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The language largely spoken in northern Leyte and Samar is the Lineyte-Samarnon Visayan language popularly called Waray Waray [Vocabulary].

Warays inhabit the entire Samar mainland and about 25% of Northern Leyte with almost every town having its own dialect derived from the Waray mother tongue.

In the province of Biliran, the eastern part is inhabited by Warays and the rest up to the western portion are Cebuano speaking.

Source: http://www.ncca.gov.ph/culture&arts/

Filipinos are expressive talkers, incorporating eyes, mouth, and hands in their speech. In this way, depth and nuance are added to something that cannot be said or put into words. Courteous language and gentle demeanor are the norm; exaggerated movements and boisterous speech are frowned upon and considered especially by the elder generation as uncouth. Direct eye contact is avoided since it is an aggressive stance and regarded as offensive. Pointed or direct remarks are avoided, and sensitive topics are best left untouched. Westerners might find it rather tiresome and long-winded. Nevertheless, it goes a long way when developing relationships with Filipinos. Source: http://www.yehey.com/history/traits.asp


By Carl Rubino http://www.atoni.com/dila/languages/LanguageFacts/Waray.htm

Language Name: Waráy-Waráy (or Waráy). Waray Waray is the common name of the language, although many speakers also refer to it as Bisaya or Binisaya, not distinguishing it from the dozens of other Visayan languages and dialects. The toponyms Samar-Leyte and Lineyte-Samarnon have also been used, reflecting the geographic location of the language. When referring to the dialects of the language, the terms Samarnon (Samareño) and Leytehanon are also employed.

Location: Waray is the native language of the people from the islands of Samar, Biliran, and Northeast Leyte, Philippines.

Family: Central Bisayan branch of the Bisayan subgroup of the Central Philippine subgroup of the Philippine group of the Western Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Malayo-Polynesian subfamily of the Austronesian language family.

Related Languages: Waray Waray is most closely related to the Central Visayan languages: Sorsogon bikol, hiligaynon, and Romblomanon. Other closely related Visayan languages include Tausug, cebuano, Banton, Aklanon, Kinaray-a, and Kuyonon.

Dialects: There are several dialects of Waray Waray, often referred to by their place name. The dialects of Northern Samar are the most conservative, maintaining [s] where other dialects have innovated [h]. Vowel-length in the verb prefix paradigm (table shown in morphology) for the Northern Samar dialect is absent except in the active potentive form náka-. Zorc (1975) identifies the following three major dialects: Samar-Leyte spoken in Central Samar and the northern half of Leyte, Waray spoken in southern and eastern Samar, and the Northern Samar dialect.

Number of speakers: 3 million.

Origin and History: The Westerners’ first contact with Waray peoples was on March 31, 1521, when Magellan found the Leyte gateway. Very little is known about pre-Hispanic Waray history, but linguistic, ethnographic, and archeological evidence help to classify the Warays as the easternmost extension of the Visayan peoples (see CEBUANO, HILIGAYNON), a relatively homogeneous group inhabiting the central Philippine Islands named after the great Sumatran empire of Sri Vijaya.

Warays today are predominantly Roman Catholic, many practicing with a blend of pre-Hispanic animistic elements. They are the most culturally conservative of the Visayans.

Contact with other Languages

Spanish loans include the days of the week and months of the year, and: telepono ‘telephone,’ sugal ‘play cards, gamble,’ bintanà ‘window,’ padí ‘godfather,’ tíyu ‘uncle,’ pára ‘for,’ kusinà ‘kitchen,’ basu ‘glass,’ and purtáhan ‘door.’ Spanish is no longer used in Waray communities.

English, as the language of education, business, and the government, is the primary source of new words, i.e. aysbaks ‘icebox,’ dyip ‘jeep,’ kompyuter ‘computer,’ and haiskul ‘high school.’ Most Waray Waray speakers are proficient in tagalog, the national language of the Philippines, and may borrow Tagalog words and expressions in their speech.


Efforts to Preserve, Promote and Protect the Language

Although Waray Waray ranks among the top eight languages of the Philippines, there has been very little done in the way of propagating the language through literature or the media. No works of literature have been produced prior to the 1900s during the early American period of occupation and nothing substantial is being produced in Waray to this day.

Norberto Romualdez was the first accomplished writer in Waray, staging his first play, An Pagtabang ni San Miguel ‘The Assistance of St. Michael,’ in 1899 at the age of 24. In 1908 he produced a Bisayan Grammar and organized the Sanghiran san Binisaya ‘Bisayan Language Academy’ the following year. The academy is no longer active.

Select Bibliography

Cruikshank. 1985. Samar: 1768-1898. Manila: Historical Conservation Society.

Luangco, Gregorio (ed.). 1982. Kandabao: Essays of Waray Language, Literature and Culture. Tacloban City: Divine Word University Publications.

Tantuico, Francisco S., Jr. 1964. Leyte: The Historic Islands. Tacloban City, Philippines: Leyte Publishing Corporation.

Tramp, George Dewey, Jr. 1995. Waray Dictionary. Kensington, MD: Dunwoody Press.

Wolff, John U. and Ida O. Wolff. 1967. Beginning Waray. Cebu City.

Zorc, R. David Paul. 1975. The Bisayan Dialects of the Philippines: Subgrouping and Reconstruction. PhD Dissertation, Cornell University.

WARAY-WARAY: a language of Philippines

The code war is classified in ISO 639 as an individual language code.

This code corresponds to the following language in the Ethnologue:

[WRY] Philippines. 2,437,688 (1990 census), about 4.6% of the population.  Alternate names: SAMAREÑO, SAMARAN, SAMAR-LEYTE, WARAY, BINISAYA. Dialects: WARAY, SAMAR-LEYTE, NORTHERN SAMAR. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Western Malayo-Polynesian, Meso Philippine, Central Philippine, Bisayan, Central, Warayan, Samar-Waray


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