Tagalog pronunciation is quite straight-forward and simple once you know the pronunciation rules. The most important part of the pronunciation is learning how to pronounce Tagalog vowels.

A is pronounced like the “a” in father.  “Maganda” which means beautiful will never be pronounced megende, or megenday. E like the “e” in bed: Meron. I like the “i” in big: Ikaw; or, long “I” like the sound in bee: Ilaw. O like the “o” in old:  Kayo. And U like the oo in hoop: Kumusta.

When I hear Americans try to speak Tagalog, the most common mistake is not pronouncing the Tagalog vowels properly. They are imposing the English pronunciation rules onto the Tagalog language, and it doesn’t work. Memorize how Filipinos pronounce their vowels, and you are one step closer to speaking like someone from the Philippines.

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