Language in Davao - Philippines

For starters, a great majority of the people of Davao can understand English. They may not be perfect in speaking the language but they understand and can speak it in telegraphic conversation complemented by illuminating gesticulations.

For some Davao folks just make sure to say the key words when using the English language plus a gesture and they would surely get the idea. For instance, if we want to ask, Wheres the restaurant? we simply say Restaurant? and then rub our tummies, point our thumbs left and right, and then raise our eyebrows to wigwag the query.

But majority of the people in Davao speak the English language, even fluently. In fact, English is the medium of instruction in schools. This is among reasons why many foreigners have settled in the province. Conversing with the people in any language becomes easy eventually due to the peoples easy absorption of any language and culture. The same goes to every Filipino on a larger scale.

In fact, a lot of local languages or dialects are spoken in Davao. Almost any dialect or language from the upper most part of the archipelago down to Mindanao may be heard being in use in Davao. But most people say the dominant dialect is Cebuano, followed by Filipino or Tagalog, the more archaic form of the native language. Some say English comes third.

According to official records of the national census, about 74 percent of the population speaks fluent Cebuano. Tagalog is spoken by about 3 percent of them. The next often used dialect is Hiligaynon, then Bagoboo, and then Davaoeno. Ilocano (a dialect from northern Luzon) is also used followed by Waray, a Visayan dialect.

Other local language types are Tagacaolo, Bilaan, Manobo, Mandaya, among others. Davao is a convergence of languages and dialects in the southor a melting spot, as it werejust as Metro Manila, Bulacan, Tarlac, and Pangasinan are. This means Davao is multi-cultural and even international in terms of language and dialect.

Being poly-lingual, Davao has become among most preferred localities by tourists, local and foreign. Language is never a barrier in Davao. We will always find people there who can interpret our language or dialect, and more importantly, those conversant in the same.

A difference in language is even a challenge among most Davao folks. People here are naturally amazed and attracted to new languages, or dialects. Just like their climate, the people of Davao are endowed with a quick wit to adapt to a new language or dialect.



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