Friday, September 20, 2013


-->This semester I am teaching Chamorro Language at UOG for the first team ever. I've taught classes for years in the community, but these are my first official college level classes. I am having lots of fun, even though it is alot of work since I am starting from scratch in many ways. Each week I put together my own handouts with vocab lists and grammar lessons. This past week we went through opposites such as "dikike'" and "dangkolu" or "taianao" and "dangge" and also occupations such as the Chamorro words for judge, runner, lover, thief and soldier. Chamorro occupations is an interest mix because it breaks down to certain words that are borrowed from the Spanish, such as "hues" or "peskadot" that means "judge" and "hunter." There are also older Chamorro terms such as "fafalagu" and "a'afulo'" which means "runner" and "wrestler." Then there are plenty of terms where you could say it in a Chamorro way, a Spanish way or a hybrid way. For example, you can say ma'estro or fafana'gue to mean teacher. But you can also say "kakanta" or "kantot" to mean singer. "Kakanta" comes from the Chamorro grammatical means for indicating someone who does something. You take the first syllable and reduplicate it and stress the reduplicated syllable. Kakanta comes from the Spanish word "kanta" but it is a Chamorro way of morphing the term. 

The week before we went over the phrase "hafa tatatmanu hao?" which means "how are you doing?"

When I first took Chamorro language at UOG, my professor was Peter Onedera. He was a master of lists for Chamorro words. His reader for the class had long lists for everything, including two pages on how to say various holidays in Chamorro. One list he had, which I incorporated into my class is about how to respond to the phrase "hafa tatatmanu hao?" When someone asks you, "hafa tatatmanu hao? most people respond, "maolek" or "maolek ha'." But Onedera listed a bunch of creative ways to respond to the question, including plenty of slang phrases. The list was fun and informative since it showed some cute, some deep and some practical aspects of the language.

I've included below some of the answers that you can give if someone asks you that questions. The "todu" of course makes it so that you answer carries the weight of saying that "everything" is like this.


Todu maolek            Everything is good
Todu båba                 Everything is bad
Todu magof               Everything is pleasant
Todu triste                Everything is sad
Todu mafñot            Everything is solid
Todu kallo                 Everything is flowing
Todu kåyos               Everything is kinda rough
Todu makaka           Everything is a bit off
Todu kaduku           Everything is nuts
Todu chunge’           Everything is gray
Todu palu                 Everything is so-so
Todu machalapon  Everything is all over the place
Todu måffak            Everything is going to hell              
Todu ñateng            Everything is going slowly
Todu dichu kichu   Everything is fishy
Todu paire               Everything is slamming
Todu mappot          Everything is tough
Todu mata’pang     Everything is boring
Todu mutong          Everything stinks

Mattochihu              Life is way too much

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