Monday, March 21, 2011


Yanggen hågo para asaguå-ho / mås ke nungka yo', no kiero
sa' i tiba yan åguayente / dumesonra i sottero.

If you are to be my husband / not me!; I don't want to
because tuba and alcohol / dishonor the bachelor.

A Chamorro "Dear John" letter, although maybe these two were never a couple to begin with.  In any case. she was not going to marry a man attached to a bottle.  One day, he'd have to choose between her and the bottle and she wasn't going to make a wager on that question.

"Mås ke nungka" is based on archaic Spanish that is not even used in Spain anymore.  "Más que" meant "although" or "even if" but the form used now in Spain is "aunque."  "Más que nunca" means "not ever" or "never."

"No kiero" is straight out of the Spanish "no quiero," or "I don't want."  I've heard it said once, "Hu faisen gue', lao munukiero gue'."  "I asked him, but he didn't want."  Notice how we take the Spanish and adjust it to fit our indigenous grammar.

Åguayente is Chamorro homemade liquor.  As you know, almost any vegetative food source can be made into alcohol.  Chamorros made it from fruits, sugar cane or coconut; whatever was handy.  The word comes the Spanish "aguardiente."  "Agua"+"ardiente" or "fire water."

Chamorro moonshine was also called agi or årak.

Tuba is fermented coconut toddy and has alcoholic content, but is not distilled like åguayente and thus not as potent.

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