Chamorro phrasebook

Chamorro, or Chamoru, is the native language of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Although the English language and Japanese language are commonplace on both Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, people still use the Chamorro language. Chamorro is also used on the continental United States by immigrants and some of their descendants.

The numbers of Chamorro speakers have declined in recent years, and the younger generations are less likely to know the language. The influence of English, Spanish, and Japanese have caused the language to become endangered. Various representatives from Guam have unsuccessfully lobbied the United States to take action to promote the language.

A large number of Chamorro words have Spanish etymological roots (e.g. tenda "shop/store" from Spanish tienda), which may lead some to mistakenly conclude that the language is a Spanish Creole: However, Chamorro very much uses its loan words in a Micronesian way (e.g.: bumobola "playing ball" from bola "ball, play ball" with infix -um- and reduplication of root). However, Chamorro can also be considered a mixed language (Hispano-Austronesian) or a language that resulted of a contact and creolization process in the Mariana Islands. Modern Chamorro grammar has many elements of Spanish origin: articles, numbers, prepositions...

There are approximately 50,000 to 75,000 speakers of Chamorro throughout the Marianas archipelago. It is still common among Chamorro households in the Northern Marianas, but fluency has greatly decreased among Guamanian Chamorros during the years of American rule in favor of (a largely pidginized) American English. Ancient Chamorro is still spoken in the northern islands like Pagan, Saipan, Luta, and Tinian.

Pronunciation guide

Vowels

Chamorro has six distinct vowels. They are: å, a, i, e, u, and o. Note that å isn't usually distinguished in written Chamorro. Therefore you can't tell the difference between båba 'bad' and baba' 'open'.

Å 
like English a in car (IPA /a/)
A 
like English a in cat (IPA /æ/)
I 
like English ee in meet or i in pit.
E 
like English e in met or ee in meet or even i in pit.
U 
like English oo in tool or u in put.
O 
like English o in low or u in put.

All vowels are cardinal, like in Spanish, not like in English. The vowels I and E are similar because I sounds like 'ee' in meet when stressed, or 'i' in pit when unstressed. E sounds like 'e' in met when stressed, 'ee' in meet when unstressed or even 'i' in pit when unstressed. U and O are similar because U sounds like 'oo' in tool when stressed, or 'u' in put when unstressed. O can sound like 'o' in low when stressed, or 'u' in put when unstressed.

Consonants

Chamorro has B- as in boy Ch- as in caBold textts D- as in de F- as in Feh G- as in Geh H- as in Heh (short e sound) K- as in Keh L- as in Leh M- as in Meh N- as in Neh N- like the 'n' in senora Ng O- as in "oh" P- as in "peh" R- as in reh S- as in seh T- as in teh U- as in oo in soon Y- as in tzeh

Phrase list

Basics

Hello!. 
Håfa adai! (Hah-fuh-day)
How are you? 
Håfa tatatmanu hao? (Hah-fuh-tah-taht-mah-noo-How?)
Good  
Maolek (M-Ow-Lick) or Very Good : Todu maolek (toe do mau lek)
What is your name? 
Hayi na'an-mu? (Ha-zi-nuh-un-moo?)
My name is John. 
Guahu Si Juan.(Gwah-Hu-C-Wan.) or Si Juan Yu. (See-Wan-dzu.)
Thank you. 
Si Yu'us ma'ase. (C-zu-oohs-Muh-ah-seat)
You're welcome. 
Buen probechu. (Bwen-pro-bet-sue)
Goodbye. 
Adiós. (Ah-Deh-Oss)
Good morning. 
Buenas días. (Bwenas-Dee-as)
Good evening. 
Buenas tatdes. (Bwenas-taht-des)
Good night. 
Buenas noches. (Bwenas-no-tses)
Good night (see you tomorrow) 
Esta agupa'. (eh-stah-ah-goo-pah)

Problems

Note that the letter Y is pronounced more like 'dz' as it is in some dialects of Castilian Spanish, and that Ch is usually pronounced like 'ts' rather than 'tsh'. Note also that A and Å are not always distinguished in written Chamorro, often being written simply as 'A'; nor are N and Ñ always distinguished. Thus the Guamanian place name spelled Yona is pronounced 'dzo-nya', not 'yo-na' as might be expected.

Numbers

Current common Chamoru uses only number words of Spanish origin: unu, dos, tres, kuatro, sinko, sais, siette, ocho, nuebi, dies, onse, dose, trese, katotse, kinse, disesisáis...; beinte (benti), trenta, kuarenta, sinkuenta...: sien, dos sientos, tres sientos... kinientos...; mit, dos mit, tres mit...

The Old Chamoru version used different number words based on categories: "Basic numbers" (for date, time, etc.), "living things", "inanimate things", and "long objects".

1 
uno
2 
dos
3 
tres
4 
kuattro
5 
singko
6 
sais (but pronounced "sayce"
7 
siette
8 
ocho
9 
nuebi
10 
dies
11 
onse
12 
dosse
13 
tresse
14 
katotse
15 
kinse
16 
diesisais
17 
diesisiette
18 
diesiocho
19 
diesinuebi
20 
bente
30 
trenta
40 
kuarenta
50 
singkuenta
60 
sisenta
70 
sitenta
80 
ochenta
90 
nubenta
100 
siento
500 
kinentos
1,000 
mit
1,000,000 
miyon

Time

Clock time

ora

Days

Sunday 
damenggo
Monday 
lunes
Tuesday 
mattes
Wednesday 
metkoles
Thursday 
hubes
Friday 
betnes
Saturday 
sabalu

Months

Inero- January Ferbrero- February Matsu- March Abrit- April Mayu- May Junio- June Julio- July Agosto- August Septembre- September Oktubre- October Nubembre- November Dicembre- December

Colors

agaga' - red
kulot kahet - orange
amariyu - yellow
betde - green
asut - blue
lila - purple
kulot di rosa - pink
kulot chukulati - brown
apaka - white
attelong - black

Transportation

Bus and train

Car-Automobit

Directions

Lagu - North
Hayan - South
Luchan - West
Kattan - East

Money

Salape - Money
Peso(s) - Dollar(s)
Cento(s) - Cent(s)

Eating

MEATS

STARCHES

OTHER INGREDIENTS

FRUITS

VEGETABLES

BEVERAGES

SNACKS & DESSERTS

Driving

Paseo - Stroll, cruise

Authority

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, August 16, 2013. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.