Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Today, a Chamorrita verse from our neighboring island of Luta (Rota)....

Ti sangånon minames-mo yan i mafñot kariñu-mo;
hu buettåye entero Luta, lao ti hu sodda' parehu-mo.
Your sweetness is unspeakable, nor your intense affection;
I scoured the entire breadth of Rota, but I didn't find anyone equal to you.

Sangånon - made up of the word sångan, which means "to say, to speak" and the suffix -on.  Think of Chamorro -on as English -able.  Sangånon thus means "speakable."  Ti is the negation, so ti sangånon means "unspeakable."

Mafñot - means "tight."  So this is an idiomatic phrase, not literal.  How can affection be "tight" unless this is figurative for intensity or affection that is physically close.

Buettåye - from the Spanish vuelta, which means "a lap, turn or revolution."  The Chamorro suffix -e means the action is done to or for something.  Buettåye means "to make a lap or tour around a place."

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