Resources for Learning Bisaya?

MarkL's picture

Hello everyone,


What resources do you recommend for learning Bisaya?


I have a few small books but they're not written very well and have some mistakes.

One problem I have with reading Bisaya is when people use a lot of slang words and

a few inconsistencies in spellings, for example "ug" versus "og".

That's a simple example but sometimes I see other, bigger words, with different spellings.


I'm hoping to find some good books and maybe audio (spoken slowly) that would help.



junjimalaza's picture


Hey Mark,

People are usually not aware of how to use the vowels. The basic is Cebuano does not have 5 vowels like the English has and French as well.

The real vowels in the Cebuano Language are:

a, i, u

With the advent of the Europeans like the Spaniards, we expected it to change but overtime but it has not. However with the arrival of the Americans, it may have some influence, but instead it has sown a lot of confusion on how to spell Cebuano words properly. And in retrospect my generation and perhaps even the current one, of course this is limited to those who has less information, they have also mispronounced English vowels as well.

Going back to Cebuano. A typical example of which is the word 'Tulog'. That should in fact be spelled as 'Tulug'. 

To further illustrate hopefully this makes sense.

Tulog in your case, and perspective it maybe read by any unsuspecting native English speaker and pronounced thus...

Two -- Log

like two logs.

WHEREAS, if we spell it as Tulug...

I am hoping that you should pronounce it to something like

Two Lug(as in lug nuts, this should be closer to how we pronounce it)

IN the olden days the words were written with pronounciation marks, this usually instructs the reader how to pronounce the vowel, similar to like this "Ä" in the Latin Script.

I hope this gives you an idea on how to read them next time around.

Another tip, Cebuanos have always tend to pronounce the words in shortcut. Example would be "balai" meaning house, we usually say it as, 'bai'. Similarly to add more confusion, we also say 'bai' from another word as such 'Abay', meaning companion.