Waray-Waray language

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Waray - Waray
Winaray, Samarnon, Binisaya nga Winaray[not verified in body]
Native to Philippines
Region Eastern Visayas (entire Samar island and northeastern portions of Leyte province), eastern parts of Biliran and some parts of Masbate and Sorsogon
Ethnicity Waray people
Native speakers
2.6 million  (2000)[1]
5th most spoken native language in the Philippines[2]
Dialects Waray, Samar-Leyte, Northern Samar
Historically Badlit
Official status
Official language in
Regional language in the Philippines
Regulated by Commission on the Filipino Language
Historically regulated by the Sanghiran san Binisaya ha Samar ug Leyte
Language codes
ISO 639-2 war
ISO 639-3 war
Glottolog wara1300[3]
Areas where Waray-Waray is spoken
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Waray-Waray (also Waray, Samar-Leyte, and Samarnon) is the fifth most spoken native language of the Philippines, specific to the provinces of Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, and in the north-east of Leyte Island (surrounding Tacloban). The name comes from the word often heard by non-speakers, "waray" (meaning "none", "nothing" or "not"), in the same way that Cebuanos are known in Leyte as "mga Kana" (after the oft-heard word "kana", meaning "that", among people speaking the Cebuano language).[not verified in body]

The Waray-Waray language spoken by the Waray people of Samar island, in the north east of Leyte Island (surrounding Tacloban) and in some parts of Biliran island shows dialectal variations. Dialects are spoken in some parts of Masbate, particularly on the island of Ticao which is adjacent to Samar island.[citation needed]


There are different dialects of the Waray-Waray language exists namely Waray Leyte-Samarnon which is used in the Waray-Waray speaking populace of Leyte including Tacloban City, Biliran, and the southern most tip of Samar province to the Municipality of Gandara to the north; Waray of Eastern Samar which is spoken in most of the Province of Eastern Samar; Waray Calbayog, spoken in Calbayog City and municipalities of Santa Margarita, Santo Niño, Tagapul-an and Almagro, which is an intermediate between the Leyte-Samarnon and Norte Samarnon dialects; and Waray of Northern Samar or Norte Samarnon. All of these dialects are mutually intelligible and these have just a minor differences in vocabulary and intonation. The Norte Samarnon is considered the most conservative among the Waray-Waray dialects while the Leyte-Samarnon is considered as the basis of standard Waray-Waray nowadays as it is the spoken variant in the metropolitan area of Tacloban, which is the regional center of Eastern Visayas, and it is the dialect mostly used in the regional media particularly television and radio.

Orthography issues[edit]

While the now-defunct Sanghiran san Binisaya ha Samar ug Leyte (Academy of the Visayan Language of Samar and Leyte) formulated and recommended a standard orthography, this was never widely disseminated, and therefore as of present there is still no commonly accepted official orthography. In effect, there may exist two spellings of the same word (usually limited to differences in vowels only), such as:[citation needed]

  • ini or ine (this)
  • diri or dire ("no")
  • hira or hera ("them")
  • maupay or maopay ("good")
  • guinhatag or ginhatag ("gave")
  • direcho or diritso or deretso ("straight [ahead]")
  • ciudad or syudad ("city")
  • espejo or espeho ("mirror")


Waray-Waray is one of the ten officially recognized regional languages in the Philippines and used in local government.[citation needed]

However, print media in this language are rare because most regional newspapers are published in English. However, this language is used in radio and television broadcasts. National television networks ABS-CBN and TV5, broadcasts some programs particularly news and public affairs in Waray-Waray specifically for Samar and Leyte audiences. All AM radio stations in the region broadcast in this language while FM stations broadcast both in Waray-Waray and Filipino. The language is also used in the Eucharistic celebrations or Holy Masses in the Roman Catholic Church in the region. Bibles published in Waray-Waray are also available.



The Waray language has sixteen consonant phonemes: /p, t, k, b, d, ɡ, m, n, ŋ, s, h, w, l, ɾ, j/.[clarification needed] Consonants /d/ and /ɾ/ were once allophones but cannot now interchange, as in palaron (to be lucky) from palad, palm (one's luck is seen on one's palm in fortune-telling) which cannot be paladon, or tagadiín (from where) [from diín, where] which cannot be tagariín.[citation needed]



Number Waray-Waray
1 Usá
2 Duhá
3 Tulo
4 Apat
5 Limá
6 Unum
7 Pitó
8 Waló
9 Siyám
10 Napúlo
100 Gatús
1000 Yukot/Libo
First Syahan (Waray-Waray of Leyte); Siapa (Waray-Waray of Calbayog)
Second Ika-duhá
Third Ikatulo
Fourth Ikaupat
Fifth Ikalimá
Sixth Ikaunom
Seventh Ikapitó
Eighth Ikawaló
Ninth Ikasiyám
Tenth Ikanapúlo

Days of the week[edit]

The names of the days of the week are derived from their Spanish equivalents.

Day Adlaw
Sunday Domingo
Monday Lunes
Tuesday Martes
Wednesday Miyerkoles
Thursday Huybes
Friday Biyernes
Saturday Sabadó

Months of the year[edit]

The set of Waray-Waray names of the months are derived from Spanish.

Month Bulan
January Enero
February Pebrero
March Marso
April Abril
May Mayo
June Hunio
July Hulyo
August Agosto
September Setyembre
October Oktobre
November Nobiyembre
December Disiyembre

Quick phrases[edit]

English Waray-Waray
Yes. Oo.
No. Diri.
Thank you. Salamat.
I'm sorry. Pasaylo-a ako / Pasaylo-a ak' / Pasensya na.
Help me! Buligi ako! / Buligi Ak'! / Tabangi ako! / Tabangi ak'!
Delicious! Marasa!
Take care. Pag-ikmat / Pag-ingat.
Are you mad? Nasisina ka?
I don't know. Ambot. / Di ak' maaram.
That's wonderful! Maupay!


English Waray-Waray
Good morning. Maupay nga aga.
Good noon. Maupay nga udto
Good afternoon. Maupay nga kulop.
Good evening. Maupay nga gab-i.
How are you? Kumusta man?
I'm fine. Maupay man.
I am fine, how about you? Maupay man, hi ikaw?
How old are you? Pira na it imo edad? / Pira ka na ka-tuig?
I am 25 years old. Baynti-singko (veinte-cinco) anyos na ak' / Karuhaan kag lima ka tuig na ak'
I am Erman. Ako hi Erman
What is your name? Ano it imo ngaran? / Hin-o't imo ngaran / Hin-o't im' ngaran?
I love you. Hinigugugmaon ko ikaw / Hinigugmaon ta ikaw / Pinaura ta ikaw / Pinaura ko ikaw.
Thank you very much. Damo nga salamat.

This, that, and whatnot...[edit]

English Waray-Waray
What is this? Ano ini?
This is a sheet of paper. Usa ine ka panid hin papel.
What is that? Ano ine?
That is a book. Libro ine.
What will you do? Ano it imo bubuhaton? / Ano it imo hihimuon? / Mag-aano ka?
What are you doing? Ano it im binubuhat? / Ano it imo
I don't know. Ambot / wala ko kabalo
My girl friend/boy friend An akon sangkay
My girlfriend/boyfriend (lovers) An akon uyab

Space and time[edit]

English Hiligaynon
Where are you now? Hain ka yana?
Where shall we go? Ngain man kita makadto?
Where are we going? Ngain man kita? / Diin man kita?
Where are you going? Ngain ka? / Diin ka?
We shall go to Tacloban Makadto kita ha Tacloban.
I am going home. Mauli na ako / Mauli na ak' ha balay
Where do you live? Diin ka naukoy?
Where did you come from? (Where have you just been?) Nakain ka? / Napakain ka? / Tikang ka diin?
Have you been here long? Maiha ka na dinhi? / Maiha ka na didi?
(To the) left. (Ha) wala
(To the) right. (Ha) tuo.
What time is it? Ano it oras na? / Ano't oras na? / Ano it takna na? / Ano't takna na?
It's ten o'clock. Alas dyis na.
What time is it now? Ano na it oras yana?

The marketplace[edit]

English Waray-Waray
May I buy? Puydi ako pumalit?
How much is this/that? Tagpira ine?


The language of Waray-Waray has borrowed vocabulary extensively from other languages. Most of those words are so-called core B words, which are cultural words adopted by a language when heavily exposed to a new culture.[citation needed] These words are being adopted to fill lexical gaps of the recipient language. Spanish colonialization introduced new systems to the Philippine society.

Since World War II many of the Spanish terms, mainly political or technical, have been replaced by English vocabulary.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Waray - Waray at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Philippine Census, 2000. Table 11. Household Population by Ethnicity, Sex and Region: 2000
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Waray (Philippines)". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dictionary English Waray-Waray/Tagalog (2005) by Tomas A. Abuyen, National Book Store, 494 pp., ISBN 971-08-6529-3.

External links[edit]