Monday, November 1, 2010

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix la-

The prefix la- is a comparative degree marker meaning slightly or a little bit more. It can be used with most nouns and adjectives/adverbs in Chamorro, however here are several which are more commonly known/used:
  • Maolek = Good, well.
    La- + maolek => Lamaolek = Better (slightly).
  • Meggai = Many, several.
    La- + meggai => Lameggai = Very many.
  • Bunitu = Beautiful.
    La- + bunitu => Labunitu = More (slightly) beautiful, prettier.
  • Chaddek = Fast.
    La- + chaddek => Lachaddek = Faster.
  • Guse' = Quick, lively.
    La- + guse' => Laguse' = Quicker, livelier.
You can also use the word mås to mean "more," but some words, like chaddek, usually use the prefix la- rather than mås, i.e., it is more common to hear lachaddek rather than mås chaddek.

The prefix also takes the primary stress of new word, so for the above examples:
  • Lamaolek => LA-mao-lick
  • Lameggai => LA-meg-guy
  • Labunitu => LA-boo-knee-too
  • Lachaddek => LA-chad-deck
  • Laguse' => LA-goo-see'
Note: Some use la- to almost mean "to make more..." rather than just "more." This is not "wrong" per se, but it is safer to use na'la- or na'mås.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pålåbran 10/29/2010: Go'te

Go'te (GO'-tee): Hold, support, retain by force, grasp.

"Go'te fan i balakbak-hu." = "Hold my bag, please."
"I lahi ha go'te i lepblo-ña i palao'an." = "The guy held the girl's books."
"Na'go'te i che'lu-mu ya un ayuda yo'." = "Make your brother hold it so you can help me."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix ke-

The prefix ke- is used to mean "to try to" or "about to."
  • Tungo' (to know) => Ketungo' (to try to know, about to know)
  • Målångu (sick) => Kemålångu (to try to get sick, about to be sick)
  • Chule' (to take) => Kechule' (to try to take, about to take)
  • Såga (to stay) => Kesåga (to try to stay, about to stay)
It is relatively simply to use within a Chamorro sentence after you've affixed ke- to the word, you just use the new word according to if it's a "man-" or "-um-" verb. So, using the above examples:
  • Ketungo' ("man-" verb) => Hu ketungo' i na'ån-ña. (I tried to know his/her name.)
  • Kemålångu ("-um-" verb) => Kumemålångu i patgon. (The child was about to be (getting) sick.)
  • Kechule' ("man-" verb) => Ha kechule' i bola ginen i ga'chong-ña. (He tried to take the ball from his friend.)
  • Kesåga ("-um-" verb) => Kumesåga si Juan giya Yoña. (Juan was trying to stay/live in Yoña.)
One thing to keep in mind is that the prefix ke- shows up in several different forms, but they are are essentially the same: keke- (reduplication of ke-), mange- (man- + ke-), mangeke- (man- + keke-). For example:
  • Ketungo' => Ha keketungo' ki ora måbaba i tenda. (He is trying to know (figure out) what time the store will be opened.)
  • Kemålångu => Mangekemålångu i tres na lålåhi. (The three men were about to be (getting) sick.)
Sometimes the word "chagi" is used to mean "to try to," however, while similar it is essentially different than the prefix ke-. "Chagi" does indeed mean "to try," but it is in the sense of testing, attempting, or proving.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pålåbran 08/23/2010: Måmåhlao

Måmåhlao (muh-MAH-lao): Ashamed; be ashamed; shamefaced; bashful; shy; emarrassed.

Note: This is also spelled/said as måmålao.

"Måtåtå'chong i lahi sa' måmåhlao gue' bumaila." = "The guy is sitting down because he's ashamed to dance."
"Kånno' fan... munga måmåhlao." = "Please eat... don't be embarrassed."
"Gakgao na boi, ti måmåhlao manggåggao." = "The boy likes to ask for things, he's not bashful about begging (for stuff)."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pålåbran 07/12/2010: Taiguenao

Taiguenao (tie-GWEH-now): That is the way (something is done); that is how; that is why; that is the reason--talking to and about addressee.

Note: This definition comes from Topping's dictionary, but an easier, more enlightening definition would be "like that," or "that way."

"Munga taiguenao." = "Don't be like that (that way)."
"Håfa na un ippe' i niyok taiguenao?" = "Why did you split the coconut like that?"
"Ti taiguenao mama'tinas nu kåsiyas." = "You don't build a chicken coop that way."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pålåbran 06/12/2010: Fatå'chong

Fatå'chong (fa-TAH'-chung): Sit down.

Note: Fatå'chong is used either as a future tense or as the command, otherwise matå'chong is used.

"Matåtå'chong yo' gi siyå-hu." = "I was sitting in my chair."
"Fatå'chong fan gi fi'on nånå-mu." = "Please sit down by your mother."
"Para u fatå'chong gi hilo' guåfak." = "She's going to sit on the mat."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pålåbran 05/20/2010: Atan

Atan (AH-tan): Look at, glance, perceive.

"Ti hu atan i chalan annai mañugon yo' ya aksidente yo'." = "I didn't look at the road when I was driving, and got into an accident."
"Atan fan kuåntu båli-ña." = "Please, see (perceive) how much it costs."
"Atan ha' på'go i bidå-mu!" = "Look at what you've done now!"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pålåbran 05/09/2010: Nihi

Nihi (NEE-hee): Let's (do something)--used with future verb and 1st person plural pronouns.

Note: Nihi can be used as a stand alone sentence as a shorter way to say, "Let's go."

"Nihi ta hånao para i tenda." = "Let's (2 people) go to the store."
"Nihi ta famboka." = "Let's (3 or more people) eat."
"Nihi ta egga' i mubi." = "Let's (2 people) watch the movie."

Friday, April 30, 2010

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix ha-

The prefix ha- is used to mean "usually" or "often." Here are some examples to help clarify that a bit:
  • Målångu = Sick.
    Ha- + målångu => Hamålångu = Sickly, often is sick.
  • Måleffa = Forgot.
    Ha- + måleffa => Hamåleffa = Forgetful, usually forgets.
  • Fåtta = Lacking, missing, absent.
    Ha- + fåtta => Hafåtta = Usually lacking, usually missing, often absent.
There are also several other ways to connote similar ideas in Chamorro, such as "sesso (continuously, often)," "fihu (often)," "todu i tiempo (always, all the time)," etc.

One thing to note about "ha-" is that it forces the primary stress to fall on the first syllable. Using the above examples, we get:
  • Hamålångu => HA-ma-luh-ngoo
  • Hamåleffa => HA-ma-lef-fa
  • Hafåtta => HA-fut-ta

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pålåbran 04/23/2010: Mångge

Mångge (MUNG-gi): Where (question), where is it.

Note: Mangge is a contraction of "månu nai gaige." However, the contraction of "where are they" or "månu nai manggaige" is "manmångge."

"Mångge si Juan?" = "Where is Juan?"
"Kao un tungo' mångge i yabi-hu?" = "Do you know where my key is?"
"Manmångge i mañe'lu-mu?" = "Where are your siblings?"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pålåbran 04/08/2010: Ekulo'

Ekulo' (EH-ku-lu'): Climb up, get on top of.

Note: Kahulo' can be interchanged with ekulo' in many instances, but ekulo' draws more attention to the actual act of climbing, whereas kahulo' doesn't necessarily do so. Feddos is also another word that can be used for "climb."

"Ekulo' fan i atof ya un chule' påpa' i bola." = "Please get on top of (climb up to) the roof and bring down the ball."
"Umekulo' gue' gi tronko ya u tife' lalanghita." = "He climbed up the tree to pick a tangerine."
"Manekulo' yan manunok i famagu'on gi tronko." = "The kids were climbing up and down the tree."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix gi-

The prefix gi- is not used as frequently anymore as it once was, but the concept is rather simple. Gi- just represents origin and/or residence. Here are some examples:
  • Gi- + Luta => Gilita (a person from Rota)
  • Gi- + Yo'ña => Giye'ña (a person from Yona)
  • Gi- + Guåhan => Giguahan (a person from Guam)
This construction is still used, but is often replaced by "taotao ___."

When you add the prefix gi- to a noun the rules of vowel harmony apply. The prefix "pulls back" the sound of the vowel that follows, where applicable. I.e.: In general, we change the first vowel in the root word from å to a, o to e, and u to i.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pålåbran 04/02/2010: Appleng

Appleng (APP-pling): Slang, markedly colloquial language, nonsense, incoherent speech.

Note: Appleng also means sprained.

"Ti komprendiyon gue' sa' appleng i fino'-ña." = "He's incomprehensible, because his words are nonsensical."
"Adahi na un måsångan appleng." = "Careful or it will be said that you can't speak well."
"Ai gof appleng gue' kumentos." = "Oh how slangy his speech is."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pålåbran 03/24/10: Atanon

Atanon (a-TA-none): Handsome, good looking, pretty, appearance, decent looking.

"Ti gof bunita gue', lao atanon." = "She's not that pretty, but she's decent."
"Måtto gi chatpa'go gue', ni didide' atanon." = "He is very ugly, he's not even slightly good looking."
"Atanon i hatdin gi me'nan guma'-mu." = "The garden in front of your house is pretty."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pålåbran 03/19/2010: Frihon

Frihon (free-HON): Joker, jester, buffoon.

"Frihon si Jose, ya-ña umossitan." = "Jose is a joker, he likes to play tricks."
"Ha eståni i che'lu-ña, sa gof frihon gue'." = "He played a trick on his brother, because he's a joker."
"Gof ya-ña si Juan frumihon." = "Juan likes to be a joker (to joke around)."

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pålåbran 03/10/10: Nå'yåni

Nå'yåni (nah'-DZAH-knee): Serve food (to someone), prepare a plate (for someone), give food or drink (to someone).

"Ha nå'yåni yo' ni na'-hu." = "She served my food to me."
"Nå'yåni i patgon fan, sa' ñålang." = "Give the kid some food, because he's hungry."
"Hu nå'yåni si nånå-hu nenkanno' ginen i gipot, sa' atrasao macho'cho'." = "I made my mother a plate of food from the party, because she worked late."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pålåbran 03/08/10: Po'lo

Po'lo (PO'-loo): Place, set, arrange, establish, put, invest.

Note: Po'lo also means "wait, hold off, set aside, etc." but that's for another post.

"Po'lo i plåtu-mu gi lamasa." = "Put your plate on the table."
"Ha po'lo i salåpe'-ña gi kapetå-ña." = "He put his money in his wallet."
"Kao hågu pumo'lo i kahita gi papa' i siya?" = "Were you the one that put the box under the chair?"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Palåbran 03/05/10: Eyugue'

Eyugue' (EH-dzoo-gwee'): There is, stating existence (object away from both the speaker and the addressee).

Note: Some also say this word as ayugue'.

"Eyugue' i gimen-ña kafe." = "There is his coffee."
"Eyugue' i karetå-hu." = "There's my car."
"Eyugue' i tenda." = "There is the store."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix ge'-

The prefix ge'- is a comparative degree marker for directions. In essence it means "further (in a direction)." Here are some examples:
  • Hålom = Go in, go inside, enter.
    Ge'- + hålom => Ge'halom = further inside, deeper inside
  • Hulo' = Up, above, on top.
    Ge'- + hulo' => Ge'hilo' = further up, higher, a little upward
  • Kåttan = East (Guam and Rota), north (Saipan).
    Ge'- + kåttan => Ge'kattan = further eastward, eastwardly, easterly direction
  • Mågi = Here (towards the direction of the speaker).
    Ge'- + mågi => Ge'magi = further towards here
There is another prefix (hat-) that does something very similar to ge'-, however ge'- puts more emphasis on the location rather than the action.
Ge'- also takes the primary stress of the new word. For the above examples:
  • Ge'halom => GE'-ha-lum
  • Ge'hilo'=> GE'-hee-loo'
  • Ge'kattan => GE'-cut-tan
  • Ge'magi => GE'-ma-gi
The prefix also follows the rules of vowel harmony, which means that we change the first vowel of the root word from å to a, o to e, and u to i.

Leksion Chamoru: Prefix ga'-

The prefix ga'- has two completely different uses. The first use of ga'- is that of an animal classifier, and the second is that of connoting preference, or strong liking towards something.

Ga'- : Animal Classifier
While many Chamorro speakers decide not to use this construction, it's still used by most, and is not very difficult to understand. In this application ga'- simply denotes an animal.

The most common usage of the prefix is with one of the possessive suffixes, i.e., -hu, -mu, -ña, etc. For example:
  • Ga'-hu = My animal
  • Ga'-ña = His/Her animal
  • Ga'-ñiha = Their animal
The prefix also may be added to the beginning of other words to indicate "an animal of." However, I know only of one instance where this happens in modern Chamorro:
  • Ga'lågu = Dog
Note: Ga'lågu did not mean "animal from the north," it originally meant "animal from outside the island."

Ga'- : Strong liking or Preference

This application of the prefix is rather simple, because when it's added to the front of a word it just means that it's preferred or strongly liked. Here are some examples:
  • Ga'sålåpe' si Juan. = John really likes/loves money.
  • Ga'kumentos gue'. = S/he likes to talk (is talkative).
  • Ga'maigo' si Maria. = Maria loves to sleep.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Palåbran 02/25/10: Foggon

Foggon (FOHG-gun): Stove, barbecue pit.

"Adahi i nina'lagu-mu gi feggon." = "Watch your cooking on the stove."
"Ga'o-ku umusa i feggon gas ki i feggon elektrisida." = "I prefer to use the gas stove than electric."
"Ma tunu i guihan gi hilo' foggon." = "They grilled the fish on the barbecue pit."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Palåbran 02/20/10: Yabbao

Yabbao (DZAB-bow): Swat at, hack away at, whack at, wave away, clear path by chopping bushes, mow, chop down trees.

"Hu yabbao i tangantångan gi santatte." = "I chopped down the tangantangan trees out back."
"Ha yabbao i tinanom sa' gof dånkolo." = "He chopped the plant down, because it was very big."
"Munga måyabbao i flores fan." = "Please don't mow down the flowers."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Palabran 02/09/2010: Danges

Danges (DANG-ess): Candle, wax, gum.


"Meggai na danges gi iyo-ña kek." = "There are a lot of candles on his cake."
"Songge fan i danges." = "Please, light the candle."
"Yanggen tåya' kandet, bai usa i danges." = "When there are no lights, I'll use the candles."