National Language Month in the Philippines

Filipinos have this famous saying:

“Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, mahigit pa sa hayop at malansang isda”

“Who does not love his own tongue is far worse than a brute or a stinking fish.”

This serves as a reminder to us, Filipinos, of the importance of valuing one’s native language. If we forget or abandon it, we are compared to a stinking decaying fish. Language is the soul of a nation; a part of one’s identity; and it binds people together. It’s a tool to express our feelings and thoughts and there’s nothing more precious than speaking in your own native tongue and communicating with people who share the same language.

The Philippines has more than 170 languages and dialects, each region has its own different dialects with each dialect reflecting its own identity and subculture. The Filipino culture is as diverse as its dialects, with different traditions, beliefs, food, and even religions. The people from the North would speak different dialects from the peoples of the South. Thus, during the Spanish colonisation, there was no language that would unify the whole country.

When the Americans came and the Philippines was under the Commonwealth of the Philippines, the 1937 Philippine Constitution identified Filipino, a Tagalog-based dialect, as the national language.

Every August since then, the Philippines celebrates National Language Month. What started as a one-week celebration in 1954 was extended to a month-long celebration in 1997. The celebration coincides with the birthday of the second president of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon, who is considered as the Father of Filipino Language because it was during his term that he unified the different dialects in the Philippines.

However, it’s not only the Tagalog-based Filipino Language that is being celebrated. To promote, preserve, and encourage the use of native dialects, National Language Month also celebrates the different indigenous dialects in the Philippines.

To celebrate the event, various activities are being held in schools on 19 August which is the National Language Day. These include Filipino declamation contests, group oration, Filipino essay-writing contest, and the wearing of national costumes.

Buwan ng Wika

“Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, ay mahigit pa sa hayop at malansang isda”

“Who does not love his own tongue is for worse than a brute or stinking fish”

Ito ay nagsisilbing paalala sa atin ng kahalagahan ng pagbibigay importansya sa sariling wika, at kung wala ito, mawawalan tayo ng sariling pagkakakilalan at ang mas masahol pa ay tayo ay maihahalintulad sa malansang isda: nabubulok.

Ang lengguwahe ay ang diwa ng isang bansa.  Ito ang nagbubuklod sa atin at isang paraan upang maiparating natin ang ating nararamdaman at kaisipan.  Wala ring hihigit pa sa pakiramdam na tayo ay makakapag-usap sa mga taong kahalintulad natin sa lengguwahe.

Ang Pilipinas ay mayroon 130-187 na dialekto. Bawat isang rehiyon ay mayroong ibat-ibang mga dialekto at bawat isang dialekto ay sumasalamin ng kaniyang pagkakakilanlan at kultura. Ang kulturang Pilipino ay kasing-lawak ng kanyang mga dialekto. Bawat isa ay may sariling sinusunod na tradisyon, paniniwala, pagkain at maski relihiyon. Ang mga taong mula sa hilaga ay iba ang salita sa mga taong mula sa timog. Kaya naman noong panahon ng mga Kastila, walang lengguahe na magbubuklod sa buong bansa.

Noong dumating ang mga Amerikano at ang Pilipinas ay sumailalim sa Commonwealth, itinalaga ng 1937 Philippine Constitution na ang opisyal na lengguahe ng bansa ay Filipino, na hango sa Tagalog na dialekto.

Magmula noon, tuwing Agosto, ipinagdiwang ng Pilipinas ang Buwan ng Wika. Ipinagdiwang ito sa loob ng isang linggo noong 1954 ngunit noong 1997,  sinimulang ipagdiwang ito ng buong buwan. Ang pagdiriwang ay isinabay sa kaarawan ni Manuel L. Quezon, na kinikilalang Ama ng Wikang Filipino sapagka’t  sa termino niya bilang presidente nagkaroon ng pagkakaisa ang mga dialekto ng Pilipinas.

Ngunit hindi lamang ang wikang Filipino na hango sa dialektong Tagalog ang ipinagdiriwang. Upang itaguyod, mapanatili at himukin ang paggamit ng mga ibat ibang dialekto ng Pilipinas, ipinagdiriwang din ng Buwan ng Wika ang mga katutubong dialekto ng Pilipinas.

Sari-saring mga aktibidad ang ginagawa upang ipagdiwang ang Buwan ng Wika, tulad ng mga declamation contests, group oration, pagsulat ng mga essay sa Filipino at pagsuot ng mga katutubong damit tuwing 19 ng Agosto na syang tinaguriang Araw ng Wika.

Challenges

Learn some basic Filipino words by watching these short instructional videos.

Counting in Filipino

Learn how to count and show your family and friends that you can count in Filipino

Expert level : Teach someone older how to count in Filipino

Learn the colours in Filipino

Learn the different colours in Filipino and practice what you learned by naming the colours inside your house.

More about The Philippines

Filipino language

   

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