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Basic Tagalog for Foreigners and Non-Tagalogs (Tuttle Language Library) Reprint Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0804819107
ISBN-10: 0804819106
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paraluman Aspillera, author, teacher, and newspaper journalist, specialized in the teaching of English and Tagalog. She was director of the Institute of Filipino Language and Culture at Philippine Women's University and a professor of Pilipino and Philippine Literature at the Institute of Asian Studies, University of the Philippines. She wrote the popular daily column ôYour Tagalog Column,ö which appeared in the Manila Times, and authored many books and articles in both English and Tagalog. Mrs. Aspillera dedicated herself to promoting the national language and culture of her country through extensive travel in North America, Europe, and Asia, and served as executive secretary and director of the UNESCO-sponsored Akademya ng Wikang Pilipino.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tuttle Language Library
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Reprint edition (October 15, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804819106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804819107
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #705,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I guess I'm a little bit spoiled by some excellent material in other Asian languages. This isn't the worst language book I've ever worked through (Speak Cantonese, Book II, by Huang, unquestionably takes that honor) but it is definitely substandard in several areas that a language learner of even average interest and motivation would find important. I give it two stars mostly because one-and-a-half, which would have been my first choice, was not offered as an option.
First, most of the exercises are of the "do it yourself" variety, where one starts with a word list and is told to make up sentences from there. Even when the book does give the reader sentences to translate, there is no key in the back that would give any idea of how close to a correct sentence one had come;
Second, there are a number of sentences in the book where words are used which are not defined, either in the lesson or in the glossary in back, a particularly serious sin of omission since Tagalog dictionaries are not thick on the ground;
Third, there are no conversations, just freestanding sentences and short narratives, so one is left with very little (if any) idea about how Tagalog is actually used;
Fourth, very little about the book is cumulative: each chapter treats a separate area of Tagalog grammar topically, and only rarely, do the later lessons build on earlier ones.
I would guess that when this book was written, it was aimed at an audience of people who had access to Tagalog speakers on a regular basis (e.g., Americans living in the Phillipines). For someone who has had to use the book as his primary Tagalog source material,(rather than as a support) it just doesn't make the grade.
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Format: Paperback
There aren't many sources from which you can learn Tagalog, which is strange, since it's the second most widely spoken Asian language here in the US. In fact, the study of Japanese is the big fad right now although it doesn't even make the top ten list of most widely spoken languages (besides English) in the US, according to the 2000 census. Anyway, I'm currently in high school and studying ang wikang Tagalog recreationally, and I was fascinated when I polled my friends and familiy about languages spoken in the US...asked whether or not they were aware of the Vietnamese, Mandarin (Chinese), Korean, and occasionally even the Hmong languages, most responded affirmatively.

However, when I questioned my friends and family members about their awareness of Tagalog language...only 1 of friends knew this language even existed (he's half Filipino). In fact, most of my friends and family didn't know where the Philippines even are, and a few didn't even know there was such a country.

Not to mention the intimidation factor of the Tagalog language; yes, Chinese and Japanese have radically different scripts and grammar than English, but there are tremendous resources for both! Japanese has anime and manga as an enticing resource, and Mandarin Chinese has that whole top language in the world thing (1.3 billion speakers), but Tagalog is entirely scary when potential learners see sweet, innocent little words, like tiwala, meaning 'trust', heinously mutilated by prefixes, infixes, and suffixes to become: pinakapinagkakatiwalaan; which means, I think, 'the most trusted'. Who, among the Americans of my generation, so accustomed to instant gratification, would really care to learn the grammar of a language that would even attempt something like that, unless to get in touch with their roots?
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Format: Paperback
Well, I have family who speaks tagalog, and they wont teach me a thing, so I took it upon myself to learn the native language of my loved one, and now she is able to speak to me in simple phrases and I understand. I even know when her and her friends talk about me! This book is great to learn simple phrases and to expand your vocabulary of tagalog if you are also exposed to it often. Its just a great book!
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Format: Paperback
I bought an edition of this book in 1993 after my first two visits to the Philippines.I picked it up almost every day,which is an unusual thing for me to do with a book,however because of the teachings and systematic way the book is set out it made for very enjoyable learning. Even more enjoyable than learning from the book,is getting to put what I have learned into practise during subsequent visits to the Philippines.The filipino people are quick to encourage someone who they can see has put in an effort to learn their language.This book makes that effort worthwhile !
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Format: Paperback
This is strictly a reference text or something to be used by teachers in combination with other material. On no account use this as a self tuition text. But if you've got a good grounding in grammar and a good basic vocabulary there's no better place that I know of to go back and revise those pesky verbs. They're all there. And when you finally know enough, you can agree with your Filipino friends that some of the Tagalog in the texts is pretty strange. But good basic stuff nonrtheless.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is by far the best overall book I've seen for learning Tagalog. This is probably the best thing for learning Tagalog next to Rosetta Stone. The 40 plus lessons covers the basics of learning Tagalog including grammar, not just memorizing expressions. After the lessons, there are appendices full of exercises and other references to further enhance your skills with Tagalog. Included in such appendices are Tagalog idioms and samples of everyday conversations a person may have. There's also a glossary of words in both languages for quick reference. But what really makes this book stand out for me is the included audio CD. All of the chapters are narrated on the audio CD, unlike some other books which may only have the foreign language word pronounced. I have found this feature especially useful for listening while traveling or doing whatever. It's easy to follow along as the narrator speaks to actually understand the lesson and then hear a native Tagalog speaker pronounce the Tagalog words. Great buy for anyone who is just starting to learn Tagalog or wants a thorough overview of the language. I would recommend this book to be followed up by "Modern Tagalog Grammar" by Teresa Ramos. This book is not for beginners but gets much deeper into Tagalog grammar and should help you to become truly fluent in this difficult language to learn.
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