Monday, December 29, 2014

Do Not Go Quietly into That Silent Dead Language Night

It has dawned on me more than ever before, the dire straits in which the Chamorro language exists in today. The death of my grandmother last year started forcing me to recognize this fact. I speak Chamorro on a daily basis, but one of the people I enjoyed speaking it with the most was now gone. The one who instilled in me a passion for the language is now gone. I worked on so many projects regarding the language with her at my side. Ti sina hu eksplika i minalingu hu siesiente pa'go put i tinague-na.

When I look to my students, my family, my friends, there is just no one who can take the place of my grandmother in terms of speaking Chamorro. It is also something that has hurt my children and their ability to speak Chamorro. When we would visit grandma and grandpa before, grandma was always very diligent about speaking Chamorro to them, even if sometimes I would have to remind her to do it. Grandpa however, likes to through in a Chamorro word here or there, but has never gotten comfortable speaking to them in Chamorro. He'll say silly things like, "Sumahi do you know what lamasa means?" (answer: table) and she'll look at me with her atan guana and ask me with her eyes, "is he serious?" I'll atan sigi her back, and then she'll smile awkwardly at grandpa and say "hunggan, table." 

I have long committed to ensuring that I help as many people as possible learn the Chamorro language. Whether this means offering free classes, helping people find resources, or helping to organize programs such as the Master Apprentice Language Revitalization project that Ken Kuper and Ed Alvarez are working on. Languages are alive because people use them and they survive because people teach them. This is the simple calculus of it all. But lately I have been feeling, actively, constantly, consciously, that there is just less and less Chamorro out there in the world. After all, we went from having 35,000 speakers in the Marianas, to only having 25,000 today according to the last two US Census results. As a result I have been collecting as much written in the Chamorro language as possible. I have extensive archives already that I've put together over the years, but now more than ever I have even started to collect things from the internet and borrow things to scan or photocopy. 

In the media in Guam, I have written about many times before, the Chamorro language is so absent it is almost offensive. Other than a single Chamorro music station and the mixed Chamorro talk radio on another station, you barely hear it on the airwaves. In the newspapers, you have a Chamorro crossword puzzle each Tuesday in the Marianas Variety, and the Chamorro column and Juan Malimanga in the upper right corner of the PDN 6 days a week. You also have published on an infrequent basis Peter Onedera's puru ha' gi fino' CHamoru na tinige' gi i PDN. In magazines you basically have nothing except for a small amount of Chamorro content featured in the Super Shopper provided by Learn Chamorro.com. 

I am glad that in the media in the CNMI, you still find Chamorro used for letters to the editor and for columns. It is clearly not the primary means of communication or even dominant in any general way, but at least there, you find writers or speakers who refuse to let the language go quietly into that silent dead language night. Here is one article I was copying and pasting earlier today during my collecting.

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Gradiosu na Konbetsasion
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Posted on Nov 27 2014
Dispues de sena matachoñg i dos amku` gi baranda. Sige masañgan grasian finapos famaguon niha. Ni unu gaige sa` todu man-hanau dispues de man-mapega gi sagan niha.

Ha mensiona i tata haye magahet i kalagtos gi halom i tropa, kontodu i ti gef mana`e ni mabendise motmut respetu yan hinimidde. Estague` na patgon i satton gi mañainaña.

I tres ni mas mañgalagtos kada unu gai heñiu. Unu tomtum, i otru suenu mientras i uttimu respondot. I pumalu mañgontentu ya ti man-mefnu` lau man-humidde yan osgun gi tinagu` mañainan niha. Dinanche na meskla gi dinaña familia sa` kada unu ha fatta hafa moduña.

I eskaleran konbetsasion oppan respetu gi entalu` mañelu. I temtum man-atan ya ha pesa i man-sañgan gi lamasa. Ha templa dispues para u guaha grasia yan chaleg. Dispues ha chule` ukulele ya ha tutuhon kumanta. Manatte todu estake sumen bonito i sunidu matemplaña. Na`magof piot gi tiempon ha`anen gupot siha.

Dispues de man-hanau i famaguon tatte giya siha gi la pupueñge sige ta`lu i dos amku` kumonbetsasion. Nina`e i biha un` dañkulu na agradesimiento ni bihu pot satton yan fiet tumohge kumu katsoña parehu ha` gi halom katma yan pagyu. “Hagu mas pot tai yinayas hau asaguahu”.
Mattu i dos gi nina` siñan kada patgon.

“Mauleg si Piñg na guahu ha tatiye kalagtos”, ilegña i bihu. Ha totche, “Sa` kumu hagu kasse labanderu i patgon”.

Sinablasus: “Hmmm! Kumu ha` fatsu guahu ha tatiye lau atan haye i man-satton”. Sige ta`lu i dos chumaleg, era kulan uma`akasen ñaihon grasiosamiente.

Ayu na mañelu siempre i amku` u tachu gi hilu` inatuñgu` yan pumalu gi asuntun familia siha. Ni achog haf` masusede, hihot relasion niha `nai sumen fitme pegse` inapinitiye gi halom siha. Hu tuñgu este na familia deste pinatgon-hu. Felis todu hinanau kada unu.

Sunidon Noche Buena 

Deste otru semana gi 27 de Nobiembre ta tulus hit dumandan sunidon Noche Buena gi ha`anen Thanksgiving. Estague` na dia tutuhon i ha`anen gupot siha.

Hu tuñgu` na guaha na lamasan sena ti u kabales na biahe pot guaha man-madispone guine gi alacha. Lau, muñga nina` fan chatsaga. Petsige dinaña miyu ni man-gaige pa`gu piot ya guaha siha famaguon miyu. Fanu`e siha haf` sustansian dinaña familia.

Gi todo finatton este na tiempu, gaige gi taduñg fondun talañgahu i atban gima Yuus ni sessu hu huñgog antes gi suenon pueñge. Oran preparasion para Misan Gayu.

Dispues de misa, dinaña amotsa antes de deskanson para `an mattu i Niño Jesus gi la talo`ane. Megai mamopble guihe na tiempu lau motmut minagof gi entalu` todus. Un` ma`gas na ha`ane `nai todu mañaunau man-managam gi finatton i Niño.

Pinadesen Ñalañg

Kada hu li`e annunsiu pot kontribusion para i man-namase` pa`gu na Christmas, sige hinasoghu umafulu` yan un` kuestion: Magahet na guaha man-ñañalañg guine gi tano`ta?

Yangin magahet pues mauleg ta rikonose pot para ta ketuñgu` hafa na masusesede este gi mismu familia-ta. Kau gaige dos saina gi gima`? Kau mantai che`chu`? Kau siña ta suda`e offisiun niha?
Makat este hu aksepta pot kinahulo`hu mismu halom un` sumen popble na guma`. Ayu mina` asianu-yu` kumetuñgu hafa fondun este na chinatsaga yangin enfin masusesede guine.

Para hafa tafan apune na i areglon familia gaige gi halom guma`. Mañgge i dos saina yan kau hafa siña tachogue para ta bira tatte giya siha dignu na modun lina`la`. Mas presisu ayudu piot `nai guaha gi entalu` dos saina inutet `sino sumen malañgu. Estague` `nai humahalom sensian mauleg na Kilisyanu. Nafan geftau hamyu gi man-namase`!

Ekonomian Antes

Sessu hu huñgog mañaina-ta masañgan pot abundansia guinahan tanu` gi tiempon Japones ginen fangualu`an yan tasi. Kontodu punot yan fina` hayu man-mabebende guihe na tiempu.

Dañkulu na metkau guaha, era i dañkulu na numeron tautau giya Japon ni debi u fan maprebeniye mantension. Ayu mina` fahna maseha hafa na produktu piot ayu siha i usun Japones tat kumu todu klasen produktun guihan, asukat, asientun mendioka yan gapgap, kamute, kalamasa, lañan niyog, yan otru siha produktun tanu`.

Pa`gu na biahe mampos malimitte metkau gi halom hita mismu. Gigon un` planta produktomu ya ti mafahan, katga dispues ya un` preparaye i babue. Mampos dañkulu na maliñgu gi lancheru siha.
Lau siña ta ta`lun bumisita este na asuntu gi inestablese homlu` na relasion yan Japon. Ha sedi hit Seksiona 902 gi papa` i Covenant na u esgaihon hit i US Department of State gi bandan assistimientu pot ekonomia. Guaha mohon gai diniseha umatan este na asuntu? Dañkulu na benefisiu para hita.

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I amiguhu Magoo mampos inestotba ni siniseden kuattru na lancheru yan otru kuattru na famalao`an ni man-mapunu` `sino maliñgu. Kau man-mapunu` pot salape? Mana` fan malag manu i kuattru na famalao`an? Haf` uttimoña inbestigasion mapunu` dos umasagua giya San Vicente?

Guaha lokue` mansañgan na pot ti tautau-ta na kulan machoneg gi un` banda i inbestigasion. Ileghu na lache este na kuentos. Makat na cho`chu` i para un` tatiye che`chu` seriousu na kriminat. Sabe dios minalagu` DPS sumatba este pot para u guaha pas yan inañgoghu na man-safu i tautau gi señgsoñg siha.

Mauleg u guaha mas inatuñgu` polisia yan membron kada soñgsoñg pot para u guaha añgoghuyon na relasion gi para umana` safu ha`anen todus. Konfiansa sumen presisu gi este na relasion.

•••

Gi kanton shoko (warehouse) madulog ni boys i alamle ya mabatsala huyuñg dose kes setbesa. Mana` maneñgheñg ya sige man-gimen. Dispues de `las dose todu man-bulachu. Mattu i polisia `nai ha soda` na masake i setbesa gi ge`halom. Lastima i pueñgen noche buena! Man-magmata dispues gi halom presu sige man-afaisen haf` taimanu fattun niha guatu. Ai na Silent Night.

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