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Author: webmagas

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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Useful Words to Describe Food in Chamorro

An Array of Fruits

In this post, we will take a look at some useful words you can learn to describe the food you eat in Chamorro. Maybe you’re eating a meal and you want to compliment and describe how some of the food tastes. The following are some basic adjectives we use to describe flavors.

This image illustrates some useful words to describe food tastes in Chamorro.

In English, 5 basic tastes we use daily to describe food are: Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Sour and Salty.

Here’s how to say and use each of these words in Chamorro:

mames

The Chamorro word mames is used describe something “sweet.” You can use this word to describe fruits or desserts.

Mames i kek.
The cake is sweet.

pika

Pika is the Chamorro word used to describe something “spicy.” You can use this word to say that your fina’denne’ is too spicy, because you added too many chili peppers. If you’re not into spicy, you may want to stay from the Chamorro dish kaddon pika.

Kåo pika i karí?
Is the curry spicy?

Ya-ña si Guadalupe pika na kelaguen.
Guadalupe likes spicy kelaguen.

mala’et

Mala’et is how you say “bitter” in Chamorro. You use it to describe your coffee or maybe certain vegetables.

Ti ya-ña si Lucio mala’et na nengkanno’.
Lucio does not like bitter food.

ma’aksom

Ma’aksom is the Chamorro word for anything that’s “sour” or “tangy.” You may use this to describe citrus fruits or pickled foods.

Ti ma’aksom i fina’denne’-ña.
Her fina’denne’ is not sour.

ma’asen

Ma’asen is the Chamorro word for “salty.”

Bula mampos na asiga un na’yi, sa’ gof ma’asen pa’go.
You’ve added too much salt, because it is very salty now.

Ma’asen i hanom tåsi.
Seawater is salty.

Other Useful Adjectives to Describe Food

Here are more useful words you can use to describe how food tastes, smells, feels and more!

månnge’ – delicious

matå’pang – bland, tasteless

paopao – fragrant

mutong – smelly, stinky

maipe – hot

manengheng – cold

ånglo’ – dry

fotgon – wet

fresko – fresh

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