Language section number:
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a quarter of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by the majority. Its standardized form, officially named Filipino, is the national language and one of two official languages of the Philippines, the other being English. It is related to other Philippine languages, such as the Bikol languages, Ilokano, the Visayan languages, and Kapampangan, and more distantly to other Austronesian languages, such as the Formosan languages, Indonesian, Hawaiian, and Malagasy.
The word Tagalog is derived from the endonym taga-ilog ("river dweller"), composed of tagá- ("native of" or "from") and ílog ("river"). Very little is known about the ancient history of the language. Linguists such as Dr. David Zorc and Dr. Robert Blust speculate that the Tagalogs and other Central Philippine ethno-linguistic groups originated in Northeastern Mindanao or the Eastern Visayas.
The Tagalog homeland, Katagalugan, covers roughly much of the central to southern parts of the island of Luzon—particularly in Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, Camarines Norte, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, Nueva Ecija, Quezon, Rizal, and large parts of Zambales. Tagalog is also spoken natively by inhabitants living on the islands, Marinduque, Mindoro, and large areas of Palawan. It is spoken by approximately 64 million Filipinos, 96% of the household population. 22 million, or 28% of the total Philippine population, speak it as a native language.
Tagalog speakers are found in other parts of the Philippines as well as throughout the world, though its use is usually limited to communication between Filipino ethnic groups. In 2010, the US Census bureau reported (based on data collected in 2007) that in the United States it was the fourth most-spoken language at home with almost 1.5 million speakers, behind Spanish or Spanish Creole, French (including Patois, Cajun, Creole), and Chinese. Tagalog ranked as the third most spoken language in metropolitan statistical areas, behind Spanish and Chinese but ahead of French.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tagalog language", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.