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Category: Chamorro Vocabulary

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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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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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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Chamorro Vocabulary for Things Around the House

Kuåtton i Gima’ Siha – Rooms of the House

apusento        bedroom
såla                  living room
kusina            kitchen
kommon        bathroom; toilet (when one uses this word they are referring
to  the room with the toilet)
båñu               bathroom
kusinan sanhiyong    outside kitchen

Kosas i Kuåtto – Things of the Room

gi apusento … in the bedroom
kama / katre      bed
alunan                 pillow
såbanas               blanket
aparadot             dresser, closet for clothes   

gi sala…
sofá        sofa, couch

gi kusina … in the kitchen
kåhon ais    refrigerator (lit. “ice box”)
foggon        stove
hotno          oven
labadot      sink
grifu           faucet
na’yan       dishes
aparadot na’yan    pantry, cupboard

gi kemmon … in the bathroom
påppet etgue / påppet kommon**    toilet paper
espehos    mirror

Otro Palabra – Other Words
luga        wall
kisåme   ceiling
åtof        roof
bentåna    window
satge        floor

Betbo Siha – Verbs

maigo’        sleep
fakmåta     wake up
fa’tinas       to make, to cook
na’gåsgas  to clean
båli             to sweep
lampaso   to mop
fa’gåsi        to wash
arekla        to fix, to arrange

Chamorro House

Names of the Rooms in a Chamorro House

Cultural Notes

The kusinan sanhiyong, or outside kitchen, is a common and significant feature of Chamorro homes. The kusinan sanhiyongis a necessary addition to all Chamorro homes for the reason that the traditional kitchen inside lacks the space required to prepare huge quantities of food. A typical Chamorro household will often be required to prepare food for a fiesta, a lisåyu*, or regular gupot** like birthdays or christenings. Preparing food in large quantities takes a significant amount of labor, and oftentimes this requires the help of many family members.

* a rosary
** a party

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