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Eskayan    Eskayan

Eskayan is a language isolate spoken on the Philippine island of Bohol. The exact number of speakers is uncertain and while the language is unrelated to any other, it does share syntactic and morphological features with Boholano-Visayan, the main language of Bohol, and there are also Spanish influences. The Eskayan people speak Cebuano as their everyday language and use Eskayan for prayers, songs and formal speeches.

Eskayan is written with a syllabic script consisting of over 1,000 symbols, some of which are shown below. The symbols are apparently modelled on human body parts, though resemble cursive Latin letters. The earliest known written document in Eskayan dates from 1908. Apparently a man named Pinay invented the script, though nobody knows when he did so.

A method of writing Eskayan with the Latin alphabet is also used in schools. It is not completely standardised.

Notable features

Eskayan script

Eskayan script

Eskayan numerals

Eskayan numerals

Eskayan sample text (Latin alphabet)

Samnat yo bantelar,
Datong con Bathala,
Ya abeya cloper meboy secwes
Nemte ya chdid loning
Ya moy beresa gui
Samnat eclabolto
Gona yonoy dokerkedo
Bentod ya hondog yel moy sebar
Chda a chdiam yel keman pay

Edlac esto mesesabla
Lo-ya bac Lobor,
Chdire esto ebetangke chda loreker
Parong esto topete
Ya droser, ya secwes Do-o moy sam
Tewergoyo asado chda carna
Ya lacyo booy.


This is the land I love,
The land God gave to me,
Caressed by the sun, Bathed by the sea,
And kissed by the cool breeze
Night and day.
Here's where the early heroes lived,
Here's where they wrought peace and here they bled,
Here rise the marvelous cone-shaped hills,
Here's sweet kinampay grows.

Blessed with white sandy beaches,
Rivers that water valleys,
Seas teem with fishes and cows graze on the plains,
In ev'ry home love reigns,
God keep my homeland always free,
Let her forever be,
I pledge my strength, my heart and soul,
To my dear home, Bohol.

A recording of this text


Information about Eskayan | Numbers in Eskayan


Information about Eskayan

Language isolates

Ainu, Basque, Burushaski, Chitimacha, Eskayan, Haida, Karuk, Kuot, Mapuche, Natchez, Nivkh, Purepecha, Seri, Sumerian, Ticuna, Tiwi, Tunica, Urarina, Wardaman, Yuchi/Euchee


Bamum, Caroline Island Script, Celtiberian, Cherokee, Cypriot, Eskayan, Hiragana, Iban, Iberian, Katakana, Kpelle, Loma, Mende, Mwangwego, Ndjuká, Nüshu, Vai, Yi

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