|Region||Zambales, Pangasinan, Metro Manila, Palawan|
Official language in
|Regional language in the Philippines|
|Regulated by||Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino|
Area where Sambal is spoken
Sambal or Sambali is a Sambalic language spoken primarily in the Zambal municipalities of Santa Cruz, Candelaria, Masinloc, Palauig, and Iba, and in the Pangasinense municipality of Infanta in the Philippines; speakers can also be found in Panitian, Quezon, Palawan and Barangay Mandaragat or Buncag of Puerto Princesa. The speakers of the language are decreasing due to the fact that many of the speakers are shifting to Tagalog.
The first European-produced reference grammar of any indigenous language of the Philippines was that of Zambal, published circa 1601.
Ethnologue reports Santa Cruz, Masinloc and Iba as dialects of the language. 
The language is occasionally referred to as zambal, which is the hispanized form of Sambal.
Sambal had also for a time been referred to as Tina, a term still encountered in older sources. The term, however, which means 'bleached' in the Botolan variety of the language, is considered offensive. The pejorative term was first used in the late 1970s by researchers from the Summer Institute of Linguistics (now SIL International). Sambals would not normally recognize the reference.
Sambali has 19 phonemes: 16 consonants and three vowels. Syllable structure is relatively simple.
Sambali has three vowels. They are:
There are five main diphthongs: /aɪ/, /uɪ/, /aʊ/, /ij/, and /iʊ/.
Below is a chart of Sambal consonants. All the stops are unaspirated. The velar nasal occurs in all positions including at the beginning of a word.
Note: Consonants [d] and [ɾ] sometimes interchange, as they were once allophones. Dy is pronounced [dʒ], ny [ɲ], sy [ʃ], and ty [tʃ].
Stress is phonemic in Sambal. Word stress is very important; it differentiates homonyms, e.g. hikó ('I') and híko ('elbow').
Many words pronounced with /s/ and /ɡ/ in Cebuano and Tagalog are pronounced with /h/ and /j/, respectively, in their cognates in Sambal. Compare hiko and ba-yo with the Tagalog siko and bago.
Note: In a general conversation, hi is usually omitted or contracted from the pronoun: e.g. Hikunla tana hiya rin (sa kanila na lang iyan) is simply ‘kunla tana ‘ya-rin or even shorter, as ‘kunlay na rin.
'The man arrived.' Dumating ang lalaki:
Nakita ni Juan si Maria – Na-kit ni Juan hi Maria. 'John saw Mary.'
Note that in Philippine languages, even the names of people require an article.
'Helen and Robert will go to Miguel's house.'
'Father has the keys.'
'That baby is healthy.'
Personal pronouns are categorized by case. The indirect forms also function as the genitive.
|1st person||Exclusive||ako – hiko
ko – ko
akin – hikunko (shortened to ‘kunko)
|kita – ta, kunta||kami – hikami or ‘kami|
namin – mi
amin – hikunmi or ‘kunmi
|Inclusive||tayo – hitamo or ‘tamo|
natin – hikuntamo or ‘kuntamo
atin – hikuntamo or ‘kuntamo
|2nd person||ikáw – hika
mo – mo
iyó – hikunmo or ‘kunmo
|kayo – hikamo or ‘kamo|
ninyo – moyo
inyo – hikunmoyo or ‘kunmoyo
|3rd person||siya – hiya
niya – naya
kaniya – hikunnaya or ‘kunnaya
|silá – hila|
nilá – la
kanilá – hikunla or ‘kunla
Genitive pronouns follow the word they modify. Oblique pronouns can take the place of the genitive pronoun but they precede the word they modify.
Below is a translation in Sambal of the Philippine national proverb "He who does not acknowledge his beginnings will not reach his destination," followed by the original in Tagalog.
Ama mi an ison ha langit,
sambawon a ngalan mo.
Ma-kit mi na komon a pa-mag-ari mo.
Ma-honol komon a kalabayan mo iti ha lota
a bilang anamaot ison ha langit.
Biyan mo kami komon nin
pa-mangan mi para konan yadtin awlo;
tan patawaron mo kami komon ha kawkasalanan mi
a bilang anamaot ha pa-matawad mi
konlan ampagkasalanan komi.
Tan komon ando mo aboloyan a matokso kami,
nokay masbali ipa-lilih mo kamin kay makagawa doka,
ta ikon moy kaarian, kapangyarian tan karangalan a homin
Ama mi, maipatnag komon a banal mon kapangyarian.
Lomato ana komon an awlon sikay mag-ari.
Biyan mo kamin pa-mangan mi sa inawlo-awlo.
Inga-rowan mo kami sa kawkasalanan mi bilang
pa-nginganga-ro mi konlan nagkasalanan komi
tan ando mo kami aboloyan manabo sa tokso.
Sambal numbers are listed below.
|Kay ko tanda / Tanda ko||Hindi ko alam / Alam ko||I don't know / I know|
|Kaka||Ate/kuya/pinsan||Sibling or cousin|
|Akay ko labay / Labay ko||Hindi ko gusto / Gusto ko||I don't like / I like|
|Murong tamoy na||Uwi/balik na tayo||Let's go home/back|