For anyone learning Tagalog for the first time, like any other language it may seem a little daunting. The grammar, sentence construction and pronunciation are all very different to English. They have different tenses and gender seems irrelevant in some cases and vital in other and so on.
Relax! Like any language, Tagalog can be learnt and mastered and fairly quickly. Especially if you immerse yourself in the language, perhaps go and live in Manila in a suburb far from any foreigners or find yourself a Filipino friend closer to home.
The really good news about learning Tagalog is that it is fun and if you make a mistake, every Filipino I know would just laugh along with you and then very politely correct you if you asked them to do so. So what do you need to start learning Tagalog?
1. The right attitude and a genuine desire to learn. Without this it simply won’t happen.
2. A Tagalog teacher or friend who can guide you will make all the difference.
3. A good textbook with an accompanying audio CD so you can hear the pronunciation, some of these are available online.
4. A Tagalog-English dictionary. Again there are free online versions but nothing beats having a hard copy book handy when you need it.
Above all have fun and enjoy the journey to proficiency in a new language. It is never easy learning a new language as an adult, I guess that is why we learn to speak at such a young age!