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 ;-)

Palåbran: 04/29/09: Håsngon

Håsngon (HUSS-ngun): (verb) To do something deliberately, intentionally or purposely, to intend to, to mean to.


"Ti ha håsngon ha' chumule' i yabi-hu." = "She didn't mean to take my keys."
"Un håsngon gumacha' påtås-hu." = "You deliberately stepped on my foot."
"Ma håsngon mangga'chong para i tenda, sa' pupuengi esta." = "They intentionally went together (accompanied each other) to the store, because it was already late at night."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Palåbran 04/28/09: Fugo'

Fugo' (FOO-goo'): (verb) To wring, to squeeze.


"Hu fugo' i talapos, sa' mampos fotgon." = "I wrang out the rag, because it's soaked."
"I famalao'an ma fugo' i fina'gåsen-ñiha." = "The women wrang the things they washed."
"Fugo' i lemon ya un åtte gi kelaguen." = "Squeeze the lemon and pour it in the kelaguen."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Palåbran 04/27/09: Gago'

Gago' (GA-goo'): (adjective) Lazy, loafer, idler, indolent, slothful, bum.


"Gago' si Jose." = "Joe is lazy."
"Ga'go' yo' mambo'ok chå'guan." = "I'm lazy to pluck weeds."
"Cha'-mu gumago'!" = "Don't be lazy!"

Friday, April 24, 2009

Palåbran 04/24/09: O'o'

O'o' (OH'-oh'): (verb) To drink--as in soup.


"Ha lachai i råmen, ya ha o'o' i kaddo' despues." = "He finished the ramen noodles, and then drank the soup after."
"Munga umo'o' i fina'denne'!" = "Don't drink the fina'denne'!"
"Mano'o' gue' chalakiles gi tåsa." = "He's drinking chalakiles from a cup."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Palåbran 04/23/09: Engelo'

Engelo' (EH-ngeh-lo'): (verb) Peep at, peek at, as through a crevice or small hole.


"Engelo' fan i nene gi maigo'-ña." = "Take a peek at (go check on) the baby in his sleep."
"Umengelo' huyong i lahi gi bentåna kao manmåfåtto esta i ga'chong-ña siha. " = "The guy is peeking out the window to see if his friends have come."
"Manengelo' hålom i famagu'on gi kahita." = "The children peeped inside the box."

Note: Engelo' in Guamanian Chamorro does not have a sexual connotation associated with it in general, whereas adu (to peep, as in a peeping tom) does have such a connotation. I'm not quite sure how this word is used in the other dialects of Chamorro. The word is also pronounced ngelo'.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Palåbran 04/22/09: Yamak

Yamak (ZA-mac): (verb) To break, to destroy, to impair, to disable.


"Mayamak i våsu ni bola." = "The glass was broken by a ball."
"Hu yamak i låpes-hu gi binibu-hu." = "I broke my pencil in my anger."
"Poddong i litråtu gi liga ya mayamak ha' på'go." = "The picture fell from the wall and is now broken."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Palåbran 04/21/09: Såga

Såga (SAW-ga):
1.) (verb) Stay, stop by, rest, dwell, remain
2.) (noun) Address, place.


"Månu nai sumåsåga hao?" = "Where do you live?" or "Where are you staying?"
"Mañåsåga siha gi as Maria." = "They're staying at Maria's place."
"Na'såga i siboyas gi famikåyan." = "Make the onion stay on the cutting board."

"Chule' na'-mu guatu i sagan chumocho." = "Take your food over to the dining area (place to eat)."
"Bonitu i sagå-ña si Rosa." = "The place where Rosa is staying is beautiful."
"Dalai, kalan sågan babui i kuåtto-mu." = "Wow, your room is like a pig sty (place of pigs)."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Palåbran 04/20/09: Cho'gue

Cho'gue (CHO'-gwee): (verb) Do, render, perform, work.


"Hu cho'gue i che'cho'-hu." = "I did my work."
"Hekkua' håfa para u cho'gue si Juan." = "I don't know what John is going to do."
"Matågo' i patgon na u cho'gue i tarea-ña." = "The kid was told (ordered) to do his chores."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Palåbran 04/17/09: Ñangu

Ñangu (NYA-ngoo): (verb) To swim.


"Manñangu i famagu'on gi tasi." = "The kids are swimming at the beach/sea."
"Ya-ña si Sirena ñumangu gi saddok Minondo." = "Sirena (the mermaid) liked to swim in the Minondo river."
"Muñañangu yo' nigap." = "I was swimming yesterday."

Note: "Muñangu" and "ñumangu" are the same word, just different preferences in how to say it (it's easier to say mu- than to put -um- inside). Also, an alternate pronunciation is nangu.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Palåbran 04/16/09: Ritira

Ritira (re-TEE-ra): (verb) Dismiss, return (something), retire, retreat, chase away, withdraw.

Note: Some also say litira. Also, I've never heard ritira used for "chase away," it's in the Topping dictionary, but I don't know how to use it that way, and I'd be confused to hear it used that way. If you've heard it like that, I'd appreciate a couple examples.


"Ki ora maritira hao gi che'cho'?" = "What time do you get off work?"
"Ma ritira yo' gi che'cho'-hu." = "They dismissed me from work."
"Ritira gi sagå-mu." = "Return to your place."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Palåbran 04/15/09: Hulu

Hulu (HOO-loo): (noun) Thunder.

"A'gang i hilu." = "The thunder is loud."
"Huhulu ha' gi hiyong." = "It really thundering outside."
"Ha espånta yo' i hilu." = "The thunder frightened me."

Note: I got another question about the vowel harmony thing. "hulu" and "hilu" are the same word in Chamorro, we change the "u" to an "i" when it is preceeded by an "i". So "i hulu" turns into "i hilu", "ni hulu" turns to "ni hilu", etc. I hope that clarifies it a little bit.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Palåbran 04/14/09: Chugo'

Chugo' (CHEW-go'): (noun) Juice, sap, pus.


"Månnge' i chigo' niyok." = "Coconut juice tastes good."
"Bula chugo' i kahet." = "The orange was full of juice."
"Un nesita chugo' lemon para un fama'tinas lemonada." = "You need lemon juice if you want to make lemonade."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Palåbran 04/13/09: Gui'eng

(GWEE'-ing): (noun) Nose.


"Bulenchok i gui'eng-ña si Juan." = "John's nose is long/pointed."
"Mahåhåga' i gui'eng-hu sa' mapanak." = "My nose was bleeding because it got hit (swatted)."
"Maheffong yan fedda' i gui'eng-ña." = "His nose is flat and wide."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Palåbran 04/10/09: Bo'ok

Bo'ok (BOh'-uk): (verb) Uproot, break loose, pull out, tear out.


"Ti ya-hu mambo'ok chå'guan." = "I don't like pulling out weeds."
"Ha bo'ok Si Maria i sehas-ña." = "Maria plucked her eyebrows."
"Munga mabo'ok i flores!" = "Don't uproot the flower!"

Palåbran 04/09/09: Gupu

Gupu (GOO-poo): (verb) Fly, move through the air, travel through the air.


"Manggugupu i pahåru siha." = "The birds are flying."
"Gumupu yo' gi batkon aire." = "I flew in an airplane."
"Må'å'ñao gue' gumugupu." = "She's afraid of flying."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Palåbran 04/08/09: Hånom

Hånom (HAh-nom): (noun) Water, liquid.


"Nå'i gue' hånom para u gimen." = "Give him water to drink."
"Ha såtpe i palao'an i dinekko ni hanom." = "The woman sprinkled the sprout with water."
"Hu åtte i la'uya ni hanom." = "I poured water into the pot."

Palåbran 04/07/09: Titek

Titek (TEE-tick): (verb) Tear off, rip.


"Matitek i chininå-hu." = "My shirt is torn."
"Ha titek i patgon i katsunes-ña." = "The kid ripped his pants."
"Adahi na un titek i papet-mu." = "Be careful not to rip your paper."

Palåbran 04/06/09: Utot

Utot (OO-tut): (verb) Cut, sever, gash, incise, chop, amputate.


"Ma utot i tangantångan para i guafi." = "They chopped tangantangan for the fire."
"Ha utot un pidason kåtne ginen i trosu." = "He cut off a piece of meat from the large chunk."
"Bai hu utot i raman mångga, sa' måtai esta." = "I'm going to chop off the mango tree branch, because it's already dead."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Palåbran 04/03/09: Yayas

Yayas (ZA-zas): (adjective) Weary, tired, fatigued, exhausted, worn out, done in, prostrate, haggard, all in.

"Gof yayas i patgon, sa' duru gue' humugåndu." = "The kid is exhausted, because he was playing hard."
"Bibihu yo' esta, sa' todu i tiempo yayas yo'." = "I'm getting old already, because I'm always tired."
"Sigi ya un maigo' yanggen yayas hao." = "Go sleep if you're tired."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Palåbran 04/02/09: Unai

Unai (OO-nigh): (noun) Sand.

"Såffe i inai gi patas-mu åntes di humålom hao." = "Wipe the sand off your feet before you go in."
"Ma fa'tinas i famagu'on un kastiyon unai." = "The kids made a sand castle."
"Mamokkat gue' sindogga gi inai." = "She was walking barefoot in the sand."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Palåbran 04/01/09: Nunok

Nunok (NEW-nook): (verb) To conceal fruit for ripening, to make ripen.


"Hu nunok i gada' na mångga." = "I hid the young mango to ripen it."
"Adahi i nininok-mu na u lamas." = "Pay attention to the thing you hid to ripen so it doesn't rot."
"Mannunok gue' alageta para u fa'denne'." = "She forced some avocados to ripen so she could make fina'denne' (so she could fa'denne' them)."

Note: -in- makes nouns out of verbs, so "nininok" = "the thing that was hidden to ripen."