How Many Dialects In the Philippines?

The Philippines is a culturally diverse country with many different dialects, making it an interesting and unique place to explore. With over 170 spoken languages and dialects, but the 8 major languages, the Philippines is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.

In this blog post, we will explore what language is spoken in the Philippines, and the diversity of the languages used in the country. We will also take a look at the history of the language and the influence of other cultures. So, if you’re curious about how many dialects in the Philippines, keep reading!

how many dialects in the philippines

History Of Languages In The Philippines

The Philippines is home to many different languages, dialects, and sub-dialects. Although the official language of the Philippines is Filipino (based on Tagalog), there are over 170 dialects spoken throughout the archipelago. This linguistic diversity has evolved from centuries of foreign influence, with early settlers from places like Indonesia, China, and the United States having brought their own languages to the islands.

The Austronesian languages, spoken mainly in the southern part of the country, are the most widespread language family in the Philippines. Among these languages are Tagalog (the basis for Filipino), Cebuano, Ilocano, and Hiligaynon. These four languages are among the most widely spoken in the Philippines, with Tagalog and Cebuano being the most prominent.

Other major language families include the Austroasiatic languages, represented by the Bikol and Waray languages, as well as the Sino-Tibetan languages which include varieties of Chinese. There are also some indigenous languages that are not related to any of these major language families, such as Ifugao and Kalinga.

The variety of languages spoken in the Philippines reflects its diverse cultural heritage and its long history of immigration and cultural exchange. From the earliest days of settlement to present times, different people have brought their own languages to the islands, creating an ever-growing and diverse set of dialects. This diversity is one of the things that makes the Philippines so unique and allows it to remain a vibrant hub of culture and communication in Southeast Asia.

Main languages in the Philippines

The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia. It is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands. There are about 170 languages in the Philippines that are spoken by different ethnic groups and regions in the country. Main language in the Philippines, which has two official languages and eight major languages. Filipino is a native language in the Philippines, which is based on Tagalog, which is the national language of the country.

Filipino (a standardized form of Tagalog) and English are the two official languages in the Philippines. Filipino is spoken as a first language by about 87% of Filipinos and as a second language by most others, while English is spoken by only 3% of Filipinos.

what language do they speak in the philippines

#1 Filipino language

The Filipino language is a major language spoken in the Philippines and is considered the Philippines national language. It is a standardized form of Tagalog, the language of the Manila region, which is derived from a variety of other Philippine languages and dialects. Filipino, like Tagalog, is written using the Latin alphabet.

The Filipino language has been shaped by various influences over the years, including Spanish, American English, and other Philippine languages. It contains elements of Tagalog, Spanish, and English, but also includes borrowings from Chinese and Sanskrit.

Filipino is the language used in many forms of communication, including television and radio broadcasts, newspapers, and magazines. It is also the main language used for teaching in most public schools in the Philippines. There are more than 100 million Filipinos living in the Philippines, which speak Tagalog as one of its major languages.

In 1946, it was officially declared as one of the official languages of the Philippines. It is estimated that about 90 percent of the population speaks some form of Filipino, making it the most widely spoken language in the country. Despite this, English remains an official language in the Philippines due to its long-standing colonial legacy.

I need professional translation services to localize my business in the Philippines. Get Started.

#2 English

The Philippines has a rich history of language and culture that has been shaped by centuries of colonization. English is one of the official languages of the Philippines, alongside Filipino (which is based on Tagalog). English is widely spoken in the country and is used in business, education, and other aspects of daily life.

English is taught as a second language in Philippine schools and is used for official communication between government offices and other institutions. It is also widely used in the media, including radio, television, newspapers, and magazines. In addition to English, many Filipinos also speak Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, depending on their background.

English has become increasingly popular in the Philippines over the past few decades. It is estimated that around 59% of Filipinos are now able to understand or speak basic English. The growing number of English language courses available has played a major role in this increase, as well as the growing use of technology and the internet.

English is used extensively for commerce in the Philippines, making it an invaluable asset for those looking to do business in the country. Most major companies and organizations in the Philippines now require employees to be proficient in English to be eligible for promotion and advancement opportunities.

In conclusion, English plays an important role in the Philippines. Not only is it the official language of the country, but it is also widely used in everyday life. Thanks to the growing number of English language courses available, more and more Filipinos are becoming proficient in English each year. This has been an invaluable asset for those looking to do business in the country or pursue advancement opportunities within their fields.

I need professional translation services to localize my business in the Philippines. Get Started.

#3 Tagalog

Tagalog is the most spoken language in the Philippines, with an estimated 34 million speakers. Tagalog is a standardized language, which means that it has a set of rules and guidelines for how it should be written and spoken.

Tagalog is considered to be one of the most important languages in the Philippines because it is one of the two official languages in the country. It is also recognized as an official language in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia.

#4 Cebuano

The Cebuano language is one of the major languages in the Philippines. It is spoken in the Visayas and Mindanao areas. It is also spoken by people in many other countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, and Saudi Arabia.

Cebuano language is mainly used in business transactions and public speaking. In some parts of the country, it is used as a second language for teaching subjects such as mathematics and science.

#5 Ilocano

The Ilocano language is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages. The language is spoken by about 4.4 million people in Northern Luzon, Philippines, most of whom are in the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, and Zambales.

It is estimated that there are about 4.4 million speakers of Ilocano in Northern Luzon, Philippines.

#6 Tausug

Tausug is a language spoken by the Tausug people. It is one of the languages spoken in the Philippines. It is considered to be a dialect of Malay, with some Arabic and Spanish words mixed in. The language is also closely related to Maguindanao, which was also influenced by Arabic and Spanish.

The Tausug language has been around for centuries and it has survived many invasions that threatened its existence. The number of people who speak the language is decreasing because of globalization and migration to urban areas, but it remains one of the major languages in the southern Philippines.

The Tausug people are Muslims who migrated from Indonesia and Malaysia during an invasion that took place in 1823-1824 AD. They settled in Mindanao island where they became fishermen and traders who used their boats as their means of transportation until they became farmers later on due to population increase.

#7 Hiligaynon

The Hiligaynon language is the Filipino language that is spoken by the people in the province of Negros Occidental. It is also called Ilonggo. Hiligaynon has a strong influence from the Spanish, which was introduced in the Philippines during the 16th century. The Spanish influence led to the incorporation of some Spanish words into its vocabulary.

Some examples include “agahan” (to eat), “paspasan” (to touch), and “sangka” (a kind of rice). The Hiligaynon language also has influences from other languages such as Sanskrit, Arabic, and Hindi.

#8 Maranao

The Maranao language is spoken in the Philippines. It is one of the major languages in the country and it is spoken by the majority of the people in Mindanao. The Maranao language has been influenced by Arabic, Spanish, and other languages that are spoken in the country.

The word “Maranao” means “people of water.” The Maranao people live near rivers and lakes because they have traditionally been a fishing culture.

#9 Pangasinense

The Pangasinense language is an Austronesian language spoken in the eastern part of the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is also known as Pangasinan, Pangasinese, and Ilocano-Pangasinan. This language is primarily spoken in the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, and Tarlac.

#10 Waray

The Waray language is spoken by the people of Eastern Visayas in the Philippines. It is one of the major languages spoken in the country, with a total population of 2.2 million as per census data from 2010.

Waray is a member of the Austronesian language family. Its closest relatives are Cebuano, Hiligaynon, and Bikol languages which are also spoken in Eastern Visayas.

It has its alphabet which consists of 24 letters, but it still uses the Roman alphabet for writing Waray words that are borrowed from English or Spanish such as “computer” and “bus”.

#11 Kapampangan

The Kapampangan language is the most widely spoken language in the province of Pampanga in Central Luzon, Philippines. The Kapampangan language is one of the many languages that belong to the Austronesian language family and is related to Tagalog, Ilocano, and Bikol languages. The word Kapampangan means ‘from Pampanga’ or ‘people of Pampanga’.

The Kapampangan language is a subgroup of Central Luzon languages which includes Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Zambales. It has also been identified as a group within the Northern Luzon linguistic area which also includes Bicolano and some parts of Ilocano.

#12 Aklanon

Aklanon is the Filipino language spoken by the people of Aklan, a province in the Philippines. It is part of the Visayan languages group and one of its dialects is Kinaray-a. Aklanon is also known as “Banwa” and “Aklensya.” It shares a few words and vocabulary with Hiligaynon. , Aklanon shares similar grammatical features and pronunciation with Kinaray-a.

The Aklanon people are one of the oldest inhabitants of Panay Island. They settled in their homeland before the arrival of other ethnic groups, including Malay settlers from Borneo and Indonesia, who came to Panay Island later than them.

Why the Philippines have diversified languages and dialects?

The Philippines is an archipelago with over 7,600 islands, making it one of the most diverse countries in the world. The language diversity in the country can be attributed to the fact that the Philippines has been colonized by different countries in the past.

The many filipino dialects of the Philippines can be traced back to its original inhabitants. Different areas have different dialects because of a mix of Austronesian and Spanish colonization, as well as trade and immigration from other Southeast Asian countries like China and India.

What makes the Philippine dialects even more unique is that they are tonal, meaning that their meanings can vary depending on the intonation used when speaking. This means that two different words can have the same sound but very different meanings. For example, “ma” could mean “but” or “mother” depending on how it is said.

The many dialects of the Philippines are a testament to its rich cultural heritage. They serve as a reminder that despite the influence of foreign cultures, the Filipino identity still remains strong. As such, learning these dialects can be a great way to gain a better understanding of Filipino culture and appreciate its nuances.

How More than a Hundred Languages Survived?

The Philippines is a country with more than a Hundred languages that have survived to this day. These languages are evidence of the country’s diverse culture, history, and society.
A number of factors have contributed to the survival of these languages in the Philippines.

For one thing, many of these languages are spoken by indigenous people who live in remote areas where there is a lack of government presence and infrastructure. This has made it difficult for the Philippine national language Filipino to be imposed on them. There are also many ethnic groups in the country with different beliefs and customs, which make it difficult for any single group to impose their language on others.

How many languages are in the Philippines?

The Philippines is a country with many languages. There are around 180 living languages in the Philippines. This includes the different dialects and variations of these languages.
Some of the most spoken languages in the Philippines are Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Pangasinan, and Kapampangan. The most important language in terms of literacy is English, followed by Filipino or Pilipino.

What are the main languages spoken in the Philippines?

The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia. It has diverse cultures and languages, but the three official languages are Filipino, English, and Spanish. Filipinos speak many different dialects of Tagalog which is the most spoken language in the Philippines.

Is Filipino a language?

The Filipino language is the national language of the Philippines. It is a standardized version of Tagalog, an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines.

The Filipino language is a mixture of languages from different cultures. The majority of its vocabulary comes from Tagalog, while some words come from Spanish and English.

the sign language of filipino

Do the Philippines speak Spanish?

Many Filipinos speak Spanish. In fact, the Philippines has one of the largest Spanish-speaking populations in Asia. The country is a former colony of Spain, and the language belongs to the Romance languages family. It was introduced to the country during its colonization by Spain.

Who speaks Tagalog?

Tagalog is a Philippines language. It is the most spoken Filipino language, with an estimated 20 million native speakers and another 10 million non-native speakers.
The Tagalog language is the national and official language of the Philippines. The country’s name comes from its indigenous word, “Pilipinas”.


The Philippines is a country that is incredibly diverse in its linguistic landscape. Each language and dialect is unique and adds to the culture of the country. While there may be disagreement about how many dialects in Philippines, it is clear that this country is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world.

Hopefully, you found this article interesting, and thanks for reading it. If you think I should go back to more linguistics content, please leave a comment below and share it with anyone you know who likes this kind of stuff (or people who don’t yet know).

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Written By

We are an industry-leading language services provider. Our linguists are passionate about sharing their cutting-edge knowledge of the language industry. Follow us to get the latest news, events, tips, and opportunity.

You Might Also Like

Connect with Us

Request a Free Quote