Saturday, November 21, 2009

Leksion Chamorro: I attikulon "nu/as"

The article "nu" is arguably the most confusing article within Chamorro coming from an English speaking viewpoint. Sometimes nu is translated as "about," "with," "by," etc., but sometimes there is no compatible English word.

Technically, nu is a non-focus marking particle. Meaning, nu is a particle that precedes a nouns when it's not the "focus" of a sentence/clause, whereas i/si mark the "focus" of the sentence/clause. Nu often occurs as ni, a contraction of nu + i; nu also occurs as the particle as when the non-focus is a proper noun (i.e.: when the particle si would otherwise be used). I'll try to explain it in a little more detail.

In any Chamorro sentence there must be a focus, which we mark with the articles i/si. For example:
  1. Hu ina i chalan. = I lit the road.
  2. Ha sångåni i ga'chong-ña. = He told his friend.
  3. Ma nå'i i patgon. = They gave the child (something).
  4. Manmåsångåni i famagu'on. = The children were told.
  5. Mågåggao i nana. = The mother was asked.
  6. Måleffa si Maria. = Maria forgot.
Sometimes, there is some sort of modifier or explanation in the sentence, along with the main focus. Adjusting the above examples, we get:
  1. Hu ina i chalan ni kandet. = I lit the road with the light.
  2. Ha sångåni i ga'chong-ña ni bidå-ña. = He told his friend about his deed.
  3. Ma nå'i i patgon nu regålu. = They gave the child a gift.
  4. Manmåsångåni i famagu'on ni estoria. = The children were told a story.
  5. Mågåggao i nana nu kande. = The mother was asked for candy.
  6. Måleffa si Maria as Jose = Maria forgot about Joe.
In exmaple 1 the "light" isn't what's being lit, so it cannot be the focus of the verb ina. However, it explained how the road was lit, so we call that the non-focus of the verb.

In example 2 "his friend" is spoken to, and the "deed" is being talked about. So, the "deed" is the non-focus of the verb sångåni.

In example 5 the "mother" was asked, so she is the focus of the verb mågåggao. The non-focus of the verb is "candy," since it explains what she was being asked for.

Lastly, in example 6 "Maria" forgets, and we see that "Joe"explains who she forgot.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Palåbran 10/05/09: Lamas

Lamas (LA-mass): (adjective) Rotten, decayed, decomposed, putrefied.


"Munga måkånno' i lamas na hineksa'." = "Don't eat the rotten rice."
"Adahi nininok-mu na u lamas." = "Be careful of the thing you're hiding to ripen that it doesn't become rotten."
"Ma yute' i dankolo na troson kåtne sa' lamas esta." = "They threw away the large cut of meat, because it already became rotten."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Palåbran 10/02/09: Inetnon

Inetnon (ee-NET-none): (noun) Assembly, association, club, group, league, corporation, crowd, gathering.


"Kao un atende i inetnon eskuela?" = "Did you go to the school assembly?"
"Guåha un inetnon mane'egga' gi aksidente." = "There was a crowd of onlookers at the accident."
"Dånkolo na inetnon taotao gi gipot." = "There was a large gathering of people at the party."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Palåbran 10/01/09: Atalaki

Atalaki (a-ta-LA-kee): (verb) Scowl, look at menacingly, to give a dirty look.

Note: Many times, people use atan båba (bad look) when they mean atalaki.


"Ha atalaki i patgon." = "He scowled at the kid."
"Cha'-mu umatalaki yo'!" = "Don't give me a dirty look!"
"Hu atalaki i che'lu-hu sa' manoppe'." = "I gave my sibling a dirty look because he was talking back."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Palåbran 09/28/09: Tåftåf

Tåftåf (TOUGH-tough): (adverb) Early.


"Makmåta yo' gof tåftåf gi egga'an." = "I woke up early in the morning."
"Humånao gue' tåftåf." = "He left early."
"Tåftåf ha baba i pachot-ña." = "He spoke (opened his mouth) too soon (early)."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Palåbran 09/25/09: Håle'

(HAH-lee'): (noun) Root, source, origin.


"Hu tatme i simiyas, lao ti manmanhåle' trabia." = "I planted the seeds, but they have no roots yet."
"Dumokko' ta'lo i cha'guan, sa' ti hu laknos todu i hale'-ña." = "The weed sprouted back, because I didn't remove all its roots."
"Håfa i hale' enao na sinangan?" = "What is the origin of that saying?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Palåbran 09/23/09: Laknos

Laknos (LACK-nus): (verb) Take out.


"Hu laknos i leche gi kahon ais." = "I took out the milk from the refrigerator."
"Ma laknos i maletan-ñiha siha." = "They took out their suitcases."
"Ha laknos i salåpe' para i chenchule'." = "She took out the money for chunchule'."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Palåbran 09/22/09: Låña

Låña (LAWN-ya): (noun) Oil (generic term).

Note: Be careful how you pronounce this word, låña means "oil," but laña' is an expletive that can be considered very offensive depending on the company present.


"Kao un tulaika i lañan måkina gi karetå-mu?" = "Did you change the engine oil in your car?"
"Na'maipe i laña ya ta aflitu lumpia." = "Heat up the oil and we'll fry lumpia."
"Hu yute' i lañan niyok sa' mahange'." = "I threw away the coconut oil, because it was rancid."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Palåbran 09/21/09: Gacha'

Gacha' (GA-cha'): (verb) Catch up with, detect.


"Ma gacha' i polisia i sakke." = "The police caught up with the thief."
"Cha'-mu dumigeru sa' mågacha' hao sempre." = "Don't be a cheater, because you'll eventually get caught."
"Hu gacha' gue' gi karera, lao ti hu upos gue'." = "I caught up with him in the race, but didn't pass him."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Palåbran 09/18/09: Bråbu

Bråbu (BRA-boo): (adjective) Healthy, industrious, hard working person, active.


"Bråbu gue' yanggen makmåta." = "He is active when he wakes up."
"Gof bråbu na påtgon gue." = "He's a very active (hyper) kid."
"Bråbu na bihu si Ton Jose." = "Mr. Joseph is a healthy old man."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Palåbran 09/17/09: Hokkok

Hokkok (HOK-cook): (adjective) No more, none, all gone, nothing, not one, not any, nothing at all, none at all.


"Hokkok i na'-hu." = "I have no more food."
"Kao hokkok i pigas?" = "Is the rice all gone."
"Kana' hokkok i gas gi kareta esta." = "There is almost no gas in the car already."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Palåbran 09/16/09: Hågu

Hågu (HAH-goo): (pronoun) You (emphatic singular).


"Kao hågu ha' humånao?" = "Did you go alone?"
"Hågu para un faisen." = "You are the one that is going to ask."
"Hågu tumaitai." = "You are the one that read it."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Palåbran 09/15/09: Fotgon

Fotgon (FUHT-gun): (adjective) Wet, watery, not dry, soaked, drenched.


"Adahi na un sulon sa' fotgon i satge." = "Careful that you don't slip, because the floor is wet."
"Fotgon todu i chininå-ña ni ichan." = "His whole shirt got soaked from the rain."
"Mama'gågåsi yo' nå'yan ya fotgon i franelå-hu ni sinatpen hånom." = "I was washing dishes and my shirt got wet from the splashing water."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Palåbran 09/14/09: Cho'cho'

Cho'cho' (CHO'-chu'): (noun) Work, job, employment, task, position.

Note: Many times you'll see che'cho' rather than cho'cho', due to vowel harmony. In fact, it sometimes shows up as che'cho' even when vowel harmony isn't necessary.


"Gaige si Jose gi che'cho-ña." = "Joe is at work."
"Kao guåha che'cho' giya Guåhan." = "Are there jobs in Guam?"
"Gos ya-ña si Juan i che'cho'-ña." = "John really likes his job."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Palåbran 09/11/09: Li'e'on

Li'e'on (lee'-eh'-on): (adjective) Visible, can be seen.

Note: This is a combination of li'e' (to see) and -on (abilitative suffix). This word is one way around the construction using siña in certain cases..


"Ti li'e'on i gima'-hu ginen i chalan." = "My house cannot be seen from the road."
"Li'e'on i manådan i'e' gi hanom sa' gof klåru." = "The school of baby skip jacks is visible in the water because it's very clear."
"Li'e'on i islan Luta ginen Guåhan." = "The island of Rota is visible from Guam."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Palåbran 09/09/09: Lachaddek

Lachaddek (LA-chad-deck): (verb) Hurry up, hasten.

Note: This is just a combination of the prefix la- (intensifier) and chaddek (fast).


"Gof ñateng hao, lachaddek fan!" = "You're so slow, hurry up!"
"Lachaddek i un chocho'gue." = "Hurry up what you are doing."
"Lachaddek ya ta fanhånao." = "Hurry up and let's go."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Palåbran 09/08/09: Pat

Pat (pat): (conjunction) Or--a co-ordinating particle that marks an alternative.


"Håfa ga'ña-mu: chå pat kafe?" = "What would you prefer: tea or coffee?"
"Kao hunggan pat åhe'?" = "Is it yes or no?"
"Kao para un hånao lamo'na pat gi egga'an?" = "Are you going tonight or in the morning?"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Palåbran 09/07/09: Maila'

Maila' (MY-la'): (verb) Come, hand over.

Note: Maila' means "to come" but in more of the sense of being "on the way over here." For most of the other uses of "to come" in English we use the Chamorro word "fåtto."


"Kao mamaila' gue'?" = "Is he coming? (Is he on is way over here?)"
"Maila' fan mågi i yabi." = "Please, hand the keys over here."
"Maila' fan." = "Come (here) please."

Friday, September 4, 2009

Palåbran 09/04/09: Chåda'

Chåda' (CHA-da'): (noun) Egg, ovum.


"Gof mutong i chada' gueru." = "Rotten eggs really stink."
"Ya-hu inafliton chåda'." = "I like fried eggs."
"Tåya' chåda' para i amotså-ta." = "We have no eggs for our breakfast."

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Palåbran 09/03/09: Upos

Upos (OO-pus): (verb) Overtake--as in a race, pass by.


"Upos fan eyu i kareta gi me'nå-ta." = "Pass by that car in front of us."
"Ha upos yo' ya ni ha atan yo'." = "She passed by me and didn't even look at me."
"Un upos i gimå'-hu, lao ti sumåga hao ya un bisita." = "You passed by my house, but you didn't stay and visit."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Palåbran 09/02/09: Respeta

Respeta (re-SPE-ta): (verb) Respect, honor, esteem, admire.


"Respeta i mañainå-mu." = "Respect your elders."
"Fanginge' i manåmko' siha sa un respeta siha." = "Fanginge' the elders because you respect them."
"Kao un respeta i fino'-ña si nanå-mu." = "Do you honor the words of your mother?"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Palåbran 09/31/09: Sångan

Sångan (SONG-an): (verb) Say, tell (something), speak, utter.


"Hu sångan i estoria." = "I told the story."
"Kao un hungok eyu i ha såsångan?" = "Did you hear what she was saying?"
"Sångan fan i minagåhet." = "Please speak the truth."

Monday, August 31, 2009

Palåbran 08/31/09: Ågang

Ågang (AH-gang): (verb) Call (someone), beckon, summon.


"Ha ågang yo' si nanå-hu gi painge." = "My mother called me last night."
"Para ha ågang hao yanggen måtto gue' gi gimå'-ña." = "She'll call you when she gets home."
"Kao un ågang si che'lu-mu esta?" = "Did you call your brother yet?"

Friday, August 28, 2009

Palåbran 08/28/09: O'son

O'son (OH'-sun): (adjective) Bored, tired, exhaust ones patience.


"Esta o'son yo' mañuñugon kada dia." = "I'm already bored of driving every day."
"Kao o'son hao nu guåhu?" = "Are you tired of me?"
"O'son gue' ni che'cho'-ña." = "He is bored of his work."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Palåbran 08/27/09: Råtu

Råtu (RAH-too): (noun) Short time, little while.


"Nangga fan un råtu." = "Please wait for a little while."
"Un råtu ha' tataigue yo'." = "I was gone only for a short time."
"Un råtu manhugåndo ham gi sanhiyong åntes di kumekeuchan." = "We played outside for a little while before it started to rain."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Palåbran 08/26/09: Gimen

Gimen (GI-men): (noun) Beverage, drink.


"Håyi gai gimen este?" = "Who owns this drink?"
"Håfa gimen-mu?" = "What is your drink (what did you drink)?"
"Munga mana'mames i gimen-hu chå fan." = "Please do not sweeten my tea (my drink tea)."

Note: Gimen is also a classifier in Chamorro. If you want some clarification on that, let me know and I'll make a lesson on classifiers. It's not that difficult of a concept, but it does require a bit of explanation and example.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Palåbran 08/25/09: Ipe'

Ipe' (EE-pee'): (verb) Cut open, split, notch, chip.


"Adahi i kannai-mu an para un ipe' i niyok." = "Watch your hand if you're going to split open the coconut."
"Hu ipe' i chandia ya hu chåchåk." = "I opened the watermelon and cut it up."
"Ipe' fan i tininon lemmai ya un dibidi." = "Cut open the roasted breadfruit and divide it up please."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Palåbran 08/24/09: Espiha

Espiha (ess-PEE-ha): (verb) Seek, search, look for, locate.

Note: This is also said/written as espia.


"Manespipiha gue' che'cho'." = "He's looking for work."
"I famagu'on ma espiha i yaben nånån-ñiha." = "The children looked for their mother's keys."
"Hu espiha i lepblo-ku, lao ti hu sodda'." = "I searched for my book, but did not find it."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Palåbran 08/21/09: Pine'lo

Pine'lo (pee-NEH'-loo): (noun) Presumption, assumption, thought, presuming opinion.

Note: This is usually used with a possessive pronoun (suffix).


"Ti hu ofresi hao nu chå sa' pine'lo-ku na ti ya-mu chå." = "I didn't offer you any tea because I thought you didn't like tea."
"Un chule'guan yo' ni lepblo-ku sa' pine'lo-mu na bai na'ayao hao." = "You took my book because you assumed I was going to lend it to you."
"Pine'lon-måmi na para un fåtto tåftåf gi egga'an." = "We presume that you will come early in the morning."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Palåbran 08/20/09: Toktok

Toktok (TOK-tok): (verb) Hug, embrace, hold fast.


"Ya-ña i nana tumoktok i famagu'on-ña." = "The mother likes to hug her children."
"I patgon ha toktok i nana-ña åntes malingu." = "The kid hugged his mother before he left."
"Umatoktok i dos." = "The two were hugging each other."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Palåbran 08/19/09: Chomma'

Chomma' (CHOM-ma'): (verb) Forbid, prevent, impede, obstruct.


"Ma chomma' i patgon gumimen setbesa." = "The forbid the kid to drink beer."
"Chomma' gue' malågu na u sulon." = "Prevent him from running so he doesn't slip."
"Måchomma' yo' humålom." = "I was forbidden to enter."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Palåbran 08/18/09: Fa'tinas

Fa'tinas (fa'-TEE-nas): (verb) Cook, construct, create, invent, make, form, shape, build, fashion.

Note: This is also sometimes written/said fattinas.


"Mama'titinas yo' kåddo." = "I am making soup."
"Håyi fuma'tinas?" = "Who made it?"
"Ha chule' i hayu ya ha fa'tinas i siya." = "He took the wood and made the chair."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Palåbran 08/17/09: Åttilong

Åttilong (AHT-tee-long): (adjective) Black.

"Håyi gai'iyo na åttilong na kåreta?" = "Who owns that black car?"
"Åttilong i mås maipe na kulot." = "Black is the hottest color."
"Åttilong i dagan i la'uya sa' dokngos." = "The bottom of the pot is black because it is burned."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Palåbran 08/14/09: Emmok

Emmok (EM-muck): (verb) Avenge, get even.

Note: Topping's dictionary also says it means to "hide something until it ripens," but I have only ever heard the word nunok used like that. If you know emmok to be similar to nunok, please let me know.


"Ha emmok si Juan i che'lu-ña para u aña." = "John got even with his brother by hitting him."
"Guåha na biåhi na må'emmok yo' gi eskuela." = "I've gotten picked on (someone got even with me) at school."
"Hu emmok hao, sa' un pañiti yo' nigap." = "I got revenge on you, because you hit me yesterday."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix fa'-

The prefix fa'- has two rather unique meanings. The first means "to change to." The second is similar, although markedly different, it means "to pretend," "make believe," or "feign." Here are some examples.

= "to change to":
  • Maolek = good or well.
    Fa'- + maolek => fa'maolek = to fix, repair, or make better.
  • Nå'an = name.
    Fa'- + nå'an => fa'na'an = to nickname, to name, or to call someone by a name other than their own.
  • Dagi = to lie.
    Fa'- + dagi => fa'dagi = to belie, to create a false impression, or to use as an excuse.
Fa'- = "to pretend to":
  • Bunita = beautiful (female)
    Fa'- + bunita => fa'bunita = to pretend to be beautiful.
  • Guåha = to exist, to have.
    Fa'- + guåha => fa'guaha = to pretend to have or to put on airs.
  • Måleffa = to be unable to recall.
    Fa'- + måleffa => fa'maleffa = to pretend to forget.
This prefix leaves the primary stress of the root word intact. However, it does follow the rules of vowel harmony. All this means is that on most words we change the first vowel from å to a, from o to e, and from u to i.

Palåbran 08/13/09: Bira

Bira (BEE-ra): (verb) Turn, revolve, rotate, invert, change, direction, divert, turnabout.


"Bira i kareta, sa' esta abak hit." = "Turn the car around, because we're already lost."
"Bira i tininu-mu kåtne." = "Turn over the meat you are bbq'ing."
"Sisigi gue' bumira gi maigo'-ña." = "She keeps turning in her sleep."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Palåbran 08/12/09: Egga'

Egga' (EGG-ga'): (verb) Watch, observe (as a spectator).


"Para in fanegga' mubi lamo'na." = "We're going to watch a movie tonight."
"Kao guåha na un egga' Harry Potter?" = "Have you ever watched Harry Potter?"
"Bai hanao para i eskuelan sobrinu-hu ya bai egga' i presentasion-ña." = "I'm going to my nefew's school and watching his presentation."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Palåbran 08/11/09: Hinanom

Hinanom (he-NA-nom): (adjective) Watery.


"Hinanom i gimen-hu chå sa' lalago' i ais." = "My tea is watery, because the ice is melting."
"Kalan hinanom i kaddo' ya ti gof måtempla." = "The soup is sort of watery and not well seasoned."
"Ti nahong månha yan asukåt ya hinamon i åhu." = "There's not enough coconut and sugar, and the åhu (type of food) is watery."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Palåbran 08/10/09: Såtpe

Såtpe (SUT-pee): (verb) Sprinkle.

Note: Topping's dictionary also says it means "sow," but it is sowing in the sense of sprinkling seeds. It also says it is a slang for "go ahead" or "o.k.," but I don't know how to use it that way. If you know it, let me know.


"Hu såtpe i tinanom siha nu hånom kada dia." = "I sprinkle the plants with water every day."
"Adahi na un sinatpe ni laña." = "Careful you don't get splashed by the oil."
"Måloffan i kareta ya ha såtpe yo' ni fache'." = "The car passed by and sprayed (sprinkle) me with mud."

Friday, August 7, 2009

Palåbran 08/07/09: Gå'ga'

Gå'ga' (GAH'-ga'): (noun) Animal, vermin, insect, beast, bug.


"Chumochocho hao kalan gå'ga'." = "You eat like an animal."
"I ga'ga' ma chalapon i basula." = "The animals scattered the trash."
"Inakka' gue' ni ga'ga' gi tingho-ña." = "A bug bit his neck."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Palåbran 08/06/09: Å'påkå'

Å'påka' (AH'-puh-ka'): (adjective) White, light-complexted skin.


"Tinino' gue' ni semnak, sa' å'påka' låssås-ña." = "She got sun-burned, because she is light skinned."
"Håyi gai guma' å'påka' eyu?" = "Who owns that white house?"
"Å'påka' yan agaga' i chininå-ña." = "His shirt was white and red."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Palåbran 08/05/09: Sage'

Sage' (SA-gi'): (adjective) Painful, pain, affect with pain, burning sensation.

Note: This again is Topping's definition, but while the first three are correct, it's better to think of it as the last description: burning sensation.


"Sage' labios-hu ni denne'." = "My lips are burning from the hot pepper."
"Munga måpacha i matå-mu na un na'sage'." = "Don't touch your eye or you'll make it burn."
"Kalan sage' i kannai-hu ni semnak." = "It's like my hand is burning from the sun."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Palåbran 08/04/09: Kada

Kada (KA-da): (adjective) Every time, each, each time.


"Må'ofresi yo' nu nenkanno' kada hu bisita i tia-hu." = "I get offered food every time I visit my auntie."
"Kao un li'e' si Rosa kada dia?" = "Do you see Rosa everyday (daily)?"
"Kada humånao yo' para i tenda hu fåhan kande." = "I buy candy every time I go to the store."

Monday, August 3, 2009

Palåbran 08/03/09: Lamo'na

Lamo'na (la-mo'-nuh): (adverb) Tonight, this evening, this night, after dark to midnight.


"Håfa para na'-ta lamo'na?" = "What are we going to eat tonight?"
"Bai hånao guatu gi as che'lu-hu lamo'na." = "I'm going to my brother's/sister's house tonight."
"Kao para un fanegga' mubi lamo'na." = "Are you going to watch a movie tonight?"

Friday, July 31, 2009

Palåbran 07/31/09: Maolek

Maolek (MAU-lick): (adjective/adverb) Good, fine, well.


"Kao maolek hao?" = "Are you (doing) well?"
"Gof maolek enao para ta kånno'." = "That is really good for us to eat."
"Maolek ha'." = "It's fine."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Palåbran 07/30/09: Komu

Komu (KO-moo): (conjuction) In case, if, such as, as when--usually used to connect phrases or clauses, like, since, provided that.


"Komu måfaisen yo', bai cho'gue." = "If was asked, I would do it."
"Komu guåha sålåpe'-ña, para u gåsta todu." = "If he had money, he'd spend it all."
"Håfa mohon un cho'gue, komu Presidente hao?" = "What would you do, if you were President?"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Palåbran 07/29/09: Gacha'

Gacha' (GA-cha'): (verb) To step on, to place the sole of the foot on.

Note: Gacha' also means to catch or detect, but for today it means to step.


"Rikohi hugeti-mu siha na ti manmagacha'." = "Gather your toys so they don't get stepped on."
"Adahi na un gacha' i låpes." = "Careful not to step on the pencil."
"Kanna' hu gacha' i lilok." = "I almost stepped on the nail."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Palåbran 07/28/09: Chocho

Chocho (CHO-cho): (verb) Eat, devour, consume.

Note: This form of "to eat" does not take a specific object, it either takes a generalized object or none at all. With a specific object we use the word kånno'.


"Chumochocho yo' pån." = "I was eating some bread."
"Mañochocho i famagu'on." = "The kids are eating."
"Malago' yo' chumocho." = "I want to eat (something)."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Palåbran 07/27/09: Atof

Atof (A-tuf): (noun) Roof.


"Ha dåggao hulo' i patgon i bola gi atof." = "The kid threw the ball up on the roof."
"Madestrosa i atof ni pakyo'." = "The roof was destroyed by the storm."
"Ma arekla i atof sa' susumi' i kisami." = "They fixed the roof because the ceiling was leaking."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Palåbran 07/24/09: Insigidas

Insigidas (in-see-GI-das): (adverb) Immediately, promptly, at once, hurry up, quick, right away, as soon as possible.


"Humånao gue' insigidas." = "She went right away."
"Pineddongguan i na'-ña kande i patgon ya insigidas kumåti." = "The kid's candy fell down and he immediately cried."
"Yanggen måtto yo' gi gima', bai maigo' insigidas." = "When I get to the house, I'm going to sleep as soon as possible."

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Palåbran 07/23/09: Biåhi

Biåhi (bee-AH-hee): (noun) Time, round.

Note: This is also seen as bi'åhi.


"Kuånto biåhi na un ågang gue'?" = "How many times did you call her?"
"Guåha na biåhi na mambakasion yo'." = "Occasionally (there are times) I go on vacation."
"Humånao gue' para Las Vegas tres biåhi." = "He went to Las Vegas three times."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Palåbran 07/22/09: Gåsgås

Gåsgås (GUS-gus): (adjective) Clean, neat, pure, unsoiled, decent, chaste.

Note: To use the verb form of the word, we add the causative prefix na'-.


"Ilek-ña na ha fa'gåsi i plåtu, lao ti gåsgås." = "He said he washed the plate, but it's not clean."
"Na'gåsås i såla sa' guåha mambisita-ta sempre." = "Clean up the living room, because we're going to have visitors."
"Kao gåsgås i kuatto-mu?" = "Is your room clean?"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Palåbran 07/21/09: Råtu

Råtu (RAH-two): (noun) Short time, little while.

"Nangga fan un råtu." = "Please wait for little while."
"Un råtu ha' ya bai hokka i basula." = "I'll pick up the trash in a bit (little while)."
"Manguentos ham un råtu." = "We talked for a short time."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Palåbran 07/20/09: Uhu

Uhu (OO-who): Here, take it--expression used to attract (someones) attention when giving something.


"Estague' na'-mu, uhu." = "Here is your food, take it."
"Uhu i lepblu-mu." = "Here, take your book."
"Uhu i gimen." = "Here, take the drink."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Palåbran 07/17/09: Dekka'

Dekka' (DECK-kah'): (verb) Poke, pick (with pole or stick), nudge, pick at, prod.


"Kalakas! ha dekka' gui'eng-ña." = "Gross! he picked his nose."
"Munga mådekka' i maddok, sa' dine'on kalulot-mu ni ayuyu sempre." = "Don't poke around in the hole, because the crab will pinch your finger."
"Kao guåha dekka' nifen?" = "Are there any tooth picks?"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Palåbran 07/16/09: Påyon

Påyon (PAH-dzon): (adjective) Accustomed, habitual, usual, customary, used to.


"Ti påyon yo' mama'titinas na'Italiånu." = "I'm not used to making Italian food."
"Påyon gue' måmå'on todu i dia." = "He's used to chewing betel nut all day long."
"Mampåyon i famagu'on manmaigo' gi alas ocho." = "The children are accustomed to sleeping at eight o'clock."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix må-

The "passive marker" prefix må- is one of the most frequently used prefixes in the Chamorro language. If you like the grammar explanation, it changes a verb from the active voice to the passive. If you don't particularly care for grammatical things, then it's pretty much like adding "-ed" to an English verb.
Hopefully these examples will clear up what I mean:
  • Fa'tinas = Cook, make
    Må- + fa'tinas => Måfa'tinas = Cooked, made
  • Åligao = Search (for), look (for)
    Må- + åligao => Må'åligao = Searched (for), looked (for)
  • Sotta = Release
    Må- + sotta => Måsotta = Released
  • Li'e' = See
    Må- + li'e' => Måli'e' = Seen
  • Konne' = Take (living object)
    Må- + konne' => Måkonne' = Taken
  • Tuna = Bless, praise
    Må- + tuna => Måtuna = Blessed, praised
When you add må-, you need to follow it with a noun or yo'-type pronouns. Here are some examples with active voice, then passive following:
  • Ha fa'tinas i kaddo. = He cooks (did cook) the soup.
    Måfa'tinas i kaddo. = The soup was cooked.
  • Hu åligao si Juan. = I search (did search) for John.
    Må'åligao si Juan. = John was searched for.
  • Ma sotta i paluma. = They release (did release) the bird.
    Måsotta i paluma. = The bird was released.
  • Un li'e' i palao'an. = You see (did see) the woman.
    Måli'e' i palao'an. = The woman was seen.
The prefix må- is easy to confuse with the hu-type pronoun ma, but try not to. Just like the example above "Ma sotta" vs. " Måsotta," the meaning can have important yet subtle differences.

Palåbran 07/15/09: Tågo'

Tågo' (TAH-goo'): (verb) Command, send on errand, be a messenger.


"Åguåguåt i patgon, ti siña gue' måtågo'." = "The kid is naughty, he can't be commanded."
"Cho'gue fan i hu tågo' hao." = "Please do what I told (commanded) you."
"Ya-ña manågo', lao ti ya-ña manosge." = "He likes to give commands, but he doesn't like to obey."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Palåbran 07/14/09: Lålåtde

Lålåtde (luh-LUHT-dee): (verb) Scold, chide, reprove, reprimand.


"I nana ha lålåtde i patgon-ña." = "The mother reproved her child."
"Kumåti si Maria, sa' målålåtde gue' as tåtå-ña." = "Maria cried, because she was scolded by her dad."
"Ai si Juan, ya-ña manlålåtde taotao." = "Oh, John likes to scold people."

Note: I have no clue how to actually translate "Ai." Hopefully you all understand what I mean when I use "oh" in it :-). Let me know if you have a better way to put it in English.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Palåbran 07/13/09: Guålo'

Guålo' (GWAH-loo'): (noun) Farm, cultivate land, till soil, farming, husbandry, gardening, garden, produce crop, cultivation.

"Humånao yo' para i gualo' para bai fangguåssan." = "I went to the farm to weed."
"Håfa para un tånom gi gualo'-mu?" = "What are you going to plant at your farm?"
"Ti dånkolo i gualo'-hu." = "My farm isn't big."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Palåbran 07/10/09: Niyok

Niyok (KNEE-dzuk): (noun) Coconut--tree or fruit.

Note: While we do use niyok as a general term, when referring to the fruit, we usually reserve it for the matured fruit before it begins to sprout.


"Hu kåmyo i niyok para i kelaguen." = "I grated the cooconut for the kelaguen."
"Må'usa i bagåson niyok gi kanden niyok." = "Coconut chunks are used for coconut candy."
"Gof didike' i tronkon niyok." = "The coconut tree is very small."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Palåbran 07/09/09: Li'e'

Li'e' (LEE'-ee'): (verb) See; look; behold; perceive; watch.


"Kao un li'e' i siñåt gi kanton chålan?" = "Did you see the sign by road?"
"Manmanli'e' siha hålu'u gi tasi." = "They saw a shark in the ocean."
"In li'e' esta i bidådå-ña." = "We've already seen what he's doing."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Palåbran 07/08/09: Pålao'an

Pålao'an (puh-LAU'-an): (noun) Female, woman.

Note: Pålao'an is another one of the rare Chamorro words with an "irregular" plural: famålao'an.

"Mamomokkat i palao'an gi fi'on i chalan." = "The woman was walking on the side of the road."
"Tres na famålao'an manmananaitai gi Gima' Yu'us." = "The three women were praying in the Church."
"Hu li'e' eyu na pålao'an gi tenda." = " I saw that woman at the store."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Palåbran 07/07/09: Maigo'

Maigo' (MY-go'): (pseudo-verb) Sleep, slumber, hibernate.

Note: Topping in his dictionary also gives the definition of "spin so quickly and smoothly that its motion is imperceptible." I've personally never used/heard it used that way, but if you have, let me know.

"Kao mamaigo' si Juan?" = "Is John sleeping?"
"Na'må'åse' i neni sa' ti siña gue' maigo'." = "The poor baby can't go to sleep."
"Manmamaigo' i famagu'on sa' pupuengi esta." = "The children are sleeping since it's already late at night."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Palåbran 07/06/09: Babui

Babui (BA-bwee): (noun) Pig, swine.


"Meggai ga'-ña babui si Juan." = "John owns a lot of pigs."
"Na'gåsgås i kuatto-mu, sa' kalan sågan babui." = "Clean up your room, because it's like a pig sty."
"Yanggen ma puno' i babui, para ma fa'tinas fritåda lokkue'." = "When they kill the pig, they're going to make fritada also."

Leksion Chamoru: The prefix chat-

Chat- is similar to the English prefixes "dis-," "un-," "in-," "mis-," "anti-," etc., but all rolled into one. It is a prefix which gives a negative or derogatory inclination to words. Here are some examples:

  • Hinasso = A thought or a memory
    Chat- + hinasso => Chathinasso = A worry or a concern.
  • Fino' = To speak, to articulate.
    Chat- + fino' => Chatfino' = To curse, to bad-mouth.
  • Måsa = Cooked, ripe.
    Chat- + måsa => Chatmåsa = Premature, unripened, uncooked.
There are several instances where the derived word's meaning isn't obvious:
  • Li'e' = To see.
    Chat- + li'e' => Chatli'e' = To fail to see something clearly.
    But it also means:
    Chat- + li'e' => Chatli'e' = To hate, to detest, to abhor.
  • På'go = Pleasant, beautiful.
    Chat- + på'go => Chatpå'go = Ugly, unpleasant, disagreeable, contrary to beauty, offensive to look upon.
  • Såga = To stay, to dwell.
    Chat- + såga => Chatsåga = Difficult, hard.
The prefix chat- is another prefix which forces the primary stress of the word to fall on the first syllable. So for some of the examples above:
  • Chatfino' => CHAT-fee-new'
  • Chatli'e' => CHAT-lee'-ee'
  • Chatsåga => CHAT-suh-gah'

Friday, July 3, 2009

Palåbran 07/03/09: Respetayon

Respetayon (res-peh-TA-dzon): (adjective) Respectful, polite, respectable, honorable, attentive, courteous, gentlemanly, mannerly.


"Respetayon gue' na biha." = "She's a respectable old lady."
"Kuentusi i mañaina-mu gi respetayon na palåbras." = "Talk to your elders with polite words."
"Ti respetayon gue' sa' tairespetu." = "He's not respectable, because he is disrespectful."

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: I mas fondamento na estrukturan Chamoru (The most basic Chamorro structure)

One of the most basic of all sentence structures in Chamorro is what I will call a "simple description." These are just sentences with a subject and a description:
  • The house is big.
  • The car is red.
  • The chair is wide.
  • The kid is tall.
In Chamorro we use the pattern: description + article
+ subject. (The definite article is "i".) So, here's how we would say the above simple descriptions the Chamorro way:
  • Big "i" house.
  • Red "i" car.
  • Wide "i" chair.
  • Tall "i" kid.
To say them completely in Chamorro, we'd say:
  • Dånkolo i gima'.
  • Agaga' i kareta.
  • Fedda' i siya.
  • Lokka' i patgon.
When the subject is a proper name, the structure remains the same. The only difference is that we change the article to "si." Here are some examples:
  • Maria is pretty. ==> Pretty "si" Maria. ==> Bonita si Maria.
  • John is skinny. ==> Skinny "si" John. ==> Dalalai si John (Juan).
  • Joe is tall ==> Tall "si" Joe. ==> Lokka' si Joe (Jose).
  • Rosa is sick. ==> Sick "si" Rosa. ==> Målångu si Rosa.

Leksion Chamoru: The prefix an-

An- is used to indicate the leftovers or even refuse of whatever it's attached to. It usually indicates something that is almost useless. Here are a few examples:
  • Kånno' = To eat.
    Ankånno' = Leftover food (to be thrown away).
    So ankånno' would indicate the stuff on your plate when you're completely through eating.
  • Sopbla = Remains, left over, remainder.
    Ansopbla = Leftover of the remainder.
    Where sopbla is what's left over from something, ansopbla would mean the rubbish left over from whatever remained from another item.
  • Bålle = To sweep.
    Anbålle = The remnents from sweeping.
    So anbålle is the stuff that's left over from sweeping, maybe fine dust.
The prefix forces the primary stress to fall on the first syllable. So, using the words given above:
  • Ankånno => AN-cun-nu'
  • Ansopbla => AN-sop-blah
  • Anbålle => AN-ball-lee

Palåbran 07/02/09: Yute'

Yute' (DZOO-tee'): (verb) Throw away, dump, drop down, cast away, discard.


"Ha yute' i katne sa' lamas." = "She threw the meat away because it was rotten."
"Ai låstima, un yute' i mangga lao ti båba." = "How wasteful, you threw away the mango, but it wasn't bad."
"Munga mayute' i yabi-mu." = "Don't throw your keys away."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Palåbran 07/01/09: Tufong

Tufong (TWO-fong): (verb) To count.

Note: Tufong is a "man" type verb, so in its general form it requires the prefix man-. This is often contracted to get the word manfong or mamfong.


"Kao ma tufong i taotao guihi gi gipot?" = "Did they count the people at the party?"
"Mamfong yo' sålåpe'." = "I counted money."
"Ya-ña i patgon mamfong." = "The child likes to count things."

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Palåbran 06/30/09: Hånao

Hånao (HAW-now): (verb) Go, leave, depart.


"Kao humånao gue' esta?" = "Did he leave already?"
"Agupa' para bai in fanhånao para Disneyland." = "Tomorrow we are going to go to Disneyland."
"Manhånao siha para u fanegga' mubi." = "They went to watch a movie."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Palåbran 06/29/09: Taiguihi

Taiguihi (tie-GWEE-he): (adverb) That is the way (something is done), that is how, that is why, that is the reason--talking about a third person or persons.


"Taiguihi un fa'tinas i hineksa'." = "That is how you make rice."
"Munga taiguihi as Juan." = "Don't be like John."
"Cho'gue ha' taiguihi as Maria." = "Do it like Maria does."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Palåbran 06/26/09: Eppok

Eppok (EP-puck): (verb) Persuade, entice, urge.


"I palao'an ha eppok i asaguå-ña na para u fåhan i kareta." = "The woman persuaded her husband to buy the car."
"Ha e'eppok yo' si Maria na para bai falak i Grand Canyon." = "Maria urged me to go to the Grand Canyon."
"Håyi umeppok hao na un fa'tinas empanåda?" = "Who urged you to make empanadas?"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Palåbran 06/25/09: Låhi

Låhi (LAW-hee): (noun) Man, male, boy.

Note: This is another word that has an "irregular" plural. Instead of saying "låhi siha" we say "lålåhi siha."


"Estegue' i lahi-hu si Juan." = "This is my son, John."
"Mamåmålågu mo'na i tres lålåhi siha." = "The three men/boys were running ahead."
"Gof åguguåt i lahen Maria." = "Maria's son is very naughty."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: The prefix acha-

Acha- is called a similative prefix. That means we add it to a word to indicate equality or similarity to something. I know that's a little confusing, but hopefully the examples will help.

  1. Guaguan = Expensive.
    Achaguaguan = As expensive, equaly expensive.
    "Guaguan i rediu." = "The radio is expensive."
    "Achaguaguan i rediu yan i TV." = "The radio is as expensive as the TV."
  2. Åmko' = Old, with age, elder.
    Acha'åmko' = As old, same age.
    "Guiya i mas åmko' gi familiå-ña." = "She's the oldest in her family."
    "Acha'åmko' si Jose yan si Juan, sa' dinga siha." = "Joe and John are the same age, because they are twins."
  3. Dånkolo = Big, large.
    Achadåmkolo = As big, equal size.
    "Dånkolo i gima'." = "The house is large."
    "Manachadånkolo i kuåtto-ta siha." = "Are rooms are the same size."
This prefix forces the primary stress of the word to fall on the 2nd syllable. For the examples above:
  1. Achaguaguan => a-CHA-gwa-gwan
  2. Acha'åmko' => a-CHA'-um-koo'
  3. Achadånkolo => a-CHA-dun-koh-loo
Some people (myself included) usually use cha- rather than acha-.

Palåbran 06/24/09: Påtgon

Påtgon (PUTT-gun): (noun) Child, infant, kid, baby.

Note: Påtgon is one of very few words in Chamorro that has an "irregular" plural. The plural is famagu'on.


"Kuånto famagu'on-ña?" = "How many children does s/he have?"
"Sumalamånka i patgon sa' inalulala gue'." = "The kid stumbled because he was rushing."
"I nana ha tågo' i patgon-ña." = "The mother ordered around her child."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Palåbran 06/23/09: Dinga'

Dinga' (DEE-nga'): (noun) Twin, double, fork (of the tree), junction, crossroad.


"Kao dinga' siha si Juan yan si Jose?" = "Are Joe and John twins?"
"Hånao para i agapa' gi dinga' chålan." = "Go right at the fork in the road."
"Må'usa i dinga' na råma gi paken goma." = "A forked branch is used for a slingshot."

Leksion Chamoru: The prefix a-

A- is called the reciprocal prefix. It indicates that the action being done is to "each other" or "one another." Here are some examples of how it's used.

  • Chiku = To kiss someone/something.
    Achiku = To kiss each other.
    Here's the difference in a sentence:
    "Si Juan ha chiku si Maria." = "John kissed Maria."
    "Umachiku si Juan yan si Maria." = "John and Maria were kissing each other."
  • Guaiya = To love someone/something.
    Aguaiya = To love one another.
    For example:
    "Ha guaiya hao si Jose." = "Joe loves you."
    "Umaguaiya i dos." = "The two love one another."
  • Tungo' = To know.
    Atungo' = To know each other.
    So we get something like:
    "Hu tungo' siha." = "I know them."
    "Manatungo' ham." = "We know eachother." or "We are acquainted."
When you add a- to a word, it forces the primary stress to fall on the a-. This means that for the above words we would say them thus:
  • Achiku => A-chee-koo
  • Aguaiya => A-gwai-dza
  • Atungo' => A-too-ngo'

Monday, June 22, 2009

Palåbran 06/22/09: Entalo'

Entalo' (EN-ta-lu'): (preposition) Between, among, middle.


"Hu po'lo i kareta-hu gi entalo' dos na tronko." = "I put/parked my car between two trees."
"Guåha dikike' na lamasa gi entalo' i siya siha." = "There's a small table in the middle of the chairs."
"Manmamomokkat i tres, ya si Juan gi entalo'." = "The three were walking with John in the middle."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Palåbran 06/19/09: Atungo'

Atungo' (A-too-ngo'): (noun) Acquaintance, associate, colleague, companion, friend, partner, pal.

Note: This is a verb as well, coming from a- (reciprocal marker) + tungo' (to know).


"Kao manatungo' hamyo na dos?" = "Are you two acquaintances?"
"Este i atungo'-hu si Jose." = "This is my friend (acquaintance/associate) Joe."
"Tåya' manatungo'-ña si Rosa gi gipot." = "Rosa didn't know anyone (didn't have any acquaintances) at the party."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Palåbran 06/18/09: Kåddo

Kåddo (CUD-do): (noun) Soup, broth.


"Mama'titinas yo' kåddon månnok." = "I am making chicken soup."
"Kao ya-mu kåddo?" = "Do you like soups?"
"Hu o'o' i kaddo sa' tåya' kuchala-hu." = "I drank the soup because I didn't have a spoon."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Palåbran 06/17/09: Hulo'

(HU-lu'): (adverb) Up, above, on top of.

Note: Hulo' is rarely used by itself. Usually it's used with gi or with the prefix san-.


"Hu po'lo i yabi-hu siha gi sanhilo' i kahon ais." = "I put my keys on top of the refrigerator."
"Ma pega hulo' un litråtu gi liga." = "They put up a picture on the wall."
"Gaige ha' gi hilo' lamasa." = "It's on top of the table."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Palåbran 06/16/09: Dåsai

Dåsai (DAH-sigh): (verb) To give a hair cut, to shear, to cut off (especially hair), to trim.


"Bai hu dåsai yo' agupa'." = "I'm going to give myself a haircut tomorrow."
"Ånåkko' i gapotilu-ña, ha nesita mådåsai." = "His hair is long, he needs to get it trimmed."
"Ha dåsai dåkngas i patgon." = "She gave the child a buzz cut."

Leksion Chamoru: Klå'an Siha (Pronouns)

Chamorro has 4 types of pronouns: hu-type, yo'-type, emphatic, and possessive.

Hu-type pronouns:
  • Hu (I)
  • Un (You, singular)
  • Ha (He/She/It)
  • Ta (We, inclusive)
  • In (We, exclusive)
  • En (You, plural)
  • Ma (They)
These are used in transitive definite sentence constructions. That means that when there is a definite direct object in the sentence, you use these pronouns. Here are some examples:
  • "Hu sångåni si Juan." = "I told John."
  • "Ha tågo' i tata i lahi-ña." = "The father commanded his son."
  • "Ma fa'tinåsi yo' nu inafliton månnok." = "They made me some fried chicken."

Yo'-type pronouns:
  • Yo' (I)
  • Hao (You, singular)
  • Gue' (He/She/It)
  • Hit (We, inclusive)
  • Ham (We, exclusive)
  • Hamyo (You, plural)
  • Siha (They)
These are used in several ways:
  1. Intransitive subject marker:
    • "Humånao hao." = "You (singular) went."
    • "Umo'o'mak gue'." = "She is showering."
    • "Giye'ña yo'." = "I am from Yona."
    • "Manlili'of siha." = "They were diving."
  2. Transitive subject marker with an indefinite object:
    • "Chumochocho yo' pån." = "I am eating bread."
    • "Manaitai gue' lepblu." = "She read a book."
    • "Manmama'titinas hamyo nenkanno'." = "You (plural) are making food."
  3. Transitive object pronoun.:
    • "Hu kuentusi gue'." = "I spoke to her."
    • "Un pacha yo'." = "You (singular) touched me."
    • "En tingo' siha." = "You (plural) know them."

Emphatic pronouns:
  • Guåhu (I/me)
  • Hågu (You, singular)
  • Guiya (He/She/It)
  • Hita (We/Us, inclusive)
  • Hami (We/Us, exclusive)
  • Hamyo (You, plural)
  • Siha (They)
These are used for emphasis. With an "um" verb the Emphatic pronouns require the verb to insert the -um- for singular case and use the prefix man- for the plural cases.
With a "man" verb it depends on the direct object. If the direct object is definite, then you insert "-um-" in both the singular and plural case. If the direct object is indefinite, or if there is no direct object, you add "man-" for the singular case, and "manman-" for the plural. Here are some examples:
  1. "Um" verbs:
    • Singular Case:
      • "Guåhu humånao para i tenda." = "I was the one that went to the store." or "Me, I went to the store." or "I myself went to the store."
      • "Hågu muñangu/ñumangu nigap." = "You were the one that swam yesterday." or "You, you swam yesterday." or "You yourself swam."
    • Plural Case:
      • "Hamyo mampaseo." = "You were the ones strolling around." or "You (pl.), you were strolling around." or "You yourselves strolled around."
      • "Siha mangånta." = "They were the ones that sang." or "Them, they sang." or "They themselves sang."
  2. "Man" verbs:
    • Definite direct objects:
      • "Guåhu tumågo' hao." = "I was the one that ordered you." or "Me, I ordered you." or "I myself ordered you."
      • "Siha chumule' i kareta." = "They were the ones that took the car." or "Them, they took the car." or "They took the car themselves."
      • "Hami numå'i gue'." = We (exclusive) were the ones that gave it to her." or "Us, we gave it to her." or "We gave it to her ourselves."
    • Infefinite direct objects:
      • "Kao hågu mangganna?" = "Were you the one that won?" or "Did you yourself win?"
      • "Guiya mananaitai." = "He is the one that was reading." or "Him, he was reading." or "He himself was reading."
      • "Hamyo manmannånå'i sålåpe'." = "You were the ones that were giving money." or "You (pl.), you were giving money." or "You yourselves were giving money."
      • "Siha manmananaitai lepblu." = "They were the ones reading books." or "Them, they were reading books." or "They themselves were reading books."
Possessive pronouns:
  • -hu/-ku (my)
  • -mu (your, singular)
  • -ña (his/her/its)
  • -ta (our, inclusive)
  • -måmi (our, exclusive)
  • -miyu (your, plural)
  • -ñiha (their)
These are used similarly to the possessives in English, but instead of placing them in front of the noun, you affix it to the end of the noun. Here are some examples:
  • "Ilu-hu" = "My head"
  • "Karetå-mu" = "Your (singular) car"
  • "Hinanao-ña" = "His/Her trip"
  • "Familiå-ta" = "Our (inclusive) family"
When you use -måmi, -miyu, and -ñiha, it's almost the same as the other ones. However, if the noun ends with a vowel, then you add the letter "n" to the end of the noun before adding -måmi, -miyu, or -ñiha.
  • "Guma'-måmi" = "Our (exclusive) house"
  • "Siyan-måmi" = "Out (exclusive) seats"
  • "Relos-miyu" = "Your (plural) clock"
  • "Sågan-miyu" = "Your (plural) habitation"
  • "Parientes-ñiha" = "Their relatives"
  • "Mågågon-ñiha" = "Their clothes"
Let me know if you need further clarification on any of this. Either drop me an email or write a comment, I'll get the message either way.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Palåbran 06/15/09: Chatli'e'

Chatli'e' (CHAT-lee'-ee'): (verb) Hate, detest, abhor, abominate, loathe.


"Munga manchatli'e' taotao." = "Don't hate people."
"Manchatli'e' yo' piña." = "I hate pineapple."
"Ha chatli'e' i che'cho'-ña." = "He hates his job."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Palåbran 06/12/09: Ga'-

Ga'-: (marker) Animal classifier, pet.

Note: Chamorro makes use of several different markers/classifiers when constructing possessives, I'll try to get a lesson on this posted.


"Kao ga'-mu ga'lågu enao?" = "Is that your dog?"
"Dumånkolo i ga'-hu babui esta." = "My pig has already gotten big."
"Gof metgot i ga'-ña karabao." = "His water bufalo is very strong."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Palåbran 06/11/09: Ma'aksom

Ma'aksom (ma'-AX-some): (adjective) Sour, acid, acidulous, tart.


"Månnge' lemonåda sa' ma'aksom yan mames." = "Lemonade tastes good because it's sour and sweet."
"Gof ma'aksom i kelaguen." = "The kelaguen is very tart."
"Kalan ti ma'aksom i Meyer lemon siha." = "Meyer lemons don't seem very sour."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Palåbran 06/10/09: Tånom

Tånom (TAH-nom): (verb) To plant--seeds or seedlings.


"Manånom gue' tomåtes gi gualo'." = "He planted some tomatoes at the farm."
"Ha tånom i kalachucha gi santåtten guma'." = "She planted the plumeria on back of the house."
"Ma tånom i flores siha gi hatdin." = "They planted the flowers in the garden."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Palåbran 06/09/09: Diahlo

Diahlo (DIAH-lu): No, no thanks, never mind, it's all right, it's ok.

Note: "No, no thanks, never mind" is the definition given by Topping in his dictionary, but I don't know how to use it like that personally, so I'll give you my understanding of it. If you know how to use it another way, let me know.


"Ti måmåsa i kaddo, lao diahlo sa' ti ñålang yo'." = "The soup is not done, but it's ok, because I'm not hungry."
"Diahlo na måkopbla yo', sa' hu ekspepekta." = "It's alright that they asked me to pay up, because I was expecting it."
"Målålåtde yo', lao diahlo sa' isao-hu ha'." = "I was scolded, but it's ok, because it was my fault."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Palåbran 06/08/09: Chiku

Chiku (CHEE-ku): (verb) Kiss, touch or press with lips.


"Machiku si Rosa as Jose." = "Rosa was kissed by Joe."
"Munga gue' machiku sa' mañum." = "She doesn't want to be kissed because she's sick."
"Umachiku i dos." = "The two of them kissed."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Palåbran 06/05/09: Hun

Hun: (marker) Quotative marker. Used to distinguish a reported statement from a statement known to be fact. Usually placed after the predicate to establish the tone of the sentence, but never before the predicate.

Note: You can get a similar meaning by using ilek-ña (he/she said), except that with hun the speaker is simply reporting the information, taking no responsibility for its veracity.


"Ya-ña hun åtulai." = "He said that he likes mackerel."
"Mambisisita gue' hun gi as Maria." = "She said that she was visiting Maria's place."
"Ilek-ña hun na para u hånao para i gipot." = "He said that he was going to go to the party."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Palåbran 06/04/09: Åtådok

Åtådok (AH-tah-duk): (noun) Eye, eyeball.

Note: Måta also means "eye," but åtådok refers specifically to the eyeball.


"Agaga' i atådok-mu siha." = "Your eyes are red."
"Adahi na un danche åtådok-ña si Juan." = "Careful that you don't hit John's eye."
"Papago' i atådok-hu." = "My eye is irritated."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Palåbran 06/03/09: Måta

Måta (MAH-ta): (noun) Eye, eyeball, face.


"Bonitu i matå-ña si Rosa." = "Rosa has a pretty face."
"Håfa na måtan muyo' hao?" = "Why do you have a pouty face (Why are you pouting)?"
"Aplacha' i matå-mu." = "Your face is dirty."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Palåbran 06/02/09: Fåtto

Fåtto: (verb) To come, to arrive.

Note: The root form of the verb is fåtto, but turns up as måtto in present and past uses.

"Måtto esta si Jose." = "Joe alredy arrived."
"Kao måfåtto si Rosa?" = "Did Rosa come yet?"
"Måfåtto yo' sempre gi alas dos." = "I should arrive at 2 o'clock."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Palåbran 06/01/09:Måsa

Måsa (MAH-sa): (adjective) Ripe, cooked.


"Kao måsa pat gada' i mangga?" = "Is the mango ripe or young?"
"Ti måsa i hineksa' trabiha." = "The rice isn't cooked yet."
"Maila' ya un chocho, sa' måsa esta i na'-mu." = "Come and eat, because you're food is cooked."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Palåbran 05/29/09: Yanggen

Yanggen (DZANG-gen): (adverb, conjunction) If, when (usually used to connect clauses or phrases).

Note: This is a conditional marker used when the outcome has not occurred. "If" something might happen, and "when" something might happen use the same word. When the outcome has already taken place, we use the word "annai."


"Ga'chungi yo' para i gipot, yanggen malago' hao." = "Accompany me to the party, if you want."
"Yanggen guåha sålåpe'-hu, bai hu fambåkåsion." = "When I have money, I will go on vacation."
"Yanggen muñangu hao agupa', munga maleffa ni sunblock." = "When/If you go swim, don't forget the sunblock."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Palåbran 05/28/09: Pangon

Pangon (PA-ngon): (verb) To wake (someone) up, rouse (someone)--from sleep, awaken.


"Pangon fan i che'lu-mu." = "Wake your brother up please."
"Munga bumurukento sa' un pangon i neni." = "Don't be noisy because you'll wake up the baby."
"Ha pangon yo' i tilifon gi chatanmak." = "The phone woke me up in the early morning."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Palåbran 05/27/09: Ekungok

Ekungok (EH-coo-nguk): (verb) Listen to, harken, give heed, yield to advice.


"Hu ekungok i estoria gi rediu." = "I listened to the story on the raido."
"Ti ya-ña umekungok si Juan." = "John doesn't like to listen."
"Munga umekungok i chinatfinu'e-ña." = "Don't listen to his bad mouthing."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Palåbran 05/26/09: Dulok

Dulok (DO-look): (verb) Bore, stab, puncture, perforate, penetrate.


"Ha dulok yo' i enfetmera." = "The nurse gave me a shot."
"Mådulok i papet ni låpes." = "The paper was punctured by the pencil."
"Adahi na un dulok i sinahguan yanggen un baba i paketi ni se'se'." = "Careful that you don't stab the contents when you open the package with the knife."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Palåbran 05/25/09: Måtuhok

Måtuhok (mah-TOO-hook): (adjective) Sleepy, drowsy, half asleep, falling asleep.


"Måtutuhok yo' gi chalan." = "I was falling asleep on the road."
"Ti ya-ña mumaigo'ñaihon solu måtuhok gue'." = "She doesn't like to nap unless she's sleepy."
"Kao måtuhok hao gi egga'an?" = "Are you drowsy in the morning?"

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: Betbon "man" siha ("Man" verbs)

Chamorro verbs are distinguished by whether or not they must take on an object. I call these verbs either "um" verbs or "man" verbs. Here we will look at the "man" verbs.

"Man" verbs are the verbs that have direct object associated with them. Here are some examples of "man" verbs:
  • Taitai = to read (something)
  • Hongge = to believe (something)
  • Espiha = to search for (something)
  • Sugon = to drive
  • Fa'tinas = to make (something)
These verbs always have an understood direct object, even though they sometimes appear without an explicitly stated object. Meaning, one can "read," but it understood that the person is "reading something."

This is where the grammar gets a little tricky. Chamorro constructs sentences differently depending on whether the direct object is definite or indefinite.
Note: In general, the root verb (alone or "conjugated") connotes a completed or past action, and the progressive actions is obtained by duplicating the penultimate (2nd to last) syllable.
  1. Definite Construction:
    This construction is identical to the construction of an English sentence. You take a hu-type pronoun, follow it by the verb, then follow the verb by the object (with appropriate article if applicable). Here are some examples:
    • Hu taitai i lepblu. = I read the book.
    • Ha hongge yo'. = She believed me.
    • Ma espipiha i tenda. = They're looking for the store.
    • Un susugon i kareta. = You are driving the car.
    • In fa'tinas i na'-måmi. = We (exclusive) made our (exclusive) food.

  2. Indefinite (Generalized) Construction:
    It is almost a misnomer to call this form "indefinite." While it is used when the direct object carries an indefinite article, it is also used when the object is generalized. I.e., it is used when is in a general form ("some" books vs. "the" or "a" book), or when there is no object necessarily associated.
    To do this in the singular case we take the root verb and add the indefinite object marker prefix man- to the front, then follow it with an appropriate yo'-type pronoun, then the direct object (without an article).
    For the plural case, we take the singular form (with the man- attached) and add the pluarl subject marking prefix man- to it, then follow the verb by the appropriate yo'-type pronoun, then the object (without article).
    Here are some examples to help bring it together:
    • Mananaitai yo' lepblu. = I am reading a book.
    • Manmanhongge hit gi as Yu'us. = We (inclusive) believe in God.
    • Manespiha gue' tenda. = He looked for a store.
    • Mañugon gue'. = He drove (assumedly a car).
    • Manmama'titinas siha na'Chamoru. = They are making Chamorro food.
I hope I didn't confuse the subject too much, let me know if I could make improvements to this. :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Palåbran 05/22/09: Chålan

Chålan (CHAH-lan): (noun) Road, highway, street, path.


"Adahi i chalån-mu na un abak." = "Watch your path so you don't get lost."
"Ti ya-hu mamokkat gi eyu na chålan sa fache'." = "I don't like walking on that road because it's muddy."
"Gof bårånka enao na chålan." = "That road is very bumpy."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Palåbran 05/21/09: Ñålang

Ñålang (NYAH-lang): (adjective) Hungry, feeling hunger, marked by lack of food.


"Måtai ñålang yo'." = "I'm starving (dying of hunger)."
"Kao ñålang hao?" = "Are you hungry?"
"Ni ñålang gue', lao sisigi gue' bumoka." = "He's not even hungry, but he keeps eating."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: Betbon "um" siha ("um" verbs)

Chamorro separates verbs into two categories: "um" and "man." For now we'll focus on the "um" verbs.

"Um" verbs are those that do not necessarily have an object associated with them. Some examples of "um" verbs would be:
  • Hånao = to go
  • Såga = to stay
  • Kånta = to sing
  • Li'of = to dive
  • Ñangu = to swim
  • O'mak = to shower
  • Chocho = to eat
While some "um" verbs like chocho might sometimes have an object associated with them, they do not need an object to make sense. One can "eat food," but one can also simply "eat."

When the sentence has no direct object and a singular subject, you simply add the infix -um- before the first vowel of the verb, and follow the verb with a yo' type pronoun. If the subject is plural, you add the prefix man- before the root verb, and follow it with a yo' type pronoun.

Note: Sorry to throw an extra concept in here, but simply adding the -um- or man- to the verb usually connotes a completed or past action, to produce a progressive action the penultimate (2nd to last) syllable is duplicated.

Here are some examples:
  • Humånao yo' para i tenda. = I went to the store.
  • Sumåsåga gue' giya Ye'ña. = She's staying/lives in Yona.
  • Mangånta siha. = They sang.
  • Lumili'of hao gi ladera. = You (singular) were diving from the cliff.
  • Manñangu hamyo gi painge. = You (plural) swam last night.
  • Umo'mak yo' esta. = I showered already.
  • Mañochocho hit. = We are eating.

Here's the complicated part... When the sentence has a direct object we consider two cases: definite object and indefinite object. When the object is definite you don't have to add anything to the verb. These sentences use a hu type pronoun, followed by the verb then the article and object. Luckily these types of sentences are rare, and some of them sound contrived even. E.g.:
  • Hu kånta i kanta. = I sang the song.
The other case is when the object is indefinite (or generalized). These sentences are formed exactly like the sentences without an object--using -um- and man- with the yo' type pronouns--followed by the object (usually without the indefinite article). These types of sentences are also infrequent, but here's an example:
  • Chumocho yo' pån. = I ate some bread.
Hopefully that sheds a little light on this type of verb :-)

Palåbran 05/20/09: Geftao

Geftao (GEF-tao): (adjective) Unselfish, selfless, having no regard for self, generous.


"Ma'ålok ha' na mampos manggeftao i manChamoru siha." = "It is said that the Chamorro people are extremely generous."
"Geftao si Rosa, an guåha gue', para ha nå'i hao." = "Rosa is unselfish, if she has something, she'll give it to you."
"Geftao si Jose ni salåpe'-ña." = "Jose is generous with his money."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Palåbran 05/19/09: Båli

Båli (Bah-lee): (adjective) Worth, value.


"Kuånto båli-ña?" = "How much does it cost (How much is its value)?"
"Ti båli finahan-hu." = "The thing I bought isn't worth it."
"Tåya' gumaiya i taibåli na taotao." = "No one likes/loves a worthless person."

Monday, May 18, 2009

Palåbran 05/18/09: Ette

Ette (ET-tee): (verb) Touch (slightly), perceive by feeling, barely touch.


"Munga ma'ette enao na ålåmle na un gini'ot." = "Don't touch (slightly) that wire by you or you'll get shocked."
"Adahi na un ette eyu na tinanom na un pinago'." = "Be careful not to touch (lightly) that plant or you'll get a rash."
"Inette gue' ni minaipen la'uya ya tininu." = "She was slightly touched by the hot pot and got burned."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Palåbran 05/15/09: På'go

På'go (PAW ' - goo): (adverb) Now, today, at the present time.


"Para månu hit på'go na hå'åni?" = "Where are we going today?"
"Kao para en hanao på'go pat gi despues?" = "Are you all going now or later?"
"På'go guåha tres na taotao guini." = "There are now three people here."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Palåbran 05/14/09: Fotte

Fotte (FOT-tee): (adjective) Lusty, robust, powerful, strong--in taste, with power, lustful, energetic excessive.


"Gof fotte gimen-hu kafe." = "My coffee is very strong."
"Fotte pao-ña i flores." = "The flower has a powerful scent."
"Fotte i pinañiti-ña." = "He punches hard (has a strong punch)."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Palåbran 05/13/09: Kulolo'ña

Kulolo'ña (coo-low-LO'-nya): (adverb) Especially, specially, all the more.


"Kulolo'ña mas låtga hao anggen riku hao." = "You'll especially spend too much if you're rich."
"Kulolo'ña mas bunita anggen ha kå'leng gue'." = "She'd all the more be pretty if she would fix herself up."
"Månnge' sumåga giya Hawai'i kulolo'ña yanggen meggai sålåpe'-mu." = "Staying in Hawai'i is fun especially if you have lots of money."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Palåbran 05/12/09: Hå'åni

Hå'åni (haw'-AH-knee): (noun) Day, day light, day time.


"Gof bunitu na hå'åni på'go." = "Today is a beautiful day."
"Mambåkåsion ham tres na hå'åni." = "We vacationed for three days."
"Ngai'an i ha'ånen tåta?" = "When is Father's Day?"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Palåbran 05/11/09: Ina

Ina (EE-na): (verb) Illuminate, spot with light, shine on.


"Hu ina i chalån-hu ni kandet." = "I illuminated my path with a light."
"Ha ina i patgon i ga'-ña ga'lågu ni flashlight." = "The kid shined the flashlight on his dog."
"Ina i tinaitai-mu, sa' homhom." = "Shine a light on the thing you're reading, because it's dark."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Palåbran 05/08/09: O'mak

O'mak (OH'-mack): (verb) To take a shower, to bathe.


"Kao umo'mak hao esta?" = "Did you shower already?"
"Umo'mak yo' gi painge." = "I showered last night."
"Para u o'mak åntes di humånao." = "She will shower before going."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Palåbran 05/07/09: Afagao

Afagao (a-FA-gao): (adjective) Hoarse, husky voice, harsh voice.


"Kao målångu hao, sa' kalan kumeke'afagao hao?" = "Are you sick, because it like you're getting hoarse?"
"Afagao gue' sa' duru ume'essalao." = "His voice became hoarse, because he was yelling hard."
"Ti siña hu kuentusi hao sa' afagao yo'." = "I can't talk to you because I'm hoarse."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Palåbran 05/06/09: Ñateng

(NYA-ting): (adverb) Slow, not hasty, slow-witted.


"Ñateng gue' na taotao." = "He's a slow person (witted or physically)."
"Ai na miñateng i kareta ni hu tattiyi." = "Wow that car I was following was slow."
"Gof ñateng chumachachak gue' i gellai." = "She was chopping the vegetables very slowly."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Palåbran 05/05/09: Mampos

Mampos (MAM-pus): (adverb) Very, extreme, exceeding great, greatest, of the highest degree.


"Mampos måtå'pang gue' na påtgon." = "He's an extremely silly child."
"Munga må'akachayi gue', sa' dilikao gue' mampos." = "Don't tease her, because she's exceedingly delicate (sensitive)."
"Mampos mames i gimen-mu chå, fa'na'an gumimen hao asukat." = "Your tea is super sweet, it's like you're drinking sugar."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Palåbran 05/04/09: Ya-

Ya- (DZA-): (verb) Like, be attracted towards, have a liking for, wish for, enjoy. (Must use with one of the possessive pronouns.


"Kao ya-mu i na'Chapones?" = "Do you like Japanese food?"
"Ti gof ya-hu låguanå." = "I don't really care for soursop (fruit)."
"Yan-ñiha hao." = "They like you."

Friday, May 1, 2009

Palåbran 05/01/09: Essitan

Essitan (ESS-see-tan): (verb) To joke, to jest, to have wit.


"Busta umessitan fan." = "Stop joking around please."
"Ume'essitan si Juan." = "John is joking around."
"Hu essitåni gue' gi tenda." = "I played a joke on him at the store."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Palåbran 04/30/09: Ayao

Ayao (A-dzao): (verb) Borrow, opposite of lend.


"Kao siña hu ayao i lepblu-mu?" = "Can I borrow your book?"
"Ha ayao i karetå-hu gi painge." = "He borrowed my car last night."
"Manayao si Jose sålåpe'." = "Joe borrowed some money."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Leksion Chamoru: Pronunsiasion

Here is a chart that can hopefully help with pronunciation of the Chamorro letters. (the ' is called a glota in Chamorro, btw)

Chamorro alphabet and pronunciation

While most Chamorros are very forgiving when someone mispronounces the words, there are some cases where mispronunciation leads to confusion and miscommunication, so I'll try to give some pointers on pronunciation.

Most of the letters are pronounced almost exactly as you would say them in English, but the thing to remember is that a Chamorro consonant is not "voiced." That just means that there is no real "sound" to the consonant without a vowel following it. Here are the letters that will probably give an English speaker a hard time:
  • Just for clarification, the letter "å" in the chart above represents the open "a" in English. It's the "a" you say in "father."
  • The Chamorro letter "ch" is pronounced similar to a "ch" in English mixed with "ts." I know that's strange to think about, but ask a Chamorro speaker to say it, and you'll see what I'm trying to say.
  • The letter "ñ" is the sound you get in "onion," that "nya" sound.
  • "NG" is one that we all use, but don't consider a letter in English. It's the type of "ng" sound you get from the word "singing" or "hanging." (soft g, not hard g)
  • "Y" is not the same as in English at all. The best I can come up with in English is the sound "dz." If you know Spanish, think of the Castillian pronunciation of "y," but more pronounced.
  • The "glota" is represented by an apostrophe. It is a glottal stop, and the best example of one in English is in the expression "uh oh!" If you're familiar with the Cockney accent in British English, consider the word "bottle." In American English it's pronounced like "BAH-dol," whereas in the Cockney accent it's more like "BAH-ohl" with a stopped sound. The glota doesn't have a "sound" it simply stops the vowel sound preceding it.
Some people might think that slight mispronunciation isn't that big of a deal, but for certain letters, namely "a" vs "å", "h," and the glota, it is important to have the correct one. In particular, while the glota is not a letter in English per se, its inclusion, omission, or misplacement sometimes changes the meaning of a word completely.

Here are some examples:
  • Hulu = Thunder
    Hulo' = Up
    Ulu = Head
    Ulo' = Worm

  • Håga = Daughter
    Håga' = Blood
    Åga = Crow (bird)
    Aga' = Ripe banana

  • På'go = Now, today
    Pago' = To irritate, as in causing a rash
    Pågu = Wild hibiscus tree

  • Ta'lo = Again
    Talo' = Center, central point of something

Pretty much, if you can get your minds around the formation of each of the individual letters, you can pronounce any written word in Chamorro. There are a few nuances, but they're not so bad. Here are a few more tips on pronunciation:
  1. Pronounce the words as they are written, don't try to say it like you would in English, just refer to the chart, and you'll proabably say it just fine.
  2. The main stress of a word almost always falls on the penultimate (2nd to last) syllable. This even happens when we add suffixes to words.
    • Sångan (to say) comes out as SAW-ngan, but with the referential suffix "-i" attached to it, sångåni (to say to, to tell) comes out as saw-NGA-nee.
    • Tuge' (to write) comes out as TOO-ge', but with the referential suffix "-i" attached to it, tuge'i (to write to) comes out as too-GE'-ee.
  3. In general, consonants go with the vowel that follows them. There are times when there are geminate (duplicated, double) consonants, in those cases, split the consonants so one is with the preceding vowel and one is with the vowel that follows.
    • Tommo' (knee) is pronounced TOM-mo'.
    • Kånnai (hand) is pronounced KUHN-nai.
    • Hallom (to surmise, to perceive) is pronounced HAL-lom.
    Similarly, if there is more than one consonant between two vowels, split them up so one cosonant goes with the preceding vowel, and one goes with the vowel that follows. Remember than "CH" and "NG" are both single letters (consonants) in Chamorro.
    • Bongbong (bamboo tube used to carry liquid) is pronounced BONG-bong.
    • Takhilo' (high, lofty) is pronounced TACK-he-lu' (sorry, this one has a strange accentuation).
    • Tohge (to stand up) is pronounced TOH-gee (hard "g").
  4. Ask a Chamorro speaker to help you.
I should let you know that I'm giving you rules based on the Hågåtña dialect's way of pronouncing words. If you meet a person from southern Guam, Saipan, Rota, or Tinian, they'll most likely pronounce things slightly different, due to lack of geminate consonants and dialectical differences.

Leksion Chamoru: Gai'iyo (Possessives)

In Chamorro, we form possessives differently than we would in English. In English there are several pronouns that denote ownership, however, in Chamorro, we attach a suffix to a word.

There are only a handful of suffixes:

-hu/-ku* (my)
-mu (your singular)
-ña (his/hers/its) (sometimes pronounced/written -na)

-ta (our, including the listener)
-måmi (our, excluding the listener)
-miyu (your plural)
-ñiha (their) (sometimes pronounced/written -niha)

Here are some examples of how to use the suffixes:
  • kåretå-hu (my car)
  • lepblo-ku (my book)
  • fino'-mu (your (singular) words/language)
  • gimen-ña (his/her drink)
  • eskuelå-ta (our school, as well as the listener's)
  • familian-måmi (our family, but not the listener's)
  • guma'-miyu (your (plural) house)
  • atungo'-ñiha (their acquaintance)
One thing to remember when attaching possessive suffixes, is that the plurals (except the 1st person, inclusive) have a little catch to them: if the root ends in a vowel, you add an "n" to the end of the word, then add the suffix. If there is a consonant at the end of the root word, you simply add the suffix, like you would in the singular case.

Hopefully, some examples will clarify the concept:
  • familia + -miyu ==> familiån-miyu (your (plural) family)
  • kåreta + -ñiha ==> kåretån-ñiha (their car)
  • guma' + -måmi ==> guma'-måmi (our house, not the listener's)
  • såga + -ñiha ==> sågån-ñiha (the place where "they" stay)
  • nåna + -måmi ==> nånan-måmi (our mother, not the listener's)
  • eskuela + -miyu ==> eskuelån-miyu (your (plural) school)
While Chamorro does have possessive pronouns (e.g.: iyo-ku (mine), iyon-miyu (yours, plural)), this is the way those pronouns are actually formed.

*the difference between -hu and -ku is just that you use -ku when there is a consonant cluster in the word, but you can probably get away with just using -hu and no one would say anything ;-)