Filipino Languages

Visayan Languages

Visayan is the name of the language family In the central islands of the Philippines. It is also know as Bisaya, as technically there is no "C" in the Philippine alphabet. Visayan is comprised of several distinct languages. Sometimes the names Visayan and Cebuano are substituted for each other, but Cebuano is really a subset of the Visayan language family.

 

See the Visayan Map for languages spoken in the Visaya region of the Philippines.

Cebuano (Sugbuhanon) is the major language in the Visayan islands. It is the language of the Cebu province. It is also spoken in Negros Oriental, Bohol, and parts of Mindanao and Leyte. Approximately 20 million, (25% of the population) speak Cebuano. Many people refer to Cebuano as Visayan, because Cebuano is the most prominent language in the Visayas region.  Speakers in Mindanao refer to the language as Bisaya.

Hiligaynon, or Ilonggo is spoken in Iloilo and Capiz provinces, Negros Occidental, and Panay. About 7 million people (10% of the Philippine population) speak Hiligaynon.
 

Waray-Waray is spoken in Samar, Biliran, and north-eastern Leyte. Approximately 3 million people (4.6% of the population) speak Waray-Waray. It is closely related to Hiligaynon.

Boholano is actually a dialect of Cebuano spoken on the island of Bohol. It is sometimes described as a separate language from Cebuano. Boholano can be distinguished from other Cebuano dialects by a few phonetic changes. The dialects used in the coastal areas of Bohol are almost indistinguishable from other Cebuano-speaking areas.

Porohanon is spoken on the Camotes Islands, just east of the Cebu Island. Approximately 23,000 speakers. This language is closer to Hiligaynon than Cebuano.

 

Compudex Technology offers a Cebuano software package, called the Cebuano Assistant.  Also, a Cebuano language audio CD is available, a Cebuano language DVD, and Cebuano audio files in MP3 format.

The Cebuano Language Software© contains a database of Cebuano/English words. It was last updated in June of 2007. There are over 8,000 words are in the dictionary that can be translated into either language. Approximately 1,000 of the most common words have sound. You can hear these words in the language learning lessons and dictionary. In addition, many map locations are spoken.

 

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