Cebuano/Bisaya For Duolingo?

For anyone wanting the Cebuano/Bisaya Course to come to life or to help out on trying to tidy up Cebuano, go to this link:

I was born in Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines. Almost all my relatives on my mother's side speak Cebuano or at least understand it. My siblings understand it and can't speak it. Same with my younger cousins. I moved to Seattle when I was 6, so my vocabulary is small and I don't have much understanding of it. This is the saddest thing to me.

I love the Philippines, but whenever my relatives try to teach me Cebuano, I'm just ultimately lost. I visited the Philippines in May 2016 (almost 10 years later since I moved from there) and I learned a lot but of course I still basically know nothing. I have so many Filipino friends who would love to speak Filipino, but sometimes only having a few relatives speak it and not be surrounded by it everyday, not be forced to speak it, it's almost impossible to learn the language(s) of the Philippines.

Cebuano has more speakers than Tagalog, last time I checked, and apparently, most Cebuanos understand Tagalog already. My oldest cousin told me it was a lot like Portuguese and Spanish. Portuguese people understood Spanish while vice versa couldn't and he thought it was hilarious. I was always told that they were dialects of a large Filipino, but nope, learning some stuff, I could already pinpoint so many differences and it was exactly like trying to learn Spanish and Portuguese. There's some things that are the same sure, but there's too many differences to make them just dialects.

Anyways, I really want to learn this language but it's super hard to learn when it comes to grammar rules. All my relatives blanked on questions on why you add some prefixes or suffixes or when you don't and negation and when to use this pronoun, syntax, etc. It was all just very messy.

I've learned so much about my own culture this year, and I would love to learn more, to be able to speak and understand what my relatives are saying. I, myself, just want to go on a huge study and try to officialize it some more. To know that Cebuano doesn't even have Official Spelling for some words, is so bizarre to me. That grammar is so hard to learn.

Did you also know there's this alphabet called Baybayin/Badlit, I learned about this a few weeks ago, and realizing we don't use it anymore is so sad to me. There's a law trying to be passed to keep Baybayin/Badlit alive by teaching it in schools and putting spellings of companies underneath latin-alphabet spellings. I think it's so cool to have those things.

Being a huge advocate for language, I almost want to be the one to study Cebuano and learn it for myself and develop it more, officialize spelling and make Baybayin/Badlit official again. That would be amazing!

Who else would want this? Any of you? Sorry for making this post so long, if you read it all, thanks, but I just feel so passionate on this subject. I would love to learn this on Duolingo. But sadly I think it's just way too confusing to teach on Duolingo without many grammar answers and officialized spelling.

So, if anyone would want to contribute, or join me on this journey of tidying up Cebuano, BE MY GUEST, COMMENT BELOW, ETC. much hope for this language. Lol <3

For anyone wanting the Cebuano/Bisaya Course come to life or to help out on trying to tidy up Cebuano, go to this link:

Salamat to everyone willing to say yes, contribute, etc.!!!

November 25, 2016


This is one of the most well-written requests for a new language I have seen. Thanks to E.T.Gregor for suggesting that it get added to the [GUIDE] I would like a new course: What should I do?

jrikhal and I decided, when we started the GUIDE, to list the first/oldest request for each language. That way we didn't get into controversy over "this one is older, that one has more comments, but the other one has more up votes" when trying to decide which request to include.

Consequently, I need the help of anyone interested in a Cebuano/Bisaya course: I've added this post to the GUIDE, but it stands at -4 votes. Please hop over there and give it an up vote to bring it back to life if this course is one that interests you.

Also, ElijahClydeSK7, if you wouldn't mind copying-and-pasting your entire post into a comment on that discussion, I think it would be a very good addition. Like I said, yours is a superb post. Thank you!

November 25, 2016

OMG, Thank you so much, that's no problem! I have moved everything over there already. And I think it's gotten out of the negatives now. Thanks for your advice and I'm so glad you thought this was all well-thought out!

November 25, 2016

It's up to plus six. Thanks for being so willing to contribute to "someone else's" post. I think you've brought it to life :)

November 26, 2016

I agree. This request was the best new-language-request ever. It touched my heart.

November 26, 2016

wow bro..... awesome!!!!!!! i want to be part of you..... Im a cebuano also and it is supercool for everyone to learn it...

November 25, 2016

Makabalo ako magbisaya......

November 25, 2016

Some cool starter things to learn in the time being:

Good Morning: Maayong Buntag

Good Afternoon: Maayong Hapon

Good Evening/Night: Maayong Gabi-i

Hello/How Are You: Kumusta (Ka)

I: (A)Ko

You: Ikaw

He/She: Siya

We: Kita

They: Sila

Syntax is unclear to me, however I think it's Verb-Subject-Object

For example: Gusto ko'og manzanas (Like-I-An-Apple(s) --> I like an apple(s))

Yes: Uh (Almost like a grunting sound or just some low vowel)

No: Di(li)

None/Nothing: Wa(la)

There's also a lot of Prefixes and Suffixes and Prepositions in Cebuano that just make it a little difficult to learn. Like I said I'm not fluent nor do I speak/understand it whatsoever, but I feel like I've learned enough to say a lot about it. Almost like Basics 1 on Duolingo. I tried copying a whole Duolingo lesson and making my mom tell me the answers in Cebuano and automatically, sure it was hard, but I understood a lot of what was going on, so this would be really cool to have on Duolingo.

Extra Vocabulary:

Man/Boy: (La)Laki

Woman/Girl: Babae

Child: Bata(ng)

Human: Tao

The: (A)Ng(a)

I am [Your Name]: (Ako) Si [Your Name]

I am a boy: Ako'y lalaki

I am not the boy: Dili ako('y?) ang lalaki

I have even more stuff that I gathered for a possible Basics 1, but this is becoming too long and like I said, I'm not fluent whatsoever so some of these sentences are just a wild guess and I have no clue how to explain their grammar. But already, I'm just getting excited trying to learn it.

Also, tell me if you guys wanted to learn Cebuano or Tagalog, would you guys wanna learn Baybayin/Badlit with it? Maybe we don't have to make it necessary, but just to add as some cultural information or maybe, maybe you guys do want to completely put it in Baybayin. That'd be cool. Lemme know what all y'all think!!!

November 25, 2016

Yes, completely in Baybayin! It is such a beautiful alphabet, I've already started to learn it.

November 25, 2016

I was talking to my mom about it, but she seemed highly uninterested. And I guess when you try to tell people that alphabets as such could be used and revived, they kind of feel like the more useful alphabet is good enough. And in a way I can understand that, it's just super sad that the Baybayin alphabet is just not useful to them anymore. But I guess that's how life is. I think I would rather do the whole course (if ever we were able to) in the Latin Alphabet, but talk about Baybayin in the Tips and Notes area. And possibly, if I am able to try and officialize spelling, I would like to officialize both Latin Alphabet and Baybayin Alphabet Spellings.

November 25, 2016

Salamat kaayo dong!

November 25, 2016

Yes, it's a shame that Baybayin has been replaced by the Latin alphabet (the same thing has happened for the various scripts of Indonesia). I hope that it can be reintroduced into daily Filipino life.

Good luck studying Cebuano!

November 25, 2016


Try using Memrise. Memrise has 15 lessons for Cebuano. They work like flashcards. It's an excellent tool for learning vocabulary, and some lessons include phrases and word order examples. If you do those every day it may help you learn Cebuano.

Talk daily to a friend or friends who speak Cebuano. (Use Facebook Messenger, Viber, or Skype.) Tell them you would like to learn their language and ask if they will help you. Use Google Translator or a dictionary to translate their messages to English and your messages to Cebuano. Over time you will learn more and more. The key is to force yourself to speak only Cebuano with them and not English. (I have been doing this over the past year to learn Tagalog. It's a fun way to learn.)

Watch this Ted Talk video for inspiration. It's by 2 guys who learned to speak 4 languages in a year: They learned each language in 3 months by following one simple rule: "speak only the target language".

I am learning Cebuano also. I bought two Cebuano language books that you may find helpful.

  • Maayong Buntag!: An Introduction to the Visayan Language of the Philippines (by Chadde, Steve W)
  • A Handbook Of Cebuano Visayan (by Anssi Räisänen)
November 26, 2016

Thanks! I'm already doing all these things (except for Memrise). I'm actually hoping to get Maayong Buntag! By Chadde & Steve W for Christmas! I actually saw the TED Talk video a few days ago because I was researching Spanish and ASL stuff, and I have Memrise, but I use it for Japanese learning and haven't used it in a long time tbh. So I guess it would be good to retry it again but with Cebuano (thanks for the heads up). I also have a whole bunch of relatives who speak Cebuano who are around me almost 24/7 so that's totally fine, I just need to ask questions andlearn, but when you're not immersed, it's not always on your mind you know? Especially when they dunno why they say things. Lol anyways, thanks for the help! Also, have you gone to the link and upvoted the discussion there, that will help Cebuano get on Duolingo! Alright, salamat for your advice!

November 26, 2016

Yes I already upvoted the discussion requesting a Cebuano course.

I'm using Memrise to help me learn Tagalog, and I think it's been very helpful. I started using it on November 1 and so far I've learned about 300 new words, plus a little bit of grammar. I haven't really used it for Cebuano yet, so I don't know how good the Cebuano courses are, but some of the Tagalog courses are excellent. If nothing else, the Cebuano lessons should be good for learning vocabulary.

I've had a similar experience as you when asking Cebuano speakers for help. With one of my Cebuano friends, when I ask how to say something or why it's said a certain way, her answer often is "it's too hard to explain". That really bugs me. LOL. But I figure it's hard for her because she does not know English very well. Or maybe she never learned why. She just speaks it. So I try not to bother her with those types of questions anymore. I have another Cebuano friend who does know English very well, and she can explain why things are said the way they are. It just depends on who you're talking to.

November 27, 2016

Yeah, I totally get you. I think I'm starting to understand a lot of it myself (I enjoy studying languages) because of looking through sentences and seeing how some words are used and are being used in the sentence, with other words, etc. And with family members, I've already tried saying some things to them. I downloaded the Cebuano Courses on Memrise yesterday (I don't think I downloaded all of them, nor did I want to), and I have finished 1 and 1/2 courses. I knew most of it, but it really helped me memorize it instead of rack my brain for it. Which is good when it comes to phrases. I also learned about a whole bunch of animal names. Did you know langgam in Cebuano means bird/to fly while in Tagalog it meana Ant/To Crawl? My mon told me that one. So I guess to use Memrise, you always have to have some background knowledge on how words are used in the language, and speaking from day one of course, to really understand it. I asked my mom yesterday "Asa kita moadto?" and she said, "That's mostly right but it's 'Asa TA moadto?'" because Cebuano is such a lazy language apparently XD Well thanks for your suggestion, good luck with your learning!

November 27, 2016

Wow, GREAT request! I was searching for Cebuano on DuoLingo as well a year or two ago and unfortunately had to go with memrise to learn what little I know.... In time I should be able to learn it just fine since my wife and step-son are from Cebu and they are posting YouTube videos to teach the language under the name WeDo Cebu.


I would still absolutely LOVE to see a DuoLingo Course because I actually prefer DuoLingo over Memrise.

July 14, 2018

i like these language and it was totally International. A language i want the World to know....

November 25, 2016

Walay sapayan po. At daghang salamat sayo

November 26, 2016

I'm a Cebuano Native from Mindanao. I would love to be part of Cebuano course in duo. I tried teaching Cebuano informally to some foreigners. I know a handful of things about its grammar rules. I would love to start contributing in the course asap!

November 15, 2017

I'd love to contribute! I'm Bisaya too although not from Cebu. and yes it is hilarious about Tagalog speakers not understanding Bisaya XD and ikr I'm sad too I love babayin! I'm even attempting to learn how to write it. I even wished its still our official writing system but eh blame spanish and America for colonizing us. amirite

February 18, 2018

YES!!! i need cebuano on duolingo! i totally agree with you; unless i live in the philippines and am not around any english speakers (which is actually really hard in the phil), i cannot learn a language. i don't retain any information. duolingo has been my best shot at learning anything! (currently learning spanish).

October 21, 2018

M y best friend Vanessa comes from the Philipines, so i want to learn it too. Her Problem is the same of yours. Her relatives lives near to Cebu City and she must speak Englisch, to tak to them. But sometimes her relatives don' t understand her, so her mum told her to learn this Language. Do you know the Phipine App KUMU? She and my other friend Sabrina go live to talk to people all over the world esspecially to people from the Philipines. And thats why i decided to learn it too, to understand the people.

December 6, 2018

I am married to a Cebuano and I have spent the last two years learning Tagalog just because there is an abundance of literature and support for learning this language and I assumed that most people in Cebu would talk to me in the National Language. That has not been my experience. Most Cebuano's will opt to just speak English to me instead of Tagalog and its frustrating as much time and effort I have spent on learning it. So with that being said, I need need need a course to help me transition my learning to Cebuano/Bisaya. Please Please Please add this course! I will do research and help in any way I can. I also think that Tagalog should be added as well due to the sheer number of Filipino OFW's working all over the world. Thanks!!!

January 9, 2019

YouTube has a YouTuber named "Just4Kixs." He's really good in explaining the Cebuano language for free and even thought about teaching/tutoring! So far I think he has the best on the web in teaching, and I've looked hundreds! Interestingly enough, he also has videos explaining Cebuano in Spanish, for those who speak Spanish.

I've always wanted to learn Cebuano beyond simple phrases and vocabulary but learning resources are so hard to find! I did a YouTube search and found a handful of videos that taught but didn't explain. I will be following Just4Kixs's video series, even if he doesn't do it. I am kinda curious about his background and who he is too. But good luck everybody in learning Cebuano, it's a fun, but MAD HARD language! Especially if English is your dominant!

April 22, 2019
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.