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22 Easy Ways To Express Flavors In Tagalog

February 3, 2021

If you are interested in creating an authentic bond with Filipinos, one of the easiest ways to do so is by conversing about native dishes and adding your perceptions about the taste and flavors in the Tagalog language. Ready to finally say "maasim and Sinigang!” or comment how “matamis" the local Biko is? To help you get started on learning these words, we have listed in this post the most basic words and phrases that you can use to describe food using the Filipino language.

The Philippines is the home of 7,640 islands and about 108 million Filipinos. At present, this country remains to be one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia due to its drop-dead gorgeous shorelines, pristine beaches, as well as natural and historical attractions. Add to that is its colorful history which is still very much evident within the country as reflected by its language, culture, and tradition.

We guess that this is the reason why a huge number of tourists are trying to learn their language before visiting what the Peal of the Orient Sea has to offer!

But, that is not all! The country also has so much food to offer from the classic Adobo, Sisig, to even their favorite lumpia! In fact, you might be surprised that if you get invited by a Filipino friend to an event, you will find tables full of food! And we do not just mean some finger food! For Filipinos, food is a special business which is why you find all sorts of "ulam” or dishes that you can partner with their steamed rice!



Flavors In The Tagalog Language

In Tagalog, flavors can be directly translated to the word “lasa”. If you do not like the taste of something, you can simply say “ayoko ng lasa nito” (I do not like how this tastes). On the other hand, if you have become a fan of the dish, you can comment “ang sarap naman nito” (it tastes good). But what if another person asks you to explain why you like the taste? To help you in expressing the exact words to use, we have here the most comprehensive list of the Tagalog vocabulary relating to food tastes.

Read on below to see the direct Tagalog word, the pronunciation guide, the translation, and the example sentence which may come in handy especially for sudden conversations.

Tagalog Pronunciation Translation Example sentence
Matamis Ma-ta-mis Sweet Masyadong matamis ang keyk.
The cake is too sweet.
Maasim Ma-asim Sour Masarap iyong massim na Sinigang.
It tastes good when the Sinigang is sour.
Mapait Ma-pa-it Bitter Ang pait naman jto!
This tastes bitter!
Maalat Ma-a-lat Salty Hindi ko gusto kasi masyadong maalat.
I do not like it because it is too salty.
Maasin Ma-asin Salty (informal) Masyadong maasin ang kanyang luto.
Her cooking is usually too salty.
Maanghang Ma-ang-hang Spicy Hindi ko kaya ang maangahang na pagkain.
I cannot eat spicy food.
Maanta Ma-an-ta Rancid Maanta pa ang prutas!
The fruits is still rancid!
Mapakla Ma-pak-la Acrid Wag mom una kainin dahil mapakla pa iyan! Do not eat it because it is still acrid!
Malansa Ma-lan-sa Fishy Masyadong malansa ang pagkain.
The food is too fishy!

Common Tagalog Adjectives Related To Flavors

Of course, it is not enough that you know the basics. To give you a more native-like expression, make sure to use the words below and I am sure that you will instantly see Filipinos smile when they hear you say these. 

Tagalog Pronunciation Translation
Malinamnam Ma-li-nam-nam Luscious
Nakakaumay Na-ka-ka-umay Fed up with the same taste
Masarap Ma-sa-rap Good taste, Savory
Bulok Bu-lok Rotten
Mabango Ma-ba-ngo Aromatic
Mabaho Ma-ba-ho Stinky
Walang lasa Wa-lang la-sa Bland
Hindi masarap Hin-di ma-sa-rap Not of good taste
Nakakadiri Na-ka-ka-di-ri Disgusting

For times when you do not know how exactly to describe the taste of something. You can simply use the combination below to compare something with a specific taste. Please note that you can also use the word “lasang” to a specific dish. For instance, you can simply say that the Filipino Sinigang is “lasang hotpot na maasim” or in English “it tastes like traditional hotpot which is sour.”

In this sense, it is a versatile word that you can use anytime you feel like you want to describe how it relates to another dish or to something else like the examples in the table below.

Tagalog Direct translation
Lasang lupa Tastes like soil
Lasang bakal Tastes metallic
Lasang putik Tastes like mud
Lasang dagat Tastes like sewater

As I end this article, I hope that I was able to shed light and give you the most comprehensive set of words that you can use for daily conversation especially when it is related to food. If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it online through your social platforms to help us reach out to other Tagalog enthusiasts out there.

Learn Tagalog Today And Speak Like A Pro!

Are you enjoying expanding your vocabulary in Tagalog? Then I bet is it time that I introduce to you one of the best learning platforms out there which can seriously help you out in your journey in learning this language. Aside from the fact that it is downloadable online and can be used simultaneously with any other material, you have nothing to lose when you try out the Ling App.

Ready to learn and establish a tighter relationship with your Filipino friends? Just by practicing and simply allowing yourself to have at least 10 minutes a day with Ling App, we bet that you can sound like a pro in no time! Unlike other foreign languages, Tagalog is definitely viewed in a positive light since it is easier to remember (because of the Latin alphabet) and it does not have complicated grammar rules.

With thousands of Filipinos stationed all over the world, we bet that finding someone to converse in using this as the target language will be easy. Interested to learn more Tagalog words and native expressions like how to ask how are you or express goodbye? Then you definitely should use the Ling Tagalog app to pump up your vocabulary and find the right words to fill the void.

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