Category: Chamorro Vocabulary

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    kusinan sanhiyong

Kosas i Kuåtto – Things of the Room

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

gi sala…
sofa        sofa, couch

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

gi kemmon…
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’gasgas  to clean
båli             to sweep
lampaso   to mop
fa’gasi        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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How to say “beautiful” in Chamorro?

beautiful beach

“Beautiful” in Chamorro

When saying that someone is beautiful, you would say bunita for females and bunitu for males.

bunita
beautiful, pretty, lovely

bunitu
handsome

NOTE: The word bunitu , from Spanish bonito, is often used as a general term to describe things as beautiful or pretty. When saying that a performance or movie was great or nice, it is often referred to as being bunitu. Chamorro musician K.C. DeLeon Guerrero’s sings how the day is beautiful in his song Bonito na Ha’ane.

Usage examples:

Bunita na palao’an si Maria.
Maria is a beautiful lady.

Bunitu na movie i Braveheart.
Braveheart is a good movie.

Bunitu magagu-ña si Denise.
Denise has pretty clothes.

“You’re beautiful” in Chamorro

Bunita hao.
You are pretty.

Bunita hao na palao’an.
You’re a pretty woman.

Bunita si Maria.
Maria is pretty.

Gof bunita hao.
You’re very pretty.

Na buninita hao.
You’re so pretty.

When describing places or settings, you can also use  gefpå’go, which means the same thing as bunitu. The word itself tends to be used to describe places and things.

Gefpå’go na tåno’ iya Sweden.
Sweden is such a beautiful land.

Ya-hu iya Hawaii, sa’ gefpå’go na lugat.
I like Hawaii, because it is a beautiful place.

Gefpå’go mampos i tinige’-ña si Dolores.
Dolores’s writing is too beautiful.

Gefpå’go na lugåt iya Hawaii.
Hawaii is a beautiful place.

The word atånon means good-looking or attractive. The word is rooted in the word atanmeaning “to look”, and the suffix -on, meaning “to be capable of”. So literally, the word atånon means “capable of being looked at”, implying that something or someone is “pleasing to the eye.”

Atånon na taotao si Juan.
Juan is a good-looking man.

 

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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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