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.
Type of writing system: syllabary
Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines
Used to write: Eskayan
Eskayan sample text (Latin alphabet)
Samnat yo bantelar,
Datong con Bathala,
Ya abeya cloper meboy secwes
Nemte ya chdid loning
Ya moy beresa gui
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.