The Philippines had been under the Spanish colonial control for more than 300 years. As a result there are a lot of Tagalog words that have been derived from their Spanish counterparts. If you know a bit of Spanish, you can use your knowledge of Spanish words to help you memorize easily some Tagalog words. Using this approach can add a good number of words to your Tagalog vocabulary.
Here are some examples that you can start with. I give first the English meaning, followed by the Spanish word from which the Tagalog word is derived and then the Tagalog word. Each word or phrase is then followed by sentences showing how the word is used in the different languages.
window - ventana - bintana
Can you open the window? Puede usted abrir la ventana? Pwede mo bang buksan ang bintana?
stamp - sello - selyo
Where can I buy stamps? Donde puedo comprar sellos? Saan ako pwedeng bumili ng mga selyo?
glass for drinking - vaso - baso
I want to drink a glass of water. Quiero beber un vaso de agua. Gusto kong uminom ng isang basong tubig.
cup for drinking - taza - tasa
Do you want a cup of tea or coffee? Quiere usted una taza de té o café? Gusto mo ba ng isang tasang tsa o kape?
soap - jabon - sabon
Wash your hands with soap. Lavese los manos con jabón. Hugasan mo ng sabon ang mga kamay mo.
table - mesa - mesa
Please help me set the table. Por favor ayúdame a poner la mesa. Paki tulungan mo akong isaayos ang mesa.
to sing - cantar - kumanta
Do you want to sing? Quiere usted cantar? Gusto mo bang kumanta?
to be on strike - estar un huelga - magwelga
The teachers are on strike. Los maestros están en huelga. Ang mga guro ay nagwewelga.
chair - la silla - silya
Is this my chair? Esta es mi silla? Ito ba ay silya ko?
to doubt - dudar - magduda
I doubt that what he said is true. Dudo que lo que dijo es verdad. Nagdududa ako kung ang sinabi niya ay totoo.
I used an online English to Spanish translator for the Spanish versions of the sentence. Please understand if there are a few mistakes on Spanish translation. You can use online English to Tagalog translators together with online English to Spanish translators to look for more Tagalog words that have been derived from Spanish.
Use only common and simple words and more particularly root words in your search. Avoid sentence translation to Tagalog for now because the translation may be wrong and you will only get confused. It seems that Tagalog machine translation has not yet been perfected. It maybe because Tagalog has a loose language structure wherein there may be at least two ways of saying the same thing and both can be considered correct.
Read my other article on common Taglish expressions used by Filipinos at: http://hinagapnikaure.blogspot.com/2012/05/common-taglish-expressions-used-by.html.