Every language has words that are simply unique and can’t be literally translated into another language. Portuguese have saudade, Japanese have Tsundoku, Dutch have Gezelligheid, and Tagalog have Sinta. That is why, in this article, I’m going to show you some unique words in Tagalog that will make you fall in love with this language!
Does your language have a word that you struggle to find an English peer for? Tagalog is a language that has many of these words that simply don’t have an English equivalent. As a very emotional person, these words in Tagalog are mostly used to express emotions and feelings.
I know that if you plan to go to the Philippines, you’ll prefer to learn more basic words and phrases, such as how to say Happy Birthday or the five senses in Tagalog. And sure, you can check our blog and learn all that and much more! However, learning these unique words will help you take a step further and truly grasp the Filipino culture as you start to understand how this language is beautiful and deeply connected with the Filipino way of life.
Forget about learning curse words and just silly Tagalog words, learn these beautiful and unique Filipino words, and you’ll be able to understand why Filipinos take so much pride in their language and culture!
Unique Words In Tagalog
Sinta – Best Way To Express Love
What would be of a romantic people if they didn’t have a special word to express “love”? If you’ve been studying Tagalog, you probably already know the word “mahal” which is how you can say I love you in Tagalog. However, this is a simple and ordinary way to express this strong feeling with your other half.
The word Sinta, is an old fashioned word, but it is also a beautiful and uniquely Filipino way to say that your heart belongs to another person, so next time you want to surprise your partner, call him/her “sinta ko” or “aking sinta” meaning “my love,” and see their eyes sparkle! Needless to say, you’ll be singing Elton John’s classic love song “Can you feel the love tonight” in a matter of seconds!
Lambing – Tenderness?
Although this word can be translated to tenderness, this translation does not fully represent the intrinsic feeling Filipino people give this word, as it is used to express really intense tenderness and affection. Try to use it in your next casual conversations with your Filipino friends!
Harana – Serenading In The Moonlight
The meaning of this word is to woo someone through the majestic use of a serenade. Very original, right? Little did Romeo know that he was Harana to Juliet all that time ago!
This word is a mix of two of the Filipinos‘ favorite things: love and singing. This love for these two things made them create this word where you gain someone’s heart through their ears!
Maarte – Filipino Word For Nitpicky
This Tagalog word is one of the most peculiar and specific words in Tagalog. Originally meaning “artful,” the meaning of this word took a 180º turn and is now used to refer to someone who is nitpicking, fussy, or very hard to please (hmm, me!). From now on, I’ll be calling myself Maarte! Beautiful, right?
Kilig – Climax
When you’re in love and around that one person, you’ll start to feel butterflies in your stomach. You’ll feel like you’re on cloud 9, and nothing can take you down. Kilig can be roughly translated as having these butterflies in your belly, however, the power of this word goes beyond that. It refers to the electricity of a first kiss, the connection of a first look, or the nervous excitement of a first date. Is all that compressed in one word – kilig. Oh, Tagalog, you have my heart already!
Gigil – Squeeeeze!
I know I relate to this word as this happens to me all the time, especially around baby animals. Do you know that uncontrollable urge that you get around babies, or really cute animals, where you just want to squeeze? Scientists will say that is because the part of your brain associated with love is very close to the part of the brain responsible for aggressiveness and that your brain sometimes gets confused. Filipinos will tell you that is gigil. I prefer the Filipino way!
Pambahay – Cozy Clothes
Not so much related to the last few words, pambahay is still a very unique word in Tagalog. Simply put into terms, this word means clothes you can wear at home. That’s it, cozy clothes. If you’re just procrastinating at home, watching the TV in a very old t-shirt and some yoga pants, then that is pambahay that you’re wearing. If you’re more of a Panama person then it is just a fancier pambahay.
Diskarte – Pull Off With All Sorts Of Means
Relates to the philosopher Descartes, this word refers to ingenuity. This is a very resourceful way to refer to something that is also associated with a lack of intelligence.
After these beautiful words, I’m actually out of words to try and convince you to learn Tagalog. If my intuition is right, you’re now ready to take the next step and learn all the other incredible words in Tagalog, put them together, and become a fluent speaker of the Filipino language!
Well, if that is the case, I have a place where you can learn not only the Tagalog language but 60 other words from all around the world!
Ling app is a language learning application that will help you learn a new language through fun and interactive methods. I’m talking games, puzzles, and quizzes, you’ll become a polyglot by having fun!
Sounds good? Download Ling App and start learning Tagalog today!