Thursday, August 25, 2011


You can see the rain moving from east to west, from Tamuning/Barrigada towards Hagåtña.

CHATTA-AN : a rainy, stormy day

It's a gloomy, dark and rainy day on Guam today.  What better word to learn than the word describing the day.

I know the linguistic powers spell it chata'an or something nearly identical to that.  But I'd like to invite them to consider the suggestion that there are two t's there.  We don't say cha - ta - an.  We say chat - ta - an.  Notice how we pause at the t to give it that good strong emphasis.  And, try as I might, I don't feel the back of my throat close in between the two a's.  They are two, distinct a's to be sure; but the back of my throat feels fine.  It's the dilemma of Chamorro orthography yet to be resolved.  It appears in other words, like li'e.  We put a glottal stop there because we need to separate the i and the e when we say the word.  But do we really say li' + e?  Or do we simply say li + e?  Or the word to'a.  Is the glottal stop really there in the pronouncing of the word?  We might want to consider the usefulness of a dash (-).  Well, enough quibbling.

Chatta-an or chata'an comes from two root words : chat and ha'åne.

Ha'åne means "day." It can also mean "life."  In chatta-an, the first meaning is referenced.

Chat is a prefix meaning "imperfect, badly, inadequately."  For example, guiya means "him" or "her" or "it."  Chatguiya means "he's not himself," as in, "he's not feeling well."

Chatta-an thus literally means "an imperfect day" but is used to describe a day of inclement weather.

1 comment:

  1. Buenas Pale' Ric,
    Si Yu'os Ma'åse' pot este bidadå-mu. An hu sångan "chata'an" na palåbra, hunggan, 2 na Te gi sanhalom, lao guåha otru prumununsia CHA-ta-an, ya 1 ha' na Te. Buente debi di u guåha simbolu gi hilo' i buet pot i malilingu na letra, no? Taiguihi gi fino'Franses, i "circumflex accent" ma'usa kumu eståba guåha Se na letra tumåttiti i buet, lao på'go tåya'. Kao siña mafa'tinas similåt na simbolu pot eyu siha na palåbras ni mamfåtta i letra gi sanhalom-niha.