Category: Language Lessons

How to say “Goodbye” in Chamorro

Friends saying goodbye to each other.

Goodbye is one of the most common expressions used in most languages, and here we present to you the multitude ways of saying goodbye to someone in Chamorro.

Adios
Goodbye

The Chamorro adios is a direct loan from the Spanish adiós. This is probably what a native speaker would say if you asked how to say “goodbye” in Chamorro. What Chamorro speakers actually use is a different story. Use adios if there’s a sense of finality. You won’t be seeing someone for a while or for a long time. This is something you would say to acquaintances, people you respect or even family members who have traveled a long distance to visit you and are now returning home. What most people will use in place of adios on a daily basis follow.

Informal ways of saying goodbye

Esta
Alright then.

Oftentimes, this will be what you will hear. Between friends or people you know well, you say esta to indicate that you’re ending the conversation or meeting. It’s understood that you’ll most likely be seeing each other again.

Tatatte
I leave you behind.
(Usually said in situations where there is some activity going on, and to avoid disruption you dismiss yourself by saying that you will leave everyone to it.)

Fanatatte
I leave you (all) behind.
(Used in the same way as the phrase above but addressing two or more people.)

Other ways of saying goodbye

Asta i despues
Until later, See you later

Asta agupa’
Until tomorrow, See you tomorrow

Asta lamo’na
Until tonight, See you tonight

Asta otro biahe
Until next time, See you next time

Asta i birada
Until the return, See you on the way back

Asta ki umali’e’ hit ta’lo
Until we meet again (singular)

Asta ki manali’e’ hit ta’lo
Until we all meet again (plural, addressing two or more people)

Asta ki…
Until then…

Asta i Lunes
Until Monday, See you Monday

Other Related Words

despidi
To say goodbye to someone, to bid farewell

Example:
Bai hu despidi si Francine, sa’ para u hanao tatte para California agupa’.
I will say goodbye to Francine, because she’s going back to California tomorrow.

despidida
A farewell, a goodbye.

This can refer to the act itself or a celebration, a farewell party.

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How to say “Thank You” in Chamorro

There are a few ways to say thank you in Chamorro!

Si Yu’us ma’åse’

This the most common way to say “thank you” in Chamorro. The phrase itself differs from that of its English counterpart. What the phrase is really doing is asking God to be merciful to the person providing the service or gift. Si Yu’us (“God”, from Spanish Dios) ma’åse’ (“be merciful”).

Dångkulu na si Yu’us ma’åse’

Literally “a big thank you”, it is how you express “thank you very much” in Chamorro.

Other Useful Expressions

Si Yu’us ma’åse’ para i ayudu-mu (på’go).
Thanks for your help (today).

Buen probechu
You’re welcome (formal)

Tåya’ guaha
You’re welcome (casual)

Gracias adios!
Thank God! Thank goodness! Thank heavens!

Other Ways to Say Thank You

A resurgence in Chamorro pride and identity has led specific groups of Chamorro speakers to begin suppressing and replacing the Spanish words and phrases in Chamorro in favor of indigenous Chamorro words. This has led to the expression saina ma’å’se’ in favor of si Yu’us ma’åse’. The word saina is the indigenous word for “elder” and can also be heard in the word asaina, a reference to God.

Whichever you decide to say, the important thing is that you say it. Being courteous in any language goes a long way to earning respect and friendship.

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How to say “I love you” in Chamorro

couple in love enjoying an island sunset

Traditionally, to say “I love you” in Chamorro or even to just generally express your love for someone has always been confined to intimate situations or occasions. However, as Chamorros have become more exposed to American media and culture, it’s become more common to hear in daily life.

How to say “I love you” in Chamorro

Hu guaiya hao

“Hu guaiya hao”, literally means “I love you” and is the most common way to express your love for someone in Chamorro. The word guaiya is the verb for “to love” and can be used in more than one way as can be seen in the next expression.

Mangguaiya yo’ nu hågu

This also tells someone that you love them but the understanding is a little different. You can use this expression to tell family or friends that you love them, BUT if you say this to someone you are dating or in a romantic relationship with, you are telling them that you are “in love” with them.

Make a heart to show your love.

Examples in Chamorro Music

The following are examples of Chamorro songs that express “I love you” in Chamorro. The first song is Johnny Sablan’s U Guaiya Hao, which here the hu is written colloquial style. The second song is Hågu i Rason i Lina’lå’-hu, “you are the reason for my life”, by KC Deleon Guerrero.

The song U Guaiya Hao by Johnny Sablan.

The song Hagu i Rason i Lina’la’-hu by KC Deleon Guerrero.

Other Ways to Express Your Love

While actually using the word “love” is the most common way in most languages, there are other expressions that also accomplish the same thing.

Hågu i Rason i Lina’lå’-hu

Like the song says, you are the reason I exist, the reason I wake up every morning. With a sentiment like that, you’d probably follow this up with the next phrase.

Tåya’ yo’ sin hågu

“I am nothing without you”, so do I need to say more?

Have an expression of love you’d like to share? Email webmagas@chamoru.info!

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Ways to say “Yes” in Chamorro

When it comes to speaking Chamorro, most language resources will only include how one should say something. And so this is true for the Chamorro word for “yes”. Most books or even online resources will offer only the formal way to say “yes”, which is hunggan.

While there’s nothing wrong with saying hunggan all the time, a lot of Chamorro speakers tend to use the casual forms of yes in everyday conversation.

The most common response you’ll hear in a conversation will be hå’å, or its variants å’å, ha’a, or a’a. It would be like say yeah or yup.

Another way to say yes would be to say hu’u or u’u, but this response is usually used when someone is annoyed: Yes! (I heard you.) Yes! (I get it, no need to repeat yourself.)

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What does “dalai” mean?

What? Dalai!

The expression dalai

The Chamorro word dalai, pronounced da-lie with stress on the “da”, has no equivalent in the English language. It is an expression used to convey disbelief that something is true due to some existing knowledge about the subject. It is often used in statements where one expects that anyone with some common sense would’ve done the right thing or at least what was expected someone in their situation would do.

Example Sentences

Most of these sentences are in complete Chamorro, while the last I’ve included an example of how Chamorros speaking English continue to use this as it’s an important part of Chamorro conversation.


Dalai ya ti siña un hatsa i lamasa.
 
I can’t believe you can’t lift the table. (You have muscles and look strong! / The table is so small/light/etc.)

Dalai ya ti ha tungo’ manu na gaige Safeway.
It’s unbelievable he doesn’t know where Safeway is. (He’s lived here for how long? / Safeway is so close to his house!)

Dalai na dinidide’. 
I can’t believe how little. (Who would be so stingy? / But he has lots!)

Dalai ya ti mafatto si Joe. Ti chågo’ i tenda.
I can’t believe Joe hasn’t arrived yet. The store isn’t that far. (Joe went to a nearby store and is taking a while to return.)

Denise said she can’t come to the party? Dalai! She doesn’t work tomorrow.
(It is unbelievable because maybe Denise only refuses to go out when she has work the next day.)

 

Examples in Chamorro Music

This is Johnny Sablan’s song Dalai Nene. Johnny Sablan is a well-known recording artist from the island of Guam. Part of the song goes:

Dalai nene, ya ti un siesiente, i manaddong siha na inigong?
How is it, baby, that you don’t feel (all) the deep groanings?

Have a question? Email webmagas@chamoru.info.

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