Friday, February 25, 2011

Tweeting in Chamorro

For the Twitter account that I just started, I've decided to dedicate it for now to helping teach the informal Chamorro class that I hold every week. The Twitter account is open to anyone to follow should they want, but it's meant to help support the lessons that we learn each week. Everyday I ask a question or make a statement which draws upon the grammar or vocabulary that we learned that week and those learning are meant to respond. For example, in our first lesson we discussed the most basic forms of pronouns in Chamorro, the "Yu'" type pronouns. They go after adjectives, nouns and verbs and make the most basic stative sentences.

With the pronouns we learned 15 vocabulary words, primarily nouns and verbs, as well as how you use the question marker "kao," the negative marker "ti" and the intensifiers "gof, gef, ges, sen, mampos" in a sentence. In the week after I tweeted some basic questions such as the following:

The following week I tweeted some questions which started using the "Hu" type pronouns that we had learned about which are used to make transitive sentences and go before the verb. For example since Valentine's Day had passed recently I asked a Ha'anin Guinaiya related question.

This led to an interesting exchange. First one student Ken Kuper (who is a member of the band Old Man Rebel) answered the question, but in an interesting way.

His response was "You kissed my girlfriend"

I responded asking him if he really meant to say that (since I didn't actually kiss his girlfriend).

Another student, Leevin Camacho (of We Are Guahan fame) decided to join in and took a jab at both me and Ken for his apparent mistake and me for my apparent infidelity.

The other thing which I've decided to use the Twitter account for is to post lyrics from popular English language songs that have been translated into Chamorro, and have my students try to guess what song it is. I try to pick songs which would translate easily, and I try to translate them in a simpler way so they are easier to guess. The translate is meant to be more literal than figurative, designed so that someone looking up words in a dictionary or asking an elder for help will be led in the right direction.

Here are the songs that I tweeted for last week.


"Ti siña hu sungon este/ Hu tungo’ na Hagu plumaneha este / Para bai hu na'tunas este/ Este na Trankan Hanom”

"I can't stand this / I know that you are the one who planned this / I will straighten this / This Water Gate"

Sabotage by the Beastie Boys

"Ya gi finakpo'/ I guinaiya un chule'/ Chumilong yan i / Guinaiya un Fa'tinasi..."

"And in the end / The love you take / Is equal to the / Love you make (for someone)"

The End by The Beatles

"Minagof / Un maipe na Paki / Minagof / Un maipe na paki nana / Annai hu abrasu hao / Hu siente i kalalot-hu gi desparadot-mu"

"Happiness / Is a hot gun / Happiness / Is a hot gun / When I embrace you / I feel my finger on your trigger"

Happiness is a Warm Gun by The Beatles

"Malago yu' un perfekto na tahtaotao / Malago yu' un perfekto na ante / Malago yu' na un siente / Kada na taigue yu' guennao"

"I want a perfect body / I want a perfect soul / I want you to feel it / When I am not around you"

Creep by Radiohead

Here's the most recent song that I tweeted. See if you can figure out what song it is.


Drea said...

I refused to get a twitter account up until now.

Michael Lujan Bevacqua said...

I was with you Drea. I never wanted to get a Twitter account until one of my students suggested it would be a cool way to keep practicing Chamorro when we're not in class. You're welcome to follow along and respond and if you have time we meet every Friday (email me if you are interested in attending).


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