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Cebuano language, also spelled Sebuano, also called Sugbuhanon, member of the Western, or Indonesian, branch of the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) language family. It was spoken in the early 21st century by roughly 18.5 million people in the Philippines (speakers are spread over eastern Negros, Cebu, Bohol, western Leyte, the Camotes Islands, and the northern and western coasts of Mindanao). Cebuano is closely related to the languages of the Hiligaynon (Ilongo) and Waray-Waray, and it is sometimes grouped with those languages as a dialect of Visayan (Bisayan).


Cebuano speakers constitute about one-fifth of the population of the Philippines and are the second largest ethno linguistic group in the country. Despite its spoken frequency, Cebuano is little used as a literary language, although newspapers and films both use the language.


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Classification of the Cebuano Language

Cebuano is only one of the estimated 70 to 75 indigenous languages that can be found throughout the islands of the Philippines. These Philippine languages can be divided into two main categories: Central, also known as Mesophilippine; and northern, also known as Cordilleran. A number of smaller linguistic groups exist in addition to these two. Cebuano is one of the most important languages within the Central (Mesophilippine) category, alongside Tagalog and Filipino.


Regulatory body

Visayan Academy of Arts and Letters


Cebuano language on websites

Cebuano language on websites available is less than 0.1% in terms of percentage.


Number of speakers

Cebuano is an Austronesian language spoken by about 18.5 million people in the Philippines, particularly in Cebu, Negros, Bohol, Visayas and parts of Mindanao. It is also spoken in the USA. The language is also known as Sebuano or Sugbuhanon.



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