The best way to learn vocabulary is to learn it in context – this means…. read a sentence and figure out how that unknown word fits into that sentence. The key word here is ‘read’, so to see rapid expansion in your understanding of the uses of vocabulary, it’s a great idea to get reading. Here are some really useful resources to get you started!
Free online content
Freelipiniana Online Library
Established by University of the Philippines as a way to provide access to reading for Filipinos during the pandemic, Freelipiniana continues to provide us with plenty of open access Filipino language books across a range of genres and for different ages and levels. The library continues to grow, but it is unclear if this will stick around forever. Make the most of it while you can!
Possibly the most accessible reading resource out there for a broad range of learners. Penlab hosts a collection of comics created by Filipino artists – not all are in Filipino, some are in English (or in Taglish – a mix of English and Tagalog), but the language used in the Filipino comics are conversational, useful and easy to understand because of the accompanying illustrations. This is a great place to start, no matter what your level!
NAVER WEBTOON – Translate
Like a Korean manhwa? Did you know that you can now read these in numerous languages, not just in Korean or English. This is all thanks to fans who community translate your favourite content into the languages you need. The Filipino library is still growing, and not everything has a full translation yet, so although it has the same benefits as Penlab, some translations might be slightly less complete among some stories.
Tagalog Reader – Tagalog.com
Hosted by Tagalog.com, this resource contains mostly news articles targeted at Intermediate and Advanced levels. It has a useful reader function where you can listen to the pronunciation of the words as well as save unknown words to your Tagalog.com account. This does still feel like a study resource so many not give an authentic native text feel.
Buy some books
Below you will find a link of bookstores which should ship internationally in case you are looking for native Filipino language books that were not developed specifically for language learning.
Adarna House – Childrens & Teens Books in Filipino. Good for beginners and intermediates
Lampara Books – Filipino culture books for young readers. Good for beginners and intermediates
Tahanan Books – Filipino culture books for young readers. Good for beginners and intermediates