Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Ilocano phrasebook

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 19:31, 18 December 2012 by 64.71.21.109 (Talk)

Jump to: navigation, search

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.

Phrase list

Basics

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
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. 
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 itiname 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?

Problems

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 are two names for each number in Ilocano: the native Ilocano name and the Spanish name. Generally, Ilocanos use the Spanish terms if they are talking about time of very large quantities. You will however see the native terms in literary books. If you are shopping, prices of small values are given in this form.

Cardinal Numbers

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 maysa
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, the Spanish system has been modified to the extent that people who have learnt how to tell time in Spanish may not easily understand it. Here are some phrases:

Clock Time

Ilocanos use the 12hr clock, so there is no need to learn Spanish numbers 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

Adverbs of Time

now 
ita
later 
madamdama
before 
sakbay
after 
kalpasan
morning 
bigat
this morning 
ita bigat
noon 
tenggaat aldaw
afternoon 
malem
evening 
rabii
night 
rabii
today 
ita nga aldaw
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

Duration

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 learnt how to say time and date, writing them is very simple. In writing the date, one generally gives the day first, followed by the month and the year. If we have to indicate the time, it follows after the date.

07 March 1983 at 2245 
Maika-pito iti Marso 1983 iti maika-sangapulu ket uppat a pulu ket lima iti rabii.

Colours

Primary Colours

blue 
asul
red 
baga (or as an adj. nalabaga or nalabbasit)
yellow 
duyaw

Secondary Colours

green 
berde (or more poetically nalangto)
orange 
kahel (or simple orange)
violet 
violet

Other Colours

black 
nangisit
white 
puraw
brown 
kayumanggi
grey  
dapo

Note: As adjectives may be placed 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, tricycles remain the most available form of transportation. For journeys of average distances, the modified Filipino jeep will be the best way to navigate the area. Indeed, these jeepneys so 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.

Tricycles and Jeepneys

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.)

Bus and Train

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?)

Directions

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
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

Lodging

Do you have an available room? 
Adda pay ti kwarto yo?
How much is a single room? 
Manu ti kwarto para maysa nga tao?
How much is a room for two/ three people? 
Manu ti kwarto para dua/ tallo nga tao?
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 diay kwarto?
Do you have 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 ammum nga sabali nga lugar?
Do you have a safe? 
Adda ti safeboxyo?
Do you have a locker? 
Adda ti lockeryo?
Please clean my room. 
Pakidalus man toy kwartok.
Can you wake me up at time
Mabalin nga riingen nak titime?
I am going to check out. 
Ag-check-outak.

Money

Do you accept American Dollars? 
Ag-alakayo ti Dolar nga Amerikano?
How much is a dollar here? 
Manu ti maysa a dollar idtoy?
Do you accept credit cards? 
Ag-alakayo ti credit card?
Is there an ATM here? 
Adda ti ATM idtoy?

Eating

A table for one/ two person, please. 
Maysa a mesa para maysa/ dua a tao, man.
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, man.

Bars

Have you wine/liqueur? 
Adda ti arakyo?
One/ Two bottle/s of beer, please. 
Maysa/ Dua a bote ti beer, man.
Water 
Danom
Food 
Tarangen
Coffee 
Kape
Milk 
Gatas
Chocolate 
Tsokolate
Another one, please. 
Maysa pay, man.
What time do you close? 
Ania ti oras nga agrikepkayo?

Shopping

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

Driving

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.

Authority

What's the problem, Sir? 
Ania ti problema, Manong?
Where are you taking me? 
Sadino 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 ditoy?
President 
Presidente
Vice-President 
Vice Presidente
Secretary of the Cabinet 
Secretario ti Gabinete
Senator 
Senador
Representative 
Diputado
Judge 
Huwes
Police 
Pulis
Soldier 
Soldado

Asking about language

How do I say English Word in Ilocano? 
Kasano sabien ti English Word iti Ilocano?

Other

What 
Ania
Who 
Asino or siasino
Where 
Ayanna
When 
Kaano or katno
Why 
Apay
How 
Kasano (used when you expect an adverb manner as an answer)
How much? 
Manu
How many? 
Manu
How long? 
Kasatno kabayag?
How big? 
Kasatno kadakkel?


This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages