There are approximately 7,000,000 people in and outside the Philippines who are native speakers of Hiligaynon, and an additional 4,000,000 who are capable of speaking it with a substantial degree of proficiency.
It is a member of the Visayan language family. The language is also often referred to as Ilonggo (Spanish: ilongo) in Iloilo and in Negros Occidental. Many argue, however, that this is an incorrect usage of the word "Ilonggo." In precise usage, "Ilonggo" should only be used in relation to the ethnolinguistic group that are native inhabitants of Iloilo and the culture associated with native Hiligaynon speakers, they argue. The disagreement over the usage of "Ilonggo" to refer to the language extends to Philippine language specialists and native laymen.
Historical evidences from observations of early Spanish explorers in the Archipelago point out to the fact that the nomenclature used to refer to this language had its origin among the people of the coasts or people of the Ilawod ("los [naturales] de la playa"), whom Loarca called Yligueynes (or the more popular term Hiligaynon, also referred to by the Karay-a people as "Siná"). In contrast, the "Kinaray-a" has been used by what the Spanish colonizers called Arayas, which is most probably a Spanish misconception (as they often misinterpreted what they heard from the natives) of the Hiligaynon words Iraya or taga-Iraya, or the current and more popular version Karay-a (highlanders - people of Iraya [highlands]).
According to H. Otley Beyer and other anthropologists, the term Visayan was first applied only to the people of Panay and to their settlements eastward in the island of Negros, and northward in the smaller islands, which now compose the province of Romblon. In fact, at the early part of Spanish colonialization of the Philippines, the Spaniards used the term Visayan only for these areas. While the people of Cebu, Bohol, and Leyte were for a long time known only as Pintados. The name Visayan was later extended to these other islands because, as several of the early writers state, their languages are closely allied to the Visayan dialect of Panay.
Until the second half of the 20th century, Hiligaynon was widely written based on Spanish orthography consisting of 32 letters called ABECEDARIO:
A B C Ch D E F G H I J K L Ll M N Ng Ñ N͠g/Ng̃/Ñg O P Q R Rr S T U V W X Y Z
The core alphabet consists of 20 letters used for expressing consonants and vowels in Hiligaynon, each of which comes in an upper case and lower case variety.
The apostrophe(') and dash(-) also appear in Hiligaynon writing, and might be considered letters.
The dash, in particular, is used medially in some words to indicate the glottal stopsan-o ‘when’ gab-e ‘evening; night’. It is also used to indicate the point in a word where reduplication is present: adlaw-adlaw ‘daily, every day’, from adlaw ‘day, sun’. However, the use of this means of marking reduplication is not always consistent: pispis ‘bird’.
In addition, some English letters may be used in borrowed words.
Hiligaynon has three types of case markers: absolutive, ergative, and oblique. These types in turn are divided into personal, that have to do with names of people, and impersonal, that deal with everything else, and further into singular and plural types, though the plural impersonal case markers are just the singular impersonal case markers + mga (a contracted spelling for /maŋa/), a particle used to denote plurality in Hiligaynon.
(*)The articlessing and sing mga means the following noun is indefinite, while sang tells of a definite noun, like the use of a in English as opposed to the, however, it is not as common in modern speech, being replaced by sang. It appears in conservative translations of the Bible into Hiligaynon and in traditional or formal speech
(**)The plural personal case markers are not used very often and not even by all speakers. Again, this is an example of a case marker that has fallen largely into disuse, but is still occasionally used when speaking a more traditional form of Hiligaynon, using less Spanish loan words.
The case markers do not determine which noun is the subject and which is the object; rather, the affix of the verb determines this, though the ang-marked noun is always the topic.
Near to addressee or closely removed from speaker and addressee (that, there)
Remote (yon, yonder)
In addition to this, there are two verbal deictics, karí, meaning come to speaker, and kadto, meaning to go yonder.
Hiligaynon lacks the marker of sentence inversion "ay" of Tagalog/Filipino or "hay" of Akeanon. Instead sentences in SV form (Filipino: Di karaniwang anyo) are written without any marker or copula.
"Si Maria ay maganda" (Tagalog)
"Si Maria matahum/ Si Maria guapa" (Hiligaynon) = "Maria is beautiful."
"Maria is beautiful" (English)
There is no direct translation for the English copula "to be" in Hiligaynon. However, the prefixes mangin- and nangin- may be used to mean will be and became, respectively.
Manámî mangin manggaranon
"It is nice to become rich"
The Spanish copula "estar" (to be) has also become a part of the Hiligaynon lexicon. Its meaning and pronunciation have become corrupted. In Hiligaynon it is pronounced as "istar" and means "to live (in)/location"(Compare with the Hiligaynon word "puyo").
Nagaistar ako sa tabuc suba
"I live in tabuc suba" "tabuc suba" translates to "other side of the river" and is also a barangay in Jaro, Iloilo.
To indicate the existence of an object, the word may is used.
May idô (a)ko
"I have a dog"
When an adjective modifies a noun, the linker nga links the two.
Itom nga ido
Sometimes, if the linker is preceded by a word that ends in a vowel, glottal stop or the letter N, it becomes acceptable to contract it into -ng, as in Filipino. This is often used to make the words sound more poetic or to reduce the number of syllables. Sometimes the meaning may change as in maayo nga aga and maayong aga. The first meaning: (the) good morning; while the other is the greeting for 'good morning'.
The linker ka is used if a number modifies a noun.
Anum ka ido
The interrogative words of Hiligaynon are as follows: diin, san-o, sin-o, nga-a, kamusta, ano, and pila
Diin means where.
Diin ka na subong?
"Where are you now?"
A derivation of diin, tagadiin, is used to inquire the birthplace or hometown of the listener.
"Where are you from?"
San-o means when
"When is that?"
Sin-o means who
Sin-o imo abyan?
"Who is your friend?"
Nga-a means why
Nga-a indi ka magkadto?
"Why won't you go?"
Kamusta means how, as in "How are you?"
Kamusta ang tindahan?
"How is the store?"
Ano means what
Ano ang imo ginabasa?
"What are you reading?"
A derivative of ano, paano, means how, as in "How do I do that?"
Paano ko makapulî?
"How can I get home?"
A derivative of paano is paanoano an archaic phrase which can be compared with kamusta
"How art thou?"
Pila means how much/how many
Pila ang maupod sa imo?
"How many are with you?"
A derivative of pila, ikapila, asks the numerical order of the person, as in, "What place were you born in your family?"(first-born, second-born, etc.) This word is notoriously difficult to translate into English, as English has no equivalent.
Ikapila ka sa inyo pamilya?
"What place were you born into your family?"
A derivative of pila, tagpila, asks the monetary value of something, as in, "How much is this beef?"
Tagpila ini nga karne sang baka?
"How much is this beef?"
As it is essential for sentence structure and meaning, focus is a key concept in Hiligaynon and other Philippine languages. In English, in order to emphasize a part of a sentence, variation in intonation is usually employed – the voice is stronger or louder on the part emphasized. For example:
The man is stealing rice from the market for his sister.
The man is stealing rice from the market for his sister.
The man is stealing rice from the market for his sister.
The man is stealing rice from the market for his sister.
The man is stealing rice from the market for his sister with his hands.
Furthermore, active and passive grammatical constructions can be used in English to place focus on the actor or object as the subject:
The man stole the rice. vs. The rice was stolen by the man.
In contrast, sentence focus in Philippine languages is built into the construction by grammatical elements. Focus is marked by verbal affixes and a special particle prior to the noun in focus. Consider the following Hiligaynon translations of the above sentences:
Nagakawat ang lalaki sang bugas sa tinda para sa iya utod.
Ginakawat sang lalaki ang bugas sa tinda para sa iya utod.
Ginakawatan sang lalaki sang bugas ang tinda para sa iya utod.
Ginakawatan sang lalaki sang bugas sa tinda ang iya utod.
Ikawat sang lalaki sang bugas sa tinda para sa iya utod ang iya kamot.
Hiligaynon, like other Philippine languages, employs reduplication, the repetition of a root or stem of a word or part of a word for grammatical or semantic purposes. Reduplication in Hiligaynon tends to be limited to roots instead of affixes, as the only inflectional or derivational morpheme that seems to reduplicate is -pa-. Root reduplication suggests 'non-perfectiveness' or 'non-telicity'. Used with nouns, reduplication of roots indicate particulars which are not fully actualized members of their class. Note the following examples.
Reduplication of verbal roots suggests a process lacking a focus or decisive goal. The following examples describe events which have no apparent end, in the sense of lacking purpose or completion. A lack of seriousness may also be implied. Similarly, reduplication can suggest a background process in the midst of a foreground activity, as shown in (5).
The child has been crying and crying.
I'm just cleaning off the table (casually).
They were just eating when their visitor arrived.
When used with adjectival roots, non-telicity may suggest a gradualness of the quality, such as the comparison in (6). In comparative constructions the final syllables of each occurrence of the reduplicated root are accented. If the stress of the second occurrence is shifted to the first syllable, then the reduplicated root suggests a superlative degree, as in (7). Note that superlatives can also be created through prefixation of pinaka- to the root, as in pinaka-dakô. While non-telicity can suggest augmentation, as shown in (7), it can also indicate diminishment as in shown in (9), in contrast with (8) (note the stress contrast). In (8b), maàyoáyo, accented in the superlative pattern, suggests a trajectory of improvement that has not been fully achieved. In (9b), maàyoayó suggests a trajectory of decline when accented in the comparative pattern. The reduplicated áyo implies sub-optimal situations in both cases; full goodness/wellness is not achieved.
This room is darker than that one.
The watch is good/functional.
The watch is semi-fixed.
I'm so so.
Hiligaynon has sixteen consonants: /p t k b d ɡ m n ŋ s h w l ɾ j/. There are three main vowels: /a/, /ɛ ~ i/, and /o ~ ʊ/. [i] and [ɛ] (both spelled i) are allophones, with [i] in the beginning and middle and sometimes final syllables and [ɛ] in final syllables. The vowels [ʊ] and [o] are also allophones, with [ʊ] always being used when it is the beginning of a syllable, and [o] always used when it ends a syllable. Consonants [d] and [ɾ] were once allophones but cannot interchange as in other Philippine languages: patawaron (to forgive) [from patawad, forgiveness] but not patawadon, and tagadiín (from where) [from diín, where] but not tagariín.
Hiligaynon has a large number of words that derive from Spanish words including nouns (e.g., santo from santo, saint), adjectives (e.g., berde from verde, green), prepositions (e.g., antes from antes, before), and conjunctions (e.g., pero from pero, but). Moreover, Spanish provides the Ilonggo base for items introduced by Spain, e.g., barko (barco, ship), sapatos (zapatos, shoes), kutsilyo (cuchillo, knife), kutsara (cuchara, spoon), tenedor (fork), plato (plate), kamiseta (camiseta, shirt), and kambiyo (cambio, change).
Spanish verbs used in Hiligaynon often remain unconjugated (have the verb endings -ar, -er or -ir) which in Filipino would almost always be conjugated in the 'vos' form, e.g., komparar, mandar, pasar, tener, disponer, mantener, and asistir.
Ikatlo / Ika-tatlo
Ikap-at / ika-apat
Ikan-um / ika-anum
Days of the week
The names of the days of the week are derived from their Spanish equivalents.
Months of the year
The first set of Hiligaynon names of the months are derived from Spanish.
Patawaron mo ako. / Pasaylo-a 'ko. / Pasensyahon mo ako. / Pasensya na.
Buligi ako! / Tabangi (a)ko! /
Are you mad?
I don't know.
Ambot. / Wala ko kabalo.
Námì-námì ba! / Nami ah!
Maayong ugto./Maayong udto
How are you?
Kamusta ka?/Kamusta ikaw?/Musta na?
I am fine, how about you?
Maayo man, ikaw ya?
How old are you?
Pila na ang edad (ni)mo? / Ano ang edad mo? / Pila ka tuig ka na?
I am 25 years old.
Beinte singko anyos na (a)ko./ Duha ka pulo kag lima ka tuig na (a)ko.
I am Erman.
Ako si Erman./Si Erman ako.
What is your name?
Ano imo ngalan?/ Ano ngalan (ni)mo?
I love you.
Palangga ta ka./Ginahigugma ko ikaw.
Thank you very much.
Salamat gid./ Madamo gid nga salamat.
This, that, and whatnot...
What is this?
This is a sheet of paper.
Isa ni ka panid sang papel./Isa ka panid ka papel ini.
What is that?
That is a book.
What will you do?
Ano ang himu-on (ni)mo? / Ano ang buhaton (ni)mo? / Maano ka?
What are you doing?
Ano ang ginahimo (ni)mo? / Gaano ka?
I don't know.
Ambot / wala ko kabalo
My girl friend/boy friend
Ang akon miga/migo
My girlfriend/boyfriend (lovers)
Ang akon uyab
Space and time
Where are you now?
Diin ka subong?
Where shall we go?
Diin (ki)ta makadto?
Where are we going?
Diin (ki)ta pakadto?
Where are you going?
(Sa) diin ka makadto?
We shall go to Bacolod.
Makadto (ki)ta sa Bacolod.
I am going home.
Mapa-uli na ko (sa balay). / (Ma)puli na ko.
Where do you live?
Diin ka naga-istar?/Diin ka naga-puyô?
Where did you come from? (Where have you just been?)
Amay namon, nga yara ka sa mga langit
Pagdayawon ang imo ngalan
Umabot sa amon ang imo ginharian
Matuman ang imo buot
Diri sa duta subong sang sa langit
Hatagan mo kami nian sing kan-on namon
Kag ipatawad mo ang mga sala namon
Subong nga ginapatawad namon ang nakasala sa amon
Kag dili mo kami nga ipagpadaug sa mga panulay
Gino-o luwason mo kami sa kalaut
Translation of Ten Commandments written in photo:
1.Believe in God and worship only him
2.Do not use the name of God without purpose
3.Honor the day of the Lord
4.Honor your father and mother
5.Do not kill
6.Do not pretend to be married against virginity (don't commit adultery)
7.Do not steal
8.Do not lie
9.Do not have desire for the wife of your fellow man
10.Do not covet the riches of your fellow man
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Ang Kalibutanon nga Pahayag sang mga Katarungang Pangkataohan)
Ang tanan nga tao ginbun-ag nga hilway kag may pag-alalangay sa dungog kag katarungan. Sila ginhatagan sang pagpamatu-od kag konsensya kag nagakadapat nga magbinuligay sa kahulugan sang pag-inuturay.
Every person is born free and equal with honor and rights. They are given reason and conscience and they must always trust each other for the spirit of brotherhood.
Ang Bukid nga Nagpalangga sang Pispis
Ang Bukid nga Nagpalangga sang Pispis is a fully illustrated, colored children's picture book. The original story is The Mountain That Loved A Bird by Alice McLerran. Originally published in the United States with illustrations by Eric Carle, the story has been translated to Hiligaynon by Genevieve L. Asenjo and illustrated with new art by Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo drawn from the landscapes of the Philippines.
The publisher is Mother Tongue Publishing Inc., a new publishing company based in Manila, Philippines formed in November 2006 by Mario and Beaulah Taguiwalo. Their mission is to publish books in as many languages as possible. They are inspired by the words of science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin: “Literature takes shape and life in the body, in the wombs of the mother tongue.” They also agree with neuro-scientist Elkhonon Goldberg who refers to mother tongues as “an extremely adaptive and powerful device for modeling not only what is, but also what will be, what could be, and what we want and do not want to be.”
Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Hiligaynon". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Lewis, M. Paul (2009). "Hiligaynon". http://www.ethnologue.com/. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
"Islas de los Pintados: The Visayan Islands". Ateneo de Manila University. Archived from the original on February 25, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
Philippine Census, 2000. Table 11. Household Population by Ethnicity, Sex and Region: 2000
"My Working Language Pairs". http://www.bj-informatique.com/. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
Cf. BLAIR, Emma Helen & ROBERTSON, James Alexander, eds. (1903). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1803. Volume 05 of 55 (1582–1583). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord BOURNE. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. ISBN 978-0554259598. OCLC 769945704. "Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century.", pp. 120-121.
Cf. Miguel de Loarca, Relacion de las Yslas Filipinas (Arevalo, June 1582) in BLAIR, Emma Helen & ROBERTSON, James Alexander, eds. (1903). The Philippine Islands, 1493–1803. Volume 05 of 55 (1582–1583). Historical introduction and additional notes by Edward Gaylord BOURNE. Cleveland, Ohio: Arthur H. Clark Company. ISBN 978-0554259598. OCLC 769945704. "Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the beginning of the nineteenth century.", pp. 128 and 130.
G. Nye Steiger, H. Otley Beyer, Conrado Benitez, A History of the Orient, Oxford: 1929, Ginn and Company, pp. 122-123.
Gómez Rivera, Guillermo (April 10, 2001). "The evolution of the native Tagalog alphabet". Philippines: Emanila Community (emanila.com). Views & Reviews. Archived from the original on August 3, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
Signey, Richard. Philippine Journal of Linguistics. Manila, Philippines: Linguistic Society of the Philippines. The Evolution and Disappearance of the "Ğ" in Tagalog orthography since the 1593 Doctrina Cristiana. ISSN 0048-3796. OCLC 1791000. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
Wolfenden, Elmer (1971). Hiligaynon Reference Grammar. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 61–67. ISBN 0-87022-867-6.
Motus, Cecile (1971). Hiligaynon Lessons. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 112–4. ISBN 0-87022-546-4.
Wolfenden, Elmer (1971). Hiligaynon Reference Grammar. University of Hawaii Press. pp. 136–7. ISBN 0-87022-867-6.
Spitz, Walter L. (February 1997), Lost Causes: Morphological Causative Constructions in Two Philippine Languages, Digital Scholarship Archive, Rice University, p. 513
Spitz, Walter L. (February 1997), Lost Causes: Morphological Causative Constructions in Two Philippine Languages, Digital Scholarship Archive, Rice University, p. 514
Spitz, Walter L. (February 1997), Lost Causes: Morphological Causative Constructions in Two Philippine Languages, Digital Scholarship Archive, Rice University, pp. 514–515
English-Tagalog Ilongo Dictionary (2007) by Tomas Alvarez Abuyen, National Book Store. ISBN 971-08-6865-9.