I'll be posting more about this issue I'm sure, but in the meantime I wanted to share the article below by Peter Onedera, who was a champion of Chamorro language at UOG and in the community for a long time. He shares his thoughts on the idea of not requiring languages, such as Chamorro at UOG.
Ta'lo ta fana' i dinirogan i fino' Chamoru
Senmaolek i ha'åni siempre yanggen i fino' CHamoru ha' ma månda para u ma usa guini gi iya Guåhan. Guinifi ha' este para guåhu sa' hu sentungo' gi i taddong kurason-hu na ni' ngai'an na u ma sedi este gi i lina'lå'-hu.
Ti pidason imåhina este sa' ha fåna' i isla i hinasso ta'lo put para Fino' Engles ha' u ma mantieni nu i takhilo' enstetosion i isla yan i uriyå-ta sigun ginen priniponi para u ma na'suha i prigråman mina'dos lengguåhi na hinekka.
Ginen i fineddå'-ña put inifresen akademiku ni' u kåtsa yan tollaiyi humanidå, i inestudion lina'la' siha, teknålayi yan i uriya siha, ma na'danña' i fino' CHamoru yan i fino' Tagålu, fino' Franses, fino' CHapanes, fino' Españot, fino' Mandarin yan fino' CHukis ni' hagas ha nåna'i estodiånte siha ocho kreditu para u kumple ginagao idukasion hiniråt ni' u nahong para grayu'asion tåtkumu digri. Guaha priniponi para u ma na'fañuha este siha sigun ginen inadaggao.
Bengbeng este gi i talanga-hu gi kåsi 2010 annai hu pripåpara para i Inacha'igen Fino' CHamoru. Ha na'engkebukao yu' lao hu disidi para bai hu famatkilu ya bai hu nangga kao para u magåhet. Ti måtto ha' piot annai hu dingngu i lugåt gi sigente såkkan. På'go sa' maloffan kuåtro åños, gaige gi sanme'na na asunto annai esta ma chochonnek i prugråman Inestudion CHamoru ni' ma nå'i mubimento para u fanufresi digren bachelor's ni' ginen empedasitu na minot ha' sigun ginen fuetså-ku yan si Doktora Evelyn Flores yan si Doktora Anne Perez Hattori.
Gof na'triste este ta'lo ya basnak siñente-ku put i kurason kotturå-hu ni' hagas ha na' bråbu i isla. Para u ma honño' piot annai esta måtto chi-ña di dañuyan yan tai'uson entre i mineggai taotao. NGai'an na u fåkpo' este?
Sigi ha' ma tråta i fino' CHamoru tåtkumu na'massa, na'mamahlao, gof menos gi hinasso ya esta ginen ha sangåni' yu' un palao'an na "debi i taotao Guåhan di u tungo' na' sentåya esta CHamoru." Annai ha sangåni yu' nu este, ha na'famaisen maisa yu' kao ha rifeferi put i tinaotao osino i fino' taotao? Ti hu kuestiona gui' mås sa' hu pega gi i hinasso-ku na ti bai hu agramento sa' hu tungo' na taisetbe yanggen ti hu ekungok yu'.
Hunggan, siña ha' ha mementa put i dos sa' yanggen ma chånda unu pues sumaonao ha' lokkue' i otro gi parehu na hinasso. Esta minagåhet este gi i lina'la' yan hunggan, bula taotao ti u ma pikura nina'setben i lengguåhi osino manmalago' na u faneyak yan ta'lo ti u ma tungo' kao CHamoru pat Guamanian siha. Ti inayek esta este sa' yanggen ma petsigi i fine'nana manmaleffa ha' ni' i tatatte put i glorian kinalamten put påtten kottura entre i isla siha gi iya Mari'ånas.
Hunggan, dumångkolo yu' hulo' entre ayu na hinirasion ni' manma saolak inaki'om kannai-måmi ni' sase' ginen ma'estra ni' CHamoru sa' put i fumino' CHamomoru yu' gi kuatto. Gi magåhet, mamfino' CHamomoru ham yan i eskuelånte siha gi iya Sinajana Elementary School ya todu ha' ham manma kastiga ni' sase' yan guaha pumalu siha ni' ma na'fanmutta singko osino di'es sentimos kada biåhi. Hu hasso tapbleru siha ni' mangahulo' gi i isla gi lugåt pupbleko na ti siña mamfino' CHamoru i taotao.
Pues, meggai na tinilaika ma susedi ya ti åpmam in siente na måtto di na'mamahlao fumino' CHamoru ni' hagas ha' ha sostieni ham gi todu i isla gi noskuåntos siklo na tiempo. Kinalamtini este na hinasso yan fedda' siñente na prubidu fumino' CHamoru ya i fino' Engles ha' måtto di gof gloria gi todu ma prisentå-ña. Enfin, påtte yu' ni' este na hinirasion ya este na ha tutuhon umannok i hinanao-ña påpa' i ma na'setben hula' natibu.
Eståba yu' gi fine'nana na påtten eskuelan talo' annai un ma'estra ni' å'paka' ha na'mamåhlao yu' gi me'nan kåsi sitentai-singko na siete grådon famagu'on tåtkumu prugråman dinanña'-fina'någue ni' nuebu guihi na tiempo. Manaitai yu' un tinige' William Shakespeare ginen estorian egge' "A Midsummer Night's Dream" ya gigon monhåyan yu' ilek-ña na fresko para guiya para u hungok fino' British ma prisenta gi tonådan fino' CHamoru. CHakka' chalek-ña ni' duru ya despues mañålek lokkue' pumalu manma'estra yan kontodu i estodiånte siha ni' mañålek ha' lao ti mansiguru håfa ma chachatge enlugåt di put i tinaitai-hu. Ayugue' na hu siente minamåhlao put håyu yu' na CHamoru yan i lengguahi-hu. Måtto di ha senyamak sanhalom-hu.
Didide' adumidide', bula pumikura na u fanmaolek mamfino' Engles. Hu tuthon umekungok gi iya KUAM na rediu, ya hu e'eyak umadda' ayu i mamfifino' Engles, sa' putfin, manå'paka' na taotågues ni' manmaolek sunidon bos-ñiha yan lokkue' sumaonao hu hungok si Madeliene Bordallo ni' guiya mumentutu'i i "Women's World" yan si "Kapitan Kokonåt" sigun gi iniså-ña na påpet siha ya i mañaosaonao famagu'on isla ni' ha na'embediosu yu' sa' malago' yu' na bai hu gaige guihi. Mañatsaga famagu'on CHamoru para u fañaonao guihi sa' ti ma tungo' taimanu para u fanhånao para i estasion rediu ni' gaige gi iya Otdot.
Såkkan siha gi despues, annai gaidigri yu' gi Komunikasion yan minot gi fino' Engles, hu sodda' maisa na maolek yu' fumino' Engles sin håfakao na tonåda ya hu tutuhon kumuentos gi me'nan pupbleko taiguihi inetnon, silebrasion, hunta yan komferensia asta grayu'asion eskuelan takhilo' siha. Bumanidosu yu', hu fafatta estao-hu ya ti fumifino' CHamoru yu' sa' hu li'e' na tåya' rason-hu. Todu gi uriyå-hu mamfino' E'engles. Guaha na biåhi, in tutuhon kombetsasion gi i fino' CHamoru lao ti åpmam despues humunaoguatu asta fino' Engles ya ensegidas ha' na mumento este.
Para u ma kontenuha este gi mamaila' na lucha.
Again, we are faced with the elimination of the CHamoru languageIt will be a great day when CHamoru becomes the only language to be spoken on Guam. This is wishful thinking because I know deep in my heart that this will not happen, never, at least, in my lifetime.
It isn't even a figment of my imagination anymore as the island is once again embroiled in the bitter campaign of whether to just promote an English-only mentality with the island's and the region's only institution of higher education proposing to do away with the second language acquisition program.
From its vast array of academic offerings that will bridge and build humanity, the sciences, technology and the environment, the CHamoru language is lumped in along with Tagalog, French, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin and Chuukese in a curriculum that will earn students eight credits toward fulfillment of general education requirements leading to graduation with an undergraduate degree. A proposal to eliminate them is currently being debated.
I was first aware that this was going to be happening sometime in 2010 when I was in the midst of preparing for the annual CHamoru Language Competition. I was alarmed but I decided to keep quiet and wait out the outcome. It didn't come about even as I made my exodus the following year. Now, four years later, it's at the forefront just when the CHamoru Studies program has heralded a major move to offer a much needed bachelor's degree that initially began with a minor offering, something that Evelyn Flores, Anne Perez Hattori and I spearheaded at the time.
This is so sad and I am truly disheartened that the soul of my culture that makes the vibrancy of the island so much alive is further catapulted into oblivion with an ever-increasing threat of endangerment and non-usage among the vast population. When will this ever end?The CHamoru language continues to be treated as a scourge of mankind, an embarrassment, an afterthought, and something that as someone told me, "the people on Guam should get over the fact that there is no such thing as CHamoru anymore." When the person who told me said this, I wondered if she was referring to the peoplehood or the language? I didn't' bother to question much further as I resigned myself to thinking that it would be best not to argue for I knew that my point will not get across.
Yes, it has to be both because when one is not regarded as much then the other is also included. It's a fact of life and yes, many people don't bat an eyelash about speaking the language or wanting to learn it, much more identifying with being a CHamoru or being a Guamanian. It isn't even a choice anymore as one promotes the latter with forgetting the former in all its past glory of existence in the islands of the Marianas.Yes, I grew up in the generation of being spanked with pursed, outstretched hands with a ruler by a CHamoru teacher because I spoke CHamoru in class. In fact, my classmates and I did speak to each other in the indigenous language at Sinajana Elementary School and we were all punished, some with the ruler, others with a 5- or 10-cent penalty payment. I remember the signs that went up all over the island in public places that forbade the speaking of my native tongue.
Then, many rapid changes took place and it wasn't long before we were made to feel shameful about speaking the language that had been here in the islands for thousands of years. A sweeping mental state took over as suddenly CHamoru was forbidden and everything that was English was presented in all its glory. So, I was a part of that generation that also began to see the decline in usage of my native tongue.I recall being in the first year of junior high when a reading teacher who was Caucasian humiliated me in front of over 75 seventh graders in a piloted team-teaching program because I read a passage from William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and how she made a comment that it was refreshing for her to hear British cockney spoken with a strong CHamoru accent. She broke into raucous laughter that spread to her teacher colleagues and echoed simultaneously by a wave of unsure seventh graders who reacted out of bewilderment rather than amusement. And it was then that I felt ashamed of who I was as a CHamoru as well as that of my language. It tore me apart.
And little by little, speaking English flawlessly became an innate motivation for many. I began listening to KUAM radio at the time, mimicking those English speaking, and obviously, Caucasian announcers and deejays who had nice, pleasing accents, including Madeliene Bordallo, who hosted "Women's World" and "Captain Coconut," whose puppet and audiences of brown kids were the envy of many wannabe CHamoru kids who had no means of making their way to the radio station located in Ordot.
Years later, with a degree in communication with a minor in English, I found myself speaking English quite well, without a trace of accent, and I soon began a stint of being keynote speaker at many functions that ranged from organizations, celebrations, meetings and conferences to high school graduations. I was basking in that glory of newfound fame and I hardly spoke CHamoru for I didn't find any reason anymore. Everyone around me spoke English. Sometimes, conversations began in CHamoru but it would soon shift to the English language and it came automatically.
This will be continued at the next column.