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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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Asking Questions in Chamorro

Asking Questions is a good way to learn new things in Chamorro, and is essential in daily life.

Kåo siña hao fumino’ Chamoru?
Can you speak Chamorro?

Månu na sumasaga hao?
Where do you live?

Håfa kumeke’ilek-mu?
What do you mean?

Yes/No Questions

In Chamorro, to ask a question that can be answered with hunggan or åhe’ is easy. You simply have to start off the question with the marker kåo.

StatementQuestion
Chumochu i patgon.
The child ate.
Kåo chumochu i patgon?
Did the child eat?
Asut i kareta.
The car is blue.
Kåo asut i kareta?
Is the car blue?
Lunes på’go.
Today is Monday.
Kåo Lunes på’go.
Is today Monday?
Ya-mu na’italianu.
You like Italian food.
Kåo ya-mu na’italianu?
Do you like Italian food?

Question Words

When asking questions that require a response beyond hunggan or åhe’, you’ll need to start off your question with a question word or phrase. Here is a list of some common Chamorro question words.

CHAMORROENGLISH
håyiwho
håfawhat
ngai’anwhen
månuwhere
sa’ håfawhy
taimanuhow
kuånto, akuåntohow much, how many
ginen manufrom where
para månuto where
para håfafor what
pot håfaabout what

Here are some examples of Chamorro interrogative sentences.

Taimanu un fa’tinas i titiyas-mu?
How did you make your titiyas?

Ginen manu hao?
Where were you? Where did you come from?

Para månu hao?
Where are you going? Where are you off to?

Ngai’an i fiestan San Jose?
When is the San Jose fiesta?

Månu na sumåsåga hao på’go?
Where do you live now?

Håyi i na’ån-ña?
What’s her name?

Kuånto un fåhan na gimen?
How many drinks did you buy?

Para håfa este?
What is this for?

Pot håfa i lepblo?
What is the book about?

Tag Questions

A tag question is a mini question after a statement that asks for confirmation. Look at the bolded words in the following questions. These are the tag questions.

He’s tall, isn’t he?

You’re hungry, aren’t you?

The ocean is salty, isn’t it?

You don’t like me, do you?

In English, when creating tag questions, we ask the opposite of the statement. If our statement is negative, we ask the positive, and the same goes for a positive statement. In Chamorro, to ask a tag question, we simply say “no” at the end.

Guiya i ma’gas, no?
She’s the boss, isn’t she?

Månnge’ este, no?
This is good, isn’t it?

Ti matuhok hao, no?
You aren’t sleepy, are you?

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Ways to Say: How Are You in Chamorro

In this lesson we discuss the different ways to ask “how are you.” It’s a common question in most languages around the world, and there are many ways to say it in Chamorro. Why so many ways to ask the same thing? Well, for starters, varying how you ask helps you sound more like a native speaker and not a robot. Also, the form you choose may sound awkward or rude if asked to the wrong audience. But luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place, and you can avoid these pitfalls altogether. Ta tutuhon…let’s start!

  1. Actually asking someone “how are you?” This is the most common way of asking someone are you:

    Håfa tatatmanu hao?
    How are you?
  2. And here’s how to ask that same question to a group of people (3 or more people)

    Håfa manatatmanu hamyo?
    How are you all doing?

  3. Using the common Chamorro greeting Håfa Adai! Believe it or not, when someone says håfa adai, they’re saying hello by asking “how is it going?” This is similar to English when people say “how are you” as a greeting.If you actually want to know how someone is doing, you may want to ask “håfa tatatmanu hao?” or the next question…
  4. Ask if they are “still doing well”…Kåo mamaolek ha’? This is a common, less formal way of asking someone how they are. Use this with friends or with people you have some familiarity with.
  5. And more casually…mamaolek ha’? You’re omitting the question marker kåo, so be sure to say it with a question tone.
  6. And again addressing a group:Kåo manmamaolek ha’ hamyo?
    Are you (all) doing well?
  7. Asking how they’re feeling…Kao mamaolek ha’ i siniente-mu? Are you feeling well?

And, if you’re the one asked “how are you” in Chamorro, you might answer with one of the following:

  • Mamaolek ha’ yu’.  I’m still doing good.
  • Gof maolek. Very good.
  • Lamaolek i siniente-ku. I feel better.
  • Malångu  yu’. I’m sick.
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