Beginning Tagalog: A Course for Speakers of English


Product Description
A comprehensive, one-year introductory textbook for Tagalog, the language spoken in the Philippines.

Beginning Tagalog: A Course for Speakers of English


  1. This is an excellent book, despite its unfortunate presentation. Fundamentally it is the only manual I’ve seen that is not afraid to describe and teach Tagalog grammar and usage without fudging the significant difference between the Austronesian and European languages. Other texts to do in a vain attempt to make Tagalog seem “easy” to foreigners, but the result is that they will make it more difficult than it needs, because they present a Europeanised version of the language leaves attending so when confronted with real text and native speakers. The key to grasping

    Tagalog understanding of the related concepts of “topic” and “focus”, and this course has as its backup power of these notions. It also avoids the misleading claim that Tagalog is “tenses” and teaches how aspects plus particles is the same job in a different way. Another strong point is the detailed representation of pronunciation and intonation in dialogues and examples. Tagalog stress is important for distinguishing between different real meaning of the word apparently spelled the same, and solitary studies especially need to see the stress patterns of new words to know They (other manuals tend to mark only stresses glossaries in the back, but just as French students need to know the sex of each and every noun as their first meet them, so learning Tagalog need to see and learn right up front the stress of each new piece of vocabulary). The only criticism I

    content is not core to teach the technique of root origin all pupils need to get shot if they are beyond the textbook itself (eg by dipping in Tagalog available on the Internet). The majority of experienced Tagalog word “wild” is no longer found in their alphabetical place in bright dictionaries. To look it up you need to know how to spot the root of the word, which the dictionaries list it. If this issue is tackled, then this book, used in conjunction with Fr Leo English’s superb Tagalog-English Dictionary (sadly not sold outside the Philippines) and the Revised Edition of Carl Rubino’s bilingual dictionary (more restricted scope than Fr. English, but good for the current day-to-day usages) is really all serious students need to get a good grounding in the language.

    Given its fine qualities, it is a pity the book looks so awful. Large area is taken up with low-quality artwork with a very dated image, and the real meat of language commentaries and cultural notes are blended, without enough typographical differences, there are often unnecessary all expansions of all possible answers to various drills for the proposed class use. Given that the original work is always designed in two volumes, it would be preferable to move the drills from Vol 2 and include readings that make up Vol 2 (bad for sustained out of print) in Vol 1. Or at least the drills can be moved to an appendix to Volume 1 so as not to swamp the unfolding of the main points.

    But despite the poor design and layout, editing is clearly meticulous. Typos and misprints can be disastrous when introducing a language of the pupils in no position to spot them, and they are fairly frequent in some of the other primers on the market Tagalog. But this book I have yet to discover a single misprint, or indeed of any errors of any description. It would

    great book if it can be given a thorough makeover design (including the making of readings is available in print again) while retaining high editorial standards. But even in its present guise unappealing, it is the best there is, by a long way.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. This is probably the most in-depth work on Tagalog language that I am aware. It is a college textbook in many cultural notes. This book was written in the 1960’s so some of the references are a bit dated. This book is for serious students.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. I am really glad this is back in print, as a dusty old copy (without the original reel-to reel in the tape) in my university library has given me a good foundation in Tagalog. Personally, I love the drawings! So what if they are from the 1960’s, inspired me to learn Tagalog just as my old Hayden books inspired me to learn electronics: retro drawings are cool!

    If This is an exact copy of the original, it is helpful for teachers of Tagalog, as well as students. It makes it clear how to develop different aspects (nominative, benefactive, locative, imperative, etc.) and actual name of this method makes more sense than the more recent -only grammar books in Tagalog (Aspillera, Ramos, Alejandro, for example).
    language teachers
    Now audiolingual apprach can see as a throwback, but drilling myself before spending the summer in the Philippines is useful. The notes on stress and pronunciation is correct, at least in my ears, and examples of sentences with lines above them to guide students on sentence stress.
    < , br /> I like this book comes with a CD, audiocassette not 1, and encouraged the publishers to get again. Other than that, the price is right for a complete first-year study of the Tagalog system!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. The book, as some would point out, has published more than two decades ago. However, besides being culturally outdated, I would rather praise its efficiency. Basic grammar, vocabulary and common phrases are tackled well that I sadly learned that I do not talk behind my husband back in Tagalog. : P (He is, though, very interested in languages, so persistence played a big part)

    Bottom line: The book provides excellent instruction, it presents an efficient structure of language and this is something I would definitely recommend, if the person does not study as the age of publication date.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. That is the best manual Tagalog when I started in 1978, and I have the impression that it is still the best.
    My Filipino incompetent teachers do not want to use it, so I left him, and studied Tagalog to one with tape though the book was originally for class use. This is possible because the English translation provided by Bowen.
    The illustrations are in agreement with the style of the 1970s. Everything is done seriously. Its phonetic transcriptions with melody patterns are rare and valuable.
    I only have two caveats.
    1) The first one is about the point. Bowen does not use vowels point to need one. _Pára Example to younger ones. _ Is printed _Para the younger ones. _ “For the baby.” This is a big fallacy.
    2) The second one is about Bowen adding a [] h in phonetic transcription at the end of words like _kayó_ “you pl.” when they are new coda – [you. h] – because no such sound can be heard in this position. The final [h] should be removed.
    These are about the only improvement I can see the view of a re-publication.
    Rating: 4 / 5

Leave a Reply