Cebuano (Bisaya / Binisaya)

Cebuano is a member of the Philippine branch of Malayo-Polynesian language family. It is spoken in the Philippines, mainly in the Central Visayas region by the Bisaya people, and is also in northeastern parts of Negros Occidental province, in southern parts of Masbate, in most of Leyte and Southern Leyte, in western portions of Guimaras, in parts of Samar, Bohol, Luzon, the Biliran islands, and in most parts of Mindanao. It is used as a lingua franca in Central Visayas and in parts of Mindanao. In 2010 there were about 22 million speakers of Cebuano.

The language is named after the island of Cebu, where the prestige register is spoken, and is also known as Bisaya, Sebuano, Sugbuanon, Sugbuhanon or Bisayan. Cebuano speakers are known as Cebuano in Cebu, as Bol-anon in Bohol, as Kana in Leyte, and as Binisaga or Bisaya in Mindanao and Luzon.

Cebuano was first documented by Antonio Pigateffa, and Italian explorer who was part of Magellan's 1521 expedition. Spanish missionaries started to write the language during the early 18th century, and as a result, Cebuano contains many words of Spanish origin.

Cebuano is written with the Latin alphabet. In the past, it was written with the Badlit script.

Cebuano alphabet (Alpabetong Bisaya)

Cebuano alphabet and pronunciation

The letters c, f, j, q, v, x and z are also used, but only in foreign loanwords.

Hear how to pronounce the Cebuano alphabet:

Download an alphabet chart for Cebuano (Excel)

Sample text in Cebuano

Ang tanang katawhan gipakatawo nga may kagawasan ug managsama sa kabililhon. Sila gigasahan sa salabutan ug tanlag og mag-ilhanay isip managsoon sa usa'g-usa diha sa diwa sa ospiritu.

A recording of this text by Jicko Racines

Another recording of this text by Josh Montarde

Another version of this text by Carla Gandong

Ang tanan katawhan gipakatawo nga may kagawasan ug managsama sa kaligdong. Sila gigasahan pangisip ug tanlag ug mag-ilhanay usa'g usa sa diwa managsoon


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in Cebuano

Information about Cebuano | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Cebuano language and culture Culture/CebuMain.htm

Online Cebuano lessons

Online Cebuano dictionaries

Cebuano phrases

Bisayan languages

Aklan, Bantoanon, Bantayanon, Baybayanon, Butuanon, Caluyanon, Capiznon, Cebuano, Cuyonon, Hiligaynon, Kinabalian, Kinaray-a, Masbateño, Onhan, Porohanon, Romblomanon, Sorsogon (Southern), Surigaonon, Tausūg, Waray-Waray,

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 07.02.24


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