French girl wants to learn Bisaya! Palihug tabangi ko :)

Hi everyone! :)

I just came back to France after spending 8 amazing months in the Philippines, especially in Bohol. I literally LOVED my experience there! the landscapes, the people, their smiles!... so I learned a bit how to speak Bisaya. Pero hadlok ko nga kalimot ko tanan akong bisaya kay dugai wala practice ug gusto ko makahibalo mas daghang :) that's why I am here. I could also ask my friends but as I am a very curious person, I don't want to disturb them everyday, every hour. 

For the vocabulary, I think the only and most efficient way is to learn the words by heart. Most of my questions are about your syntax, like how you build long and complex sentences?

Like how would you say:
1) My mother told me to come back home before midnight.
2) I don't know when the fiesta will start.

And how do you translate the following words and sentences:
- even if (he doesn't want to eat, even if we force him to)
- anyway (walay siya labot "anyway")
- unless (I will not go out tomorrow, unless the weather will be nice)
- besides (she is very kind. Besides, she is very smart)
- who (not "kinsa" but like: I hope there are people who can help me :) )

That's all my questions for now. Of course, nalipay kaayo ko kung gusto mo makahibalo French! So if you want to learn some, just tell me.

Daghang salamat sa advance!


1) for the first sentence,

1) for the first sentence, you translated into: "Giignan ko sa akong mama" but as a non-native reader, if I read this sentence I would understand "I told my mama" and not "My mama told me". So wouldn't it rather be "akong mama giignan siya sa naku" (or something like this?). Also, what is the meaning or the function of "daw" here?

gi = prefix for past tense "was [verb]"
ingon = say or tell
ingnan or ignan = to be told
sa = praticle which may function as "by"
ako'ng = akoa nga
akoa =my/mine
nga = particle that connects possesive pronouns with their objects

           "gii(n)gnan ko sa akong mama" = I [was] told by my mama"
literally: (was told - I - by - my - mama)

            "I told my mama" = "akoh giingnan akong mama" (is a glottal stop)
                                  literally: "I told my mama

            "My mama told me" =  "ako'ng mama niingon nako"
                                    literally: my mama told me

ni = prefix for past tense
nako = me

2) for the 2nd one, you translated "I don't know" into "wala ko kabalo". Is "kabalo" and "kahibaw" the same verb (but with a different regional accent?) or two different verbs with the same meaning?

in cebu city but not necessarilyt through out the cebu island and other nearby parts like the bohol island, speakers tend to drop or omit the letter "l" in between vowels and becomes a dipthong or sometimes mistakenly heard or spelled as or replaced by the letter "W"

know - kahibalo = kahiba'o = Kahibaw
house - balay = ba'ay = bay  *with longer sound
bubble - bulah = bu'ah = buwah  *is aglottal stop
fire - kalayo = ka'ayo = kayo  *not to be confused with "kaayo" which means "soo [much]"

word play
bugnaw = cold

bugnaw kaayo = soo cold
bugnaw ka'ayo = cold fire?

3) does the prefix "maka-" mean something specific involving some interraction between people like in your verb "makatabang" or is it just part of the verb? Because I saw once someone using it for "makasayaw" when he was asking if someone wanted to dance with him.

maka = prefix which functions as "can [verb]"
sayaw = dance
kinsa = who
nakoh = me (is a glottal stop)

"kinsa makasayaw [ka]nakoh" "who can dance with me?"
who can-dance [with]-me

4) my last question for today, I hope you can find an answer haha: actually, I have a big problem with the prefixes and suffixes. I know about "na-" and "mu-" for the past and future actions, but what about "mag-" or "pag-"? I see them everywhere very often. But when I started to learn Bisaya, my friends didn't tell me about them a lot, as if they were not essential. For example, I keep saying "ayaw dugai" but in the song "Balay ni Mayang", I hear "ayaw (na) pag-dugai" and here in your 2) sentence, you wrote "mag-sugod" instead of a simple "sugod". Is it more "correct" or something?




-prefixes and suffixes are the most common way to conjugate in cebuano'ng bisaya (Sinugbuanon'ng bisayah) and even
spanish and english loan words and others are often conjugated with the use of prefixes and suffixes :D

1.)Prefix na- = past participle. ex. eaten, broken, torn

ex. nakaon = na-eat = eaten

"nakaon ko ang kalayo!" = "I have eaten the fire!"

         bilingual alternative: "na-eat ko ang fire!"  haha ;)

batak= break, crack
espejo = spanish loan word for "mirror"

nabatak = na-break = broken

"nabatak ang espejo" = "the mirror [is/was] broken"

         bilingual alternative: "na-break ang mirror!"  haha  XD

gisih = tear(tore) is a glottal stop
papel = spanish loan word for "paper"

"nagisih ang papel!" = "the paper [is/was] torn!"

          bilingual alternative: "na-tear ang paper!"



2.) prefix mu- = future tense functions like "going to [verb]"

ex. "musayaw ko sa balay" = "i [am] going to dance (at) home"

          bilingual alternative: "mu-dance ko sa house"

(house is synonymous with home in cebuano)

"mukaon ko og kalayo!" "i [am] going to eat fire!"

         bilingual alternative: "mu-eat ko og fire!"

og = particle which connects the object

"muingon ko sa ako'ng mama" "i [am] going to tell my mama"

          bilingual alternative: "mu-tell/say ko sa ako'ng mother!"



3.) prefix Mag- =future progressive tense functions like "will be [verb]-ing"

ex. "Magkaon ko og pitsa" = "I will be eating pizza"

           bilingual alternative: "Mag-eat ko og pizza"

"Maggisih ko og papel" =  "I will be tearing paper"

          bilingual alternative: "Mag-tear ko og paper"

"Magbatak ko og bato" = "i will be smashing/breaking stones"

          bilingual alternative: "Mag-smash ko og stones"

4.) prefix Pag- = first funtion is to emphasizes assertive form of verbs ex. "lay down on the bed" "smash rocks!" 

*by default, most root words of verbs alone express the assertive form. this form is usually used in casual or informal speech especially talking to a baby or baby talk

"batak og bato" = "pagbatak og bato" = "smash rocks"

higdah = supine or lay down
katri = bed

"paghigdah sa katri" = "higdah sa katri" = "lay down (on the) bed"

"pagKAon" which has a stress on the second syllable means "food"

"pagkaon" which does not have a stress, means "eat" similar to the verb "KAon" which has a stress on the first syllable.

"Pagkaon og pagKAon" = "kaon og pagKAon" = "eat food"



prefix Pag- = second funtion: emphasizes the verb form of the root word as opposed to its other forms like adjective od                                                     noun forms. 

ex sugod = start

start can be a noun ex. "this is the start!"


start could be a verb ex "let's start!"


sugod could also mean "to start"v. or "[the] start"n.

diri = here
"sugod diri" could mean "pagsugod diri" = "start here"
"sugud diri" could also mean "sugud diri" = "starting here" or "starting from here"

                      bilingual alternative: pag-start diri = pagsugod diri
                                                     kini ang start = this (is) the sugud

another function is to turn adjectives into verbs

dugay = delay or take a long time

delay can be a verb or a adjective "i am delayed" or "i am delaying"


"dugay-dugay diri" could mean "pag-dugay dugay diri" =  "delay here"or so "[stay] here longer"


"dugay-dugay diri" could also simply mean "dugay-dugay diri" =  "[stayed] for a long time here"

                                bilingual alternative "ayaw pagdugay" = "don't delay" =   "ayaw pagdelay"

so in times where you are out of vocabulary. try borrowing some english root-words or other loan words and applying some cebuano prefixes and suffix. chances are the average cebuano speaker understands basic english words especially in the big cities.

was this so long???  hope you enjoy reading hahaha

sa usab

amping kanunay.. (--,)