Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In yesterday's PDN, the Fino' Chamorro column stated that words borrowed from English should retain their English spelling, unless that word is modified by Chamorro usage.  So "picnic" would be spelled just like that : Man gaige gi "picnic."  "Picnic" keeps its English spelling, the Commission says, because it is not changed from its original English form.

But it becomes "Manpipiknik i familiå-ko." "My family is picnicking."  English "picnic" has become Chamorro "pipiknik" and so the spelling changes as well, from English to Chamorro. 

Then the column provides another example with the word "eksplika."  And it says that "eksplika" means "explain."

But "eksplika" is not borrowed from English.  The English word for "explain" is, well, "explain."

"Eksplika" is borrowed from the Spanish word explicar, which means "to explain."  The X in explicar is pronounced S.  Older Chamorros who were truer to the original Spanish form would say esplika, not "eksplika."  Adding the K comes from American influence; "explain, eksplika."

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