Cebuano vs Visayan

The difference between Cebuano and Visayan If you’re not from the Philippines, or even heard of dialects in…

The difference between Cebuano and Visayan

If you’re not from the Philippines, or even heard of dialects in that country, you would most likely not know these two terms. For most Filipino citizens, they also tend to be confused between the two. Basically, they are both adjectives and are also used in describing the ethnic people which includes the dialect.


The Philippines is home to a lot of dialects, and one of which is Cebuano. When you say Cebuano, you are more pertaining to the language used of that of the people living in Cebu. It is also used in classifying the people in that area, hence, people living in Cebu are called Cebuanos. The national language used in the country is Tagalog. This main language is used on most places in Luzon. It is also used in categorizing most of the people who lives in Luzon as well. Most Tagalogs probably can’t speak Cebuano, except for those who have a family background of living in Cebu. But on the other hand, Cebuanos know how to speak Tagalog since it is the national language and is taught in school as well.


Now, when you talk about Visayan, you are talking about Visayas in general. Visayas is one of the three divisions of the Philippines wherein Luzon is at the north (the second largest division), Visayas is at the center (the smallest division), and lastly Mindanao which is at the south (the largest division). So, when you say the Visayan Language, it means the totality of Visayas which includes Cebuano as well. There are a lot of Visayan dialects, some of which are Ilonggo (for those who live in Ilo-ilo), Waray-waray (the language used on most parts of samar and leyte), Cebuano (on Cebu of course), etc.

Brief Summary:

-Cebuano is one of the many dialects of Visayas meaning Visayan includes Cebuano.

-Cebuano also talks about the people living in Cebu while Visayan talks about the whole of Visayas.

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