How to Learn Tagalog: 6 Effective Ways to Learn Tagalog Quickly

Kelsey Wetherbee Published on December 26, 2022

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Kumusta ka? Are you trying to build a comprehensive study routine to become fluent in Tagalog?

This article has a mix of the best resources you can use to study Tagalog effectively. You’ll find Tagalog apps, online courses, textbooks, YouTube channels, and podcasts that can help you build your language skills from the ground. We’ve also included the best platforms you can use to find an online Tagalog tutor for those who like a traditional lesson style.

The Langoly team has over 5 decades of combined teaching experience and we’ve personally tested and reviewed over 600 language learning products. We always include high-quality tools in our reviews, and we’ve helped many of our readers reach their language goals. After reading this guide, you’ll be on track to becoming fluent in Tagalog!

Best Tagalog App

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Try Pimsleur

Best Tagalog Course

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Try Udemy

Best Tagalog Tutors

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Try italki

How to Learn Tagalog: Use These Resources to Become Fluent Fast!

The best way to learn Tagalog fast and effectively is to use a variety of study methods. One book, app, or course can’t cover every topic necessary to learn a language, but using different resources will help you understand every aspect of Tagalog. Combining resources will also ensure you stay engaged with your studies and keep making progress.

How Long Will It Take You To Learn Tagalog?​

What is your current level?

A1
Beginner
A2
Elementary
B1
Intermediate
B2
Upper Intermediate

What level do you want to reach?

A1
Beginner
A2
Elementary
B1
Intermediate
B2
Upper Intermediate
C1
Advanced
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How many hours will you study each day?

0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
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But, finding the right resources to include in your study routine might be hard and time-consuming. To save you time, we determined which were the 6 most effective resources you can use to develop your Tagalog skills. We applied a strict methodology to test and review each product included in this list, so you know they’re high-quality tools.

Use the Best Tagalog Apps

Language apps can be convenient tools to add to your Tagalog study routine if you like flexibility. They can help you learn Tagalog vocabulary quickly and effectively, and keep you engaged with the language. There’s a wide variety of apps, and you can find apps that focus on conversational skills, grammar, vocabulary, and much more. The three apps on this list, Pimsleur, Mondly, and Drops are high-quality options that can build your Tagalog skills from the complete beginner level without overwhelming you.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low-Medium
Convenience: High

See more Tagalog apps

Pimsleur

Pimsleur is the best app for Tagalog beginners because you start speaking Tagalog from the first lesson. With Pimsleur, you listen to a conversation between native speakers and repeat after them to learn correct pronunciation. If your goal is to become conversational quickly, Pimsleur can teach you how to apply vocabulary and grammar in context. But, what I like the most about Pimsleur is its brief cultural notes that explain the connection between the Tagalog language and its culture. You can try Pimsleur for free for 7 days or read more about it in this Pimsleur review.

Mondly

Mondly is the best app to learn Tagalog because it focuses on making sure you know the most important vocabulary and grammar. You can learn essential phrases to prepare for real-life scenarios like booking a hotel, asking for directions, or finding a restaurant. Mondly also has unique tools like a chatbot and AR lessons that allow you to mimic a conversation with a native speaker. Its lessons are brief, but its interactive exercises and features have made Tagalog fun for me. You can try Mondly with a free 7-day trial or read more about it in this Mondly review.

Drops

Drops is the best app to learn Tagalog vocabulary because it covers less common topics like words for natural disasters and talking to the police. Each word includes an English translation and a unique graphic to help you remember its meaning. While the concept might sound basic, I recommend Drops to all levels of Tagalog learners who want to quickly expand their vocabulary. You can use Drops for free for 5 minutes every day, or try the 7-day free trial. To learn more about the app, you can read our Drops review.

Take an Online Tagalog Course

Online Tagalog courses are useful if you prefer a structured way to learn. Following a lesson plan can make expanding your Tagalog knowledge much easier. Some courses are designed for self-study, while others include a mix of live classes with independent learning. Tagalog for Beginners, Tagalog.com, and Learning Tagalog are well-developed courses you can include in your routine to build a solid foundation in the language.

Commitment: High
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

Tagalog for Beginners

Tagalog for Beginners is an online course available on the Udemy platform. It’s designed for complete beginners, so you don’t need to know any Tagalog before starting the lessons. The goal is for you to have a basic conversation by the end of the course. I like that this course truly focuses on teaching you how to use the language at a beginner level instead of memorizing phrases. You can learn how to use basic sentence structures, like introductions or asking questions. You can check out a course preview video or read more about the platform in this Udemy review.

Tagalog.com

Tagalog.com is an extensive website that offers both free and paid material for Tagalog learners. There are many resources available like lessons, a dictionary, forums, flashcards, and more. You also have the option to pay for live 1-on-1 or group lessons, so you can choose what fits your budget and learning style the best. There’s material for complete beginners to advanced, which is why I included it in this list. You can take a look at everything they have available on their website.

Learning Tagalog

Learning Tagalog has 3 different courses that will take you from complete beginner (A1) to intermediate (B1). Each lesson has a dialogue in Tagalog and breaks down each phrase to teach both a literal and a more natural translation. All audio tracks were recorded by native speakers, so you can hear the correct pronunciation and imitate it. If you want to learn to speak Tagalog through self-study, this is a helpful resource. You can try the first lesson for free to see if you like the Learning Tagalog course.

Find an Online Tagalog Tutor

Taking classes with a teacher is one of the most effective ways to learn Tagalog. But, finding an in-person teacher can be difficult and costly. Now, there are many platforms available that can connect you with a teacher for online lessons. This way, you can learn with a native speaker, and personalize your lessons to focus on the skills you want to improve. italki, Preply, and Verbling have hundreds of Tagalog tutors you can choose from to find an option that finds your learning style, language goals, and budget.

Commitment: Medium
Price: Medium-High
Convenience: Medium

italki

italki is an online language learning platform that connects you with native Tagalog teachers. There are over 200 Tagalog teachers to choose from and you can use different filters like location, availability, and price to find the option that best suits your needs. What I like the most about italki is the flexibility it offers: you can book the exact number of classes you need, and message your tutor beforehand to let them know what you’d like to study. Most teachers offer a discounted trial lesson so you can see if they’re the best option for you. You can find out more in this italki review.

Preply

Preply is a platform that’s very similar to italki. There are currently 122 Tagalog teachers to choose from. You can look at each teacher’s profile to see their schedule and read past student reviews to see if you want to take lessons with them. I recommend Preply for students who want a flexible way of studying Tagalog. Likewise, you can take a discounted trial class to find a teacher that fits your learning style. You can learn more about the platform in this Preply review.

Verbling

Verbling is a language learning platform you can use to find a qualified Tagalog instructor. They only hire teachers with previous teaching experience, so you know you’re in good hands. You can search the teachers’ profiles to find one that you like or use filters to find a teacher that works with your schedule and budget. If you need guidance or want to prepare for an exam, I suggest you start here. Most teachers let you take a free trial class, so you can find the best one for you. You can read more about it in this Verbling review.

Study with High-Quality Tagalog Books

Using a book to learn Tagalog is one of the most effective and preferred methods to tackle complicated language topics. Books have in-depth explanations and clear examples that break down how to apply Tagalog with ease. They’re frequently used in language classes, but they can also be a convenient tool for self-study learners. Tagalog for Beginners, Essential Tagalog Grammar, and Tagalog Short Stories for Beginners are books with thorough material that can help you reach the next level of language at your own pace. You can find even more options in this Tagalog book guide.

Commitment: Low
Price: Medium
Convenience: Medium

Tagalog for Beginners: An Introduction to Filipino

Tagalog for Beginners is a useful choice for complete beginners or travelers. It focuses on Tagalog used in everyday situations and helps you develop the skills to communicate effectively. It also provides a history of the language and important info for understanding Filipino culture. There are additional audio tracks you can use to practice listening and understanding, which makes this a very comprehensive option in my experience. You can learn more about the book here.

Essential Tagalog Grammar

Essential Tagalog Grammar is a reference book filled with clear and concise explanations of the most important Tagalog grammar topics. It includes thousands of examples and tables to make each topic easy to understand. With this book, you can solve your doubts about essential topics like roots and affixes, or sound changes and syllables. The content is very complete, so I recommend it to students of all levels. You can find out if this book is right for you here.

Tagalog Short Stories for Beginners

Tagalog Short Stories for Beginners has 20 entertaining stories that teach you about Filipino culture while you practice reading Tagalog. All stories are based on real-life scenarios to help you learn the language in context. Each story has a summary in Tagalog and English, a vocabulary list, and a set of questions to test your understanding. While this book is great for reading, you’ll need to combine it with other resources to develop the rest of your skills. You can read more about the book here.

Watch Tagalog YouTube Videos

YouTube videos are fun to watch, but they can also be a great way to practice listening and understanding spoken Tagalog. The best way to make progress in your studies is to continually test your skills, and with Tagalog YouTube channels you can do that from home. You can find Tagalog channels that break down useful grammar topics or watch vlogs to learn how the culture influences the language. The YouTube channels included in this list provide high-quality content to prepare you to navigate real-life scenarios in Tagalog.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

Learn Tagalog with Fides

learn Tagalog with Fides YouTube

Fides is a high school teacher in France who teaches Tagalog through conversational videos. She speaks in Tagalog, but her videos have English and Tagalog subtitles to help you understand her content. Her videos are usually short so you can watch a few every day to learn essential vocabulary and grammar topics like how to ask questions, adjectives, and conjunctions. If you’re trying to build a foundation in Tagalog, I recommend you check out this channel. You can find all her videos on the Learn Tagalog with Fides YouTube channel.

Filipino Fairy Tales

Filipino Fairy Tales has animated videos that are narrated entirely in Tagalog with English subtitles. This channel features some of the most popular Tagalog stories, and I included it in this list because you can discover Filipino values and culture through them. Even when there are subtitles, I think these videos work best if you already know the basics and want to practice listening and understanding. Check out their many videos on the Filipino Fairy Tales YouTube channel.

Pinoy BK Channel

The Pinoy BK Channel has hundreds of videos with songs in Tagalog for kids. The host of the video is energetic and sings slowly and clearly, so it’s easy to stay engaged and entertained. All videos have captions in Tagalog to help you follow along. There are different playlists like Taglish songs (songs in a mix of Tagalog and English), Disney, and Christmas songs, which I’m sure will make the content appealing to adults, too. Overall, this is a great way to become familiar with the pronunciation of the language in a fun way. You can listen to the songs on the Pinoy BK YouTube channel.

Listen to Tagalog Podcasts

Podcasts can be a convenient way to practice Tagalog if you have a busy schedule. Since they are audio-based, you can listen to Tagalog lessons hands-free and continue your studies wherever you are. You can listen to Tagalog podcasts to develop your conversational skills, test your understanding of the language, or learn more about Filipino culture. FilipinoPod101, Go Filipino, and The Kool Pals are excellent podcasts that can develop your listening comprehension skills.

Commitment: Low
Price: Low
Convenience: High

FilipinoPod101

filipinopod101 homepage

FilipinoPod101 is an app and online platform with hundreds of podcast-style lessons. Some teach important language topics like grammar and vocabulary, and others focus on Filipino culture. However, what makes FilipinoPod101 a great resource is the amount of additional learning material it offers, like flashcards, transcripts, and videos. I recommend the podcast lessons to beginner learners who want to develop basic conversational skills to communicate in Tagalog. You can try FilipinoPod101 for free for 7 days. Or, you can read more about the app in this FilipinoPod101 review.

Go Filipino

Kris Andres started the Go Filipino podcast to teach anyone interested in learning Tagalog. His lessons start from the very basics: he explains words and phrases in English and then you practice the Tagalog pronunciation. While the lessons can be quite extensive (10-15 minutes), I like that they focus on helping beginner learners start their Tagalog journey. You can listen to the Go Filipino podcast for free on Spotify.

The Kool Pals

The Kool Pals podcast features 5 Filipino comedians who talk about a wide variety of topics including pop culture, recent events, and more. I included this podcast because it can be a great opportunity for advanced learners to find out more about the culture and life in the Philippines. The content is completely in Tagalog, and there are over 400 episodes, so you can learn plenty about the Philippines while listening to spoken Tagalog. 

How to Learn Tagalog: Final Thoughts

Finding the right language tool for you can seem overwhelming, and I hope this article has helped guide you to an option that works for you. Whatever way you choose to learn, if you dedicate the time necessary and stick with it, you’ll find that learning Tagalog can be a fun and rewarding experience. Good luck!

Want to learn more? Check out our Tagalog resource page.

How to Learn Tagalog: FAQ

How long does it take to learn Tagalog?

According to the US Department of State, it takes about 1100 class hours to learn Tagalog. But this isn’t an exact number. How fast you can learn Tagalog depends on other factors, such as your natural ability to acquire languages and if you already speak another Austronesian language.

To see how long it will take you to learn Tagalog, check out this fluency calculator.

How can I learn Tagalog quickly?

To learn Tagalog quickly, you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to studying and practicing. It’s important to be consistent and study every day, or at least a few times every week, so you don’t forget what you already learned and can constantly improve.

How do I learn Tagalog at home on my own?

There are many ways to learn Tagalog at home, such as taking an online course, using a book, or a language app. One of the most popular ways is to use a language app, such as Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone. You can start with the basics and quickly build a foundation in Tagalog. There are also many books available on Amazon that are designed to help you self-study the language.

How hard is it to learn Tagalog?

Tagalog is considered a difficult language for English speakers to learn. This is because it has significant linguistic differences. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! With dedication and the right study tools, you can make steady progress in learning the language.

How do I learn Tagalog fluently?

You can reach an advanced level of Tagalog by studying with a high-quality resource such as a textbook or language app. But if you want to become completely fluent, you’ll need to interact with native Tagalog speakers. You can take online conversation classes with a Tagalog tutor on a platform like italki, or use an app such as Tandem that can connect you with a language exchange partner.

How do I learn Tagalog for free?

There are quite a few resources available if you want to learn Tagalog for free. There are language apps such as FilipinoPod101 and Drops, that offer some of their content for free. You can also find resources online, like YouTube channels and podcasts that are completely free.

Kelsey Wetherbee

Kelsey is the Content Manager and Editor of Langoly. She is a TEFL-certified English teacher with more than eight years of classroom experience in three different countries. She’s an avid language learner with an advanced level of Spanish and is currently studying French. Whenever possible, she loves to travel and enjoys meeting people from all over the world. Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.

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