Wednesday, October 12, 2011


By the time our current airport was built in the early 1980s, the Chamorro language revival movement was in high gear.  So, many airport signs were bilingual from the get-go.

Here's one example.  It doesn't literally translate "food court."  Fañochuyan means "place of eating."  It uses the FAN+WORD+AN formula I've been talking about "since ever since," as some say.


Chocho = to eat

Usually, but not always, wherever there is an N+CH combination, it become Ñ.

The Y is inserted because it fañochuYan sounds better to the Chamorro ear than "fañochuan."  Many languages do that.  Add, drop, substitute or change the pronunciation of letters because "it sounds better."  Think, in English, of the difference between "the eye" and "the sky."  "Thee eye" versus "thuh sky."

My only suggestion would be to make it Ñ, not N.  The poor little Ñ is virtually ignored nowadays.

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