Posted by: englishdubai | October 17, 2006

A Bluffer’s Guide to Tagalog

On arrival in Dubai I expected a large multi-national expat work force. What did surprise me was that the majority of the “service” industry workers are Filipinos. Other than Taxi drivers who are typically from Pakistan or India – shop workers, waiters, cleaners and others are Filipinos.

So to have some fun and interaction when going about my day to day business in Dubai – I thought I would list just a few words that usually produce a smile from Tagalog speakers.
has some more examples and a nice explanation around the history of the language.

How are you?: kumustá (koo-mus-TAH)
Thank you: salamat (sah-LAH-mat)
Yes: oo (OH-oh)
No: hindî (hin-DEH)
Delicious: saráp (sa-RAP) – a particular favourite
Hurry!: Dalí! (dah-LEE), Bilís! (bih-LEES)
Beautiful: Maganda (ma-gan-DAH)
Very Beautiful: Magandang-Maganda (mah-gan-DANG, ma-gan-DAH)

Without fail they are always surprised that an English chap has a grasp of even a few words and it is typically reciprocated by an extra friendly response or service.


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