Cebuano is a member of the Philippine branch of Malayo-Polynesian language family. It is spoken in the Philippines, mainly in the Central Visayas by the Bisaya people, and is also in northeastern parts of Negros Occidental province, in southern parts of Masbate, in most of Leyte and Southern Leyte, in western portions of Guimaras, in parts of Samar, Bohol, Luzon, the Biliran islands, and in most parts of Mindanao. It is used as a lingua franca in the Central Visayas and in parts of Mindanao. In 2005 there were about 15.9 million in the Philippines, and another 42,000 in the USA, Canada and Australia.
The language is named after the island of Cebu, where the prestige register is spoken, and is also known as Bisaya, Sebuano, Sugbuanon, Sugbuhanon or Visayan. Cebuano speakers are known as Cebuano in Cebu, as Bol-anon in Bohol, as Kana in Leyte, and as Binisaga or Bisaya in Mindanao and Luzon.
Cebuano was first documented by Antonio Pigateffa, and Italian explorer who was part of Magellan's 1521 expedition. Spanish missionaries started to write the language during the early 18th century, and as a result, Cebuano contains many words of Spanish origin.
The letters c, f, j, q, v, x and z are also used, but only in foreign loanwords.
Hear how to pronounce the Cebuano alphabet:
Ang tanang katawhan gipakatawo nga may kagawasan ug managsama sa kabililhon. Sila gigasahan sa salabutan ug tanlag og mag-ilhanay isip managsoon sa usa'g-usa diha sa diwa sa ospiritu.
Ang tanan katawhan gipakatawo nga may kagawasan ug managsama sa kaligdong. Sila gigasahan pangisip ug tanlag ug mag-ilhanay usa'g usa sa diwa managsoon
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Cebuano language and culture
Aborlan Tagbanwa, Agutaynen, Aklan, Bantayanon, Bantik, Bantoanon, Baybayanon, Bikol, Binukid, Blaan, Buhid, Bukid, Buol, Butuanon, Calmian Tagbanwa, Caluyanon, Capiznon, Casiguran Dumagat Agta, Cebuano, Central Tagbanwa, Cuyonon, Gorontalo, Hanuno'o, Hiligaynon, Iraya, Isnag, Kagayanen, Kalanguya, Kapampangan, Kinabalian, Kinaray-a, Klata, Maguindanao, Mamanwa, Manide, Maranao, Masbateño, Matigsalug, Molbog, Mongondow, Obo, Palawano, Porohanon, Ratahan, Rinconada Bikol, Romblomanon, Sangirese, Surigaonon, Suwawa, Tagalog, Tagabawà, Talaud, Tausūg, Tawbuid, Tboli, Tiruray, Tombulu, Tondano, Tonsawang, Umiray Dumaget, Waray-Waray, Western Subanon
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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