Is Tagalog the Same as Filipino? (Differences and Similarities)

Tagalog or Filipino are labeled Filipinos regularly used to describe the Philippines’ language. But how equally related or dissimilar are Tagalog and Filipino?

If you are puzzled, then this blog might be right for you. But, on the other hand, if you want to know more about Tagalog vs. Filipino, keep reading!

Is Tagalog the Same as Filipino? 

In the Philippines, people speak both Tagalog and Filipino. Given that Tagalog is where the Filipino language originated, they share common historical roots. However, they also differ in terms of the alphabet and letter count. Because Tagalog has a significantly larger vocabulary than Filipino, the structural sentencing also varies. Lastly, Filipino is more straightforward to learn.

  • Tagalog is the origin of the Filipino language.
  • Filipino, a successor of Tagalog, is utilized in everyday business, government, education, and television.

Let’s check out the similarities and differences between Tagalog and Filipino dialects!


1. Both Languages are used in the Philippines

In the Philippines, individuals routinely communicate using Tagalog and Filipino. For more than fifty years, millions of people have spoken these languages.

Filipino has been the Philippines’ primary language. The Tagalog language, in contrast, has been acknowledged as the official dialect since 1897.

Historically, one of the country’s most prevalent native tongues was Tagalog, the vernacular used in Manila, the nation’s capital.

2. Historical Roots

As you can see, Filipino originates from Tagalog. Long before the Spanish and Americans invaded the Philippines, it was a native tongue.

Filipinos wished to have their own dialect as the state’s official language. The native tongue chosen to serve as the cornerstone for this national vernacular was Tagalog.

In general, the Institute of National Language recommended Tagalog as the core of the Philippine national language.



1. Alphabet Count

The Filipino alphabet contains 28 letters, 20 from Tagalog and eight more from European languages such as c, f, j, x, and z. 

At the same time, the Tagalog letter has 20 characters, while the Filipino alphabet has 28 letters.

In official documents, Tagalog is utilized generally and can appear more serious and profound.

On the other hand, Filipino, a colloquial language, distinguishes itself by appearing more genuine, modern, and adaptable.

2. Language Structure

As you can see, the vocabulary in Tagalog is more significant and has many rules and rigid sentence structures. 

Additionally, there are more technical terminologies in Tagalog. Find out, is Tagalog hard to learn?

Filipino is a simple language to learn and utilize for sentence construction. It has fewer restrictions and is also considerably more flexible.

Since Filipino only acquires words from other languages, the sentence constructions, verbs, affixes, pronouns, descriptive pronouns, and connectors are identical to those used in other languages.

To learn more, you can also see our posts on Vietnamese, Mandarin, and Spanish.


As we’ve learned, when you are asked by somebody, “What is the distinction between Tagalog and Filipino? The explanation is that Tagalog functioned as the foundation for developing the Filipino dialect, which evolved spontaneously from Tagalog.

Ultimately, the evolution of Tagalog and Filipino demonstrates how languages are flexible and must evolve to maintain their position!