Metro Manila · Filipino language is a challenge for Google

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A little consolation for Megacitizens who try to learn Filipino but struggle with the mix of Tagalog, Spanish, and English: even for Google's developers of speech recognition and voice search, the common 'Taglish' is a challenge, as they admit on their research blog.

Eugene Weinstein and Pedro Moreno from the Google Speech Team explain the difficulties they have with Filipino: "Much like in other multilingual societies such as Hong Kong, India, South Africa, etc., Filipinos often mix several languages in their daily life. This is called code switching. Code switching complicates the design of pronunciation, language, and acoustic models."

Google therefore had to model the reality of daily language use in the speech recognizer design. The Filipino voice search system, while mainly focused on the Filipino language, now also allows users to mix in English terms.

Learning Tagalog

Are you challenged by the Filipino language as well? Berlitz operates three language centers in Metro Manila (Makati, Greenhills, Shangri-La Mall). They offer private classes and group classes for four to six students. You can also find private language teachers that teach you at home or via Skype etc. Rates start at around 400 Pesos per hour. Just look for Filipino/Tagalog lessons on websites like or