How to say Thank you in Tagalog (Filipino language)

August 7, 2020

In order to survive in any foreign country, it is necessary that you must have base-level knowledge of the common vocabulary, slang, or expressions used by the locals. One of the sure-fire ways by which you can jumpstart your cultural immersion is by saying “thank you” in their language.  Of course, saying thanks is a universal practice across cultures.  Not only does it show the utmost respect for the country, but it also reflects one’s appreciation for the country’s vibrant, diverse, and unique tradition.

As you ready yourself to get lost in the walled city of Intramuros or for a beach party in the heart of Boracay, there is a big chance that you will have to express how thankful you were for something. For native English speakers, a simple “thank you” is often enough to show gratefulness. But if you are learning Tagalog, you might be overwhelmed by the many ways by which Filipinos say their heartfelt thanks. With that in mind, let me help you out by listing down the most common ways on how you can say “thank you” in various situations.

 

 

How do I say thank in Tagalog?

While it is true the concept of saying thank you is simple, there are various by which you can articulate it depending on the situation. One of the default ways for expressing thankfulness in the Tagalog language is by saying “salamat.”

Formal Example
Salamat po Salamat po sa pagtulong sa akin!

Translation: Thank you for helping me!

Informal
Salamat “Salamat sa pagtulong sa akin!

Translation: “Thank you for helping me!”

 

It is no secret that Filipinos are known for their warm hospitality and acts of kindness. As a tourist, you can see how this simple compliment can put a big smile on their faces. Based on the example above, you can use the word salamat in comfortable encounters between friends and casual acquaintances. If you intend is to speak in a more formal tone, adding the Tagalog word “po” can instantly transform the casual thanks into a formal one. You should add this word to show respect when you are conversing with older people, strangers, or those with higher authority (see examples below).

Example situations What you may say
When you are thanking your boss for giving you a gift “Salamat po sa inyong regalo!”

Translation: “Thank you for the gift.”

When you want to say thanks to the strangers who aided you “Salamat po sa tulong ninyo!”

Translation: “Thank you for your help.”

When you want to casually thank someone who helped you out “Salamat sa tulong!”

Translation: “Thank you for your help.”

When you want to thank someone for everything he did “Salamat sa lahat ng ginawa mo.”

Translation: “Thank you for everything you did.”

 

A quick tip: To improve relationships with the locals, you may say “salamat po” to thank people after you request their services or information, or when you buy off from them. This will instantly cheer them up!

There is also a variation in times when you need to express extreme gratefulness. In circumstances like this, one should simply add the word “maraming” before the word “salamat” which directly translates to “many thanks” in English.

Formal Example
Maraming salamat po “Maraming salamat po sa pagtulong sa akin!

Translation: Thank you very much for helping me!

Informal
Maraming salamat “Maraming salamat sa pagtulong sa akin!

Translation: “Thank you very much for helping me!”

 

Similar to what we have discussed earlier, you may combine “maraming salamat” with the word “po” to signify formality. You can use this variation for extreme situations wherein you want to emphasize serious gratitude. For instance, if someone returned your lost wallet or a friend covers you at work at the last minute, then a “maraming salamat po” is an appropriate thank-you phrase to be used.

How would you respond if someone thanks you?

Now that you have learned how to say thanks in Tagalog, you also need to learn the common response of the Filipinos and what they exactly mean. Aside from having a big chance of using the world “salamat” during your stay in the Philippines, there is also a possibility that the locals will say it to you too. One example of that is when you are buying off the streets, it is common for vendors to say “salamat” to their customers.

Formal Example
Walang anuman po Person A: Salamat po sa pagtulong sa akin.

Person B: Walang anuman po.

 

Translation:

Person A: Thank you for helping me!

Person B: You’re welcome.

Informal
Walang anuman Person A: Salamat po sa pagtulong sa akin.

Person B: Walang anuman.

 

Translation:

Person A: Thank you for helping me!

Person B: You’re welcome.

Wala ‘yun Person A: Salamat sa pagtulong sa akin.

Person B: Walang ‘yun!

 

Translation:

Person A: Thank you for helping me!

Person B: It’s nothing / don’t mention it!

 

Example of a conversation in Tagalog

At this point, let’s read the situation below where you are traveling in the Philippines. As a tourist, you approached one of the locals to ask where the nearest market is. Here is an example of an exchange.

You Magandang umaga! Maari po bang magtanong?

Translation: Good day! Can I ask you a question?

Filipino Ano po iyon?

Translation: What is it?

You Saan po ang pinakamalapit na botika?

Translation: Where is the nearest market?

Filipino Sundin mo lamang ang daang ito hanggang sa makita mo sa kanan ang “Ana’s Drug Store”

Translation: Just follow this road until you see the “Ana’s Drug Store” on the right

You Salamat po sa tulong ninyo

Translation: Thanks for your help!

Filipino Walang anuman!

Translation: You’re welcome!

 

Learning basic phrases in the Tagalog language

Tagalog is indeed a diverse and interesting language to learn especially because it is heavily influenced by English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Malay words. An example of the influence of English on Tagalog is that you will hear people in the Philippines also speak Taglish, which is the combination of Tagalog and English. Due to this, language enthusiasts and travelers are challenging themselves to learn the language so that they may be able to appreciate the history behind every line.

With your newfound skill on how to properly say thank you in formal and informal contexts, you are one step closer to achieving full fluency! Remember that the key to learning a language is time, constant practice, and consistency. So, if you want to further master the language and make meaningful connections with the Filipino people, be sure to check out the Ling App. The Ling App features fun mini-games and quizzes that can motivate you to practice and learn more about the language day by day.

So you have learned many ways to say Thank you, let's learn to say Hello in Tagalog.

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