Ilocano is an Austronesian language spoken by about 10 million
people in the Philippines, mainly in the northwest of Luzon island,
and also in Mindanao. There are significant numbers of Ilocano speakers
in the USA, Middle East, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Canada and Europe
Ilocano was originally written with the Baybayin syllabary, which is also
used to write Tagalog, but this was gradually replaced by the Latin alphabet
the Spanish arrived in the Philippines in the 16th century. One of the first
publications in Ilocano was the Doctrina Cristiana of 1621.
The language is also known as Ilocano, Iluko, Iloco, and Iloko, and the
Ilocano people call themselves Samtoy, a contraction from the Ilokano
phrase saö mi ditoy, meaning “our language here”.
This is the style of script used in the 1620s.
A cross was written under consonants to mute the inherent vowel.
When some consonants are followed by i plus another vowels, their pronunciation
Sample text in Ilocano
Amin nga tao nga sibibiag ket naiyanak a siwawayawaya ken addaan iti agpapada
nga dayaw ken kalintegan. Naikkanda ti panagikalintegan ken konsensya a nasken
ti panagtitinnulong iti meysa ken meysa iti espiritu nga nainkak-absatan.
Alternative version of the sample text
Amin a tao ket nayanak a nawaya ken agpapada iti dayaw ken karbengan. Naikkanda
iti isip ken konsensia ket masapul nga aglilinnangen iti anag ti panagkikinnabsat.
Translated by Eugene Carmelo C. Pedro
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 text in the Baybayin syllabary (Lord’s Prayer)
Amami a addaka’t sadi langita
Pasantipikalmo ti nagammo
padtengmo kadakam ti paghadiam
Paannugummo ti nakemmo ditoy
daga kas sadi langit itdem kadaka-
m iti aldao itoy ti kanemmi
a patinayon a aldao paavani