Tagalog Information

Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 22 million people. It is related to Austronesian languages such as Indonesian, Malay, Javanese and Paiwan , Cham , and Tetum . It is the first language of the Philippines' Region IV , first language of Metro Manila, and is the basis for the national and the official language of the Philippines, Filipino.

The word Tagalog derived from tagailog, from tagá- meaning "native of" and ílog meaning "river." Thus, it means "river dweller." Very little is known about the history of the language. However, according to linguists such as Dr. David Zorc and Dr. Robert Blust, the Tagalogs originated, along with their Central Philippine cousins, from Northeastern Mindanao or Eastern Visayas.

The first written record of Tagalog is in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, written in the year 900 and uses fragments of the language along with Sanskrit, Malay, and Javanese. Meanwhile, the first known book to be written in Tagalog is the Doctrina Cristiana of 1593. It was written in Spanish and two versions of Tagalog; one written in the Baybayin script and the other in the Latin alphabet. Throughout the 333 years of Spanish occupation, there were grammar and dictionaries written by Spanish clergymen such as Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala by Pedro de San Buenaventura , Vocabulario de la lengua tagala and Arte de la lengua tagala y manual tagalog para la administración de los Santos Sacramentos . Poet Francisco Baltazar is regarded as the foremost Tagalog writer. His most notable work is the early 19th-century Florante at Laura.

Wikipedia, Tagalog, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagalog (as of Apr 9, 2010)

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