More than 100 million Filipinos live in the Philippines, and another 10.2 million Filipinos live and work abroad. With such a vast population, the Filipino language represents a potential opportunity for your brand. But for you to be able to crack into the Philippine market effectively, Filipino translation is essential.
Filipino is the national language of the Philippines. It is one of the Philippines’ two official languages, with English as the other one. However, the number of languages spoken in the entire country is far more than these two. The country has more than 150 languages, thanks to it being one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries.
If there are these many languages in the country, how do Filipinos from other regions understand each other? Fortunately, they can understand each other well enough using Filipino. Most Filipinos can also understand English even though they don’t necessarily speak the language. Even so, learning Filipino language is a must to engage if you want to connect with them.
No, Tagalog is Not Filipino
Filipino is the language understood and spoken by most Pinoys. However, there are still many things about it that are unclear or unknown even to Filipinos. This is why even though it is relatively easy to learn, it is still quite hard to translate. If you want to convey your message to Pinoys, let’s start with the proper distinction of the language.
First of all, Tagalog is not Filipino. However, Tagalog is the basis for the national language. It was the primary language spoken in Manila and the nearby provinces until the 1930s. It was around that time when the Commonwealth constitution was drawn, which sought to set one language spoken throughout the country.
Why wasn’t Tagalog designated as the national language? This is because the representatives from parts of the country that didn’t speak Tagalog raised objections to making Tagalog their national language. Tagalog was the predominant candidate as it’s the language of those who lived close to the government capital. However, the national language has to be acceptable to the masses, and Tagalog doesn’t fall into this category.
Ideally, the national language must also incorporate other languages spoken throughout the country. Fast-forward to the early 1970s, and over half of the citizens now regularly communicate in Tagalog. Because of this and former President Marcos’s dream of a “New Society,” there were efforts to develop the Philippines’ national language known as Pilipino.
Pilipino and Filipino – What’s the Difference?
Pilipino was the former name of Filipino. In the past, Filipinos understood it to be Tagalog de facto. Part of developing the language is to introduce neologisms designed to enhance the vocabulary and replace Filipino words of foreign origin. However, these efforts were futile, as foreign languages such as Spanish and English were integral to how Filipinos communicate every day.
By the late 1980s, the constitution finally accepted this fact and changed Pilipino to Filipino, reflecting how the citizens prefer many Spanish and English-derived words. The Filipino alphabet now includes f, j, c, x, and z, Western letters, that were formerly not part of their alphabet. These were not native to the Philippines until the Spaniards and Americans arrived on the islands some centuries ago.
Filipino – One of the Easiest Languages to Learn, But Hardest to Translate
Filipino is an interesting language as it uses foreign loanwords quite heavily. This makes Filipino one of the easiest and best languages to learn. But because of its confusing grammatical quirks and untranslatable words, it can also be hard enough to want to make you want to rip your hair out of frustration. Their language is a perfect example of the many pitfalls of a literal translation.
How hard is it to learn Filipino? If you speak English or Spanish, then you have some advantages in terms of vocabulary. This is because Filipino has about 33% of its speech derived from Spanish. Here are some examples – the word blue is azul in Spanish and asul In Filipino. If it’s translating the language, it certainly helps if you know some Spanish.
Filipino also has a considerable number of English loanwords. It is not surprising. The US colonized the Philippines for about 50 years. It is enough for the citizens to adopt the English language, which is now mostly used in areas of tech, business, and sports. Some examples include traysikel for a tricycle, basketbol for basketball, and helikopter for a helicopter.
Influence from other languages
Other languages also make up Filipino, such as Chinese and Malay. The loanwords certainly help you learn the language much easier. But there is also the grammar, pronunciation, and writing that you must learn to speak Filipino fluently. Perhaps the biggest hurdle you will have is the translation, as many native Filipino words are difficult to translate to other languages.
A Professional Translator Is Needed
It will take time to learn how to speak or understand Filipino, much less translate them. What then can you do to reach out to your Filipino audience in the meantime? Why not hire an expert in Filipino translation? Google Translate is a disaster to use in translating Filipino words, but a professional Filipino translator is sure to help convey your messages effectively.
How Can a Filipino Translator Help You?
A Filipino translator has a lot to offer you, from translating legal documents to helping travelers understand the written language. If you have written words you want to be converted from Filipino to another language or vice versa, you might need to hire Filipino translation services. You will typically need these services in situations where a certified translation is necessary.
A certified Filipino translator can help convert an accurate Filipino translation of legal paperwork. This applies to documents used in hearings or trials, such as a trial transcript. They may also help translate certificates, trusts, wills, contracts, licenses, and legal letters into Filipino. With a certified translator, you can rest assured that the legal documents are without errors.
You will also need an accurate translation in the field of immigration. If you apply for a residency in the Philippines or even just a visitor’s permit, you may need to present documents in the Filipino language. It also cannot be a simple translation since these are essential documents such as driver’s licenses. In that case, a professional Filipino translator can help you get an accurate and certified translation.
Financial and business
If you are looking to extend your business into the Philippines and tap into their market, it goes to say you need reliable Filipino translation services. You will need an expert translator familiar with the language and the business and financial sectors in the country. That way, you can rest assured that your financial reports, tax forms, and other related documents are correctly translated into Filipino.
Some of the documents a Filipino translator may help you with include:
- Bank statements
- Financial reports
- Patent filings
- Passports and visas
Besides those mentioned above, there are other situations where you may need a Filipino translator, such as traveling, web content, maybe even applying to college. If you are in the Philippines or targeting the Filipino market, you will undoubtedly find a need for a Filipino translation.
Filipinos Can Understand English, so Why the Need for a Filipino Translator?
Many Filipinos can indeed understand a little bit of English. Most documents and papers use English. It makes sense to think there is no need to translate English documents into Filipino. But Filipinos are nationalistic, so much so that they become interested in any mention of the country.
Therefore, using their own language is most effective if you want to get the attention of Filipinos within the country and abroad. There is no better way to connect with a person than by speaking in their language. Seeing as Filipinos are everywhere, and they are the most active audience – online or offline – learning how to speak or write in Filipino will make it easier to reach out.
The fact that you took the time to provide localized content is also one way to tell that you care about them. Seeing the Filipinos’ intense love for their country, translating your work into Filipino is the best way to capture their hearts. Learning the language and translating your content into Filipino is a means of communicating and a way to assimilate their culture.
Their national language is the number one form of expression of the Philippine society and culture, so it is the best way to be closer to them. This is true, especially when not all Filipinos can fully understand English. Most Filipinos still prefer to talk in their native tongue, especially their dialects. If your business targets a smaller community, Filipino translation is truly a big help.
Filipino Translation Will Allow Common Understanding in the Philippine Market
The Internet is a big part of people’s daily lives, including Filipinos. Pinoys are some of the most active online users, so you can expect that their data imprint is massive and continuously growing. It goes to say that translation of content and documents online or offline is a demand and a challenge that needs fulfillment. With help from a professional Filipino translator, you can also eliminate the risk of misinterpretation.
You can avoid blunders of mistranslated documents or content that could lead to a considerable loss of your business. Just one small mistake can cost you thousands to millions if you put your business in a difficult spot simply because of one translation mistake. If you want to avoid that from happening, then you certainly need help from an expert.
Get a Filipino Translator at Bunny Studio Filipino to Help You
Bunny Studio is a company that provides various translation services, including Filipino translation. With professionals and native speakers under their service, clients can rest assured of quality work. If you ever need help reaching out to your Filipino audience, you can always drop your translation project at Bunny Studio for professional assistance.