The word Tagalog is derived from the endonymᜆᜄ ᜁᜎᜓᜄ᜔ (taga-ilog, "river dweller"), composed of ᜆᜄ (tagá-, "native of" or "from") and ᜁᜎᜓᜄ᜔ (ílog, "river"). Very little is known about the ancient history of the language; linguists such as David Zorc and Robert Blust speculate that the Tagalogs and other Central Philippine ethno-linguistic groups had originated in Northeastern Mindanao or the Eastern Visayas.
The Baybayin script, used to write in Tagalog prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 16th century.
Old Tagalog is one of the Central Philippine languages, which evolved from the Proto-Philippine language, which comes from the Austronesian peoples who settled in the Philippines, 2000 years ago. This is the language of Ma-i, Tondo, Maynila, Namayan, and other regions of Central Luzon.
The early history of the Tagalog language remains relatively obscure, and a number of theories exist as to the exact origins of the Tagalog peoples and their language. Most[who?] scholars suggest that the Tagalogs originated in North-eastern Mindanao or the Eastern Visayas. Possible words of Old Tagalog origin are attested in the Laguna Copperplate Inscription from the tenth century, which is largely written in Old Malay. The first known complete book to be written in Tagalog is the Doctrina Christiana (Christian Doctrine), printed in 1593.
The question has been raised about the origin of some words in the various languages of the Philippines and their possible connection to ancient Buddhist and Hindu culture in the region, as the language is influenced by Sanskrit, Malay, Tamil and Chinese.
Old Tagalog was written in Baybayin, which belongs to the Brahmic family of scripts. Loanwords from Malay and Sanskrit were written in the Kawi script because they could not be represented in Baybayin.
The words and sentences of Old Tagalog are the roots of the Modern Tagalog language. Some of the words and sentences have evolved over time (like the word Babuy or Pig, which became Baboy in modern Tagalog), but some of the words in Old Tagalog (like Hari or King), have survived and are in common use in Modern Tagalog.