Marianas Variety Guam Edition – The Local and Regional Newspaper

12 23Wed10222014

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Back Opinion When the Moon Waxes Chamorro for Manåmko’

Chamorro for Manåmko’

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I’ve had so much fun writing the past two Chamorro language columns, and because of the fun feedback that I’ve received, I’ve decided to do just one more.

My first column was for parents wishing to use Chamorro with their children. Last week’s was for those wishing to woo someone in the language.

This week, I’ve decided to write some sentences which will help you communicate with the most important demographic, when trying to learn to speak Chamorro, i manåmko’, or the elders. They are the group who still have very high rates of fluency and who still use the language on a regular basis, and so they are essential in helping you pick up the language.

Part of the tragedy of Guam today is that statistically it is more “authentic” or normal for a Chamorro not to speak Chamorro. We recently elected our second Governor in a row who does not speak the language, people say they can speak Chamorro simply because they know a few choice tahdong words, and it is surreal how it sometimes seems more Chamorro to have a cartoonishly thick Chamorro accent than to actually be able to speak the language.

We can see shifts even amongst those who speak and think comfortably in the Chamorro language, i manåmko’ many of whom seem to have accepted that the language they were raised in is not much longer for this world. For those learning the language, sometimes the hardest struggle is getting an elder who does speak the language to speak to you in it, because they are so used to speaking to those younger than them in English.

For those learning the language, here are some phrases to help get a response from i manåmko’:

Sangåni yu’ put fabot put i tiempon antes di i gera?
Tell me please about the time before the war?

Kao siña un sangåni yu’ ni’ un na’mamahlao na estoria put Si Nanå-hu pat Si Tatå-hu annai dikike’ siha?
Can you tell me an embarrassing story about my mom or dad when they were little?

Fa’nu’i hao taimanu manemail? Nu… Maolekña un sangåni yu’ ni’ hafa malago-mu ya para bai hu choguiyi hao.
Show you how to email? Uh… It’s better if you tell me what you want and I’ll do it for you.

Amånu na amot na diposti kinanno’-mu på’go na hora? Este? Uh oh, esta hokkok este. Laña, esta mahuchom i clinic.
Which medicine are you supposed to take now? This one? Uh oh, this one’s already finished. Darn, the clinic is already closed.

Hafa mafa’na’ån i familia-mu? Hafa kumekeilekña ennao? Na’chalek ennao.
What do they call your family? What does that mean? That’s funny.

Siempre ti mismo matai Si Stefano. Kuantos biahi esta na mapuno’ gui’ gi este na show?
Stefano is definitely not dead for reals. How many times have they killed him in this show already?

Ti hu tungo’ taimanu manusa fosiños sa’ tåya’ nai un fanå’gue yu’ taimanu umusa!
I don’t know how to use a fosiños because you never taught me how to use one!

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