The word “time” can be translated three different ways in Chamorro:
|ora||Time as in telling time. “I ora” means “the hour”.|
|tiempo||General period of time, which can be used when talking about seasons.|
|biahe||An instance of time, as in a number of times.|
In this article, we’ll be talking about i ora, or “the hour”. It’s easy to tell time in Chamorro. You just have to remember your numbers.
How to Tell Time in Chamorro
What time is it? Ki ora?
|Ala una||1 o’clock|
|Alas dos||2 o’clock|
|Alas tres||3 o’clock|
|Alas kuåtro||4 o’clock|
|Alas singko||5 o’clock|
|Alas sais||6 o’clock|
|Alas siette||7 o’clock|
|Alas ochu||8 o’clock|
|Alas nuebi||9 o’clock|
|Alas dies||10 o’clock|
|Alas onse||11 o’clock|
|Alas dosse||12 o’clock|
Note that 1 o’clock is different from the rest as it is just “ala” and not “alas” and the word for one is the Spanish feminine form “una”.
Beyond the Hour
If we wish to say that it is half past the hour we would use the expression i media , which is a direct borrowing of the Spanish phrase meaning “and a half”.
Pot ihemplo: 7:30 ~ Alas siette i media.
You can also specify the exact minute, if you wish to be specific. For example, to say it is 10:20 in the morning, you would say:
Alas dies bente
Or you could also say:
Bente pasåo alas dies, which literally means “20 past 10”.
NOTE: When giving the time, Chamorros like to give a general idea of what the time is. They’ll just say it is para (to) or pasao (past) a specific time.
|Para alas 5||It’s 5 o’clock.|
|10 para alas 5||It’s 10 (minutes) ’til 5 o’clock.|
|Pasao alas 5||It’s past 5 o’clock.|
|10 pasao alas 5||It’s 10 past 5 o’clock.|
Adding Time of Day
If you want to be more specific as to the time of day, add the following expressions after the time:
|…gi ega’an||in the morning|
|…gi chatanmak||in the wee hours of the morning; before dawn|
|…gi talo’ani||in the afternoon|
|…gi pupuengi||in the evening|
|…gi tatalo’ puengi||at midnight|
To say, seven in the morning, you would say:
Alas siette gi ega’an.
The words oga’an and chatanmak are both used for the morning. Chatanmak refers to the period right before daybreak. As soon as there’s light, it is considered oga’an. So depending on where you are in the world when you use oga’an may be different.
The word talo’åni literally means “middle of the day”, and refers to the time of day when the sun is at its highest. We note this only because you may hear “afternoon” used differently among speakers. In English, afternoon is any time that is after noon, that is 12 pm, through the evening. In Chamorro, you may hear someone say “Alas 11 gi ega’an”, following how time is spoken in English. Or you might also hear “Alas 11 gi talo’åni”, taking into account that at 11 a.m. the sun is already reaching its highest point.
How to Ask for the Time
We already learned how to give the time, so let’s take a look at the ways you can ask for the time.
The main phrase you need to know is:
Ki ora? What time is it?
If you want to ask when a specific event is happening, like a party or movie, you would simply ask what time something is (that is, what time it’s happening).
Ki ora i movie? What time is the movie?
Ki ora i gipot? What time is the party?
If you want to ask a more complex question, such as what time someone did something or going to do something you would need to ask ki ora na… (what time is it that…)
To ask what time someone did something,
Ki ora na makmåta hao? What time did you wake up?
To ask what time someone is going to do something we use ki ora na with a future statement.
Ki ora na para un fatto?
What time will you arrive?
Ki ora na para u falak i tenda si David?
What time is David going to the store?
To ask what time something usually happens, we must employ the ongoing, or progressive, form of the verb.
Ki ora na makmamata hao?
What time do you wake up?
Ki ora na mamaigo’ hao?
What time do you sleep?
Ki ora na madadandan i kampana.
What time does the bell ring?
Ki ora na mabababa i Target?
What time does Target open?
Ki ora na humåhånao hao para i che’cho’-mu?
What time do you leave for work?
Seven little words that you’ll use all the time when speaking Chamorro: i ha’åni siha gi simåna (the days of the week). Estegue’ siha! Here they are!
How to say the days of the week in Chamorro
Other Useful Words and Phrases
|day||diha (dia)||dee-hah (dyah)|
|the day before yesterday||nigapña||nee-gap-nyah|
|the day after tomorrow||agupa’ña||ah-goo-pah’-nyah|
|the next day||i sigiente dia||ee see-gyen-tee dee-ah|
|last week||ma’pos na simåna||muh-poos nah see-mah-nah|
|week before last||ma’posña na simåna||muh-pohs-nyah nah see-mah-nah|
More Useful Expressions of Time
Hafa i dia på’go?
What day is today?
Maseha ngai’an malago’-mu
Whenever you want
It won’t be long. (Soon)
Ha’åni or Dia
In Chamorro, we sometimes have two words for the same thing. This is true for the word for day, which can be spoken as ha’åni or dia. The former is rooted in indigenous Chamorro and the latter borrowed from Spanish. There is no strict rule as to when you should use either, but there is a predilection among native speakers toward using ha’åni more when describing the day and dia for when talking about the day in the calendar sense. As a learner of Chamorro, take note when listening to conversations in Chamorro; try to note the context in which each word is used.
The Origin of the Days of the Week
The Chamorro names for the days of the week come from the Spanish days of the week, which get their names from planets and gods.
|Lunes||Lunes||Day of the Moon|
|Måttes||Martes||Day of Mars|
|Metkoles||Miercoles||Day of Mercury|
|Huebes||Jueves||Day of Jupiter|
|Betnes||Viernes||Day of Venus|
|Såbalu||Sabado||From Hebrew word shabbat, the day of rest|
|Damenggo||Domingo||Day of God, or Day of the Lord|
When we want to talk about important events like birthdays and holidays we have to learn some very important words in CHamoru: the names of the months of the year. What’s great is that you have 12 opportunities out of the year to practice your Chamorro! So nihi! Let’s go and do this.
Here are the names of i mes siha gi sakkan (the months in the year).
Talking About Dates in Chamorro
Saying i fecha, or “the date”, in Chamorro is almost the same as in English except for a few details. Chamorro days are often preceded by the word dia (or diha), meaning “day”. Traditionally, the day came before the month, but now it is common to say it the English way as well. In both languages, the year always comes after the month and day, regardless of the order.
You can use the following patterns to help you write the date:
dia + number + gi + month + year
month + dia + number + year
Here are some examples:
|Dia 3 gi Oktubre||October 3|
|Oktubre dia 3||October 3|
|Dia 3 gi Oktubre 2014||October 3, 2014|
How To Say Your Birthday
When you want to tell someone when your kumpleaños or ha’ånen mafañagu-mu (both mean birthday) is, you can say it in a few ways:
|Mafañågu yu’ gi Hulio dia 14.||I was born on July 14.|
|I kumpleaños-hu i dia 14 gi Hulio.||My birthday is July 14.|
|I ha’ånen mafañagu-hu i dia 14 gi Hulio.||My birthday is July 14.|
Ancient CHamoru Calendar
Before the Spanish arrived, the ancient Chamorros used a 13-month calendar based on the lunar cycle.
In this article, we’ll learn Chamorro negation and negative words.
To make statements negative in Chamorro, in most cases, you simply have to put the negative marker ti at the beginning of the statement.
Look at the following examples.
|Ti båba este.|
This is not bad.
|Ti ya-hu tumåtes.|
I don’t like tomatoes.
|Ti manhanao ham para i lancho, sa’ u’uchan.|
We didn’t go to the ranch, because it’s raining.
There are a couple of exceptions to this. The words guaha and gaige both have negative counterparts. They are tåya’ and taigue, respectively. So, instead of using ti we say these opposite words. Look at the following examples.
|Guaha chåda’ gi kahon ais.|
There are eggs in the refrigerator.
|Tåya’ chåda’ gi kahon ais.|
There are no eggs in the refrigerator.
I have a car.
I don’t have a car.
|Gaige i yabi-hu gi betså-hu.|
My keys are in my pocket.
|Taigue i yabi-hu gi betså-hu.|
My keys are not in my pocket.
|Gaige si George gi kuåtto-ña.|
George is in his room.
|Taigue si George gi kuåtto-ña.|
George is not in his room.
Using the negative marker ti is the most basic type of Chamorro negation, but you can also use the following negative words and phrases.
|cha’-(poss. pron.)||don’t (even, try to)|
|ni ngai’an (ni ngai’a’an)||never / never ever|
|ni håyi (ni håyiyi)||no one / no matter who|
|ni håfa (ni håfafa)||none / no matter what|
|ni månu (ni månunu)||nowhere / no matter where|
|tampoku||neither, not either|
Here are some examples using the negative words from the table above.
|Ni si Antonia humånao.|
Neither Antonia went.
|Ni unu ni otro!|
Not one nor the other!
|Ni ngai’an bai hu maleffa.|
I will never forget.
|Ti angokkuyon na taotao! Ni håyiyi un faisen.|
He’s not a trustworthy person! No matter who you ask.
|Ti bai hu magof guini, ya ni hågu tampoku.|
I won’t be happy here, and neither will you.
|Ti hu apåpåsi i dibi-hu trabiha.|
I haven’t paid my bills yet.
This section covers the names and vocabulary used for gå’ga’, or animals, in Chamorro.
|afula’ / fanihen tåsi||stingray, manta ray|
|baka||cow (female bovine)|
|karabao||carabao, water buffalo|
|puyitos||chick (baby chicken)|