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Lesson 7: Filipino vowels

Each Filipino vowel sound consists of only one sound.
Compare with English "a" as in "baby, which has two sounds: "bEIbi"
or English "o" as in "post": "pOUst"
or, finally, English "i" as in "bike": "bAIk."

In this sense Filipino vowels are pure
like vowels in Spanish or Italian.

Pronounce every vowel as a separate sound.
There are no diphthongs in Filipino; diphthongs are vowel combinations pronounced as one syllable.

Pronounceas in EnglishExample
afatherMagandang umaga, good morning
ieachibig, want
olongtotoo, true
ufoodkukunin, will take

Ethnolinguistic Note
The languages of the pre-Hispanic Filipinos only had three vowels: "a," "e/i" and "o/u." Even today you may hear many Filipinos interchange "e" and "i," and "o" and 'u."

Click here to listen and practice speaking.

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