In light of the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL) this year and the culmination of the Buwan ng mga Wika this August, we celebrate and honor the different languages of the Philippines, as well as our rich cultural diversity and multilingualism. Our country is home to more than 170 languages, which translates to a wide range of different ethnolinguistic groups who live in harmony and who serve as heritage and culture bearers. All these communities carry invaluable knowledge on their languages, cultural lifestyles, belief systems and traditions which are all important for their survival and harmonious existence, as well as for the preservation and stronger recognition of the Filipino identity.
This article honors this celebration by featuring the universal language and expression for gratitude—saying thank you in the different languages of the Philippines. The languages are basically grouped into two: languages in the northern regions and those in the central and southern regions. This grouping is also based on their linguistic kinship (i.e. language family grouping) and their geographical locations.
Thank you in Filipino is salamat, or maraming salamat (thank you very much). Here is a list of some of the languages in the Philippines which also have an expression for thank you.
Languages in the Northern Regions
These are unique and distinct languages spoken in the islands of Batanes.
These different languages are mainly spoken in the northern regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), which consists of the provinces of Benguet, Kalinga, Abra, Apayao, Mountain Province and Ifugao.
These are some of the languages of the Cordillera and their expressions for thank you.
|Ilocano||dios ti agngina/agyamanak|
|Pangasinense||balbaleg ya salamat|
Central and Southern Regions
The languages found in the central and southern regions consist of what is linguistically known as the Bisayan language complex, which include some languages in Mindanao as well. The languages in these regions also include South Mangyan, Palawanic, Manobo, Danaw and Subanun, which also fall under the same language family subgroup. Finally, languages in some parts of the southern region in Mindanao are the Bilic languages.
|Sambal||lako a salamat|
|Kapampangan||dakal a salamat|
These languages are spoken in Bohol, Bicol, the Visayan region, and in some parts of Mindanao.
|Hiligaynon||damo nga salamat|
|Kinaray-a||damo nga salamat|
|Akeanon||mayad man, salamat|
|Waray||damo nga salamat|
|Tausug||magsukul tuud kaymu|
Manobo languages are mainly spoken in the Caraga region in the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Sur, Davao del Norte and Sur, and Compostela Valley.
|Binukid Manobo||salamat tungkay|
The languages of Bagobo are spoken mainly in the Davao region.
|Bagobo||madita salamat kaniyo|
Bilic languages include T’boli, B’laan and Tiruray, which are spoken in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Koronadal and Davao.
|B’laan||bong salamat/tay kayfem|
|Thank you (formal)||Salamat po|
|Thank you very much||Maraming salamat po|
|Thank you very very much||Maraming-maraming salamat|
|Many thanks to you (formal)||Maraming salamat po sa inyo|
|Thank you for helping my family.||Salamat sa pagtulong mo sa pamilya ko.|
|I’m grateful for everyone who came to my birthday.||Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng pumunta sa aking kaarawan.|
These are just some of the languages in the Philippines that we should be proud of. Our languages serve as an vital element of our ethnolinguistic culture, an inherent part of our identities, and a valuable fragment of our souls.