Biba Ha’anin Guinaiya!
Michael Lujan Bevacqua
I Ha’anin Guinaiya or Valentine’s Day is just a few days away. Stores have been stocking up for a while with stuffed animals, special chocolates and scores of imported flowers. Restaurants are offering special deals and reservations are being taken. Surprises are being planned and also some who aren’t great with dates or holidays are letting the week pass completely clueless as to what is coming. People are rushing about trying to find the most ideal way of translating your feelings for someone into an item, an experience, into a series of carefully chosen words.
I know that Chamorro month isn’t for a few more weeks, but as a proponent for the use and revitalize of the Chamorro language, I think that we should incorporate Chamorro language into everything humanly possible. So I respectfully ask that as you are working on the best way to communicate your affection/devotion/love/lust/obsession this month, please consider using the Chamorro language. Although Valentine’s Day has only been on Guam for a short period, the Chamorro language has been used to give emotional form to love, lust and romance for thousands of years. With the declining use of Chamorro, we naturally see a decline in people expression these feelings in it as well.
Most people on Guam know “hu guaiya hao” as “I love you,” but if you are like most people, a simple I Love You doesn’t get at the depths of what love is as a cosmic thing. There is always more to say and so many ways to say it. For the past four years I’ve used this column each Valentine’s Day to offer interesting, effective, creative and sometime stupid ways of communicating your love for someone special using the Chamorro language.
My offerings this year are derived from song lyrics, movie quotes and poetry offered to me by friends and random people via Facebook and my blog. Please note that these translations are sometimes not direct or literal. As with all languages there are many ways to translate something the list below represents my choices for how to say it in Chamorro.
Ilek-mu na un guaiya yu’, kao un tungo’ na hu laguaiya hao?
You say you love you, do you know I love you more?
Este i minagahet: gof mahålang yu’ nu Hågu yan guaha na biahi ti sungon’on i siniente.
This is the truth, I truly miss you and sometimes the feeling is unbearable.
Todu i bidå-hu gi lina’la’-hu, kalang ha chalalåni yu’ mågi para Hågu yan este na momento.
All that I have done in my life, it is as if it has led me here to you and to this moment.
Debi di un machiku, sesso yan duru. Kada diha, kada ora, kada minuto.
You should be kissed often and well. Everyday, every hour, every minute.
Minatai, ti siña ha na’påra i magåhet na guinaiya. Siña ha na’pårañaihon ha’.
Death cannot stop true love. It can only delay it.
Achokka’ ågupa’ ti agupa’-ta, på’go na ha’åni iyo-ta.
Even if tomorrow isn’t ours. Today is ours.
Taimanu siña hu na’tungo’ hao put todu i minames ni’ un nå’i yu’. Meggaigai siña masångan, lao ti siña hu sodda’ i palåbras, fuera di, ‘hu guaiya hao.‘
How can I let you know about the sweetness that you have given me? There is so much to say, but I can’t find the words, other than ‘I love you.”
I guinaiyå-ta kalang i manglo’. Ti siña hu li’e’, lao siña hu siente.
Our love is like the wind. I can’t see it, but I can feel it.
Kada hinagong gi gefes-mu kalang un rigålu para Guahu.
Each breathe in your lungs is like a gift to me.
Ti un nisisita kumombense yu’, esta iyo-mu yu’.
You don’t have to convince me, I’m already yours.
Kao magåhet na umali’e’ ham? Pat kao un mames na guinife ha’ este?
Did we really meet? Or is this just a sweet dream?