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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Telling Time

Assalamu Alaykum!

Today in sha Allah we will talk about how to tell time in Bahasa Sūg. It’s simple so I would expect that you could learn this in a day or two.

First here are the things we need to review or learn first for those who haven’t read the other lessons.

1. The Basics of Numbers

The basic way of naming numbers in Bahasa Sūg. You can access the old post I published about this topic in: NUMBERS in Bahasa Sūg (I haven't edited this post yet, there might be some mistakes in there). Just learn the numbers from 1-59 first, coz that's the only thing you need to know to tell time haha.

Then remember the magic word LISAG. Just add the word "Lisag" which signifies "time" BEFORE the number and you will have it, the time of the day! (The word Lisag doesn't even have an English translation! Cool huh?). 


One o'clock = Lisag + (one = hambuuk) =  Lisag hambuuk*
Five o'clock = Lisag + (five = lima) = Lisag lima

*Hambuuk is one of the many words in Bahasa Sūg equivalent to the English word “one (1)” and as we have learned in the past lessons about numbers #link#, we will use hambuuk instead of isa in telling time.

2. Other words to know:

Maynaat = morning
Mahapun = afternoon
Duwm = night/evening
Mataas-suga = Noon

We usually add any of the above words in the end of saying the "time" of the day. Like "Lisag siyam sin duwm" (It's 9 o'clock in the evening). "sin" is the article "of" usually placed before the words maynaat, mahapun, duwm or mataas-suga.

One o’clock in the afternoon = Lisag hambuuk sin mahapun
 Five o’clock in the morning = Lisag lima sin maynaat
[Listen to VR]

3. Including Minutes

To include the minutes, just place the conjunction "iban" (and) after the "hour" then mention the minutes by saying the numbers (from 01-59) then add "minit"  in the end.

Format: Lisag (hour) + iban + (number in minute) minit + sin maynaat/mahapun/duwm

Example: How to say 4:30 PM
Four (4) is upat and Thirty (30) is katluan in Bahasa Sūg, and PM = mahapun. So we get

"Lisag upat iban katluan minit sin mahapun."

You can also use the word tunga’ (half) for “30 minutes” to signify “half of an hour”. So instead of saying Lisag upat iban katluan minit (4 and 30 minutes) you can just say Lisag upat iban tunga’ (four and half hours) which is the same.

"Lisag upat iban katluan minit sin mahapun."
"Lisag upat iban tunga' sin mahapun."
[Listen to VR]

4. Asking for time.

Use this when you want to ask or answer what time is it:

"Lisag pila na?" (What time is it?)
Lisag siyam na sin maynaat.” (It’s already 9 in the morning)
 [Listen to VR]

"Lisag (time) na sin maynaat/mahapun/duwm"

That is all! We will end this lesson here. A special mention to Miss Florian, this lesson was part of her request :) and there you go! You now have learned how to properly tell time in Bahasa Sūg. For the correct pronunciations of the words mentioned here, please listen to the voice/video records provided.

Here's the voice record for all the examples mentioned in this post. Listen to them or download the audio file:


Downloadable Audio file: Telling time

Til our next lesson,
Salam Kasilasa and Magsukul for supporting Tausūg101!

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Letters /Bb/ and /Gg/

Originally published: June 7, 2012 Thursday
Updated: January 9, 2015

Assalamu Alaykum. This is the 2nd lesson on “Tausūg 101: Learning Bahasa Sūg” by Anak Iluh. For more lessons, please go to: Lists of Lessons.

Among the 17 commonly used consonants we have in Bahasa Sūg, two letters are notable of having a “special ruling” on articulating their sounds. These are the letters /Bb/ and /Gg/. Both letters can be pronounced with (1) their regular distinct sounds and (2) their special “spirant” sounds. The following rules must be learnt by anyone who wants to learn to speak Bahasa Sūg fluently.

We first published this article in July 2012 and we have found out that this lesson actually agree with the guideline by Dr. Bangahan’s “Bahasa Sūg Phonetics and Orthography” which again, we will follow for this lesson.

The rules are simple: look for the letters /Bb/ and /Gg/ and find out what precede them in a word or a sentence. 

The Distinct /Bb/ and /Gg/

Rule #1: When the letters Bā’ and Gā’ are placed in the BEGINNING or in the END of a word, they will be pronounced with their regular ‘solid’ or distinct /Bb/ and /Gg/ sounds. This is known as “Bā’ mahantap” for /Bb/ and “Gā’ mahantap” for /Gg/. Examples of these words are:
Bā’ mahantap
Gā’ mahantap
basi’ (iron/metal)
gadja (elephant)
badju’ (cloth/shirt)
gallang (bracelet)
saub (cover/lid)
niyug (coconut tree)
ukab (open)
hulug (fall)

Rule #2: The same rule applies when these letters are placed in the MIDDLE of a word and then follows or is followed by another consonant or a glottal stop (‘). We retain the distinct /Bb/ and /Gg/ sounds such as in:           
Bā’ mahantap
Gā’ mahantap
dagbus (face)
siyagnat (hooked)
sambut (catch)
si’gub (burp)
sa’bu (already)
bugtu’ (broken, for strings)

The Aspirant /Bb/ and /Gg/

Rule #3: The special rule (the aspirant sound), applies when the two letters are in BETWEEN TWO VOWEL sounds. When this happens, the two letters will take their “spirant” form or sound; meaning they will have a bit of “softer” sound and should not have a “stopping”, bursting distinct sound. 

The letter /Bb/ will be pronounced with a slight opening of the lips letting air to smoothly and freely pass during the pronunciation. This is called the “Bā’ mahangin”. It would have the sound /v/ as in LEVITATE, but not /V/ in VIOLET. But it should also be noted that the letter /Vv/ should never be used to replace the aspirant /Bb/ sound. Listening to the recordings I have prepared would make this clearer.

The letter /Gg/ would then sound like the Huruf Ghain /Gh/ in Arabic and not with the distinct /Gg/ sound. This is called the “Gā’ mahangin” sound.
Bā’ mahangin
Gā’ mahangin
Labay (Pass by, v.)
Bagay (Friend)
Lubid (Rope)
Tagad (Wait, v.)
Tabang (Help, v.)
Higad (Side)
Habay-Habay (Amulet)
Tagaynup (Dream)
Sabun (Soap)
Agap (Parrot)

(Please download the audio copy of these examples or watch the video I prepared. See the links at the end of this post.)

Rule #4: Now what about if we attach affixes (prefixes, suffixes) to these words? The following rules should be followed. Notice that they are exactly the same as those in single words.

4a) When adding a prefix ending with a vowel to a word beginning with /Bb/ or /Gg/, the letters /Bb/ and /Gg/ will take the aspirant forms. Attaching a suffix beginning with a vowel sound will also have the same effect.
Sinūg word
+ prefix / suffix
new word
biskay (fastness)
mabiskay (fast, adj.)
gituk (tickle)
magituk (tickling)
ukab (open)
ukaban (to open)
hulug (fall)
hulugun (to drop)
On the new word the letters /Bb/ and /Gg/ are now in between tow vowel sounds; and following the third rule, they will take the aspirant forms.

4b) When words beginning with letters /Bb/ and /Gg/ are attached with prefixes with another consonant, the distinct sounds Bā’ mahantap and Gā’ mahantap are retained. There are no suffixes attached to words ending with /Bb/ and /Gg/.
Sinūg word
+ prefix / suffix
new word
bugsay (oar)
magbugsay (fast, adj.)
guling (fry)
nag-guling (fried something)

 Rule #5: The last one is about finding these words in a sentence with other words. We will follow the same rules with a slight difference:

5a) In a sentence, when a word beginning with /Bb/ or /Gg/ is preceded by another word ending with a consonant sound or a glottal stop (‘), the distinct Bā’ mahantap or Gā’ mahantap will be retained.
Sentence with words beginning in
Bā’ mahantap or Gā’ mahantap
Masawa in bulan.
The moon is bright.
Kiyta’ ku in gadja.
I saw the elephant.

5b) In a sentence, when these words on the other hand, are preceded by another word ending with a vowel sound, they will take the aspirant Bā’ mahangin or Gā’ mahangin.
Sentence with words beginning in
Bā’ mahangin or Gā’ mahangin
Didtu kami limingkud ha bangka’.
We sat there at the boat.
Simakat kami ha gadja.
We rode an elephant.

5c) In a sentence, when a word ends with letters /Bb/ or /Gg/, they will always take the distinct Bā’ mahantap or Gā’ mahantap regardless of the kind of letters the next word begins with.
Sentence with words ending in
Bā’ mahantap or Gā’ mahantap
Naukab in lawang.
The door was opened.
Nahulug in sāmin.
The mirror fell.
Yari in saub garapun.
Here is the container lid.
Sulug kaw badju’.
Wear some clothes.

Comparing with Tagalog

                The special sounds of /Bb/ and /Gg/ sounds are found to be unique in Bahasa Sūg. There is indeed a great difference in pronouncing these sounds in Bahasa Sūg compared to that in Tagalog, where these sounds are more distinctly pronounced regardless of their positions. Comparisons are seen in the following examples:
(The sounds /B/ and /G/ are more pronounced)
Bahasa Sūg
(The sounds are spirantized; softened)
Bagay (Things)
Bagay (Friends)
Agap (To hasten, v.)
Agap (Parrot)
Libutan (to encircle)
Libutan (to encircle)
Mahaba (long)
Mahaba’ (long)
                A little confused now? Hehe. It is really hard to understand this if we will stick with the written examples only. We have to listen to their actual pronunciations to better understand them. And so, to easily understand this special ruling, please listen to the audio file I have prepared for this lesson. You can download them in this link: DOWNLOADS- I was finally able to make a video as well. Check it out here:


In summary, we learned:

1. There are two ways to pronounce the letters /Bb/ and /Gg/: the distinct mahantap type and the aspirant mahangin type;

2. In root-words or words with affixes, whenever the /Bb/ and /Gg/ sounds are PRECEDED or are FOLLOWED by another CONSONANT SOUND or a GLOTTAL STOP (‘), they will be pronounced with their distinct Bā’ mahantap or Gā’ mahantap sounds;

3. In root-words or words with affixes, whenever the /Bb/ and /Gg/ sounds are placed IN BETWEEN TWO VOWEL SOUNDS, they will be pronounced with their aspirant, soft Bā’ mahangin or Gā’ mahangin sounds;

4. When found in sentences, words BEGINNING with /Bb/ or /Gg/ and PRECEDED by words ending in VOWELS, the aspirant /Bb/ or /Gg/ mahangin will be used; and lastly

5. When found in sentences, words BEGINNING with /Bb/ or /Gg/ and PRECEDED by words ending in consonants or a glottal stop, the distinct /Bb/ or /Gg/ mahantap will be retained. The same thing happens with words ENDING with /Bb/ or /Gg/ regardless of the beginning of the next word.

Most non-Tausūg and non-Arabic speakers would have a hard time learning these rules. Yet nevertheless, it would only take a little patience and a lot of practice to master their correct sounds. It’s really fun if you will only put your heart in it, right?

This ends our second lesson.

I hope we have achieved something today. Our next topic will be on the other special letters: “The Transforming Letters /Dd/, /Rr/, etc.”, which will be posted hopefully next Thursday. We have at least one week to practice what we have learned today, the special sounds of /B/ and /G/. You can always ask questions in our page Tausug101 or email me at

For Download link: (feel free to share it with others)

The file includes:
·         Tausūg word samples for regular /B/ and /G/--Audio file
·         Tausūg word samples for special /B/ and /G/--Audio file
·         Comparisons between Tagalog and Tausūg samples—Audio file
·         New Tausūg words for Lesson 2 and Proper way of writing the special letters /B/ and /G/--pdf file

(Audio files are in MP3 format, so you can always listen to them in your MP3s, ipods or iphones :-)

Salama Kasilasa!

Anak Iluh

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Translations 10

Al P.: 
Assalamu Alaykum Taymanghud.

I hope you can help me find the meaning of this word in tausug: "CONGRATULATIONS'
Please help me utoh.. I need this word, post ku kasi ha fb kasi my wife just got pregnant... greet aku kanya in tausug..u know what mean.. hope you could help

Good day Taymanghud and Assalamu Alaykum.

Do you happen to understand Bahasa Sug? or are you a Tausug yourself, too? Sorry I just need to know po.
As far as my little knowledge on bahasa Sug, there is NO TRANSLATION for the word CONGRATULATIONS... (or maybe there is, but its already used long time ago, and I am not aware of it, magmaaf tuud :( Anyways, The locals would usually use the original english term in congratulating other pipol as "congrats!" and the like. But if youwan to be more "different" you can use the Arabic term instead. you can say "Mabrook!" to mean congratulations, or better yet "Alhamdulillah!" (praise be to Allah!" for indeed that is the best way to congratulate someone.

I hope I was able to help somehow taymanghud.

Even then, let me say "MABROOK! to you and your wife! ALHAMDULILLAH, Allah had bestowed a very wonderful Blessing to both of you :-D MashaAllah, May Allah keep your family happy and healthy. Ameen.

Salam Kasilasa!


Kylie G.:
Hi Sir can I asked a favor ? can you translate these words:
How much.
How much is this?
What time is it?
This is too small.
That is bag is big.
Our house is very huge.
Ten little indian.
Have you eaten?
The 12 months.
                                                               THANKS YOU!

Hello Kylie :-)

I just finished my last exam, and was happy to receive more emails about Tausug101.

Here are the translations:

How much.                 = Pila siyn
How much is this?       = Pila siyn ini?
Time.                          = Waktu
What time is it?           = Lisag pila na?
Small.                         = Asibi' (Pls see "Lesson 10: Adjectives")
This is too small.         = Asibi' tuud sa ini.
Big.                            = Malaggu'
That is bag is big.        = In bag yan malaggu'. 
House.                        = Bay 
Our house is very huge.= In bay namu' malaggu' tuud.
Little.                           = Asibi' or Manahut (synonyms with small)
Ten little indian.            = Hangpu' asibi' Indiyan (There's no translation for "Indians")
Eat.                             = Kaun
Have you eaten?          = Nakakaun na kaw?
Monday.                      = Isnin (See Lesson on "The days of the week")
Tuesday.                      = Salasa
Wednesday.                 = Albaa
Thursday.                    = Hammis
Friday.                        = Jumaat
The 12 months.           = Same with Arabic/Islamic Calendars but not equivalent with Gregorian calendar. Pls google the "12 Hijrah Months" for more info.

I hope this helped :-)

Pls kindly help us promote TAUSUG101 by
(1) liking our FB page:
(2) Visiting the blog and learning from it :-)
and (3) Sharing the knowledge to other friends!
Some of these examples are already discussed in our lessons in TAUSUG 101 (

Magsukul tuud! (Thank you very much!)
Kamaya (take care)


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Assalamu Alaykum!

MashaAllah! We just reached our 80,000th view! ^_^ Thank you all for supporting this humble blog. Magsukul!

Although we haven't post much updates these past months, rest assured that we are working hard as well to improve this site in sha Allah. We are now updating our old posts, and guess what? We will add more videos and voice records in the future! Horraay!

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