Understanding Boracay language is easy. Many of the residents and tourists can speak and understand English. They also speak Tagalog and a host of other Visayan languages.
Commonly Spoken Languages
The Philippines considers English one of its official languages. If you are staying at a hotel or resort, the staff will be able to speak to you in English. The tricycle drivers also understand basic English. Some speak with an American accent, but others do not.
Tagalog and Filipino are also spoken widely. The earliest settlers on the island called the Ati spoke Inati, a type of Visayan language. As time passed, the other languages like English, Tagalog and Aklanon became widely spoken as well.
Facts about the Aklanon Language
The Aklanon language is made of the Ibayjanon/Ibajaynon and Akeanon. These are spoken by the natives of Aklan province of which Boracay is a part. The languages have over 390,000 speakers. Akeanon or Aklanon has been labeled as lexically akin to Hiligaynon.
The Boracay language spoken by the Ati, an ethnic group that settled in Panay is Inati. The number of people that can speak the language is decreasing. By 1980, the number has gone down to 1,500. Today, there are very few Ati descendants that know Inati. The Ati people are a Negrito ethnic group. They are related to the Aeta and other ethnic groups in the country.
Tagalog / Filipino Phrases
Tagalog and Filipino have a lot in common, and many Filipinos use the term interchangeably. While English is spoken widely, not all locals understand it. If you are going to stay on the island for a while, it will help to know some Tagalog / Filipino phrases. Tagalog is easy to learn as all the letters are pronounced, just like in Spanish.
Some of the more important phrases are the following.
“Magkano?” (“how much is this?”), “ano pangalan mo?” (“what is your name?”), “nasaan” (“where”), “sino” (“who”) and “kailan” (“when”). “Paano” means “how”. For example, “paano ako pupunta sa…” means “how do I get to…”.
“Magandang umaga” is “good morning”;’ magandang hapon” is “good afternoon” and magandang gabi” is “good evening”. “Kumusta ka” means “how are you”.
One more thing needs to be said for anyone studying the Boracay language. It is quite common for the Filipinos to use English and Tagalog during conversations. That is, they will say something in Tagalog, switch to English and then back again. This can actually help you understand what they are talking about.
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