Cebuano language

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Binisayâ, Sinugboanon
'Sinugbuanong Binisayâ' written in Badlit
Native to Philippines
RegionCentral Visayas, eastern Negros Occidental, western parts of Eastern Visayas, and most parts of Mindanao
EthnicityVisayans (Bisaya)
Native speakers
28.9 million (2020)[1]
  • Standard Cebuano (Cebu island
  • Urban Cebuano (Metro Cebu)
  • Negros Cebuano
  • Boholano
  • Leyte (Kanâ)
  • Mindanao Cebuano
  • Davaoeño
Latin (Cebuano alphabet)
Philippine Braille
Historically Badlit
Official status
Official language in
Regional language in the Philippines.
Regulated by
Language codes
ISO 639-2ceb
ISO 639-3ceb
Cebuano-speaking area in the Philippines

Cebuano (also referred to as Bisaya) is one of the main languages spoken in the Philippines. More than 28 million people speak this language. Cebuano is a member of the Visayan language family.

While Tagalog has more speakers than any other language in the Philippines today, Cebuano was the most widely spoken language in the Philippines from the 1950s until the 1980s. Cebuano is by far the most widely spoken of the Visayan languages.

It is the most spoken language by many people in the Central Visayas, western parts of the Eastern Visayas, some western parts of Palawan and most parts of Mindanao. Cebuano is one of the three main Visayan languages, along with Waray and Hiligaynon, which are more closely related to it.

Name[change | change source]

The name of the language comes from the Philippine island of Cebu, suffixed with the Spanish -ano (meaning nature, or a location). In other words, the language is more commonly called Bisaya. However, this can cause confusion among non-native speakers, as there are many other languages called Bisaya even though they cannot be understood by people who speak what linguists call Cebuano. In this sense, Cebuano applies to all speakers of the language who come from Cebu island, regardless of where they live now, as well as to the language they speak.

Some people do not like the term Cebuano. For example, many Cebuano speakers in Leyte, Bohol, and Northern Mindanao (Dipolog, Dapitan, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental, as well as in coastal areas of Butuan) say that their ancestors were Cebuano speakers who were native to their area, not immigrants or settlers from the Visayas. Also, they want to call themselves as Bisaya and their language Binisaya rather than Cebuano.

Cebuano numbers[change | change source]

Cebuano has two numeral systems. The native system is mostly used for counting things, like animals or houses. The Spanish system is only used for money and time. It is also used for counting from 11 and up.

Number Native Cebuano Borrowed from Spanish
0 walâ nulo, sero
1 usá uno
2 duhá dos
3 tuló tres
4 upát kwatro
5 limá singko
6 unóm séys
7 pitó siyete
8 waló otso
9 siyám nwebe
10 napulò, pulò diyés
11 napúlog usá onse
12 napúlog duhá dose
13 napúlog tuló trese
14 napúlog upát katórse
15 napúlog limá kinse
16 napúlog unóm diyesiséys
17 napúlog pitó diyesisiyete
18 napúlog waló diyesiyotso
19 napúlog siyám diyesinwebe
20 kaluháan (kaduháan) beynte
21 kaluháag usá beyntiwuno
22 kaluháag duhá beyntidos
23 kaluháag tuló beyntitres
24 kaluháag upát beyntikwatro
25 kaluháag limá beyntisingko
30 katlóan (katulóan) treynta
40 kap-atan (kaupátan) kwarénta
50 kalím-an (kalimáan) sinkwénta
60 kan-uman (kaunóman) sesenta
70 kapitóan seténta
80 kawalóan otsénta
90 kasiyáman nobénta
100 usá ka gatós siyén, siyento
200 duhá ka gatós dosiyéntos
300 tuló ka gatós tresiyéntos
400 upát ka gatós kwatrosiyéntos
500 limá ka gatós kiniyéntos
1,000 usá ka libo mil
5,000 limá ka libo singko mil
10,000 usá ka laksà, napulò ka libo diyes mil
50,000 limá ka laksà, kalím-an ka libo singkwenta mil
100,000 usá ka yaba, usá ka gatós ka líbo siyén mil
1,000,000 usá ka yukót milyón
1,000,000,000 usá ka wakát bilyón (mil milyones)

Sample phrases[change | change source]

English Cebuano
Hello? Kumusta?
Good morning! Maayo'ng buntag!
Good afternoon! Maayo'ng udto! (specifically from 12:00 PM to 12:59 PM)

Maayo'ng hapon! (specifically from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM)

Good evening! Maayo'ng gabii!
Goodbye! Adios! (Rarely, borrowed from Spanish word)

Babay! (Informal, from English “Bye-Bye”)

Be careful. Ayo-ayo. (Formal)


Until next time. Hangtod sa sunod nga higayon.
Thanks. Salamat.
Thank you very much! Daghang salamat!

Daghan kaayong salamat!

You're welcome. Walang sapayan.
Do not! (Command) Ayaw!
I don't know Ambot.
Yes. Oo.
Maybe Tingali.


No. Dili.
Nothing. Wala.
Who? Kinsa?
What? Unsa?
Where? Diin? (Past)

Ása? (Present)

Which? Hain?
When? Kanus-a?
How? Giunsa?


Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Housing Characteristics in the Philippines (2020 Census of Population and Housing)". Retrieved 12 December 2023.

Other websites[change | change source]