Cebuano 101

Cebuano/Bisayan is an extremely phonetic language, thus making it much more simple for non-Cebuano to learn and speak.

If one is familiar with Spanish, this makes Cebuano all the easier. Every Filipino dialect has similarities to Spanish (the Philippines having been conquered by the Spaniards and subsequently under Spanish rule for 300 years), and the pronunciation is nearly identical. Double "l"s in Cebuano are pronounced with a "y" sound, the "j" is typically spoken as "h", and the "r"s are rolled in the same way Spanish-speakers roll their "r"s.

The most common pronunciation mistake made by non-Cebuano speakers trying to learn the language is its double vowels. Take, for instance, the phrase for good evening:: "Maayong gabii". Most non-Filipinos would read that out loud as "mai-yong gabby". Not so. Every vowel in Filipino languages are pronounced, even when they are following another vowel. Thus, good evening would be "ma-ayong gabi-i".

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