Posted on by Anastasia R.

It can be very difficult being away from your friends and family because you’ve chosen to work in a foreign country. For starters, the language can be one of the most difficult things to get used to. Then, of course, there’s the money exchange and some local customs to get used to. But you have to be able to communicate, first and foremost, whether you’re just visiting or working for an extended period of time. Below, you will find a few phrases and keywords that should help get Filipino migrant workers started, whether you decide to spend just a brief time in the United States or settle in eventually.

Salutations and Introductions

When it comes to simple conversation, these short phrases will allow you to say goodbye, hello, and a few other short questions and statements:

  • Magandang hapon… Good afternoon
  • Magandang umaga… Good morning
  • Magandang gabi… Good night
  • Naiintindihan mo ba?… Do you understand?
  • Hindi ko maintindihan… I don’t understand
  • Hindi ako nagsasalita ng Ingles… I do not speak English
  • Nagsasalita ba kayo ng Pilipino?… Do you speak Filipino?
  • Taga-saan ka?… Where are you from?
  • Ang pangalan ko ay ____… My name is ____
  • Ano ang pangalan mo?… What is your name?
  • Paalam… Goodbye
  • Kamusta… Hello
  • Kumusta ka?… How are you?
  • Ayos lang ako… I am fine
  • Salamat… Thank you
  • Pakiusap… Please

Requests For Information and Common Questions

Throughout the day you’re going to find yourself needing to ask questions. Whether it’s looking for the nearest place to eat or seeking help in some way or another, these may help:

  • Naiintindihan mo ba?… Do you understand?
  • Magkano ito?… How much does this cost?
  • Anong oras na?… What time is it?
  • Matutulungan mo ba ako?… Can you help me?
  • Patawarin ninyo ako… Excuse me

Inquire about where something is located. Nasaan ang _________?… Where is the ________?

  • Kalye… Street
  • Bangko… Bank
  • Office Post… Post office
  • Gasolinahan… Gas station
  • Restawran… Restaurant
  • Pulis… Police
  • Banyo… Bathroom
  • Ospital… Hospital
  • Doktor… Doctor
  • Hotel… Hotel

Simple Statements

Sometimes, saying as little as possible is the best way to get your point across simply and to the point. Here are some words and brief phrases to use:

  • Pataas… Up
  • Pababa… Down
  • Kaliwa… Left
  • Karapatan… Right
  • Tuwid maaga… Straight ahead
  • Pababa ng kalsada… Down the road
  • Nagagalak ako na makilala ka… Pleased to meet you

If you are eating out at a restaurant or stop into a bar for a couple of drinks after work, these would be some handy things to know:

  • Maaari ba akong magkaroon ng isang _____?… May I have a _____?
  • Ilagay umupo… Place to sit
  • Menu… Menu
  • Salad… Salad
  • Sopas… Soup
  • Tubig… Water
  • Hamburger… Hamburger
  • Serbesa… Beer
  • Kape… Coffee

You will definitely want to invest in a Filipino to English dictionary as soon as possible. But in the meantime, hopefully, the above words and phrases will assist you in getting by. If you have a computer or an iPad, you will be able to look things up quickly and easily as well. Also, while you are settling down in the US, don’t forget about your loved ones at home. If you want to send some money home, can assist you in transferring money to the Philippines with no hassle!

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