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Author: webmagas

Chamorro Months of the Year

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. 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).

CHAMORROENGLISHPHONETIC
IneruJanuaryee-neh-roo
FibreruFebruaryfee-breh-roo
MåtsoMarchmaht-soo
AbritAprilah-britt
MåyuMaymah-dzoo
HuñoJunehoo-nyoo
HulioJulyhoo-lyoh
AgostoAugustah-gohs-too
SeptembreSeptembersep-tehm-bree
OktubreOctoberohk-too-bree
NobembreNovembernoh-behm-bree
DisembreDecemberdee-sehm-bree

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

or

month + dia + number + year

Here are some examples:

CHAMORUENGLISH
Dia 3 gi OktubreOctober 3
Oktubre dia 3October 3
Dia 3 gi Oktubre 2014October 3, 2014

How To Say Your Birthday

When you want to tell someone what your kumpleaños or ha’ånen mafañagu-mu (both mean birthday) is, you can say it 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.

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Negation and Negative Words in Chamorro

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.
Guaha karetå-hu.
I have a car.
Tåya’ karetå-hu.
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.

Negative Words

Using the negative marker ti is the most basic type of Chamorro negation, but you can also use the following negative words and phrases.

ENGLISHENGLISH
mungadon’t
cha’-(poss. pron.)don’t (even, try to)
ninor
ni…nineither…nor
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
nunkanever
tampokuneither, not either
trabihanot yet

Here are some examples using the negative words from the table above.

Munga kumuentos.
Don’t talk.
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.
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Animal Names in Chamorro

This section covers the names and vocabulary used for gå’ga’, or animals, in Chamorro. 

ChamorroEnglish
ababangbutterfly
abehabee
agilaeagle
afula’ / fanihen tåsistingray, manta ray
apåcha’grasshopper
asulifreshwater eel
ayuyucoconut crab
babuipig
baka cow (female bovine)
bayenawhale
binådudeer
bulikudonkey
chå’karat, mouse
chibagoat
dengdengsnail
dulalasdragonfly
elefanteelephant
fanihifruit bat
gåmsonoctopus
ga’lågudog
guali’ekgecko
guaka cattle
gåyurooster
guihanfish
hagganturtle
halu’ushark
hiraffagiraffe
kabåyuhorse
kaimanalligator
karabaocarabao, water buffalo
katu
cat
kulepbla snake
kunehurabbit
lålo’housefly
liónlion
lobu
wolf
loruparrot
machengmonkey
mahonganglobster
månnokchicken (fowl)
nosnossquid
ñåtaksaltwater eel
ngånga’duck
ñåmumosquito
palumabird
påbuturkey
puniderahen
puyitoschick (baby chicken)
obehassheep
osubeer
otdotant
sanye’ye’spider
saligaocentipede
sasatawasp
tigiritiger
torubull
tuninosdolphin
uhangshrimp
ulo’earthworm
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Clothing and Accessories

The general word for “clothes” in Chamorro is magågu. In this post, we’ll learn the various Chamorro terms for articles of clothing. At the end, we’ll include a brief lesson on how to say “wear”, so you can start using these words.

chinina
collared shirt

franela
t-shirt

katsunes
pants

katsunes kådada’
short pants

katsunes anakko’
long pants

bestidu
dress

lupes
skirt

tråhi
uniform, outfit

saku
suit, jacket
katsonsiyu
men’s underwear

pante’
panties

kamisola
underslip

brasia
bra

meyas
socks

dogga
footwear

sapåtos
shoes

chankletas
sandals

yore’
flip-flops

Clothing Accessories

Here are some words for adotnon magågu, or clothing adornments or decorations, to komplimento i trahi-mu, or complement your outfit.

kotbåtatie
alåhasjewelry
kadenachain, necklace
adotnon agå’ga’necklace, neckwear
alitosearrings
aniyuring
putserasbracelet
guåntesgloves
sinturonbelt
anti’ohoseyeglasses
tuhonghat
painicomb
painetadecorative head comb
reloswatch
påñuhandkerchief

Words to Describe Your Clothing

Here is a list of words that will come in handy when you want to describe your clothing. These include parts of your clothing, its condition, and the material its made out of.

kueyucollar
botsapocket
båtunesbuttons
makaleluwrinkled
åtgidoncotton
lånawool
kueruleather
sedasilk

How to say “wear” in Chamorro

In Chamorro, if we want to say “wear” an article of clothing, we use the word “usa”, which can also be used as a general word meaning “use”.

Bai hu usa bestidu agupa’.
I will wear a dress tomorrow.

Ti ya-hu manusa tuhong.
I don’t like wearing hats.

Another way to express “wear” in Chamorro is by using the affix in with an article of clothing. Study the following examples.

Håfa na ti minagågagu hao?
Why aren’t you dressed?

Ti ya-hu tinihong.
I don’t like wearing hats.

Ti sininturon yu’, sa’ ti siña hu sodda’ i sinturon-hu.
I didn’t wear a belt, because I couldn’t find my belt.

Lachaddek sinapatos! Siempre atrasao hit.
Put your shoes on quickly! We’re going to be late.

Other Chamorro verbs related to clothing

mudato change one’s clothes, to get dressed
mamudato have changed one’s clothes
chagito try on
dopblato fold
prensato iron
pula’to take off
fa’gåsi magåguto wash clothes


Just a graphic of general articles of clothing made for @finochamoru on Instagram.

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The Linking Particle na

The particle na is truly one of the most versatile particles in the Chamorro language. The following description below lists all the different ways in which na is used.

“Na” as a Noun Modifier

One of the most basic ways to use na is to connect an adjective with the noun it modifies.

Maolek na estudiante
A good student

Dånkolo na guma’
A big house

Agaga’ na kareta
A red car

“Na” as a General Modifier

Tres na sitbesa.
Three beers

Guiya na taotao ti ya-ña masangåni.
He’s a person who doesn’t like to be told.

Guaha na taotao ti yan-ñiha tumåtes.
Some people do not like tomatoes.

“Na” as a Conjunction

The particle na is used in the same way as the subordinating conjunction “that” in English. In conversational English, the conjunction “that” is often omitted, but in Chamorro, it must always be used.

Kao un tungo’ na magraduha si Jennifer?
Did you know that Jennifer graduated?

Maolek na matto hao.
It’s good that you came.

Hagas ha’ hu tungo’ na guiya.
I always knew that it was him.

The particle na can also be used in sentences where we would use “rather” or “but” in English. For example, one might say “It’s not blue, but red in color.” That is, the second clause corrects the initial negative.

Ti matuhok yu’ na yayas ha’ yu’.
I’m not sleepy, but just tired.

Ti ha fa’tinas, na ha fåhan gi tenda.
He didn’t make, but rather he bought it at the store.

Ti asut na betde.
It’s not blue, but green.

“Na” to ask a Negative Rhetorical Question

These are questions where we anticipate an affirmative answer.

Na ti hågu fumåhan i pan?
But weren’t you the one who bought the bread?

Na ti si Peter hao sumangåni?
But wasn’t Peter the one who told you?

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