So you are coming here in Cebu?! Yey! There is so much to do, see and eat sa Syudad sa Sugbo! You are in for one awesome travel adventure and food trip!
But before you come over, why not learn a few Cebuano words and phrases that will be useful when you interact with the locals.
The awesome thing about Cebu is that we speak English better than we speak Filipino so even foreigners will not have a hard time communicating with locals. Filipino is the national language of the Philippines but majority of the words in the Filipino lexicon is based on Tagalog. Cebuanos don’t speak Tagalog in Cebu unlike in Davao and other provinces wherein Tagalog is widely spoken. It’s another quirkiness of ours related to Cebuano Pride.
Don’t be surprised when you ask a local tindera, a peddler, a fastfood crew, a random person in the streets in Tagalog, you will be answered in Cebuano or English.
Actually, as much as possible Cebuanos don’t speak Tagalog thinking that the moment we open our mouths and try to speak Tagalog, we will be laughed at because of our ‘ Bisaya tone’. My first weeks in Manila eons ago, my tagalog was branded ‘germanic tagalog’ and my co-trainees and trainers were amused by my unique way of speaking Tagalog. LOL. At that time, I refuse to speak in Tagalog unless I have no choice. One of the bosses got frustrated and told me when we first visited Laguna which was to be my home for the next 5 years, he told me point blank “Cille nasa bayan ka ni Rizal. Bawal ka magsalita ng English. Ayaw ko marinig nag -eenglish ka sa area. Mag-tagalog ka.” *gulp hahahah. Aye, I’ve learned since then. I can speak tagalog like a native speaker now. I think haha.
Advantages in Speaking Cebuano Phrases and Words
Some say that the major advantage if you speak in Cebuano in asking for directions or haggling with vendors during your Cebu trip is that you will be taken as a local. Based on experience, this is not true. Why I’m saying this? Simple, we have a different inflection and intonation when we speak. Tagalogs are more malumanay that even if they know the Cebuano words, when they speak the words, it still come across as malumanay. Not the hard punto of Bisaya Cebuano.
BUT there are still advantages if you try to speak our local language.
One advantage if you come ready with some easy to learn Cebuano words and phrases is that it’s one of the easiest ways to score pogi points during your vacation. If we can see you are exerting effort in trying to speak our local language, you’ll be appreciated more. It might even lead manang tindera to give you an extra helping of dried fish sa Taboan. ^_^
Another advantage is that your question will be understood. If your question is understood, chances are you will be answered correctly too. =)
One more advantage is you enrich yourself by learning new phrases and new words. Adding new words to your vocabulary is always great. We shouldn’t stop learning right?! \ o /
So anyhow, here are handy Cebuano phrases and words that will make your Cebu vacation more fun! Note that the language conversion is Tagalog – English – Cebuano.
Who wants to learn Cebuano ?
Greetings and Salutations – Tagalog to Cebuano to English
Magandang Umaga – Good morning – Maayong buntag
Magandang Tanghali – Good noon – Maayong udto
Magandang Gabi – Good evening – Maayong gabi-i
Magandang Araw – Good Day – Maayong Adlaw
Maraming salamat – Thank you very much – Daghang salamat
Walang anuman – You’re welcome – Walay sapayan
Kain tayo! – Let’s eat! – Manga-on ta!
Masarap – Delicious – Lami
Ang saya! – So fun! – Lingaw dyud!
Maligayang Kaarawan! – Happy Birthday! – Malipayong Adlawng Natawhan!
Counting Numbers in Cebuano
1 – usa
2 – duha
3 – tulo
5 – lima
6 – unom
7 – pito
8 – walo
9 – syam
10 – napu
Handy Questions and Phrases for the Cebu bound tourists
Tagalog: Magkano to?
English: How much is this?
Cebuano: Tag-pila ni?
Tagalog: Tawad ate, discount naman
English: Can you give it at lower price, discount pls
Cebuano: Pahang-yo-a ko te, discounti sad
Tagalog: Ano to?
English: What’s this
Cebuano: Unsa ni?
Tagalog: Anong sinabi mo?
English: What did you say?
Cebuano: Unsa imo gisulti?
Tagalog: Paano pumunta sa ___?
English: How do you go to ____?
Cebuano: Unsaon pag-adto sa____?
Tagalog: Anong jeep sasakyan papuntang__?
E: What jeep to ride to get to__?
Cebuano: Unsang jeep sakyan padung sa__?
Tagalog: Anong masarap? Anong bestseller niyo?
English: What’s delicious? What’s your best sellers?
Cebuano: Unsay lami? Unsay best-seller ninyo?
So there! Ain’t it cool to learn basic Cebuano words and phrases?
These are just a few of the common phrases and words in our local language. You can still learn more Tagalog to Cebuano translation or English to Cebuano conversions by doing more research or asking your Bisaya speaking friends for tutorials. Add Cebuano words to your vocabulary today!
I hope you find the list useful, although it’s not comprehensive. Enjoy your vacation to Cebu!
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