World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Kapampangan language


Kapampangan language

Amánung Sísuan
Native to Philippines
Region Central Luzon
Ethnicity Kapampangan people
Native speakers
unknown (1.9 million cited 1990 census)[1]
6th most-spoken native language in the Philippines[2]
Latin (Kapampangan or Spanish alphabet);
Historically written in: Kulitan (also known as Matuang Kudlitan, Pamagkulit or Súlat Kapampángan)
Official status
Official language in
Regional language in the Philippines
Regulated by Commission on the Filipino Language
Language codes
ISO 639-2 pam
ISO 639-3 pam
Glottolog pamp1243[3]
Kapampangan-speaking area

Kapampangan, the Pampango language (Kulitan script: ), is one of the major languages of the Philippines. It is the language spoken in the province of Pampanga, the southern half of the province of Tarlac and the northern portion of the province of Bataan. Kapampangan is also understood in some barangays of Bulacan and Nueva Ecija and by the Aitas or Aeta of Zambales. The language is also called Pampango, and honorifically in the Kapampangan language: Amánung Sísuan, meaning "breastfed language".


  • History 1
    • Conflict on Kapampángan Diversity 1.1
    • Orthographical Diversity 1.2
  • Classification 2
  • Geographic distribution 3
  • Phonology 4
    • Vowels 4.1
    • Consonants 4.2
  • Lexicon 5
    • Stress 5.1
    • Historical sound changes 5.2
  • Grammar 6
    • Nouns 6.1
    • Pronouns 6.2
      • Examples 6.2.1
      • Special forms 6.2.2
      • Pronoun combinations 6.2.3
    • Demonstrative pronouns 6.3
    • Verbs 6.4
      • Ambiguities and irregularities 6.4.1
      • Conjugation chart 6.4.2
    • Enclitics 6.5
    • Existential 6.6
    • Negation 6.7
    • Interrogative Words 6.8
  • Loan words 7
  • Examples 8
    • Some Common Phrases & Sentences 8.1
    • Numbers 8.2
    • Traditional Kapampangan Songs 8.3
  • Catholic Prayers 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The word Kapampangan is derived from the rootword pampáng which means "river bank." Historically, this language was used in what was before the Kingdom of Luzon, ruled by the Lakans. In the 18th century, two books were written by Fr. Diego Bergaño about Kapampangan. He authored Vocabulario de la lengua Pampanga[4] and Arte de la lengua Pampanga. Kapampangan produced two literary giants in the 19th century: Father Anselmo Fajardo was noted for his works Gonzalo de Córdova and Comedia Heróica de la Conquista de Granada. Another writer, Juan Crisóstomo Soto, was noted for writing many plays. He authored Alang Dios in 1901. The Kapampangan poetical joust "Crissotan" was coined by his fellow literary genius Nobel Prize nominee for peace and literature in the 50's, Amado Yuzon to immortalize his contribution to Kapampangan literature.[5]

Conflict on Kapampángan Diversity

Around circa 10th century AD – 1571 AD that is before the Spanish conquest of Lúsung Guo and coming after creation of the Province of Pampanga in 1571, Kapampángans used their own indigenous writing system,known as Kulitan or Sulat Kapampangan, the Augustinian missionaries to studied the Kapampángan language together with its indigenous writing system.[6]

As late as 1699, more than a hundred years after the Spanish conquest, Spanish continued to study the Kapampángan language together with its indigenous writing system ,that have brought up a Romanized orthographic system introduced by the Spaniards, known as the Bacolor Orthography or Súlat Bacúlud, being referred as Tutûng Kapampángan (English:genuine Kapampángan) due to the great number of written volume of Kapampángan works written in this orthography, this contains ‘Q and C’ this includes F Ñ and LL.

By the end of the Spanish era, the ABAKADA, also known as Súlat Wáwâ or Guagua Script, this replaced C and Q with the letter K. The Kapampángan nationalist writers from Wáwâ (Guagua) wanted to create a distinct identity different from the Bacúlud literary tradition. The inspiration came from José Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, who first proposed of indigenizing Philippine writing when he proposed of simplifying Romanized Tagalog by replacing the letters C and Q with K. Two Kapampángan writers from Wáwâ (Guagua), Aurelio Tolentino and Monico Mercado with his translation of Rizal’s Mi Último Adiós have adapted Rizal’s proposal into Kapampángan writing.

On 31 December 1937, Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon proclaimed the language based on Tagalog as the Philippine National Language. Zoilo Hilario propose to standardize Kapampangan orthography. Being a member of the Institute of National Language (INL), Hilario sought to adopt the ABAKADA used in Tagalog and impose it as the Kapampángan language’s standard orthographic system. This legal imposition of Tagalog as the Philippine National Language whereby all other Philippine languages, including Kapampángan, were placed in a subordinate position to Tagalog.the senseless conflict between the so called PURISTS and ANTIPURISTS that plagued the Tagalog literary scene also found its way among Kapampángan writers.

In 1970, prior to his official translation of the Chrisitan Bible in the Kapampangan language, Venancio Samson called the attention of the Philippine Bible Society to the existing dispute in Kapampángan orthography. Samson submitted a proposal aimed at reconciling the OLD and the NEW spelling in Kapampángan writing. This is called Ámugng Samson's Hybrid Orthography. Samson’s synthesis was at first readily accepted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Pampanga and utilized it in most of its Kapampángan language publications during the early part of the 1970s.

In 1997, BATIÁUAN FOUNDATION, INC. believes that major obstacle to popularizing Kapampangan language was the intense squabble over orthography , The prediction that the Kapampángan ethnic group would be completely absorbed by the Tagalogs was seen by various Kapampángan groups as a real threat.They are quite conscious of the fact that Tagalog words were replacing more and more indigenous terms in the spoken Kapampángan language. They simply revised the use of the ABAKADA in Kapampángan writing by removing the letter W and the insistent use of the simplified diacritical marks. However Akademyang Kapampangan believes that, the Batiáuan revision serves complicate Kapampángan writing as well as confuse adherents to their proposed orthography. Batiáuan refutes that the diacritical marks are very essential in Kapampángan writing because there are many words in the Kapampángan language that are spelled the same but pronounce differently. The diacritical marks, Batiáuan insists,actually facilitate rather than complicate.

Orthographical Diversity

Amánung Sísuan (honorific name for mother language; literally breastfed language) in Kulitan, the indigenous writing system of Kapampangan

The three sets of Romanised attitudinal procedures:

1. SÚLAT BACÚLUD (Bacolor Script), commonly known as C&Q orthography, is the first Romanised orthography introduced by the Spaniards during the colonial period. It is called SÚLAT BACÚLUD because for a long time it has been identified with the literary giants like Crissot, Galura and Pabalan who all hail from the town of Baculud. Many Kapampangan believed this to be the original orthography and call it TUTÛNG CAPAMPÁNGAN (genuine Kapampangan) because it has been identified with the orthography used in the Kapampangan "pasion" that is still being used today, believed by many to be the oldest living Kapampangan literature to date.

2. SÚLAT WÁWÂ (Guagua Script), commonly known as K orthography. The name is derived from the town of Wáwâ (Guagua), Bacolor's economic and literary rival, because it was first introduced by Wáwâ nationalist writers Don Monico Mercado and Aurelio Tolentino, who were following José Rizal's example to indigenise Philippine writing. In the 20th century, there were three phenomena that further popularised this orthography: the legal imposition of Tagalog as national language with its ABAKADA orthography, the creation of the Akademyang Kapampangan by Zoilo Hilario and the prolific writings of Poet Laureate Jose Gallardo.

3. ÁMUNG SAMSON'S HYBRID ORTHOGRAPHY. This orthography was created by former Catholic priest Venancio Samson in the 1970s prior to the official translation of the Bible into the Kapampangan language. His orthography was meant to resolve the conflict between the proponents of the C&Q and K orthography. Samson adopted the K in place of the conventional QUE and QUI but retained the C for CA, CE, CI, CO and CU. He also eliminated the Ñ and LL and replaced them with NY and LY respectively. An expert in Kapampangan, Latin and Spanish, Samson was the official translator of the Kapampangan Bible as well as the translator of Diego Bergano's Vocabulario.

(article from [7])


Kapampangan is one of the Central Luzon languages within the Austronesian language family. Its closest relatives are the Sambal languages of Zambales province and the Bolinao language spoken in the town of Bolinao, Pangasinan.

These languages share the same reflex /j/ of the Proto-Austronesian consonant *R.

Geographic distribution

Kapampangan is primarily spoken in the provinces of Pampanga and in the southern towns of the province of Tarlac (Bamban, Capas, Concepcion, San Jose, Gerona, La Paz, Victoria,and Tarlac City). It is also spoken in isolated communities within the provinces of Bataan (Abucay, Dinalupihan, Hermosa, and Samal), Bulacan (Baliwag, San Miguel, San Ildefonso, Hagonoy, Plaridel, Pulilan, and Calumpit), Nueva Ecija (Cabiao, San Isidro, Gapan City and Cabanatuan City), and Zambales (Olongapo City and Subic).

The Philippine Census of 2000 stated that a total of 2,312,870 out of 76,332,470 people spoke Kapampangan as their native language.


Standard Kapampangan has 21 phonemes: 15 consonants and five vowels. Some western dialects of Kapampangan have six vowels. Syllable structure is relatively simple. Each syllable contains at least a consonant and a vowel.


Kapampangan is complete in vowel phonemes; they are:

In addition to those, some dialects also had /ə/. In some western accents, there is a sixth monophthong phoneme /ɯ/, a close back unrounded vowel, found in for example [atɯp] "roof" and [lalɯm] "deep". However, this sound has merged with /a/ for most Kapampangan speakers.

There are four main diphthongs; /aɪ/, /oɪ/, /aʊ/, and /iʊ/. However, in most dialects, including standard Kapampangan, /aɪ/ and /aʊ/ are reduced to /ɛ/ and /o/, respectively.

The monophthongs have allophones in unstressed and syllable-final positions:

  • /a/ is raised slightly in unstressed positions except final syllables
  • Unstressed /i u/ are usually pronounced [ɪ ʊ] as in English "bit" and "book" respectively, except final syllables.
  • At the final syllables, /i/ can be pronounced [ɛ, i], and /u/ can be pronounced [o, u].
    • deni/reni (meaning "these") can be pronounced [ˈdɛnɛ]/[ˈɾɛnɛ] or [ˈdɛni]/[ˈɾɛni], seli (meaning "bought") can be pronounced [ˈsɛlɛ] or [ˈsɛli], kekami (meaning "to us" [except you]) can be pronounced [kɛkɐˈmɛ] or [kɛkɐˈmi], suerti can be pronounced [ˈswɛɾtɛ] or [ˈswɛɾti], sisilim (meaning "dusk") can be pronounced [sɪˈsilɛm] or [sɪˈsilim].
    • kanu (meaning "he said, she said, they said, it was said, allegedly, reportedly, supposedly") can be pronounced [kaˈno] or [kaˈnu], libru (meaning "book") can be pronounced [libˈɾo] or [libˈɾu], ninu (meaning "who") can be pronounced [ˈnino] or [ˈninu], kaku (meaning "to me") can be pronounced [ˈkako] or [ˈkaku], kamaru (meaning "cricket") can be pronounced [kamɐˈɾo] or [kamɐˈɾu].
  • Unstressed /e, o/ are usually pronounced [ɪ, ʊ] respectively, except final syllables.


Below is a chart of Kapampangan consonants. All the stops are unaspirated. The velar nasal occurs in all positions including at the beginning of a word.

Unlike other Philippine languages, Kapampangan lacks the phoneme /h/.

Bilabial Dental /
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Stop voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d g
Fricative s ʃ
Flap ɾ
Approximant l j w
  • /k/ has a tendency to lenite to [x] between vowels.
  • [d] and [ɾ] are allophones in Kapampangan, and thus sometimes interchangeable. So, Nukarin la ring libru? can be Nukarin la ding libru? (Translation: Where are the books?)
  • A glottal stop that occurs at the end of a word is often omitted when it's in the middle of a sentence.


Some words in the dominant dialect of the Kapampangan language, as spoken in key towns in Pampanga:

1 - isa (used when reciting the numbers); metung (used for counting)
2 - addua
3 - atlu
4 - apat
5 - lima
6 - anam
7 - pitu
8 - walu
9 - s'yam
10 - apulu

My name is John. - Juan ya ing lagyu ku.
I am here! - Atyu ku keni! / Ati ku keni!
Where are you? - Nukarin ka (kanyan)?
I love you. - Kaluguran daka.
What do you want? - Nanu ya ing buri mu?
I will go home. - Muli ku.
They don't want to eat. - Ali la bisang mangan.
He bought rice. - Sinali yang nasi.
She likes that. - Buri ne ita.
May I go out? - Malyari ku waring lumwal?
I can't sleep. - Ali ku mipapatudtud.
We are afraid. - Tatakut kami.
My pet died yesterday. - Mete ya ing sese ku napun.
How old are you? - Pilan na kang banua?
How did you do that? - Makananu meng gewa ita?
How did you get here? Katnamu ka miparas keni?
How big is it? - Makananu ya karagul? / Nu anti ya karagul?
When will you be back? - Kapilan ka mibalik?

I - yaku, i aku
You - ika (singular); ikayu (plural)
You and I - ikata
we - ikami
us - itamu/ikatamu
all of us - itamu ngan / ikatamu ngan
all of you - ikayu ngan / iko ngan love - lugud
anger - muwa
beautiful - malagu (for female); masanting (for male, and usually for inanimate objects)
beauty - lagu
sun - aldo
moon - bulan
star - bituin
sky - banua
earth (planet) - yatu morning - abak
noon - ugtu
afternoon - gatpanapun
dusk - sisilim
night - bengi
midnight - kapitangang bengi
dawn / daybreak - ganing aldo
path - dalan
food - pamangan
dog - asu
cat - pusa
mouse - dagis
ant - panas
pig / boar - babi
plant - tanaman
flower - sampaga
vegetable - gule
house - bale
town - balen
child - anak
parent - pengari
sibling - kapatad
uncle - bapa
aunt - dara
cousin - pisan


Stress is phonemic in Kapampangan. Primary stress occurs on either the last or the next-to-last syllable of a word. Vowel lengthening accompanies primary or secondary stress except when stress occurs at the end of a word. Stress shift can occur and it may shift to the right or the left to differentiate between nominal or verbal use, as in the following examples.[8]

  • dápat 'should, ought to' → dapát 'deed, concern, business'
  • dapúg 'gather, burn trash' → dápug 'trash pile'

Stress shift can also occur when one word is derived from another through affixation. Again, stress can shift to the right or the left.[8]

  • ábeabáyan 'company'
  • lásolasáwan 'melt, digest'

Historical sound changes

In Kapampangan, the Proto-Philippine schwa vowel has merged to /a/ in most dialects of Kapampangan. It is preserved in some western dialects. For example, Proto-Philippine *tanəm is tanam (to plant) in Kapampangan, compared with Tagalog tanim and Cebuano tanom and Ilocano tanem (grave).

Proto-Philippine *R merged with /j/. For example, the Kapampangan word for "new" is bayu, while it is bago in Tagalog, baro in Ilocano, and baru in Indonesian.



While Kapampangan nouns are not inflected, they are usually preceded by case markers. There are three types of case markers: absolutive (nominative), ergative (genitive), and oblique.

Unlike English and Spanish which are nominative–accusative languages, Kapampangan is an ergative–absolutive language. It is a common misconception that Kapampangan is frequently spoken in the passive voice.

Absolutive or nominative markers mark the actor of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb.

Ergative or genitive markers mark the object (usually indefinite) of an intransitive verb and the actor of a transitive one. It also marks possession.

Oblique markers are similar to prepositions in English. It marks things such as location and direction.

Furthermore, noun markers are divided into two classes: one for names of people (personal) and the second for everything else (common).

Below is a chart of case markers.

  Absolutive Ergative Oblique
Common singular ing -ng,
Common plural ding
ring karing
Personal singular i -ng kang
Personal plural di
ri kari


Dintang ya ing lalaki.
"The man arrived."

Ikit neng Juan i Maria.
"Juan saw Maria."

Munta ya i Elena ampo i Robertu king bale nang Miguel.
"Elena and Roberto will go to Miguel's house."

Nukarin la ring libro?
"Where are the books?"

Ibiye ke ing susi kang Carmen.
I will give the key to Carmen.


Kapampangan pronouns are categorized by case: absolutive, ergative, and oblique.

Ergative Oblique
1st person singular yaku, i aku, aku ku ku kanaku, kaku
2nd person singular ika ka mu keka
3rd person singular iya, ya ya na keya, kaya
1st person dual ikata kata, ta ta kekata
1st person plural inclusive ikatamu, itamu katamu, tamu tamu, ta kekatamu, kekata
1st person plural exclusive ikami, ike kami, ke mi kekami, keke
2nd person plural ikayu, iko kayu, ko yu kekayu, keko
3rd person plural ila la da


Sinulat ku.
"I wrote."

Silatanan na ku.
"(He or She) wrote me."

Dintang ya.
"(He or She) has arrived." [Note: Dintang ya = "He arrived" or "He arrives"; He has arrived = Dintang ne]

Sabian me kaku.
"Tell it to me"

Ninu ing minaus keka?
"Who called you?

Mamasa la.
"They are reading."

Mamangan la ring babi?
"Are the pigs eating?"

Genitive pronouns follow the word they modify. Oblique pronouns can take the place of the genitive pronoun but they precede the word they modify.

Ing bale ku.
Ing kakung bale. / Ing kanakung bale.
"My house."

The dual pronoun ikata refers to only the first and second person.

The inclusive pronoun ikatamu refers to the first and second persons.

The exclusive pronoun ikamí refers to the first and third persons but excludes the second.

Ala katang nasi.
"We (you and I) do not have rice." [the word "you" here is singular]

Ala tamung nasi.
"We (you and I and everyone else in our group) do not have rice."

Ala keng nasi. / Ala kaming nasi.
"We (someone else and I, but not you) do not have rice." [the third person maybe singular or plural, that is, "we" may refer to "He/She and I" or "They and I"]

Furthermore, Kapampangan stands out among many Philippine languages in requiring the presence of the pronoun even if the noun it represents, or the grammatical antecedent, is present.

Dintang ya i Erning. (not *dintang i Erning)
"Ernie arrived."

Mamasa la ri Maria at Juan. (not *mamasa ri Maria at Juan)
"Maria and Juan are reading."

Silatanan na kang José. (not *silatanan kang José)
"José wrote you."

As a comparison, it would be akin to saying *dumating siya si Erning, *bumabasa sila sina Maria at Juan and *sinulatan ka niya ni José in Tagalog.

Special forms

The pronouns ya and la have special forms when they are used in conjunction with the words ati (there is/are) and ala (there is/are not).

Ati yu king Pampanga. (not *Ati ya king Pampanga)
"He is in Pampanga."

Ala lu ring doktor keni./Ala lu ding doktor keni. (not *ala la ring doktor keni/ala la ding doktor keni)
The doctors are no longer here.

Note: for some speakers of Kapampangan (possibly certain dialects), all of the above forms can be used:
Both "ati yu" and "ati ya" are equally right. Plural form ("they are") is "atilu" and "atila".
Both "ala la" and "ala lu" are correct in the plural form. Singular form is "ala ya" and "ala yu"

Pronoun combinations

The order and forms in which Kapampangan pronouns appear in sentences are outlined in the following chart.

Kapampangan pronouns follow a certain order following verbs or particles like negation words. The enclitic pronoun is always first followed by another pronoun or discourse marker.

Ikit da ka.
"I saw you."

Silatanan na ku.
"He wrote to me."

However, the following constructions are incorrect: *ikit ka da and *silatanan ku na

Also, pronouns combine to form one portmanteau pronoun.

Ikit ke. (instead of Ikit ku ya)
"I saw her."

Dinan kong pera. (instead of Dinan ku lang pera.)
"I will give them money."

Portmanteau pronouns are not usually used in questions and while using the word naman. Furthermore,

Akakit me? (instead of akakit mu ya?)
Do you see him? (Are you seeing him?)

Buri nya naman yan/buri ne murin yan. (instead of buri ne naman yan)
He likes that, too

The chart below outlines the permitted combinations of pronouns. There are blank entries to denote combinations which are deemed impossible.

The column headings (i.e., yaku, ika, etc.) in bold denote pronouns in the absolutive case while the row headings (i.e., ku, mu, etc.) denote pronouns in the ergative case.

1 s
2 s
3 s
1 dual
1 p inc.
1 p exc.
2 p
3 p
1 s
(ing sarili ku) da ka
ra ka
da ko (ra ko)
da kayu (ra kayu)
ku la
2 s
mu ku (ing sarili mu) me
mu ke
mu kami
mu la
3 s
na ku na ka ne
(ing sarili na)
na kata na katamu na ke
na kami
na ko
na kayu
nu la
1 dual
(ing sarili ta) to
ta la
1 p inc.
ta ya (ing sarili tamu) ta la
1 p exc.
da ka
ra ka
mi ya (ing sarili mi) da ko (ra ko)
da kayu (ra kayu)
mi la
2 p
yu ku ye
yu ke
yu kami
(ing sarili yu) yo
yu la
3 p
da ku
ra ku
da ka
ra ka
de (re)
da kata
ra kata
da katamu
ra katamu
da ke (ra ke)
da kami (ra kami)
da ko(ra ko)
da kayu (ra kayu)
do (ro)
da la (ra la)
(ing sarili da)

Demonstrative pronouns

Kapampangan's demonstrative pronouns are outlined in the chart below.

This particular system of demonstrative pronouns differs with other Philippine languages by having separate forms for the singular and plural.

  Absolutive Ergative Oblique Locative Existential
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nearest to speaker
(this, here)
ini deni
nini dareni canini careni oyni oreni queni
Near speaker & addressee
(this, here)
iti deti
niti dareti caniti careti oyti oreti queti
Nearest addressee
(that, there)
iyan den
niyan daren canyan caren oyan oren quen
(yon, yonder)
ita deta
nita dareta canita careta oyta oreta queta

The demonstrative pronouns ini and iti (as well as their respective forms) both mean "this" but each have distinct uses.

Iti usually refers to something abstract but may also refer to concrete nouns. For example, iting musika (this music), iti ing gagawan mi (this is what we do).

Ini is always concrete and never abstract. For example ining libru (this book), ini ing asu nang Juan (this is Juan's dog).

Furthermore, in their locative forms, keni is used when the person spoken to is not near the subject spoken of. Keti, on the other hand, when the person spoken to is near the subject spoken of. For example, two people in the same country will refer to their country as keti however, they will refer to their respective towns as keni. Both mean here.

The plural forms of demonstrative pronouns and its existential form for nearest addressee are exceptions. The plural form of iyan is den/ren, not *deyan/reyan; the plural form of niyan is daren, not *dareyan; the plural form of canyan is caren, not *careyan; the plural form of oyan is oren, not *oreyan; the existential form of iyan is quen, not *queyan.

Nanu ini?
"What's this?"

Mangabanglu la rening sampaga./Mangabanglu la dening sampaga.
"These flowers smell good."

Ninu ing lalaking ita?
"Who is that man/guy?"

Me keni/munta ka keni.
"Come here."

Ati ku keti/atsu ku keni/atyu ku keni.
"I am here."

Mangan la keta.
"They will eat there."

Ninu ing anak a yan?
"Who is that child?"

Uyta/Oyta ya pala ing salamin mu!
"So that's where your glasses are!"

E ku pa menakit makanyan/makanini.
"I haven't seen one of these before"

Manyaman la ren./Manyaman la den.
Those are delicious.

Ayni/Areni/Oreni la reng adwang regalo para keka.
"Here are the two gifts for you."

Buri daka! "I like You"

Kaluguran daka! " I Love You"

Mangan Tana! "Let's Eat"

Edaka buring mawala! "I don't want to lose you!"


Kapampangan verbs are morphologically complex and take on a variety of affixes reflecting focus, aspect, mode, and others.

Ambiguities and irregularities

Speakers of other Philippine languages find Kapampangan verbs to be more difficult than their own languages' verbs due to some verbs belonging to unpredictable verb classes as well as ambiguity with certain verb forms.

To illustrate this, let's take the rootword sulat (write) which exists in both Tagalog and Kapampangan.

For example:

  • susulat means "is writing" in Kapampangan but "will write" in Tagalog.
  • sumulat means "will write" in Kapampangan but "wrote" in Tagalog. This form is also the infinitive in both languages.
  • sinulat means "wrote" in both languages. However in Kapampangan it's in the actor focus but object focus in Tagalog

The object-focus suffix -an represents two types of focuses. However, the only difference between the two is that one of the conjugations preserves -an in the completed aspect while it is dropped in the other conjugation. Take the two verbs below:

bayaran (to pay someone): bayaran (will pay someone), babayaran (is paying someone), beyaran (paid someone)
bayaran (to pay for something): bayaran (will pay for something), babayaran (is paying for something), binayad (paid for something)

Note that other Philippine languages have separate forms. For example, there is -in and -an in Tagalog, -on and -an in Bikol and in most of the Visayan languages, and -en and -an in Ilokano. This is due to historical sound changes concerning Proto-Philippine /*e/ mentioned above.

There are a number of actor-focus verbs which do not use the infix -um- but are usually conjugated like other verbs that do. For example, gawa (to do), bulus (to immerse), terak (to dance), lukas (to take off), sindi (to smoke), saklu (to fetch), takbang (to step), tuki (to accompany), etc. are used instead of *gumawa, *bumulus, *tumerak, *lumukas, *sumindi, *sumaklu, *tumakbang, *tumuki,

Many of the verbs mentioned in the previous paragraph undergo a change of their vowel rather than use the infix -in- (completed aspect). In the actor focus (i.e., -um- verbs), this happens only to verbs having the vowel /u/ in the first syllable. For example, the verb lukas (to take off) is conjugated lukas (will take off), lulukas (is taking off), and likas (took off) (rather than *linukas).

This change of vowel also applies to certain object-focus verbs in the completed aspect. In addition to /u/ becoming /i/, /a/ becomes /e/ in certain cases. For example, dela (brought something) and not *dinala, semal (worked on something) and not *sinamal, and seli (bought) and not *sinali.

Furthermore, there is no written distinction between the two mag- affixes in writing. Magsalita can either mean is speaking or will speak. There is an audible difference, however. [mɐɡsaliˈtaʔ] means "will speak" while [ˌmaːɡsaliˈtaʔ] means "is speaking".

Conjugation chart

Below is a chart of the basic Kapampangan verbal affixes.

  Infinitive &
Progressive Completed
Actor Focus1a -um- CV- -in-
Actor Focus1b CV- -in-
Actor Focus1c m- mVm- min-
Actor Focus2 mag- mág- mig-, meg-
Actor Focus3 ma- má- ne-
Actor Focus4 maN- máN- meN-
Object Focus1 -an CV- ... -an -in-
Object Focus2
Benefactive Focus
i- iCV- i- -in-
i- -i-
i- -e-
Object Focus3
Locative Focus
-an CV- ... -an -in- ... -an
-i- ... -an
-e- ... -an
Instrument Focus ipaN- páN- piN-, peN
Reason Focus ka- ká- ke-


1. warî: used optionally in yes-and-no questions and other types of questions.
2. agyaman, man: even, even if, even though.
3. nung: condition particle that expresses unexpected event; if.
4. kanu: reporting or hearsay particle that expresses that the information is second-hand; he said, she said, they said, it was said, allegedly, reportedly, supposedly.
5. din/rin: inclusive particle that adds something to what was said before; also, too.
6. iká: expresses hope, unrealized condition (with verb in completed aspected), used in conditional aspects.
7. itá: expresses uncertainty and unrealized idea; perhaps, probably, seems.
8. mu: limiting particle; only, just.
9. na and pa

  • na: now, already, yet, anymore.
  • pa: still, else.

10. namán: used in making contrasts and softens requests and emphasis.
11. nanu ita: expresses cause; because, because of.
12. pin: used in affirmations or emphasis and also softens imperatives; indeed.
13. palá: realization particle that expresses that the speaker has realized and/or suddenly remembered something.
14. pu/opu: politeness particle.

Swerti kanu iti kanaku.
It was said that it is lucky to me.

Edukado ya rin ing nobyu mu./Edukado ya din ing nobyu mu.
Your boyfriend is also educated.


To express existence (there is/are) and possession (to have), the word atí is used.

Atí la namang konsyensya.
They also have conscience.


There are two negation words: alí and alá.

Alí negates verbs and equations. It means no and/or not.

Alí ya sinali.
He did not buy.

Alá is the opposite of atí.

Alá na mo kanung lugud.
They say that there is no more love.

But in several statements, e is used instead of "ali."

E ke seli.
I did not buy it.

Interrogative Words

Komustá is used to inquire how something is (are). It is frequently used as a greeting meaning How are you? It is derived from the Spanish ¿cómo está?

Komustá na ka?
“How are you?”

Komustá ya ing pasyente?
“How is the patient?”

Nanu means what.

Nanu ya ing gagawan mu?
“What are you doing?”

Ninu means who.

Ninu la reng lalaki?/Ninu la deng lalaki?
“Who are those men?”

Ninu i Jennifer?
“Who is Jennifer?”

Nukarin means where but is used to inquire about the location of an object and not used with verbs.

Nukarin ya ing drayber?
“Where is the driver?”
Note: Drayber is the Kapampangan phonetic spelling of “driver.”

Nukarin ya i Henry?
“Where is Henry?”

Loan words

Kapampangan borrowed many words from Chinese especially from Cantonese and Hokkien. Examples are:

  • ápû 阿婆 "(maternal) grandmother"
  • impû 外婆 "(paternal) grandmother'
  • ingkung 外公 "(paternal) grandfather"
  • atchi 阿姐 "eldest sister"
  • koya 哥仔 "eldest brother"
  • susi 鎖匙 "key"
  • pansit 便食 "noodles" (lit."instant meal")
  • buisit 無衣食 "bad luck" (lit."without clothes and food")

Due to the influence of Buddhism and Hinduism, Kapampangan also acquired words from Sanskrit. A few examples are:

  • alaya "home" from Sanskrit आलय alaya
  • kalma "fate" from Sanskrit कर्म karma
  • damla "divine law" from Sanskrit धर्म dharma
  • mantala "magic formulas" from Sanskrit मन्त्र mantra
  • upaya "power" from Sanskrit उपाय upaya
  • siuala "voice" from Sanskrit स्वर svara
  • lupa "face" from Sanskrit रुपा rupa
  • sabla "every" from Sanskrit सर्व sarva
  • lawu "eclipse" from Sanskrit राहु rahu
  • galura "giant eagle" (a surname) from Sanskrit गरुड garuda
  • laksina "south" (a surname) from Sanskrit दक्षिण dakshin
  • laksamana "admiral" (a surname) from Sanskrit लक्ष्मण lakshmana

Also, there are many Spanish loan words present today, given its more than three hundred years of occupation. Among a few examples are suerti from Spanish suerte (luck), curus from cruz (cross), carni from carne (meat), corsunada from corazonada (crush), casapego and casa fuego (matchbox)


Some Common Phrases & Sentences

  • Kumusta na ka? – How are you?
  • Masalese ku pu. – I'm fine.
  • Mayap ku pu. – I'm good.
  • Nanung lagyu mu? – What is your name?
  • Malagu kang tagana! – You are really beautiful.
  • Kasanting mo! – You are so handsome!
  • Wa – Yes
  • Ali – No
  • Ume ka keni – Come here.
  • Bisa kung maglolo keka. – "I want to court you."
  • Tabalu keka- literally "I don't know with you." (expression)
  • Eku balu.- I don't know.
  • Mako na ku. – I am going.
  • Mangan ta na, mangan tamu. – Let us eat now, let us eat.
  • Kanyaman na ning lutu mo! – Your cooking is good!


Number Kapampangan
1 Metung/Isa
2 Adua
3 Atlu
4 Apat
5 Lima
6 Anam
7 Pitu
8 Walu
9 Siyam
10 Apulu
11 Labing metung
12 Labing adua
13 Labing atlu
14 Labing apat
15 Labing lima
20 Adwang pulu
21 Adwang pulu't metung
22 Adwang pulu't adua
30 Atlung pulu
100 Hanggatus / Dinalan / Metung Dalan
200 Aduang dalan
1,000 Libu / Metung Libu / Metung a Libu
2,000 Aduang Libu
10,000 Lacsa
100,000 Gatus
200,000 Adwang Dalan Libu / Adwang Dalan A Libu
1,000,000 Milyun
2,000,000 Aduang Milyun (Modern)
1,000,000,000 Bilyun / Metung Bilyun / Metung a Bilyun (Modern)

Traditional Kapampangan Songs

Atin Cu Pung Singsing

Atin cu pung singsing
Metung yang timpucan
Amana que iti
Qng indung ibatan [Better = "Kang..."]
Sangcan queng sininup
Qng metung a caban
Mewala ya iti,
E cu camalayan.

Ing sukal ning lub cu
Susucdul qng banua
Picurus cung gamat[or the active "Mikurus..."]
Babo ning lamesa
Ninu mang manaquit
Qng singsing cung mana
Calulung pusu cu
Manginu ya caya.

English Translation:

I once had a ring
With a beautiful gem
I inherited this
From my mother
I stored it as well as I could
In a hopebox
But it just suddenly disappeared
I didn't notice.

The heartache inside me
Is as high as the sky
My crossed hands (as I pray)
Are upon the table
Whoever would find
That inherited ring
[Better: My inherited ring] My poor heart (that's aching)
Shall forever worship him/her.

Aldo ning Quequeng Quasal

Pengacu ning sintang cacung liguran
Queng Domingo aldo na ning quequeng casal
Mipalucsu ya'ing pusu cu queng tula't ligaya
Micaul que pang adua bayu memun caya

Aniang miras ing aldo ning tipanan
Migayac at misulud cung pangcasal
Bigung calma aniang miras cu lele altar ning pisamban
Cacasal de ring aliwa'y Sintang Irang. (2X w/ ref.)


Sintang Irang ning bie co
Ica ing mal canacu
Nung miwale ca siping cu
Ay mate cu!

Ica ing sampaga, acu ing maging ambun
Acung babie tula qng pusu paragul
Potang bigla cang magticum
Ing tanque malanat
Ing tanque malagas!
Mabaldug qng gabun!

O Caca, O Caca

O Caca, o Caca
Cabalat papaya,
Sabian mu nang patas
Nung e na ca bisa

Refrain: Queta man quecami
Dacal lang baluga
Mangayap la queca
Biasa lang mamana!

Catholic Prayers

The Sign of the Cross

Traditional Spanish Way
Uli ning tanda ning Santa Cruz, caring masamá quecami, icabus Mu cami, Guinu ming Dios.
Qñg laguiu ning +Ibpa, ampon ning Anac, ampon ning Espiritu Santo. Amen.

The Creed

Sasalpantaya cu qñg Dios, Ibpang mayupayang tutu, linalang qñg banua't yatu.
At cang Jesucristong Anac nang Bugtung a [sic] Guinu tamu.
Pengagli Ya qñg upaya ning Banal a Espiritu, mibayit Ya cang Santa Mariang Virgen.
Linasa Ya lalam nang upaya nang Poncio Pilato. Mipacu ya qñg cruz, mete Ya't micutcut.
Tinipa Ya caring mete. Qñg catlung aldo, sinubli yang mebie. Pepaitas Ya banua,
macalucluc uanan ning Dios Ibpang mayupayang tutu. Ibat carin, magbalic Ya naman queti
ban mucum caring mabie ampon mengamate.

Sasalpantaya cu qñg Banal a [sic] Espiritu, qñg Santa Iglesia Catolica, qñg pamisamac ding Santos,
qñg pangapatauadda ring casalanan, qñg pangasubli rang mie ring mete, at qñg bie alang angga.

The Lord's Prayer

Ibpa mi, a atiu banua.
Misamban ya ing lagyu Mu.
Datang quecami
ing cayarian Mu.
Mipamintuan ing lub Mu,
queti sulip anti banua.

Ing cacanan mi qñg aldo-aldo
ibie Mu quecami qñg aldo ngeni.
Ampon ipatauad Mo quecami ring sala mi Queca,
anti ing pamamatauad mi caring micasala quecami.
E Mu que ipaisaul qñg tucsu,
nune icabus Mu cami caring sablang maroc. Amen.

Angelic Salutation (Hail, Mary!)

Bapu, Maria! Mitmu ca qñg gracia. Ing Guinung Dios atiu queca. Nuan ca caring sablang babayi, at nuan ya pa naman ing bunga ning atian mu, y Jesús.

Santa Maria, Indu ning Dios. Ipanalangin mu queng macasalanan, ngeni, ampon qñg oras ning camatayan mi. Amen.

The Gloria Patri

Ligaya qñg Ibpa, at qñg Anac, at qñg Espiritu Santo. Antimo ing sadia nang ligaya ibat qñg camumulan, ngeni't capilan man, mangga man qñg alang angga. Amen.

The Salve Regina

Bapu Reyna, Indung Mamacalulu, bie ampon yumu, manga panaligan mi,
Bapu Reyna, icang ausan mi, iqueng pepalacuan a anac nang Eva;
icang pangisnawan ming malalam, daralung que manga tatangis queni qñg carinan ning lua.

Ngamu na Reyna, Patulunan mi, balicdan mu cami caring mata mung mapamakalulu,
ampon nung mapupus, pangalako mu queti sulip, paquit me quecami i Jesus,
a bungang masampat ning atian mu.

O malugud ! O mapamacalulu! O Santa Maria Birhen a mayumu!

V:Ipanalangin mu cami, O Santang Indu ning Dios.
R: Ba’queng sucat maquinabang caring pengacu nang Jesucristong Guinu tamu.

See also


  1. ^ Kapampangan at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Philippine Census, 2000. Table 11. Household Population by Ethnicity, Sex and Region: 2000
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Pampanga". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ Bergaño
  5. ^
    In many gatherings Kapampangans seem more confident and articulate in exchanging views and ideas among their own K[abalen] ‘countrymen’ in Tagalog which is the vernacular in the Philippines, than they would in their own [mother tongue]. For instance, many Catholic priests are now delivering their homilies in the Tagalog language during a Kapampangan liturgy while high school student meetings are conducted in the Tagalog language even if all the participants are Kapampangans.
  6. ^ Pangilinan, Michael (2012). An introduction to Kulitan, the indigenous Kapampangan script. Center for Kapampangan Studies, Philippines. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Forman, Michael, 1971, pp.28-29
  • Bautista, Ma. Lourdes S. 1996. An Outline: The National Language and the Language of Instruction. In Readings in Philippine Sociolinguistics, ed. by Ma. Lourdes S. Bautista, 223. Manila: De La Salle University Press, Inc.
  • Bergaño, Diego. 1860. Vocabulario de la Lengua Pampanga en Romance. 2nd ed. Manila: Imprenta de Ramirez y Giraudier.
  • Castro, Rosalina Icban. 1981. Literature of the Pampangos. Manila: University of the East Press.
  • Fernández, Eligío. 1876. Nuevo Vocabulario, ó Manual de Conversaciónes en Español, Tagálo y Pampángo. Binondo: Imprenta de M. Perez
  • Forman, Michael. 1971. Kapampangan Grammar Notes. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press
  • Gallárdo, José. 1985–86. Magaral Tang Capampangan. Ing Máyap a Balità, ed. by José Gallárdo, May 1985- June 1986. San Fernando: Archdiocese of San Fernando.
  • Henson, Mariano A. 1965. The Province of Pampanga and Its Towns: A.D. 1300–1965. 4th ed. revised. Angeles City: By the author.
  • Kitano Hiroaki. 1997. Kapampangan. In Facts About The World’s Major Languages, ed. by Jane Garry. New York: H.W. Wilson. Pre-published copy
  • Lacson, Evangelina Hilario. 1984. Kapampangan Writing: A Selected Compendium and Critique. Ermita, Manila: National Historical Institute.
  • Manlapaz, Edna Zapanta. 1981. Kapampangan Literature: A Historical Survey and Anthology. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
  • Panganiban, J.V. 1972. Diksyunaryo-Tesauro Pilipino-Ingles. Quezon City: Manlapaz Publishing Co.
  • Pangilinan, Michael Raymon M. 2004. Critical Diacritical. In Kapampangan Magazine, ed. by Elmer G. Cato,32-33, Issue XIV. Angeles City: KMagazine.
  • Samson, Venancio. 2004. Problems on Pampango Orthography. In Kapampangan Magazine, ed. by Elmer G. Cato,32-33, Issue XII. Angeles City: KMagazine.
  • Tayag, Katoks (Renato). 1985. "The Vanishing Pampango Nation", Recollections and Digressions. Escolta, Manila: Philnabank Club c/o Philippine National Bank.
  • Turla, Ernesto C. 1999. Classic Kapampangan Dictionary. Offprint Copy

External links

  • Kapampangan Wiktionary
  • 10 ICAL Paper – Issues in Orthography
  • 10 ICAL Paper – Importance of Diacritical Marks
  • 10 ICAL Paper – Transitivity & Pronominal Clitic Order
  • Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database
  • Electronic Kabalen – New Writing on Kapampangan Life & Letters
  • Dying languages
  • State can still save Kapampangan
  • Wikibook Kapampangan
  • Siuala ding Meangubie
  • Online E-book of Arte de la Lengua Pampanga by Diego Bergaño. Originally published in 1736.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.