Wednesday, July 4, 2012


"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."
~~~Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

The Declaration of Independence was, on one level, words on paper.  Like writing a check out to yourself for a million dollars.  If there's no million dollars in the bank, it's just ink and paper.  The Americans, and not all of them, mind you, had to fight for that independence.

Unless it will be decided unilaterally by other people (ahem...."consent?"), the future political status of the Chamorro people is something we will have to work very hard for, whatever that status might be one day.  Overcoming some powerful internal obstacles is one priority off the bat.  May I underline that I said, "of the Chamorro people."  I didn't say, "of Guam."

How do you say LIBERTY in Chamorro?

I wish I knew the pre-contact word for this concept, assuming our ancestors had the concept, which would seem odd had they not.

But most of our current Chamorro words for freedom and the like are borrowed from the Spanish.

Libertad in Spanish becomes libettå or libettåt in Chamorro.

But I prefer linibre, the noun form of the adjective and verb libre, "free" and "to free" respectively, because libettå is normally understood as "free from work," in other words "off" or "on vacation or break."

I also like sotta, to "let go," which comes from the Spanish soltar, of the same meaning.  I've never heard sotta used in noun form sinetta, but I suppose there's no law against it.

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