Ilocano language

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Ilocano (also Ilokano; /iːloʊˈkɑːnoʊ/;[1] Ilocano: Pagsasao nga Ilokano) is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines. It is the third most-spoken native language in the country.

As an Austronesian language, it is related to Malay (Indonesian and Malaysian), Tetum, Chamorro, Fijian, Maori, Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian, Paiwan and Malagasy. It is closely related to some of the other Austronesian languages of Northern Luzon, and has slight mutual intelligibility with the Balangao language and the eastern dialects of the Bontoc language. [2]

The Ilokano people had their own distinct indigenous writing system and script known as kur-itan. There have been proposals to revive the kur-itan script by teaching it in Ilokano-majority public and private schools in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur.[3]


Ilocano, like all Philippine languages, is an Austronesian language, a very expansive language family believed to originate in Taiwan.[4][5] Ilocano comprises its own branch within the Philippine Cordilleran language subfamily. It is spoken as first language by seven million people.[6]

A lingua franca of the northern region of the Philippines, it is spoken as a secondary language by more than two million people who are native speakers of Ibanag, Ivatan, and other languages in Northern Luzon.[7]

Geographic distribution


Ilokano-speaking density per province. Enlarge picture to see percent distribution.

The language is spoken in northwest Luzon, the Babuyan Islands, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, northern parts of Central Luzon, Mindoro and scattered areas in Mindanao (the Soccsksargen region in particular).[8] The language is also spoken in the United States, with Hawaii and California having the largest number of speakers.[9] It is the third most spoken non-English language in Hawaii after Tagalog and Japanese, with 17% of those speaking languages other than English at home (25.4% of the population) speaking the language.[10]

In September 2012, the province of La Union passed an ordinance recognizing Ilocano (Iloko) as an official provincial language, alongside Filipino and English, as national and official languages of the Philippines, respectively.[11] It is the first province in the Philippines to pass an ordinance protecting and revitalizing a native language, although there are also other languages spoken in the province of La Union, including Pangasinan and Kankanaey.[11]

Writing system

Our Father prayer from Doctrina Cristiana, 1621. Written in Ilocano using Baybayin script.

Modern alphabet

The modern Ilokano Alphabet consists of 28 letters:[12]

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Ññ NGng Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz


Precolonial Ilocano people of all classes wrote in a syllabic system known as Baybayin prior to European arrival. They used a system that is termed as an abugida, or an alphasyllabary. It was similar to the Tagalog and Pangasinan scripts, where each character represented a consonant-vowel, or CV, sequence. The Ilocano version, however, was the first to designate coda consonants with a diacritic mark – a cross or virama – shown in the Doctrina Cristiana of 1621, one of the earliest surviving Ilokano publications. Before the addition of the virama, writers had no way to designate coda consonants. The reader, on the other hand, had to guess whether the vowel was read or not, due to this vowels "e" and "i" are interchangeable and letters "o" and "u", for instance "tendera" and "tindira" (shop-assistant).


In recent times, there have been two systems in use: The "Spanish" system and the "Tagalog" system. In the Spanish system words of Spanish origin kept their spellings. Native words, on the other hand, conformed to the Spanish rules of spelling. Most older generation of Ilocanos use the Spanish system.

In the system based on that of Tagalog there is more of a phoneme-to-letter correspondence, and better reflects the actual pronunciation of the word.Template:Efn The letters ng constitute a digraph and counts as a single letter, following n in alphabetization. As a result, numo humility appears before ngalngal to chew in newer dictionaries. Words of foreign origin, most notably those from Spanish, need to be changed in spelling to better reflect Ilocano phonology. Words of English origin may or may not conform to this orthography. A prime example using this system is the weekly magazine Bannawag.

Samples of the two systems

The following are two versions of the Lord's Prayer. The one on the left is written using the Spanish-based orthography, while the one on the right uses the Tagalog-based system.

Template:Col-begin Template:Col-2

Amami, ñga addaca sadi lañgit,
Madaydayao coma ti Naganmo.
Umay cuma ti pagariam.
Maaramid cuma ti pagayatam
Cas sadi lañgit casta met ditoy daga.
Itedmo cadacam ita ti taraonmi iti inaldao.
Quet pacaoanennacami cadaguiti ut-utangmi,
A cas met panamacaoanmi
Cadaguiti nacautang cadacami.
Quet dinacam iyeg iti pannacasulisog,
No di quet isalacannacami iti daques.


Amami, nga addaka sadi langit,
Madaydayaw koma ti Naganmo.
Umay koma ti pagariam.
Maaramid koma ti pagayatam
Kas sadi langit kasta met ditoy daga.
Itedmo kadakami iti taraonmi iti inaldaw.
Ket pakawanennakami kadagiti ut-utangmi,
A kas met panamakawanmi
Kadagiti nakautang kadakami.
Ket dinakam iyeg iti pannakasulisog,
No di ket isalakannakami iti dakes.Template:Col-end

Ilocano and education

With the implementation by the Spanish of the Bilingual Education System of 1897, Ilocano, together with the other seven major languages (those that have at least a million speakers), was allowed to be used as a medium of instruction until the second grade. It is recognized by the Commission on the Filipino Language as one of the major languages of the Philippines.[13] Constitutionally, Ilocano is an auxiliary official language in the regions where it is spoken and serves as auxiliary media of instruction therein.[14]

In 2009, the Philippine Department of Education instituted department order 74, s. 2009 stipulating that "mother tongue-based multilingual education" would be implemented. In 2012, department order 16, s. 2012 stipulated that the mother tongue-based multilingual system was to be implemented for kindergarten to grade 3 effective school year 2012-2013.[15] Ilocano is used in public schools mostly in the Ilocos region and the Cordilleras. It is the primary medium of instruction from kindergarten to grade 3 (except for the Filipino and English subjects) and is also a separate subject from grade 1 to grade 3. Thereafter, English and Filipino are introduced as mediums of instructions.



The ten commandments in Ilocano.

Ilocano animistic past offers a rich background in folklore, mythology and superstition (see Religion in the Philippines). There are many stories of good and malevolent spirits and beings. Its creation mythology centers on the giants Aran and her husband Angalo, and Namarsua (the Creator).

The epic story Biag ni Lam-ang (The Life of Lam-ang) is undoubtedly one of the few indigenous stories from the Philippines that survived colonialism, although much of it is now acculturated and shows many foreign elements in the retelling. It reflects values important to traditional Ilokano society; it is a hero's journey steeped in courage, loyalty, pragmatism, honor, and ancestral and familial bonds.

Ilocano culture revolves around life rituals, festivities and oral history. These were celebrated in songs (kankanta), dances (salsala), poems (dandaniw), riddles (burburtia), proverbs (pagsasao), literary verbal jousts called bucanegan (named after the writer Pedro Bucaneg, and is the equivalent of the Balagtasan of the Tagalogs) and epic stories.




Modern Ilocano has two dialects, which are differentiated only by the way the letter e is pronounced. In the Amianan (Northern) dialect, there exist only five vowels while the Abagatan (Southern) dialect employs six.

  • Amianan: /a/, /i/, /u/, /ɛ/, /o/
  • Abagatan: /a/, /i/, /u/, /ɛ/, /o/, /ɯ/

Reduplicate vowels are not slurred together, but voiced separately with an intervening glottal stop:

  • saan: /sa.ʔan/ no
  • siit: /si.ʔit/ thorn

The letter in bold is the graphic (written) representation of the vowel.

Ilokano vowel chart
Front Central Back
Close i /i/ u/o /u/

e /ɯ/

Mid e /ɛ/ o /o/
Open a /a/

For a better rendition of vowel distribution, please refer to the IPA Vowel Chart.

Unstressed /a/ is pronounced [ɐ] in all positions except final syllables, like madí [mɐˈdi] (cannot be) but ngiwat (mouth) is pronounced [ˈŋiwat].

Although the modern (Tagalog) writing system is largely phonetic, there are some notable conventions.

O/U and I/E

In native morphemes, the close back rounded vowel /u/ is written differently depending on the syllable. If the vowel occurs in the ultima of the morpheme, it is written o; elsewhere, u.

    Root: luto cook
          agluto to cook
          lutuen to cook (something) example:lutuen dayta

Instances such as masapulmonto, You will manage to find it, to need it, are still consistent. Note that masapulmonto is, in fact, three morphemes: masapul (verb base), -mo (pronoun) and -(n)to (future particle). An exception to this rule, however, is laud /la.ʔud/ (west). Also, u in final stressed syllables can be pronounced [o], like [dɐ.ˈnom] for danum (water).

The two vowels are not highly differentiated in native words due to fact that /o/ was an allophone of /u/ in the history of the language. In words of foreign origin, notably Spanish, they are phonemic.

    uso use
    oso bear

Unlike u and o, i and e are not allophones, but i in final stressed syllables in words ending in consonants can be [ɛ], like ubíng [ʊ.ˈbɛŋ] (child).

The two closed vowels become glides when followed by another vowel. The close back rounded vowel /u/ becomes [w] before another vowel; and the close front unrounded vowel /i/, [j].

    kuarta /kwaɾ.ta/ money
    paria /paɾ.ja/ bitter melon

In addition, dental/alveolar consonants become palatalized before /i/. (See Consonants below).

Unstressed /i/ and /u/ are pronounced [ɪ] and [ʊ] except in final syllables, like pintás (beauty) [pɪn.ˈtas] and buténg (fear) [bʊ.ˈtɛŋ] but bangir (other side) and parabur (grace) are pronounced [ˈba.ŋiɾ] and [pɐ.ˈɾa.buɾ].

Pronunciation of Template:Angbr

The letter Template:Angbr represents two vowels in the non-nuclear dialects (areas outside the Ilocos provinces) [ɛ] in words of foreign origin and [ɯ] in native words, and only one in the nuclear dialects of the Ilocos provinces, [ɛ].

Realization of Template:Angbr
Word Gloss Origin Nuclear Non-nuclear
keddeng assign Native [kɛd.dɛŋ] [kɯd.dɯŋ]
elepante elephant Spanish [ʔɛ.lɛ.pan.tɛ] [ʔɛ.lɛ.pan.tɛ]


Diphthongs are combination of a vowel and /i/ or /u/. In the orthography, the secondary vowels (underlying /i/ or /u/) are written with their corresponding glide, y or w, respectively. Of all the possible combinations, only /aj/ or /ej/, /iw/, /aw/ and /uj/ occur. In the orthography, vowels in sequence such as uo and ai, do not coalesce into a diphthong, rather, they are pronounced with an intervening glottal stop, for example, buok hair /bʊ.ʔuk/ and dait sew /da.ʔit/.

Diphthong Orthography Example
/au/ aw kabaw "senile"
/iu/ iw iliw "home sick"
/ai/ ay maysa "one"
/ei/Template:Efn ey idiey "there" (Regional variant. Standard: "idiay")
/oi/, /ui/Template:Efn oy, uy baboy "pig"

The diphthong /ei/ is a variant of /ai/ in native words. Other occurrences are in words of Spanish and English origin. Examples are reyna /ˈɾ (from Spanish reina, queen) and treyner /ˈtɾei.nɛɾ/ (trainer). The diphthongs /oi/ and /ui/ may be interchanged since /o/ is an allophone of /u/ in final syllables. Thus, apúy (fire) may be pronounced /ɐ.ˈpui/ and baboy (pig) may be pronounced /ˈba.bui/.


Bilabial Dental/
Palatal Velar Glottal
Stops Voiceless p t k (#Template:EfnTemplate:IPA linkTemplate:Efn V/∅V∅/C-V)[ʔ]Template:Efn
Voiced b d g
Affricates Voiceless (ts, tiV) [tʃ]Template:Efn
Voiced (diV) [dʒ]Template:Efn
Fricatives s (siV) [ʃ]Template:Efn h
Nasals m n (niV) [nʲ]Template:Efn ng [ŋ]
Laterals l (liV) [lʲ]Template:Efn
Flaps r [ɾ]
Trills (rr [r])
Semivowels (w, CuV) [w]Template:Efn (y, CiV) [j]Template:Efn

All consonantal phonemes except /h, ʔ/ may be a syllable onset or coda. The phoneme /h/ is a borrowed sound and rarely occurs in coda position. Although, the Spanish word, reloj, clock, would have been heard as [re.loh], the final /h/ is dropped resulting in /re.lo/. However, this word also may have entered the Ilokano lexicon at early enough a time that the word was still pronounced /re.loʒ/, with the j pronounced as in French, resulting in /re.los/ in Ilokano. As a result, both /re.lo/ and /re.los/ occur.

The glottal stop /ʔ/ is not permissible as coda; it can only occur as onset. Even as an onset, the glottal stop disappears in affixation. Take for example the root aramat [ʔɐ.ra.mat], use. When prefixed with ag-, the expected form is *[ʔɐɡ.ʔɐ.ra.mat]. But, the actual form is [ʔɐ.ɡɐ.ra.mat]; the glottal stop disappears. In a reduplicated form, the glottal stop returns and participates in the template, CVC, agar-aramat [ʔɐ.ɡar.ʔɐ.ra.mat].

Stops are pronounced without aspiration. When they occur as coda, they are not released, for example, sungbat [sʊŋ.bat̚] answer, response.

Ilokano is one of the Philippine languages which is excluded from [ɾ]-[d] allophony, as /r/ in many cases is derived from a Proto-Austonesian *R, compare bago (Tagalog) and baró (Ilokano) new.

The language marginally has a trill [r] which was spelled as "rr", for example, serrek [sɛ.ˈrɛk] to enter. Trill [r] is sometimes an allophone of [ɾ] in word-initial position and word-final positions, spelled as single <r>. But it is different in proper names of foreign origin, mostly Spanish, like Serrano, which is correctly pronounced [sɛ.ˈrano]. Some speakers, however, pronounce Serrano as [sɛ.ˈɾano].


Primary stress

The placement of primary stress is lexical in Ilocano. This results in minimal pairs such as /ˈkaː.yo/ (wood) and /ka.ˈyo/ (you (plural or polite)) or /ˈkiː.ta/ (class, type, kind) and /ki.ˈta/ (see). In written Ilokano the reader must rely on context, thus ⟨kayo⟩ and ⟨kita⟩. Primary stress can fall only on either the penult or the ultima of the root, as seen in the previous examples.

While stress is unpredictable in Ilokano, there are notable patterns that can determine where stress will fall depending on the structures of the penult, the ultima and the origin of the word.[7]

  • Foreign Words – The stress of foreign (mostly Spanish) words adopted into Ilokano fall on the same syllable as the original.Template:Efn
Ilocano Gloss Comment
doktór doctor Spanish origin
agmaného (to) drive Spanish origin (I drive)
agrekórd (to) record English origin (verb)
  • CVC.'CV(C)# but 'CVŋ.kV(C)# – In words with a closed penult, stress falls on the ultima, except for instances of /-ŋ.k-/ where it is the penult.
Ilocano Gloss Comment
addá there is/are Closed Penult
takkí feces Closed Penult
bibíngka (a type of delicacy) -ŋ.k sequence
  • 'C(j/w)V# – In words whose ultima is a glide plus a vowel, stress falls on the ultima.
Ilocano Gloss Comment
al-aliá ghost Consonant-Glide-Vowel
ibiáng to involve (someone or something) Consonant-Glide-Vowel
ressuát creation Consonant-Glide-Vowel
  • C.'CV:.ʔVC# – In words where VʔV and V is the same vowel for the penult and ultima, the stress falls on the penult.
Ilocano Gloss Comment
buggúong fermented fish or shrimp paste Vowel-Glottal-Vowel
máag idiot Vowel-Glottal-Vowel
síit thorn, spine, fish bone Vowel-Glottal-Vowel

Secondary stress

Secondary stress occurs in the following environments:

  • Syllables whose coda is the onset of the next, i.e., the syllable before a geminate.
Ilocano Gloss Comment
pànnakakíta ability to see Syllable before geminate
kèddéng judgement, decision Syllable before geminate
ùbbíng children Syllable before geminate
  • Reduplicated consonant-vowel sequence resulting from morphology or lexicon
Ilocano Gloss Comment
agsàsaó speaks,is speaking Reduplicate CV
àl-aliá ghost, spirit Reduplicate CV
agdàdáit sews, is sewing Reduplicate CV

Vowel length

Vowel length coincides with stressed syllables (primary or secondary) and only on open syllables except for ultimas, for example, /'ka:.yo/ tree versus /ka.'yo/ (second person plural ergative pronoun).

Stress shift

As primary stress can fall only on the penult or the ultima, suffixation causes a shift in stress one syllable to the right. The vowel of open penults that result lengthen as a consequence.

Stem Suffix Result Gloss
/ˈpuː.dut/ (heat) /-ɯn/ (Goal focus) /pu.ˈduː.tɯn/ to warm/heat (something)
/da.ˈlus/ (clean) /-an/ (Directional focus) /ˈsan/ to clean (something)


Template:Expand section Template:Main

Ilokano is typified by a predicate-initial structure. Verbs and adjectives occur in the first position of the sentence, then the rest of the sentence follows.

Ilocano uses a highly complex list of affixes (prefixes, suffixes, infixes and enclitics) and reduplications to indicate a wide array of grammatical categories. Learning simple root words and corresponding affixes goes a long way in forming cohesive sentences.[16]


File:Ilocano Dictionary Published by the CICM in 1930.JPG
An Ilocano Dictionary by Morice Vanoverbergh, CICM, published in 1955 by the CICM Fathers in Baguio to help them in evangelizing in Ilocandia.


Foreign accretion comes largely from Spanish, followed by English and smatterings of much older accretion from Hokkien (Min Nan), Arabic and Sanskrit.[17][18][19]

Examples of Borrowing
Word Source Original Meaning Ilocano meaning
arak Arabic drink similar to sake generic alcoholic drink
karma Sanskrit deed (see Buddhism) spirit
sanglay Hokkien to deliver goods to deliver/Chinese merchant
agbuldos English to bulldoze to bulldoze
kuarta Spanish cuarta ("quarter", a kind of copper coin) money
kumusta Spanish greeting: ¿Cómo está? ("How are you?") How are you?

Common expressions

Ilokano shows a T-V distinction.

English Ilocano
Yes Wen
No Saan

Haan (variant)

How are you? Kumustaka?

Kumustakayo? (polite and plural)

Good day Naimbag nga aldaw.

Naimbag nga aldawyo. (polite and plural)

Good morning Naimbag a bigatmo.

Naimbag a bigatyo. (polite and plural)

Good afternoon Naimbag a malemmo.

Naimbag a malemyo. (polite and plural)

Good evening Naimbag a rabiim.

Naimbag a rabiiyo. (polite and plural)

What is your name? Ania ti naganmo? (often contracted to Ania't nagan mo? or Ana't nagan mo)

Ania ti naganyo?

Where's the bathroom? Ayanna ti banio?
I do not understand Saanko a maawatan/matarusan.

Haanko a maawatan/matarusan.

Diak maawatan/matarusan.

I love you Ay-ayatenka.


I'm sorry. Pakawanennak.


Thank you. Agyamannak apo.

Dios ti agngina.

Goodbye Kastan/Kasta pay. (Till then)
Sige. (Okay. Continue.)
Innakon. (I'm going)
Inkamin. (We are going)

Ditakan. (You stay)
Ditakayon. (You stay (pl.))

I/me Siak/Siyak.

Numbers, days, months



Ilocano uses two number systems, one native and the other derived from Spanish.

0 ibbong
awan (lit. none)
0.25 (1/4) pagkapat kuatro
0.50 (1/2) kagudua mitad
1 maysa uno
2 dua dos
3 tallo tres
4 uppat kuatro
5 lima singko
6 innem sais
7 pito siete
8 walo otso
9 siam nuebe
10 sangapulo (lit. a group of ten) dies
11 sangapulo ket maysa onse
20 duapulo bainte
50 limapulo singkuenta
100 sangagasut (lit. a group of one hundred) sien, siento
1,000 sangaribo (lit. a group of one thousand) mil
10,000 sangalaksa (lit. a group of ten thousand) dies mil
1,000,000 sangariwriw (lit. a group of one million) milion
1,000,000,000 sangabilion (American English, billion) bilion

Ilocano uses a mixture of native and Spanish numbers. Traditionally Ilokano numbers are used for quantities and Spanish numbers for time or days and references. Examples:


Mano ti tawenmo?
How old are you (in years)? (Lit. How many years do you have?)
Twenty one.
Luktanyo dagiti Bibliayo iti libro ni Juan kapitulo tres bersikolo diesiseis.
Open your Bibles to the book of John chapter three verse sixteen.


Mano a kilo ti bagas ti kayatmo?
How many kilos of rice do you want?
Sangapulo laeng.
Ten only.
Adda dua nga ikanna.
He has two fish. (lit. There are two fish with him.)

Days of the week

Days of the week are directly borrowed from Spanish.

Days of the Week
Monday Lunes
Tuesday Martes
Wednesday Mierkoles
Thursday Huebes
Friday Biernes
Saturday Sabado
Sunday Dominggo


Like the days of the week, the names of the months are taken from Spanish.

January Enero July Hulio
February Pebrero August Agosto
March Marso September Septiembre
April Abril October Oktubre
May Mayo November Nobiembre
June Hunio December Disiembre

Units of time

The names of the units of time are either native or are derived from Spanish. The first entries in the following table are native; the second entries are Spanish derived.

Units of time
second kanito
minute daras
hour oras
day aldaw
week lawas
dominggo (lit. Sunday)
month bulan
year tawen

To mention time, Ilokanos use a mixture of Spanish and Ilokano:

1:00 a.m. A la una iti bigat (One in the morning)
2:30 p.m. A las dos imedia iti malem (in Spanish, A las dos y media de la tarde or "half past two in the afternoon")
6:00 p.m Alas sais iti sardang (six in the evening)
7:00 p.m Alas siete iti rabii (seven in the evening)
12:00 noon Alas dose iti pangaldaw (twelve noon)

More Ilocano words


  • abay = beside; wedding party
  • abalayan = parents-in-law
  • adal = study (Southern dialect)
  • adda = affirming the presence or existence of a person, place, or object
  • ading = younger sibling; can also be applied to someone who is younger than the speaker
  • ala = to take
  • ammo = know
  • anus = perseverance, patience (depends on the usage)
  • anya = what/what is it
  • apan = go; to go
  • apa = fight, argument; ice cream cone
  • apay = why
  • apong = grandparent
  • apong baket / lilang / lola = grandmother
  • apong lakay / lilong / lolo= grandfather
  • aramid = build, work (Southern dialect)
  • aysus!/ Ay Apo! = oh, Jesus/oh, my God!
  • baak = ancient; old
  • bado = clothes
  • bagi = one’s body; ownership
  • balong = same as baro
  • bangles = spoiled food
  • (i/bag)baga = (to) tell/speak
  • bagtit / mauyong = crazy/bad word in Ilokano, drunk person, meager
  • balasang = young female/lass
  • balatong = mung beans
  • balong = infant/child
  • bangsit = stink/unpleasant/spoiled
  • baro = young male/lad
  • basa = study (Northern dialect); read (Southern dialect)
  • basang = same as balasang
  • bassit = few, small, tiny
  • kabarbaro = new
  • basol = fault, wrongdoing, sin
  • baut = spank
  • bayag = slow
  • binting = 25 cents/quarter
  • dadael = destroy/ruin
  • (ma)damdama = later
  • danon = to arrive at
  • diding / taleb = wall
  • dumanon = come
  • kiaw/amarilio = yellow
  • buneng = bladed tool / sword
  • gasto = spend
  • ganus = unripe
  • gaw-at = reach
  • (ag) gawid = go home
  • giddan = simultaneous
  • iggem = holding
  • ikkan = to give
  • inipis = cards
  • inton bigat / intono bigat = tomorrow
  • kaanakan = niece / nephew
  • kabalio = horse
  • kabatiti = loofah
  • kabsat = Sibling
  • kalub = cover
  • kanayon = always
  • karuba = neighbor
  • kayat = want
  • kayumanggi-kunig = yellowish brown
  • kibin = hold hands
  • kigtut = startle
  • kuddot/keddel = pinch
  • kumá / komá = hoping for
  • ina/inang/nanang = mother
  • lastog = boast/arrogant
  • lag-an = light/not heavy
  • laing / sirib = intelligence
  • lawa / nalawa = wide
  • lugan = vehicle
  • madi = hate
  • manang = older sister or relative; can also be applied to women a little older than the speaker
  • manó = how many/how much
  • manong = older brother or relative; can also be applied to men a little older than the speaker
  • mare = female friend/mother
  • met = also, too
  • obra = work (Northern dialect)
  • naimbag nga agsapa = good morning
  • naapgad = salty
  • nagasang, naadat=spicy
  • (na)pintas = beautiful/pretty (woman)
  • (na)ngato = high/above/up
  • panaw = leave
  • pare = close male friend
  • padi = priest
  • (na)peggad = danger(ous)
  • (ag) perdi = (to) break/ruin/damage
  • pigis= tear
  • pigsa = strength; strong
  • pustaan = bet, wager
  • pimmusay(en) = died
  • riing = wake up
  • rigat = hardship
  • rugi = start
  • rugit = dirt/not clean
  • ruot = weed/s
  • rupa = face
  • ruar = outside
  • sagad = broom
  • sala = dance
  • sang-gol = arm wrestling
  • sapul = find; need
  • (na)sakit = (it) hurts
  • sida = noun for fish, main dish, side dish, viand
  • siit = fish bone/thorn
  • (na)singpet = kind/obedient
  • suli = corner
  • (ag)surat = (to) write
  • tadem = sharpness (use for tools)
  • takaw = steal
  • takrot/tarkok = coward/afraid
  • tangken = hard (texture)
  • tinnag = fall down
  • (ag)tokar = to play music or a musical instrument
  • torpe = rude
  • tudo = rain
  • (ag)tugaw = (to) sit
  • tugawan = anything to sit on
  • tugaw = chair, seat
  • tuno = grill
  • (na)tawid = inherit(ed)
  • ubing = kid; baby; child
  • umay = welcome
  • unay = very much
  • uliteg = uncle
  • uray = even though/wait
  • uray siak met = me too; even I/me
  • ulo = head
  • upa = hen
  • utong = string beans
  • utot = mouse/rat
  • uttot = fart


Also of note is the yo-yo, named after an ilocano word.

See also


  1. Bauer, Laurie (2007). The Linguistics Student's Handbook. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 
  2. Lewis (2013). Ethnologue Languages of the World. Retrieved from:
  3. Orejas, Tonette. "Protect all PH writing systems, heritage advocates urge Congress", 
  4. Bellwood, Peter (1998). "Taiwan and the Prehistory of the Austronesians-speaking Peoples". Review of Archaeology. 18: 39–48.
  5. Diamond, Jared M. (2000). "Taiwan's gift to the world". Nature. 403 (6771): 709–710. doi:10.1038/35001685. PMID 10693781. S2CID 4379227.
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named speakers
  7. 7.0 7.1 Template:Harvp
  8. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Eighteenth edition. SIL International.
  9. Rubino, Carl (2005). "Chapter Eleven: Iloko", The Austronesian Language of Asia and Madagascar, Himmelmann, Nikolaus P., Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1286-0. 
  10. (March 2016) Detailed Languages Spoken at Home in the State of Hawaii. Hawaii: Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named launionofficiallanguage
  12. Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (2012). Tarabay iti Ortograpia ti Pagsasao nga Ilokano. Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino. 
  13. Panfilio D. Catacataca (April 30, 2015). The Commission on the Filipino Language. National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
  14. 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, (Article XIV, Section 7)
  15. Dumlao, Artemio. "K+12 to use 12 mother tongues",, May 16, 2012. 
  16. Template:Harvp
  17. Gelade, George P. (1993). Ilokano English Dictionary. CICM Missionaries/Progressive Printing Palace, Quezon City, Philippines. 719pp.
  18. Vanoverbergh, Morice (1956). Iloko-English Dictionary:Rev. Andres Carro's Vocabulario Iloco-Español. Catholic School Press, Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Baguio City, Philippines. 370pp.
  19. Vanoverbergh, Morice (1968). English-Iloko Thesaurus. Catholic School Press, Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Baguio City, Philippines. 365pp.


  • Rubino, Carl (2000). Ilocano Dictionary and Grammar: Ilocano-English, English-Ilocano. University of Hawai'i Press. ISBN 0-8248-2088-6. 
  • Vanoverbergh, Morice (1955). Iloco Grammar. Baguio, Philippines: Catholic School Press/Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary. 

External links