/ three people? 
Manu ti kwarto para kadagiti dua/ tallo nga tattao?
Is a __________ included in the room? 
Adda ti __________ idiay kwarto?
blanket 
ules
bathroom 
banio
telephone 
telepono
television 
telebisyon (or simply TV)
May I see the room? 
Mabalin nga makitak ti kwarto?
Have you any room that is more quiet? 
Adda ti kwartoyo nga naul-ulimek?
bigger 
dakdakkel
cleaner 
nadaldalus
cheaper 
nalaklaka
I'll stay for one/ two nights. 
Agyanak ti maysa/ dua anga rabii.
Can you suggest another place? 
Adda ti sabali a lugar?
Do you have a safe? 
Adda ti safeboxkayo?
Do you have a locker? 
Adda ti lockerkayo?
Please clean my room. 
Pakidalus man toy kwartok.
Can you wake me up at time
Mabalin nga riingemak inton time?
I am going to check out. 
Ag-check-outnak.
Do you accept American Dollars? 
Ag-alakayo ti Dolar nga Amerikano?
How much is a dollar here? 
Manu ti maysa a dolar daytoy?
Do you accept credit cards? 
Ag-alakayo ti credit card?
Is there an ATM here? 
Adda ti ATM daytoy?
A table for one/ two person, please. 
Maysa a mesa para maysa/ dua a tao, please.
Can I see the menu? 
Mabalin a makitak ti menu?
What is the your specialty? 
Ania ti specialty-yo?
I am vegetarian. 
Vegetarianak.
I don't eat pork. 
Diak mangan ti baboy.
I don't eat beef. 
Diak mangan ti baka.
chicken 
manok
pork 
baboy
beef 
baka
fish 
ikan (or sida)
ham 
ham
sausage 
longganisa
cheese 
keso
egg 
itlog
salad 
salad
vegetables 
nateng
fruits 
prutas
bread 
pan
noodles 
pancit (if there is broth soup mami)
rice 
kanen
May I have a glass of water please. 
Maysa a baso ti danom. Please.
Have you wine/liqueur? 
Adda ti arakyo?
One/ Two bottle/s of beer, please. 
Maysa/ Dua a bote ti beer, please.
Water 
Danom
Food 
Tarangen
Coffee 
Kape
Milk 
Gatas
Chocolate 
Tsokolate
Another one, please. 
Maysa pay, please.
What time do you close? 
Ania ti oras nga agrikepkayo?
Do you have something bigger/ smaller? 
Adda dakdakkel/ basbassit?
Expensive 
nangina
Cheap 
nalaka
I don't wan't it. 
Diak kayat.
I'll take it. 
Alaekon.
I need _____ . 
Masapulko ti _____.
toothpaste 
toothpaste
toothbrush 
sepilyo
condom 
kondom
sanitary napkin 
napkin
soap 
sabon
shampoo 
siampo
razor 
labahas
umbrella 
payong
post card 
post card
stamps 
selyo para iti surat
battery 
bateria
paper 
papel
pen 
bolpen
English Book 
libro nga Inggles
English Magazine 
Magasine nga Inggles
English Newspaper 
Diario nga Inggles
English-Ilocano Dictionary 
Diksyonario nga Inggles
I want to rent a car. 
Kayatko nga agrenta ti kotse.
Can I get an insurance? 
Mabalin nga ag-ala-ak ti insurance?
Stop! 
Sardeng!
gasoline 
gasolina

Note: As Ilocano enjoys no official status in the Philippines, no street sign is written in the language. Street signs and even public notices are posted in English.

What's the problem, Sir? 
Ania ti problema, Manong?
Where are you taking me? 
Ayanna ti pangipanam kaniak?
I am an American Citizen. 
Amerkanoak.
I need a lawyer. 
Masapul ko ti abugado.
Can I pay the fine here? 
Mabalin nga agbayadak ti multa daytoy?
President 
Presidente
Vice-President 
Vice Presidente
Secretary of the Cabinet 
Secretario ti Gabinete
Senator 
Senador
Representative 
Diputado
Judge 
Huwes
Police 
Pulis
Soldier 
Soldado
How do I say English Word in Ilocano? 
Kasano sabien ti English Word iti Ilocano?
What 
Ania
Who 
Asino
Where 
Ayanna
When 
Kaano
Why 
Apay
How 
Kasaso (used when you expect an adverb manner as an answer)
How much? 
Manu
How many? 
Manu
How long? 
Kasatno kabayag?
How big? 
Kasatno kadakkel?

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