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Cebuano (Bisaya, Visayan) Resources

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06 May 2020 at 2:09am | IP Logged 
During the period from February 2020 through May 2020, I conducted a complete revision to the twenty-eight (28) lists of resources which I had posted on the LLORG during the previous three-year period. As revising these types of documents directly on the LLORG in the “Edit Mode” is fraught with difficulties, I removed their contents from the LLORG, stored them on my computer, and completed the revisions. During the revision process an event occurred which prevented me from reposting the contents to their original files and, as a contingency measure, I have posted them here on the HTLAL in the anticipation that either the Administrator or the Moderators of the LLORG will copy/paste them to the LLORG. - Speakeasy


The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia and Brunei to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest. -- Source: Wikipedia

Languages of the Philippines
There are some 120 to 187 languages spoken in the Philippines, depending on the method of classification. Almost all are Malayo-Polynesian languages native to the archipelago. A number of Spanish-influenced creole varieties generally called Chavacano are also spoken in certain communities. The 1987 constitution designates Filipino, a standardized version of Tagalog, as the national language and an official language along with English. Filipino is regulated by Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and therefore serves as a lingua franca used by Filipinos of various ethnolinguistic backgrounds. The also provides for the use of the vernacular languages as official auxiliary languages in provinces where Filipino is not the lingua franca. There are four indigenous languages with approximately 9 million or more native speakers: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, and Hiligaynon. -- Source: Wikipedia

Cebuano Language
The Cebuano or Cebuan language, also often referred informally to by most of its speakers simply as Bisaya (English translation: "Visayan", not to be confused with other Visayan languages, is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about closely 45 million people in Central Visayas, western parts of Eastern Visayas and most parts of Mindanao, most of whom belong to various Visayan ethnolinguistic groups, mainly the Cebuanos. While Filipino (Tagalog) has the most number of speakers of Philippine languages, Cebuano had the largest native language-speaking population in the Philippines until about the 1980s. It is by far the most widely spoken of the Visayan languages, which are in turn part of the wider Philippine languages. It is the lingua franca of the Central Visayas, western parts of Eastern Visayas, some western parts of Palawan and most parts of Mindanao. The name Cebuano is derived from the island of Cebu, which is the Urheimat or origin of the language. Cebuano is also the prime language in Western Leyte, noticeably in Ormoc and other municipalities surrounding the city, though most of the residents in the area name the Cebuano language by their own demonyms such as "Ormocanon" in Ormoc and "Albuerahanon" in Albuera. – Source: Wikipedia

Selected Sources, Discussions, etc.

The Difference Between Bisaya, Binisaya, Visayan and Cebuano
Adventures in Cebuano, etc. (Goldlist) - HTLAL - February, 2013 - January 2017

elco2's sure but slow log (Cebuano, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, etc.) - LLORG - October, 2018 forward
Whodathunkitz log Cebuano Spanish Esperanto - LLORG - December, 2016 forward

Cebuano - in-country tips - LLORG - July, 2018

Tagalog vs Cebuano - LLORG - April, 2018


Cebuano Courses, Supplements, etc.

Beginning Cebuano, Part I (1966), 686 pages, 524 pages, by John U. Wolff; Yale University Press
Beginning Cebuano, Part II (1968) by John U. Wolff; Yale University Press
Comprehensive introduction to Cebuano language. For classroom use. Audio-lingual method. Copies of course manuals can still be located on the internet and at Yale University. Perhaps the AUDIO recordings have been archived by the Yale University Press?

DLI Cebuano Basic (1960s-1970s) – NONE

FSI Cebuano Basic (1960s-1970s) – NONE

U.S. Peace Corps Cebuano for Beginners (1971), 836 pages, by Maria Victoria R. Bunye and Elsa Paula Yap
Description: “… applies the aural-oral method … dialogue, notes on related utterances, vocabulary list, pattern drills, and lexical and grammar notes.” Audio recordings not available.

U.S. Peace Corps Cebuano Para sa Mga (1967), 225 pages, by Betty Baura and others
Basic introduction. Audio-lingual method techniques employed. Audio recordings not available.

Cebuano Grammars, Dictionaries, Readers, etc. (Legacy)
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, “legacy” Cebuano grammars, dictionaries, readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file.


Cebuano Courses, Supplements, etc.

Advanced Bisaya for Beginners
Although it is difficult to predicate to what level this “advanced for beginners” course would lead upon completion without trying it, I suspect that it might be in the neighbourhood of CEFR A1, at best.

Bisaya Buddy Bisaya Cebuano Language Course
Bisaya Buddy website
Bisaya Buddy via Amazon
Each of the 60 lessons in this course includes text, video, electronic flashcards, and MP3 audio. The course is available as a DVD, as a USB Flashdrive, or as download. The author offers a “Free Trial” of the first lesson via his website. Please note carefully that the “1 star” Amazon review refers to the purchase of a Dell Computer.

DLI Headstart2 Cebuano
Familiarization language course. First half, civilian oriented. Second half, mission oriented. CEFR A0+

Glossika Cebuano (proposed) – NOT YET RELEASED
Circa 2018: announcement of prospective expansion of languages. Cebuano materials not yet available.

Handbook Of Cebuano Visayan, 2nd edition (2016), 508 pages, by Anssi and Nida Raisenen; CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Appears to have been written with the absolute beginner in mind. Includes a glossary of essential words, a comprehensive grammar section, and a list of common everyday phrases. No mention of audio recordings. Amazon customer reviews have been quite positive, including those of customers “Vicent” and “andre” both of which I encourage the prospective buyer to read.   

Magbinisaya Kita: A Cebuano Learning Course (rev. 2009) – Jessie Grace Udang Rubrico, Jonathan Mark Udang Rubrico - Language Links Foundation Inc.
Introduced in 1999 and revised in 2009, Dr. Rubrico’s small collection of course manuals, phrase books, and accompanying audio CDs would seem to be the most current introductory-level materials for the study of Cebuano. Tracking down the components on the websites of the large online booksellers’ websites is not easy. For this reason, if I wished to study the language, I would go directly to the author’s website. Amazon customer reviews are varied.

National Foreign Language Center (NFLC) Cebuano – University of Maryland
Collection of graded exercise sets for supplemental practice (reading, aural, occasionally videos). Similar to DLI GLOSS. Access: US$ 5.00 monthly subscription.

Parlons Cebuano (Philippines) (2004), 215 pages, by Marina Pottier-Quirolgico; Editions L'Harmattan
Available in FRENCH only. CEFR A2. The publisher has ceased selling the audio recordings. Well-received by Amazon customers.

U.S. Peace Corps Cebuano (1993)
Cebuano Language Packet (1993), 368 pages, unattributed; Peace Corps
Basic communication needs: lists of common phrases, expressions, and vocabulary on a variety of topics related to Peace Corps work.

Cebuano Phrasebooks, Language Guides, etc.
This is but a small selection of the phrasebooks and language guides available for this language.

Bisita, Bisdak, Gamhanan
A set of three works (phrasebook, language guide, travel guide) by KD Sofia Sigil
Bisita: Travel Safe and Travel Smart: Handy Tips for the First-Time Traveler to Cebu and the Neighboring Islands (2019), 77 pages, by KD Sofia Sigil; Independently published
Bisdak: Learn to Speak Cebuano Overnight (2018), 95 pages, by KD Sofia Sigil; Independently published
Gamhanan: English to Cebuano Translation 101: A No-Brainer Guide to Translating Complex English Terms and Phrases into Cebuano (2018), 219 pages, by KD Sofia Sigil; Independently published

Cebuano Lessons -

DLI Cebuano Language Survival Kit

DLI Cebuano course (unspecified) - eBay
The eBay reseller, Filmdocs, has been offering low-priced digitized versions of U.S. Government publications for several years; I have even bought a few, myself. The onscreen image of the “DLI Cebuano Text + 665 Audio CD” suggests some form of language survival kit. I compared it to the current survival DLI Language Survival Kit but could not find a match. It is possible that this course was developed for the U.S. Army Special Forces. At such a low price, and given that it contains some audio recordings, I believe that it has a place in the study plan of someone wishing to learn Cebuano.

Handbook Of Cebuano Visayan (2nd ed., 2016), 508 pages, by Anssi and Nida Räisänen; Independently published

Kauderwelsch Cebuano (Visaya) für die Philippinen, by Volker Heinrich, Janet M. Arnado, et al.; Reise Know-How
Kauderwelsch Sprachführer Cebuano - Wort für Wort (2017), 144 pages
Kauderwelsch AusspracheTrainer Cebuano (Visaya) - AUDIO Recordings
Available in German only. Phrasebook and AUDIO recordings (extracts only). Sold separately.

Maayong Buntag!: An Introduction to the Visayan Language of the Philippines (2019), 358 pages, by Steve W. Chadde; Orchard Innovations

Magbinisaya Kita Primer 1: A Cebuano Learning Book (2009), 170 pages, by Mrs Jessie Grace Udang Rubrico et al.; Language Links Foundation

My Little Book of Cebuano Visayan Vol. 1 (2nd ed., 2018), 213 pages, by Alfonso Borello; Independently published
My Little Book of Cebuano Vol. 2 (2017), 68 pages, pages, by Alfonso Borello; Independently published
My Little Book of Cebuano Vol. 3 (2017), 63 pages, pages, by Alfonso Borello; Independently published

U.S. Armed Forces Cebuano Familiarization course - Philipines-USA
From the seller: “This course was designed for the U.S. Government to teach the Cebuano language. The Cebuano language course covers the basics like month, year etc., but also there are other levels built in the course that are more advanced, like Cebuano everyday sentences that you would use on a daily basis. Also we have combined the Military terminology program to this course. The whole Cebuano course is loaded on your computer so you will be able to take the MP3 lesson files and play them with any MP3 device...” Question: At a price of only $18.95, what have you got to lose? Answer: $18.95.

Cebuano Grammars, etc.

Cebuano Language: 101 Cebuano Verbs (2018), 112 pages, by Dakila Reyes; CreateSpace Independent Publishing

English Cebuano Visayan Grammar (2018), 126 pages, by Alfonso Borello; Villaggio Publishing

Cebuano Dictionaries, etc.
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, Cebuano dictionaries similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file.

Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan: Volume 1, A-K (circa 1960, reprint 2016), 596 pages, by John U. Wollf; CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan: Volume 2, L-Y (circa 1960, reprint 2016), 670 pages, by John U. Wollf; CreateSpace Independent Publishing

English-Cebuano Visayan Dictionary (1983), 1135 pages, by Rodolfo Cabonce; National Book Store

English Visayan Dictionary (2014), by Pricila Adoba Ortega
Visayan Cebuano English Dictionary (2014), by Pricila Adoba Ortega

Pocket Dictionary: English-Tagalog Visayen, Cebuano-Ilongo Vocabulary (1998), 249 pages, by M. Jacobo Enriquez et al.; Marran Publishing House

Similarities and Dissimilarities in Meaning and Usage of Some Cebuano and Tagalog Words (2014), 416 pages, by Liberacion Narvios Tecson; Xlibris

Cebuano Readers, Literature, etc.
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file.

Bible in Cebuano
I mention this “fall back” resource because recorded versions are available and because forum member Whodathunkitz reported using this with some success. NOTE: this is but one of several versions of the Bible in Cebuano.

Cebuano Newspaper Reader, Easy to Intermediate Readings (1987), 121 pages. by R. David Paul Zorc; Dunwoody Press
This collection of graded articles drawn from Cebuano language newspapers.

Cebuano Miscellany

Huni-Huni Cebuano Online

Kalingawan Collections
This might be a repetition of the SunStar site, below.

Living in Cebu Forums
Seasite : Cebuano

So you want to learn a language? Cebuano

SunStar Philippines - Talk to Papa Joe Asa ang forever

YouTube - Cebuano Language Learning Tips

Please feel at liberty to post your own recommendations and/or comments and I’ll see what I can do about incorporating them into the lists above.

Visitors to this file are encouraged to review the subsequent comments, posted below, as they include members’ suggestions concerning materials and forms a running commentary on resources for the study of Cebuano.

Completely revised: April 2020

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