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Chavacano o Chabacano

Language of Zamboanga City – Lenguaje del Ciudad de Zamboanga

Daily examples of an English word and Chavacano word used in sentences:

In English: Search
In Chavacano: Busca

Chavacano – Chabacano: The original online Chavacano – English Dictionary.
El diccionario en línea original del lenguaje de Chavacano. Desde 1997
Email conmigo maga frase de chavacano: Gracias. Man ayudahan kita.
Chavacano 0 Chabacano? El verdad Chavacano. Pero, no hay se problema con el Zamboangueño, kay ta usa man con el dos.

Chavacano to English Translation Dictionary

Chavacano LifeStyles – Estilo de Chavacano

Translate English to chavacano or chabacano, simply click on the letter that the English word starts with below.

English to Chavacano Dictionary

El Chavacano vien vivo aqui na Zamboanga. Man ayudahan kita para engrandese el lenguaje de chavacano, el lenguaje del Zamboangueño.

Click on any letter to find the chavacano or english word you are seaching. Click on the word to see the corresponding translation. We have also included sentences in chabacano(chavacano) with english translations. Puede ustedes omenta palabras de chavacano o ase entra habladas del maga palabras chabacano.


This picture was taken in Zamboanga City. The carabao is pulling the pajagat or sleigh. The man manages the carabao with the pamitik that he is holding. The big basket on the pajagat is the Canastro. That’s where the cargo goes. The yoke on the back of the neck of the carabao is called the ayugo.
*El hombre ta aguanta con el pamitik, conectao na naris del carabao. Dos pitik para manda bira na lao derecha con el carabao. Y un halada para manda por escerda. El carabao ta hala con el pajagat. El canastro ensima del pajagat. El dalaydayan del pajagat conectao na ayugo na tangkugu del carabao. El pandiit amo aquel na pescuezo del carabao. Aguantao quel na ayugo.

Chavacano is the language of the Zamboangueños. Some refer to the language of the Zamboangueños as chabacano, which the Zamboangueños do not mind, as some of them refer to chavacano as chabacano. However, it is commonly accepted that if you are officially referring to the language of the Zamboangueños, then you might as well call it chavacano. Many zamboangueños pronounce the letters “V” as “B” , the “F” as “P” and the “Z” as “S”. However they may say “chabacano” but they will write it as “chavacano”, they’d say “prio” but they will write it down as “frio” or say “crus” but correctly write it down as “cruz“.

  • This comes out of the mouth of a Chavacano person: “Yo si Rodolpo Palcatan Crus. De samboanga yo y chabacano mi lenguaje.”
  • If he writes it down, it will look like this: “Yo si Rodolfo Falcatan Cruz. De Zamboanga yo y chavacano mi lenguaje.”

Why it is Officially Chavacano and not Chabacano

In Zamboanga City, the old-timers (specially those who write in chavacano) will be offended if you tell them that their language is chabacano instead of chavacano. To the new generation the words chabacano and chavacano are interchangeable. With that said, it’s time to put things into perspective.

In the spanish language, the word chabacano is not referred to as a language. The word chabacano or chabacana is defined as: Coarse, unpolished, ill-finished. And in Mexico, chabacano is a kind of Apricot (fruit). I have this fruit growing in my backyard. The word Chabacana is an insipid kind of plum.

The people of Zambaonga, being a proud bunch of people, who just helped the spaniards build the fort (June 23, 1635) and in the process developed the dialect, wanted to “own” this unique new language and hence baptized (coined) it as CHAVACANO. The word chabacano was derogatory. The people of Zamboanga were proud of their new language, the language of Chavacano. There is no mystery to this. The Zamboangueños simply wanted to own their own language.

The word CHAVACANO is only as old as the chavacano language itself. The word Chavacano is not a spanish word. The people of Zamboanga “coined” the word.

In the Philippines there were a handful of dialects that were developed in the areas where the spaniards had employed several indegenous people from different areas with different dialects. These workers had to communicate using the spanish language as the common denominator. These “new” dialects were referred to by the spaniards as CHABACANO, meaning “un-refined, coarse, or unpolished” form of spanish. Some call it “bastard” Spanish. The communities of Ternate – Ternateños, Ermita – Ermitaños, and Cavite City – Caviteños: did not “coin” their new found dialects. The dialects were called by the spaniards as the “Chabacano” of the spanish language and hence these communities proceeded to call their new dialects as “Chabacano”. No mystery there either.

The people of Zamboanga were unique. They coined the word “Chavacano” and they spread this new language to the new places they settled in later. Places, like Cotabato, Davao, and Basilan. The people in these areas referred to their language as CHAVACANO. The chavacano word identified the speaker as “originating” from Zamboanga.

The government website of zamboanga city( incorrectly refers to chavacano as chabacano. Well, the mayor who authorized the website(2004) was not a zamboangueño.

I Frank Maletsky born, raised and educated in Zamboanga City speaks chavacano fluently. I created this FREE online chavacano wiki dictionary to enable any chavacano zamboangueño to contribute their knowledge of the chavacano language. Nobody can claim that they are the authority in the Chavacano language. We all need to collaborate to allow the language to survive, grow and evolve.

In this site you will find Chavacano words with translations and how they are used in sentences. The chavacano words are translated into english and spanish. Simple chavacano sentences are used as examples.

This site is open to all. We invite the Chavacano people around the world to participate in this open interactive Chavacano site. If you remember any chavacano words that are not in this on-line interactive chavacano dictionary, go ahead and enter those chavacano words here.

Man ayudahan kita para el lenguaje chavacano di aton ay hinde mori.

Celso Lobregat who was elected as a congressman of Zamboanga city in 1998 started to refer to the language of Chavacano in writing as chabacano contradicting his mother (Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat) who was mayor of Zamboanga City back then. He heard some of the people of zamboanga pronounce the letter “V” as “B” and thought that the word “chavacano” was spelled “chabacano”. Celso (born, raised and educated outside zamboanga city) is not a zamboangueño even though his mother was. When Celso became mayor (2004) he pushed for the change from chavacano to chabacano. To this date the government website of zamboanga city incorrectly refers to chavacano as chabacano. As of 2021 the City of Zamboanga is still under the political influence of Celso Lobregat, so the change from chabacano to chavacano will not likely happen. However, we at and with other true zamboangueños will continue to push for the change so that the government website will start to refer to our beloved language as chavacano instead of chabacano. The government website of Zamboanga City INCORRECTLY refers to the Zamboangueño language as Chabacano

Chavacano History

Read about the history of the Chavacano Language: READ ON

June 23, 1635 should be symbolically known as “Dia del Chavacano de Zamboanga.” Why you might ask? This was the day that a permanent foothold was laid on Zamboanga by the Spanish government with the construction of the San José Fort, and the subsequent evolution and proliferation of a unique dialect/language based on ancient Creole Spanish that is called Chavacano de Zamboanga. This is our history, this is our culture.

Zamboanga is the largest Spanish-Creole speaking region in Asia (Thus, Chavacano de Zamboanga is the de facto largest Spanish-Creole language in Asia!)

Let us begin the account by saying that as a result of continued Moro Pirate attacks on the Spanish controlled Visayas and Luzon Islands, a lingering plan to take possession of the strategic Mindanao peninsula and its town of Jambangan in the center of Moroland would be finally commenced at the urging of Bishop Fray Pedro of “Santissimo Nombre de Jesus” (Cebu) to the interim Governor-General of the Philippines, Don Juan Cerezo de Salamanca. >>>>Read More


“Ajos” in English: Garlic Garlic in Chavacano or chabacano: Ajos In English In Chavacano It smells so good when you…

Last Updated on July 1, 2022

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