8+ Best Filipino Textbooks & Phrasebooks for Beginners

Looking for the best Filipino textbooks?

See, some people like learning with courses.

Others want language apps. And some people like learning with textbooks.

And Filipino textbooks are a simple way to learn Filipino. Why?

Books guide you from page 0, to page 1, to page 3… to page 100. From your first words to your first conversation. You learn tons of words and grammar rules along the way.

So, in this guide, you’ll find some of the best Filipino textbooks and phrasebooks.

By the way, if you want to HEAR real Filipino, check out this audio lesson while you browse the books. (3-Minute Filipino Lesson from FilipinoPod101.com)

best filipino textbooks


  • Be careful about getting books on Kindle. The formatting may differ from the print version.

1. Learning Tagalog – Fluency Made Fast and Easy – Complete Course (7-Book Set)

This first one makes my list of best Filipino textbooks because…

…of the sheer volume. Yes, you get 7 books. For language nerds, this is a wonderful deal. For those new to any and all languages, this may be too much. So, if it is too much, go ahead, skip this and check the other suggestions.

  • Pages: 1354
  • By: Learning Tagalog

Inside this 7-book set, you get: 3 course books, 3 workbooks, a grammar book, as well as downloadable audio.

  • Strength: You get a lot!
    • Comprehensive approach. Includes workbooks + grammar book

As with most textbooks, you get dialogs, word lists, grammar explanations and cultural tips. Then, the workbooks are where you can practice and test yourself on what you learned in the workbooks. And then, the grammar book is there for reference. I like that it’s included because language learners eventually WILL buy a grammar book.

click here to learn more.

2. Complete Filipino (Tagalog): A Teach Yourself Guide

This may be another one of the best Filipino textbooks out there.

  • Pages: 400
  • By: Teach Yourself

Like most, you learn dialogues, grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, but that’s not all.

This 24-chapter book includes exercises and tests inside the book to force you to practice what you’ve learned. Also, you can get a CD for the dialogues to practice your listening skills.

  • Strength: Good, well-rounded textbook with exercises.

Overall, this textbook gives you A LOT for your money and thus is worthy of a first choice pick.

click here to learn more.

3. Learn Filipino, Book One, with Discs 1 and 2

This book comes with 30 chapters. The first 15 focus on grammar first and the last 15 teach you basic conversations.

  • Pages: 384
  • By Tuttle

So, if you want to develop an understanding of the language first… before speaking it, you may like this textbook. It also promises to teach you 250 words towards the end.

The book is very easy to follow but on the “lighter” side when it comes to how much you learn.

click here to learn more.

4. Essential Tagalog Grammar – A Reference for Learners of Tagalog – Second Edition

If you want to speak Filipino and have a greater range of expression…

…then you’ll need to know lot of grammar rules.

  • Pages: 418
  • By Learning Tagalog (Independently Published)

That’s where Essential Tagalog Grammar comes in. You get a whole lot of in-depth grammar explanations. The book is very thorough and is meant to be used as a companion to whatever else you’re using. Not something you read from page to 1-418.

Note: May be more for upper beginners than brand new learners.

  • Strength: Grammar

click here to learn more.

5. Modern Tagalog: Grammatical Explanations and Exercises for Non-native Speakers

Now, if you want grammar AND exercises, you can also consider this book.

  • Pages: 184
  • By the University of Hawaii Press

It’s not as thorough not as big as Essential Tagalog but it can serve as a nice alternative.

Again, I’d only recommend this to upper beginners who already have a basic grasp of the language.

click here to learn more.

6. Easy Tagalog: A Complete Language Course and Pocket Dictionary in One!

This another decent Filipino textbook.

  • Pages: 224
  • By Tuttle
  • Strength: Comprehensive book

Well, actually it’s written to NOT be a “dry” boring textbook… which is what makes it good.

There are 20 quick chapters teaching you simple dialogues, grammar, words, phrases and cultural insights.

click here to learn more.

7. Lonely Planet Filipino (Tagalog) Phrasebook & Dictionary

If you’re learning Filipino, then you’ll want to know phrases. Why phrases?

Phrases get you speaking more right now. Especially if 1) you’re a tourist and need to say some basic things, or 2) you’re a learner who wants to add more “range of expression” to your Filipino.

You’ll also want a dictionary… just to load yourself up on more words.

  • Pages: 260
  • By Lonely Planet

That’s where this phrasebook/dictionary comes in, with over 3500 words inside. Plus, plenty of phrases for real-life situations. The phrasebook-dictionary hybrid is geared towards travelers but beginners can also make good use of it.

  • Strength: Phrases

click here to learn more.

8. Instant Tagalog: How to Express Over 1,000 Different Ideas with Just 100 Key Words and Phrases!

This is another fun phrasebook.

Instead of teaching you the common phrases for travel, shopping, it takes an interesting turn.

  • Pages: 160
  • By Tuttle
  • Strength: Phrases

Instead, you learn 100 words and phrases which come with multiple example sentences that help you express 1000+ more phrases. There’s also a dictionary at the end for reference.

click here to learn more.

These are some of the best Filipino textbooks and books I’ve found so far.

But, if you want something a little more than a “book,” then I recommend FilipinoPod101.

FilipinoPod101 is a Filipino learning program. You get audio/video lessons made by real teachers. The lessons get you speaking in minutes and are just 3-15 minutes in length. Just press the play button below to check out a lesson.

So, if you want to HEAR real Filipino and learn faster with a program, I recommend them.

Click here to get a Free Lifetime Account at FilipinoPod101.com.

– The Main Junkie

Learn Filipino with FilipinoPod101.com

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