23.8 million L1 total speakers and 45 million L2 speakers. The Philippines is a multilingual state with at least 175 living languages originating and spoken by various ethno-linguistic groups. There was no one single common language across every cultural group in the Philippine archipelago when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. The four major trade languages were Visayan, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, and Ilocano. As the Philippine languages are mostly closely related and therefore easy for Filipinos to learn, most speakers of smaller languages spoke two or more of such regional languages.
Writing systems: Latin script (Filipino alphabet), Philippine Braille.
Language family: Austronesian languages, Malayo-Polynesian languages.
Filipino (English: /ˌfɪlɪˈpiːnoʊ/ (About this soundlisten); Wikang Filipino [wɪˈkɐŋ ˌfiːliˈpiːno]) is the national language (Wikang pambansa / Pambansang wika) of the Philippines. Filipino is also designated, along with English, as an official language of the country. It is a standardized variety of the Tagalog language, an Austronesian regional language that is widely spoken in the Philippines. As of 2007, Tagalog is the first language of 28 million people, or about one-third of the Philippine population, while 45 million speak Tagalog as their second language. Tagalog is among the 185 languages of the Philippines identified in the Ethnologue. Officially, Filipino is defined by the Commission on the Filipino Language (Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino in Filipino or simply KWF) as "the native dialect, spoken and written, in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, and in other urban centers of the archipelago."
Filipino is officially taken to be a pluricentric language, as it is further enriched and developed by the other existing Philippine languages according to the mandate of the 1987 Constitution. Indeed, there have been observed "emerging varieties of Filipino which deviate from the grammatical properties of Tagalog" in Cebu, Davao City, and Iloilo which together with Metro Manila form the four largest metropolitan areas in the Philippines.
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(End of excerpt from the CIA World FactBook text.)
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