Wiktionary:About Tagalog

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Accessories-text-editor.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. This is a draft proposal. It is unofficial, and it is unknown whether it is widely accepted by Wiktionary editors.

This page lists several considerations for Tagalog entries not covered by Wiktionary:Entry layout explained and other general policies.

About the language[edit]

Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines, related to Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Ilocano, and other Philippine languages. It is also related to Malay, Indonesian, Javanese, Chamorro, and other Malayo-Polynesian languages.

Tagalog is an agglutinative language, making use of many affixes to form new words and indicate grammatical aspects. Reduplication is also a feature of Tagalog, and is shared with other Austronesian languages. Tagalog, like other Philippine languages, preserve the Austronesian alignment, which has been lost in most of the Austronesian languages.

Creating Tagalog entries[edit]

Tagalog entries should use spellings that follow contemporary Tagalog orthography. Diacritics such as the acute (pahilis), circumflex (pakupya), and grave (paiwa) on vowels should not be used on lemmas, as it is not common on written Tagalog, but on headwords on lemmas, to distinguish homonyms that are not usually distinguished in writing, and pronunciation guides for the {{tl-IPA}} template. The words with accents as pronunciation guide like babá, babâ, and babà are not separate entries, but part on baba, with the accents added on the headwords of the homonyms as a pronunciation guide, and also on the {{tl-IPA}} template.

Headwords should be created using {{head|tl|(part of speech)}}

Basic entry[edit]

This displays the basic layout of a Tagalog entry. Here is an example for manok



Lemmas should typically use letters found on the older Abakada alphabet, which has Ñ and Ng as separate letters and does not include C, F, J, Q, V, X, and Z, but with the newer Filipino alphabet, which includes the 7 letters mentioned added, Tagalog lemmas may use those letters, but typically restricted to loanwords, names, and informal/slang words typically spelled using those.

Tagalog had been written with Baybayin script until Spain colonized the Philippines. That means every native words should have Baybayin form(s) while Spanish loanwords should not. However, some little loanwords might have the form(s); inserters must prove it.


Pronunciation in Tagalog is typically of the Manila dialect, but pronunciations in regional accents, notably the southern dialects, such as the Batangas dialect, may be included. See Tagalog phonology and IPA for Tagalog on Wikipedia for specific transcriptions.

Pronunciations for certain accents are provided by the {{a}} template, with the specific dialect given.

  • (Standard Tagalog) - standard accent (mostly redundant)
  • (Manila) - Manila accent
  • (Teresa-Morong) - Teresa-Morong dialect
  • (Batangas) - Batangas accent
  • (Quezon) - Quezon accent

The letter "r" in Tagalog is usually pronounced as a flap [ɾ], but may be a pronounced as a roll [r].

The template {{tl-IPA}} is created to make automatically-generated pronunciations for Tagalog words and names, but its back end, Module:tl-pron, may still need fixing to produce more accurate pronunciations. But, this can already create good pronunciations (Standard Tagalog/Manila, and Batangas/Quezon), by giving a pronunciation guide as its parameter.


Tagalog dialects are typically divided on the northern, central, and southern dialects. Some Tagalog words are specific to certain dialects. To note those dialectal usage, add {{label}}


Tagalog accents are mostly divided into the northern (Bulacan, Nueva Ecija), central (Manila, Cavite, Laguna), southern (Batangas, Quezon), and Marinduque dialects. The northern and central dialects form the standard accent.

Several differences on accents to note is:

  • the preservation of the glottal stop after consonants and before vowels in southern accents, where in other dialects, it is lost and the syllable where it was becomes stressed. Thus, ngayon is pronounced ['ŋajʔon] ([ŋa'jon] in other dialects).
  • vowel-switching on the Manila dialect. (i to e, o to u, or vice versa)
  • preference of r [ɾ] over d [d] on the Teresa-Morong dialect

The {{tl-IPA}} template, which creates automatically-generated pronunciation, currently only supports Standard Tagalog/Manila, and Batangas/Quezon accents, so, pronunciations in other accents must be added manually.

Parts of speech[edit]


Tagalog nouns should be the lemma only, and the plural case, formed by the particle mga is considered the default, so adding the plural is redundant.

Proper nouns[edit]

Place names[edit]


Given names[edit]

Given name entries always follow the basic entry structure. List of hypocoristics/diminutives can be included, but must be under the "Derived terms" section. Hypocoristics and diminutive can have their own entries, but must include a link to the original form (can be provided by the dim, dim2,... parameters of {{given name}}). Add citations when possible, especially on names that are obscure or dated in present-day situations. Hypocoristics are usually written using letters of the Abakada alphabet, but forms using foreign letters (those included in the recent Filipino alphabet) are allowed.


In terms of coverage, Tagalog surnames includes surnames found in the Tagalog-speaking regions (Katagalugan). Surnames originating from or associated with any of the other Philippine languages must be verified to occur in any of the Tagalog-speaking areas before adding any entry.

Surname entries will always follow the standard entry layout, but a "Statistics" section can be added, especially for readers to know the prevalence of the surname (for the Philippines). The current usable source for surname statistics for the Philippines are data collected by Forebears, and the {{surname-philippines-forebears}} template (based on the least-used {{surnames-us-census}} for stats for English surnames in the US according to the 2010 US Census) will automatically generate text about the surnames' prevalence. Alternative forms (i.e. forms in Abakada, alternate spellings, or old forms of Spanish surnames) always come before the entry itself. Provide etymologies if possible, especially on surnames from Spanish, Chinese, or other local or foreign languages. The {{surname}} will be used always for surname entries, and that template will create all the categories and the entry for the surname without adding the details manually. With a few surnames with forms using letters of the Abakada alphabet, surnames entry names are always kept in their original orthography. Spanish surnames or indigenous surnames spelled in Spanish orthography are always kept in the original spelling, but with the exception of "ñ", accents should only occur on old forms that are used until the American occupation.

Notable bearers of surnames may be listed, especially on surnames not covered in Wikipedia, but this must be limited to a few, notable figures mostly known through their surnames (especially very known persons), as Wiktionary is not Wikipedia. A link to the Wikipedia article is preferred where listing more than one person can make the entry more of a Wikipedia article.



The lemma form of verbs should include all the possible affixes that gives their meaning. Etymologies should be always added on verbs with affixes to determine the root word.

Verb roots/unaffixed forms[edit]

Root forms of verbs, without any affix, can be categorized as a lemma form, and all derived verbs formed by adding affixes can be placed under the "Derived terms" section.

One example, for the verb root tayo, will be:

#to [[stand]]
====Derived terms====


Tagalog adjectives may belong to:

  • basic forms, that can be lemma or root forms, or
  • affixed forms (i.e. forms with an adjective-forming prefix)

Basic forms[edit]

Tagalog adjectives can be a form without any affix, that can be used alone, or as a root form to form other adjectives. A link to the root form should be provided for adjectives formed with an adjective-forming affix, usually the prefix ma-.

Affixed forms[edit]

Tagalog adjectives with affixes (i.e. prefixes, like ma-) are usually a lemma form, but are non-lemma that if the affix is a degree indicator (such as napaka- and pinaka-). An etymology linking it to its basic or root form should be provided.


Tagalog particles, such as ba, pa, nga, and mga, should use {{head|tl|particle}} as headword.


With Tagalog having many homonyms with differing pronunciations (distinguished by accents on vowels), Tagalog entries may have more than one etymology.

Etymologies can be of:

  • words formed from affixes
  • compounds and blends
  • loanwords and inherited terms

Words formed by adding affixes[edit]

The origin of Tagalog words formed by adding affixes can be added using {{affix}} in general, but better use the more specific templates such as {{prefix}}, {{infix}}, {{suffix}}, and {{circumfix}}. For example:

Compounds and blends[edit]

Words formed compounds and blends can be determined using the {{compound}} and {{blend of}} template. For example:

Loanwords and inherited terms[edit]

Etymologies of loanwords, will usually use the {{borrowing}} (shorthand: {{bor}}) template, but {{derived}} (shorthand: {{der}}) may be used, especially for loanwords that have undergone sound shifts, major spelling changes, and/or semantic shifts (usually when coming from an early form of the donor language). Origin of inherited words will use the {{inherited}} template, or its shorthand, {{inh}}.

Spanish loanwords[edit]

Spanish loanwords, a legacy left by the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, compose most of the Tagalog loan vocabulary. Many can be traced back to Spanish, but beware also of Spanish-sounding words that are calqued from English by replacing parts of the English word with elements from a corresponding Spanish word. If in doubt of the word's possible etymology, discuss it first on the entry's talk page.

For surnames from Spanish (including those from other languages spoken in the Iberian Peninsula, such as Basque, Catalan, and Galician/Portuguese, etc.), please refer to the "Surnames" guideline under "Proper nouns" (see above)

English loanwords[edit]

Many words relating to modern culture came from English, brought by the Americans during the occupation of the Philippines from 1898 to 1946. Many can be traced back to English through the pronunciation (even where there are slight changes to it), but take note of several English loanwords that are calqued to Tagalog by matching elements to a similar Spanish word.


Words are correctly categorized under their respective part of speech, generated by the {{head}} template.


Being a well-documented language, three citations are the rule for a Tagalog word is attested, but may be subject to a few exceptions, especially on words that are commonly heard in speech, but never or rarely attested in any published, written work (printed or online). Searching Google Books (directly, or through the Quiet Quentin gadget) can be a starting point on finding attestation of Tagalog words.