Masbateño language

Masbateño or Minasbate is an Austronesian language spoken by more than 600,000 people, primarily in the province of Masbate in the Philippines. It is very close to Capiznon, Hiligaynon/Ilonggo and Waray-Waray, all three spoken in Visayas. It belongs to the Central branch of the Bisayan languages.

Native toPhilippines
RegionMasbate province (almost whole portion of Masbate island proper, entire Ticao island and southern half of Burias island)
EthnicityMasbateño people
Native speakers
350,000 (2002)[1]
250,000 L2 speakers
Total: 600,000+ speakers
Language codes
ISO 639-3msb
Masbatenyo language map.png
Areas where Masbateño is spoken
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.


Masbateño has sixteen consonants: /p, t, k, ʔ, b, d, g, m, n, ŋ, s, h, l, ɾ, w, j/. There are three vowels: /i/, /a/, /e/, and /u,o/. The vowels u and o are allophones, with u always being used when it is the beginning and sometimes end of a syllable, and o always used when it ends a syllable. The sounds /e/ and /o/ could be borrowed from Spanish.[2] This is one of the Philippine languages which is excluded from [ɾ]-[d] allophone.


Masbateño Basic Mathematical OperationsEdit

  • one plus one equals two (1 + 1 = 2) - An usad gindagdagan san usad, duha/duwa ka bilog
  • two times two equals four (2 x 2 = 4) - An duwa ginpilô san duwa na bes, nagin upat
  • eight minus five equals three (8 - 5 = 3) - An walo gin-ibanan san lima, tulo an nabilin
  • nine divided by three equals three (9 ÷ 3 = 3) - An siyam ginbarahin sa tulo, tig-turulo

Advanced Algebraic OperationsEdit

  • x raised to the power of y, or in symbols, (x^y). In Minasbate, an x piluon sa y na beses.
  • square root of x, or in symbols, sqrt(x). In Minasbate, an ikaduha na gamot san x o an numero na pinilo sa duwa na beses na nagin x.
  • x over y, or in symbols, x/y. In Minasbate, x kada y.
  • one and a half plus two and one-fourth equals three and three-fourths, or in symbols, 1 1/2 + 2 1/4 = 3 3/4. In Minasbate, an usad kag katunga gindagdagan san duha kag kaupat, tulo kag tulo-kaupat tanan.

W-H QuestionsEdit

  • What? - Nano?
  • Who? - Sin-o?
  • Where? - Diin?
  • When? - San-o?
  • Why? - Kay? Nano kay?
  • How? - Pan-o? Papan-o?
  • Who are you? - Sin-o ka?
  • What is your name? - Nano/Ano an pangaran mo?
  • When is your Birthday - San-o ka nabuhay?
  • Where do you live? - Diin ka naga-estar? Taga diin ka?


  • Cat - Miya/Misay/Kuting (Ticao Island)
  • Dog - Ido / Ayam (Ticao Island)
  • Cow - Baka
  • Carabao - Karabaw
  • Tinday- may refer to any young animals like horse, cow, goat, carabao
  • Pig - Orig (piglet) Anay (mother pig) Butakal/Takal (Male brooding pig)
  • Rat - Iraga
  • Ant - Sorum/Hantik/Amamaknit/Kutitob (Masbate Ticao Island)
  • Ant- Subay (Masbate Main Land)
  • Ant- Amimitas (Masbate Main Land)
  • Ant - Hornigas or Hormigas (Masbate Main Land)
  • Ant - Hamorigas ( Palanas,Masbate Main Land )
  • Chicken - Umagak/Manok (hen); Siwo/Siyo/piso (chic)
  • Lizard - Tiki
  • Gecko - Tuko
  • Snake - Sawa
  • Bird - Sapat (Masbate);Pispis (Mandaon);Langgam (Ticao Island)

Common PhrasesEdit

  • I hate you! - Urit ako sa imo! / Habo ko sa imo!
  • I love you. - Namomo-ot ako sa imo. Namumot-an ta ikaw. (Bicolano-influenced)
  • I love you. - Palangga ta ikaw. (Masbate Mainland)
  • Let's talk. - Mag-istoryahan kita.
  • Can I join? - Pwede ako kaintra?
  • Pleased to meet you. - Malipay ako na nagbagat kita.
  • How you doin'? - Matiano ka dida?
  • Please let me know. - Ipaaram la sa akon.
  • Please help me. - Buligi man ako.
  • Can you teach me? -Pwede mo ba ako matukduan? Pwede magpatukdo?
  • I want to learn Masbatenyo. - Gusto ko makaaram mag-istorya san Masbatenyo.
  • Good morning! - Maayo na aga!
  • Good afternoon! - Maayo na hapon!
  • Good evening! - Maayo na gab-i!
  • Good night! - Turog maayo.
  • Let's eat. - Karaon na kita.
  • You're (really) beautiful. - Kaganda mo (gayud).
  • Please call me. - Tawagi tabi ako.
  • Can I ask you a favor? - Pwede mangayo pabor (o bulig)?



  • One - Isad/Usad
  • Two - Duwa/Duha
  • Three - Tulo
  • Four - Upat
  • Five - Lima
  • Six - Unom
  • Seven - Pito
  • Eight - Walo
  • Nine - Siyam
  • Ten - Napulo
  • Eleven - Onse
  • Twelve - Dose
  • Thirteen - Trese
  • Fourteen - Katorse
  • Fifteen - Kinse
  • Sixteen - Desisays
  • Seventeen - Desisyete
  • Eighteen - Desiotso
  • Nineteen - Desinuwebe
  • Twenty - Baynte
  • Twenty-one - Baynte uno
  • One hundred - Usad ka gatos or syen
  • One hundred thirty-five (135) - Syento traynta i singko
  • Two hundred - Duwa kagatos or dos syentos
  • One thousand - Usad karibo or uno mil
  • Two thousand - Duwa karibo or dos mil
  • Two thousand and ten - Dos mil dyes


  • Blue - Asul
  • Red - Pula
  • Yellow - Dulaw
  • Green - Berde
  • Orange - Kahel
  • Violet - Tapul
  • Brown - Kulay-Lupa
  • White - Puti
  • Black - Itom
  • Gray - Abuhon


  • Circle - Bilog
  • Square - Kwadrado
  • Rectangle - Rektanggulo
  • Triangle - Trayanggulo
  • Oval - Lipid
  • Cone - Basuso
  • Sphere - Talimon
  • Cube - Kubiko

Common AdjectivesEdit

  • Beautiful - Maganda
  • Ugly - Maraot / Pangit
  • Hot - Mainit / Maalingahot
  • Cold - Mayamig / Matugnaw
  • Good - Maayo / Matahom
  • Bad - Maraot / Malain
  • Great - Matibay
  • Sick - Maysakit / May ginabatyag
  • Fast - Matulin / Madasig
  • Slow - Mahinay / Maluya
  • High - Hataas / Hitaas
  • Low - Hamubo
  • Deep - Hadarom
  • Wide - Halapad
  • Loose - Mahaluga
  • Narrow - Masiot
  • Long - Halaba
  • Short - Halip-ot
  • Light - Lasaw (color) / Magaan (weight)
  • Heavy - Mabug-at
  • Dark - Makutom / Madulom / Maitom


Masbateño is written using the Latin script. Currently, there is no officially-recognized orthography for the language so different writers may follow different writing conventions. With the implementation of the Department of Education's Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) starting school year 2012-2013, there emerged a need for orthographic guidelines for the various "mother tongues" to be used in the early years of education. For Masbateño, Rosero and Balbuena (2016) prepared the draft working orthography developed during the first orthography congress held from July 15–16, 2016.[4] This working orthography, however, is not meant as a final guide and is open to revisions.

In the working orthography, the following are the basic alphabet used: Aa, Bb, Dd, Gg, Hh, Ii, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, NGng, Pp, Rr, Ss, Tt, Uu, Ww, and Yy. The letters Cc, Ff, Jj, Ññ, Qq, Vv, Xx, and Zz may be used in unassimilated loanwords and proper nouns.[4]

Ee and Oo are considered to be variants of Ii and Uu and are used according to certain rules. Generally, "U" shall be used in representing /u/ except if there is only one /u/ in a word which occurs in the final position (e.g. pito, lisod). If there is more than one /u/ sound, "o" shall used at the final position of a word (e.g. gu`ól, pumuluyo`). In assimilated loanwords, "O" is used etymologically (e.g. "ospital" from Spanish "hospital", "oro" from Spanish). The rules on the usage of "E" and "I" follow a similar principle. In general, "I" shall be used to represent /i/ but borrowed words originally having an /e/ sound shall be spelled with an "E" (e.g. ahente, karne).[4]

In representing the glides of /u/ and /w/, and /i/ and /y/, the vowels are dropped and w and y are used (e.g. pwede instead of puwede, sya instead of siya, kwento instead of kuwento).[4]

In addititon, the grave accent (`) is used for the glottal stop and is also considered as part of the alphabet of the working orthography. This symbol may be used between a consonant and vowel (e.g. pus`on, bag`o), in the final position of words (e.g. túro`, pakó`), between two vowels (e.g ti`il, di`in) and at the onset of a syllable beginning with a vowel (e.g `adlaw, `ako). In indicating stress, the acute accent (´) is used above the vowel of a stressed syllable. Stress is indicated if it falls on the last syllabe (e.g. hubág) but not when it falls on the penultimate syllable (kiray). It is possible that two stress accents be used in one word (e.g hámabáw, `ámamáknit).[4]

A hyphen is used in, among others, words with full reduplication (e.g. tawo-tawo, balay-balay), compound words (e.g. tagum-mata), affixation of proper nouns (e.g. "pa-LBC", "pa-Manila"), time expression ("alas-dose"), and expressions derived from Spanish using the "de" affix (e.g. "de-kalidad"). The hyphen is not used in words with partial reduplication (e.g. burubaruto, not buru-baruto), affixation of native root words (e.g. ginaka`on, not gina-kaun), affixation of borrowed verbs and nouns (e.g. magtext, not mag-text) and in linkers (e.g. duha ka bilog, not duha ka-bilog).[4]


  1. ^ Masbateño at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Wolfenden, 2001, p.4
  3. ^ Balbuena, Sherwin E.; Cantoria, Uranus E.; Cantoria Jr., Amancio L.; Ferriol, Eny B. (January 2015). "Minásbate Equivalents of Mathematical Concepts: Their Socio-Cultural Undertones" (PDF). Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences. 2 (1): 37–43.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Balbuena, Sherwin E; Rosero, Michael Wilson I (July 2016), `An `Ortograpiya san Minasbaté/Minasbaté Working Orthography

External linksEdit