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7 Best Ways To Learn Tagalog

There are two best ways to learn Tagalog: through apps and books. In this article, we featured the top picks for apps and books for you to better understand Tagalog.

Image Source: Pixabay

From the Philippines’ globally recognized tourist destinations to its rich culture, there are various reasons to learn Tagalog especially if you’d like to visit this country.

However, since Tagalog isn’t one of the most spoken languages in the world, it can be challenging to find accurate and high-quality references to learn Filipino language.

7 Best Ways To Learn Tagalog

Best Apps to Learn Tagalog
Rosetta Stone

Best Books to Learn Tagalog
Tagalog for Beginners: An Introduction to Filipino, the National Language of the Philippines
Intermediate Tagalog: Learn to Speak Fluent Tagalog (Filipino), the National Language of the Philippines
Tagalog Picture Dictionary: Learn 1500 Tagalog Words and Expressions

If you’re looking for the best ways to learn Tagalog, we’ve done the research and curated a list of apps and books to help navigate your way in learning the language.

Best Apps to Learn Tagalog

Learning through the digital medium, these apps will guide you to master the modern Tagalog language in no time.



Mondly is an app that teaches Tagalog, not by memorizing loads of vocabulary and grammar, but by immersing yourself in real conversations. The methods used are sophisticated and based on the best scientific research; however, the way it’s taught makes it fun to learn.

Key features:

  • Short-paced sessions (10 minutes) are available for students to learn the language during their short breaks.
  • The app has a wide range of topics that you can apply to your day-to-day life.
  • Personalized modules that you can custom-fit depending on your progress.
  • VR feature allows better user experience when practicing conversation in modern Tagalog
  • Besides English, you can learn Tagalog using your native language.

The app’s fast-paced conversations and challenging exercises make it a great way to learn basic Tagalog. It is primarily designed to help you test your aptitude for the language and learn it at a faster rate.

Image Source: Learn Tagalog Online in Just 10 Minutes a Day, Mondly Blog (Diana Lăpușneanu)

Whether you’re a beginner or already have some experience with the language, Mondly is a great tool to boost your Tagalog vocabulary.



Learning a new language can be difficult, but Pimsleur makes it easy. The app’s audio-based lessons teach you the language in a natural way – you’ll hear conversations between native speakers and master key phrases through repetition.

Key features:

  • Interactive listening sessions from native Tagalog speakers good for 30 minutes
  • The learning approach is well-rounded, as it improves Tagalog pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and communication skills.
  • A science-based approach to how core words are repeated allows for better retention for students.

The lessons in Pimsleur are short and simple, yet quite effective. It starts with a native speaker saying an almost scripted sentence in Tagalog, which you then repeat. To make sure that you’re pronouncing every word correctly, Pimsleur uses a learning method called “progressive exposure,” which means that it forces you to continue talking in Tagalog after every lesson.

Image Source: Pimsleur Website

As a beginner, you’ll hear native speakers at a pace that you can handle. With an audio-only approach, you’re guaranteed to be picking up new words and phrases at every turn with this app. The lessons are also broken down into manageable chunks – this allows you to learn the language naturally, by breaking the language down into pieces.

Pimsleur is a great tool for those who are up for challenges and are looking for an immersive experience in learning Tagalog. Students have praised Pimsleur for its simple design and enjoyable content, but the progress will highly depend on the user.

Rosetta Stone


Rosetta Stone is one of the top choices for mastering Tagalog. The language app has been used by thousands of students over the past 25 years, and with good reason: it is one of the most effective learning tools on the market.

Key Features:

  • With its patented and copyrighted method of teaching, you can be sure that your Tagalog learning experience is one of a kind through this app.
  • User experience is immersive with fun games associated with lessons.
  • Engage with native speakers through their live lectures and coaching.
  • Audio companion feature
  • Can use even when offline

The app teaches vocabulary, reading, and writing skills through engaging exercises, speech recognition features, live lectures, and live coaching. In addition, it includes a podcast that offers additional content to supplement your study time.

As far as effective language-learning software goes, competitors simply can’t beat Rosetta Stone. With their language-learning software, you’ll learn to communicate in real-time – whether in the classroom or out exploring new places in your free time.



Drops is a unique spin on Tagalog language learning: instead of stressing out, learners can choose to learn at their own pace. Every day, learners are given five minutes to reinforce important concepts with short lessons, including thousands of words covering a variety of topics.

Key features:

  • Extensive focus on Tagalog vocabulary. High emphasis on vocabulary broadens your knowledge of in-depth Tagalog words.
  • Each session is compressed into short ones while still maintaining its high quality, making it perfect for learners on the go.
  • Visually appealing lessons improve engagement with learners.
  • Features a summary of your learning stats to keep you posted on your progress.

Focusing on the most important part of the language – the words themselves – Drops makes learning easier than ever. This app provides you with free five minutes of creatively illustrated and effective lessons that will boost your Tagalog vocabulary. With its visual associations, you’ll learn over 2,000 Tagalog words on a broad range of topics.

Image Source: Drops Website

Learners can also listen to recorded audio that helps them master listening comprehension. With its array of engaging features, such as daily vocabulary lessons, custom tests, and a fun quest system, the app can really help you learn this complex and beautiful language.

Through its sleek design, enjoyable activities, and great features like voice recognition and dual-screen support, Drops is a great way to build your Tagalog vocabulary on the go or at home.

Best Books To Learn Tagalog

Traditional as it may seem, books still offer the most in-depth knowledge in learning Tagalog. Below, you’ll find the top books that will guide you in acquiring a better understanding of the language

Tagalog for Beginners: An Introduction to Filipino, the National Language of the Philippines


Tagalog for Beginners is a great book to learn useful phrases and proper grammar. This beginner-friendly guide covers history, vocabulary explanations, and realistic dialogues for you to learn Tagalog with a holistic approach.

Key features:

  • The exercises are real-life applications of the language, immersing you more in Tagalog’s day-to-day use.
  • Tons of exercises and activities to improve your reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Includes online audio recordings to aid your lessons.
  • Features notes about Filipino culture and the history of the Tagalog language.

This book is a good reference for any foreigner planning a visit to the country or those who have Filipino descent but live outside the Philippines.

Aside from the language aspect, the book also introduces the beginner to the history and origins of Tagalog. It includes cultural tips for when you’re in person with a native speaker as well as sidebars with useful vocabulary and detailed explanations.

The book covers a variety of useful everyday topics, including food, emotions, tourism, and communicating with family members. Its exercises and activities allow you to reinforce vocabulary and comprehension skills, making for a strong foundation for future communication.

Intermediate Tagalog: Learn to Speak Fluent Tagalog (Filipino), the National Language of the Philippines


From the author of Tagalog for Beginners, Intermediate Tagalog seeks to provide learners with a foundation that helps them advance and cultivate their language skills. If you have already mastered the basics and are now in need of more advanced instruction, then this intermediate-level book is for you.

Key features:

  • Has 20 highly-structured lessons
  • Real-life dialogues to improve conversational skills. Dialogues used are real-life applications of the Tagalog to further familiarize yourself with the language
  • Contains an extensive list of vocabulary and grammar review
  • Tons of writing exercises to assess your learning progress.

Intermediate Tagalog contains 20 carefully-constructed lessons that help you advance in your studies. You’ll learn to speak, read, and write like a local, with real-life conversations and stories at the forefront of each lesson.

This textbook uses real-life conversations and stories to help students improve their speaking, reading, and writing skills. Featuring a complete vocabulary section and common grammatical errors pointed out, you can improve your Tagalog skills in no time.

The book has extensive insights into Filipino culture, history, and geography. It is a great reference to further advance your knowledge about the language and the Philippines, in general.

Tagalog Picture Dictionary: Learn 1500 Tagalog Words and Expressions


Everyone can be a visual learner, whether you’re a kid or not. And that’s exactly what Tagalog Picture Dictionary: Learn 1500 Tagalog Words and Expressions offers. With rich images, helpful pronunciations and definitions, playful illustrations, and much more, this book will open up new ways for you to learn the basic Tagalog language.

Key features:

  • Contains 1,500 of the most-used Tagalog words and phrases.
  • Has 40 unique topics and themes
  • Features Romanized Tagalog scripts to guide you on their proper pronunciation
  • Includes audio recordings (available online) from a native Tagalog speaker to supplement your learning.

Full of colorful photos and practical phrases, the Tagalog Picture Dictionary by John Urbancik covers all aspects of Filipino culture, from meeting new people to celebrating holidays with friends and family. Together with the Romanized version of each Tagalog word, this book will help you pronounce these words with ease and understand their English meaning.

If you’re just beginning to learn Tagalog or want to brush up on your skills, this is one of the best books available – even non-visual learners will appreciate how much it has to offer.

Learning Tagalog is Easy

With the aid of these references, it’s only a matter of time before you master Tagalog and immerse yourself in a new foreign language.

Whether you prefer digital mediums or traditional ones, choosing the right app or book relevant to your learning style can significantly boost your efficiency in mentally retaining this new information. At the same time, it is also important to take into consideration your level of proficiency – choose references that are in sync with your current understanding of the Filipino language.

Most importantly, learning a new language is more fun when you’re doing it together with someone else. So tag your family and friends in learning this new language and explore the diverse Filipino culture along the way!

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