Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) offers Cebuano interpreters and translators with legal, medical, and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration, and more.

CIT offers comprehensive Cebuano language services including interpretation, translation, and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and Cebuano languages through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel.  Cal Interpreting & Translations’ Cebuano language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Cebuano language, as well as of the culture and history of the Cebuano people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

Who speaks Cebuano?

Cebuano is also referred to as Cebuan, Bisaya, and, colloquially by the majority of its speakers, Bisaya. Cebuano is a Visayan language, derived from the Austronesian language family, spoken in the Philippines. Over 21 million people speak Cebuano, mostly in the Central Visayas, western parts of the Eastern Visayas, and throughout most parts of Mindanao, where it is the lingua franca. Cebuano is he most commonly spoken of the Visayan languages, making it one of the most spoken Philippine languages. The official regulatory body of Philippine languages spells the name of the language as Sebwano. Cebuano boasts the largest native language-speaking population in the Philippines.

Cebuano, Bisaya, Visayan…what’s the difference?

In every day conversation, Cebuano is more often referred to as Bisaya. The term Bisaya, however, may cause confusion, as many other Visayan languages are also often referred to as Bisaya. These Visayan languages are not mutually intelligible with speakers of Cebuano. Visayan is the language family in which Cebuano, or, “Bisaya” originates.

Additionally, the term Cebuano has caused some objection among linguists. There exist multiple generations of Cebuano speakers in northern Mindanao who claim an ancestry that traces back to Cebuano speakers native to Mindanao, who did not immigrate from the Visayas. Complicating matters further, these people ethnically identify as Bisaya and not Cebuano, and call their language Binisaya.

To put it simply, despite many syntactic complexities, Cebuano, Bisaya, and Binisaya are the same language, a part of the Visayan language family.

History of Cebuano Language and People

Cebuano has been spoken since the Proto-Austronesian era, which existed over 6000 years ago in what is now the modern-day Cebu Islands. Cebuano originally spread from Cebu to neighboring islands, as well as Bohol, western and southern parts of Leyte and most parts of Mindanao, at least. The first documentation of the Cebuano language was in a list of vocabulary words composed by a 14th century Italian explorer on board Ferdinand Magellan’s famous 1500’s expedition that led to the discovery of North America. Written Cebuano emerged among Spanish missionaries in the early 18th century. Due to the three hundred years of Spanish colonialism, Cebuano contains many words originating from the Spanish language. With the arrival of Spanish colonists, for example, a Latin-based writing system emerged, eradicating the previous script. This period also contributed a number of Spanish loanwords and surnames.