Friday, October 20, 2017

Adventures in Chamorro #3

Through my Facebook page and this blog,  I often share what I refer to as “Adventures in Chamorro.” Gof takhilo’ i lenguahi-ta gi lina’la’-hu. Much of my work is dedicated to the revitalization of the Chamorro language and for my two children, Sumåhi and Akli’e’, from the days they were born I have only spoken to them in Chamorro. As such, in both work and the home, my life is filed with lots of interesting and hysterical Chamorro language moments. These are what I refer to as our “Adventures in Chamorro,” named for the adventure we take every day trying to talk about the world around us in the Chamorro language. Every couple of months, I would also share some of them in my Guam Daily Post columns. Here are some that I shared in my column published on August 17, 2016.

Adventures in Chamorro #266: The other day Isa (i nobia-hu), the kids and I were walking along the beach and looking up at the moon. It was a crescent moon, which many people translate to "sinahi" today. I prefer the word "chatgualafon" for crescent moon (and several other meanings), but the increasing prominence of sinahi has to do with the renewed use of the symbol in jewelry made from hima (giant clam shell). While gazing up at the crescent moon each of us mused in Chamorro, what it reminded us of. For Isa the moon was "un chinalek," or a smiling mouth. For Sumåhi she saw "un apå'ka na galaide'," or a white canoe. For me, it reminded me of "un gasgas na papåkes," or a clean fingernail. For Akli'e', the moon reminded him of "un mansåna" or "un aga,'" an apple or a banana. We all laughed at him as I said, "Siempre ñålang hao lahi-hu." (My boy you are definitely hungry)

Adventures in Chamorro #263: We've been playing the horror-action game Resident Evil 6 at the house for the past few weeks. Sumåhi and Akli'e' are scared to death of the game, which focuses on fighting and surviving against hordes of zombies. But both enjoy watching me play and struggle, screeching and yelling obscenities in Chamorro. Here's one of our exchanges, during one level when I had reached my fear limit and didn't want to continue on with the level.

Akli'e': Ayugue zombie! Paki gui'! (There’s a zombie! Shoot him!)

Miget: Åhe', mungga yu'. (No, I don’t want to.)

Sumahi: Hunggan! Sigi sigi mo'na! (Yes! Forward! Keep Going!)

Miget: Åhe', ti malago' yu. Ya-hu este na kuatto. Bai hu såga' mo'na guini. (No, I don’t want to. I like this room. I will stay here from now on.)

Sumahi: Ti siña un cho'gue enao! (You can’t do that!)

Miget: Oh hunggan bei gof cho'gue este. Bei fanhåtsa guma' guini ya ti bei dingu este na lugåt ta'lo. (Oh yes, I can totally do this. I’ll build a house here and I will not leave this place again.)

Akli'e': Lao håfa para na'-mu? (But what will you eat?)

Miget: Bei fanorder pizza kada diha. (I’ll order pizza.)

Sumahi: Ya hafa para un cho'gue anggen i zombie muna'na'i hao iyo-mu pizza? (And what will you do if a zombie is the one bringing it to you?)

Adventures in Chamorro #262: This is a short story that Sumåhi shared with my CM202 class at the University of Guam. There is a moral to the story. Enjoy!

Guaha kabåyu gi lancho. I na’ån-ña si Lothar.

Guaha sapble-ña. Lao ti gof kalaktos.

Gi unu na ha’åni, ha fa’nu’i i ga’chong-ña un chiba ni’ atmas-ña.

Gof malago’ i chiba i sapble.

Ayu na puenge annai mamaigo’ si Lothar humålom i chiba ya ha såkke’ i sapble.

Annai makmåta si Lothar ha hungok na mambururuka todu i ga’ga’ gi lancho, ma sodda’ i chiba måtai gi cha’guan.

Sa’ ha kekånno’ i sapble.

Adventures in Chamorro #257: I am not a fan of dragonfruit, but Isa loves to buy them at the store. When the kids and I saw them the other day, even though Sumåhi adores eating them we still had fun trying to figure out what they most resembled in appearance. For my part I said they were kulot lila na bomban frutas, or purple fruit bombs. Sumåhi went with the more menacing moniker of chada' birak, or monster eggs. Akli'e' had the most imaginative and disgusting description when he said they are kulot lila tåke' na guihan, or purple poo fish.

Adventures in Chamorro #255: In July I took a family who hadn’t been on Guam in over 20 years on a hike to Hila’an (known to most as Lost Pond). Meggai na latte guihi yan gefpå'go na lugåt para muñanagu. Kada manhånao ham guatu hu estoriayi i famagu'on-hu put i "sikretu na hula'" guihi, sa' guaha ma såsangan na i lugåt ha chuchule' i na'ån-ña ginen i sen dångkolo' na hula' siña un sodda' guihi. Gi fino'-ñiha i famagu'on-hu, "Ayu i Hila' Puntan!" (ginen i estorian Fu’una yan Puntan).

Adventures in Chamorro #254: The Jamaican Grill commercials are back playing before some movies in Guam theaters. In the ad, a group of animals, such as a fish, a chicken, a pig and a cow all sing a very catchy tune where the virtues of the restaurant's "serious food" are extolled. While watching the commercial we all found ourselves singing along mindlessly, until Sumahi stopped me and grabbed my arm saying "Nangga!" When I asked her what was the matter she said in an enlightened manner, "Gof båba este! I ga'ga' siha, ma kombidida hit para ta kånno' siha!"

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