Sunday, March 25, 2012

Excerpts from a sermon about death preached in Chamorro around 1873.  This Chamorro is old; it contains usages we don't hear anymore.

I kumomemetsio, gin lache una bes, umadaddahe para mungnga lalache gue' dos beses; ya muna' ennao umalulula para u remedia i hagas lachi-ña.  Lao i taotao sen u måtai una bes na maisa, un biåhe ha'.  Gin lalache i taotao ennao na bes ha' na måtai, yesta ti siña ma remedia i linachi-ña, sa' an mohon i taotao u måtai dos beses, åntes de i mina' dos na matai-ña, u remedia i fine'nana na linachi-ña.  Lao ti siña, sa' pine'lo as Yu'us na u måtai i taotao una bes ha', ya un biåhe ha' u måtai.  Dia ha', famagu'on-ho, håf mina' sen guailaye, håf mina' sumen kombiene ni i taotao fumunas på'go yan i gumefkonfesat todo i linachi-ña siha åntes de u måtai, sa' despues de i finatai-ña, ti u ma funas håf na isao ni i ma'gas.

The businessman, when he makes a mistake one time, he is careful not to make a mistake a second time; and because of that he hastens to rectify his prior mistake.  But man will surely die one time alone, only once.  If a man is in error that one time only he will die, and he cannot rectify his error, because if only man could die twice, before his second death, he would repair his first mistake.  But he cannot, because God has decreed that man die one time alone, and only once will he die.  There you see, my children, why it is so profitable, why it is so proper that man wipes away now by confessing well all his past sins before he dies, because after his death, no great sin whatsoever will be absolved.

Repåra!  Notice!

KumomemetsioKometsio comes from the Spanish comercio, which, you can guess, means "commerce."  Another word for "businessman" in Chamorro is kometsiånte, also coming from comercio.

Gin.  Means "when."  Our more familiar word yanggen is made up of yan (and) and gin (when).

Una bes.  "One time."  Taken straight from the Spanish una vez.  Today, we stick to un biåhe, which also comes from Spanish.

Un biåheBiåhe, from the Spanish viaje, means "trip" or "journey."  But, in Latin America, it can also mean "time," as in "one time, two times."  Goes to show how we were influenced by Latin America, not just by Spain.  Don't forget that Spain brought Mexican and other Latin American soldiers to live on Guam, who married Chamorro women.

Maisa.  "Alone."  It is related to the Ilocano word for the number "one."  The number "one" does indeed stand alone.

Yesta.  Apparently a now-obsolete contraction of "ya está" or "and now" or "and already."

Dia ha'.  An old phrase, rarely heard nowadays, meaning "You see?"

Håf.  An apocope of håfa.  An apocope is the dropping of an ending sound or vowel in a word.  It's really just a shortcut.  We see this in words like håftaimano (how), which is really håfa taimano.

Guailaye.  Worthwhile, profitable, useful.  Today we mainly hear the opposite, ti guailaye Ti guailaye na un sangåne gue'.  It's useless to tell him/her.

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