What do you call this in Chamorro?
It depends, nai.
On Guam, we say latiya.
On Saipan, they say lantiyas.
They're both Chamorro modifications of the Spanish word natillas.
First of all, remember that LL in Spanish is pronounced Y. In old, old Spanish, it could also be pronounced LY. Which is why we say Madeleine BordaLYO.
But Chamorro does not have the Y sound. It becomes a DZ. Think of Yoña and Yigo.
And also why Quintanilla is Kintanidza. And Tajalle is Tahadze. And old-time Chamorros would say Madeleine Botdadzo.
Now the Spanish word nata means "cream." Nata de coco means "coconut milk" because coconut milk is so high in fat it's like a cream.
Natillas is literally "small creams" but it means "custard."
Simple as that.
Latiya or lantiyas is the Chamorro pronunciation for the Spanish word for custard - natillas.
BUT WHY THE SWITCH FROM N TO L?
Just how different languages prefer different letters, and the sounds they make.
For example, naranja is Spanish for orange. Naranjita is "small orange."
But Chamorros changed it to lalanghita. We prefer starting off L words with an N.
And we don't like R; we prefer L. Guitarra becomes gitåla.
BUT WHY DO THE SAIPANESE ADD AN N? LANTIYAS?
Because someone started pronouncing it that way and it caught on.
Just observe the world around you today.
Where do we get new slang words? Someone thinks it up and it catches on. Before you know it, the whole island is saying it. No???
THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION ABOUT LATIYA.....
How do you make it?
Just to confuse you more...
I have heard some Chamorron Guam say natiya, latiyas, natiyas. But lantiyas is a dead giveaway that you're from Saipan.
AND PLEASE.....IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS SACRED
Never, never, never spell it