Tuesday, December 29, 2015



To order for someone

We Chamorros borrow, but we usually change what we borrow!

Take, for example, the idea of ordering something.

Perhaps it's a new concept for us, since, in the past, you rarely ordered something. You either had it or it was easily accessible. Just go to the jungle and pick it. Go to the sea and fish it.

You didn't have to place an order to get it.

But, in the modern world, we place a lot of orders in order to buy things.

So, many Chamorros borrow the English word "order" even when speaking Chamorro.

"OK, bai fan order gi computer." "OK, I will order on the computer."

Of course, it would sound more like "fan oda gi kompiuta" but you get the message. Some people even spell it just as it sounds.

But, if you wanted to order for someone, how would you say that in Chamorro?

Well, in Chamorro, when an action is to be done for or at someone, we add an -e at the end of the word.

Dandan, "to play," becomes dandåne, "to play for." "Bai hu dandåne hao kantan Elvis." "I will play an Elvis song for you."

Tåyuyut, "to pray," becomes tayuyute, "to pray for." "Bai hu tayuyute hao." "I will pray for you."

But, sometimes,we need to add more than an -e to the word, to make it sound nicer to our Chamorro ears.

So, kånta, "to sing," becomes kantåye, "to sing for." "Bai hu kantåye hao." "I will sing for you."

If we go back to "order," in Chamorro, it sounds like "oda." So, "to order for" would therefore become "odåye."

And others prefer to say otdåye, keeping the R in "order" but changing the R to T, as we normally do in words where R appears. As in Carlos, which become Kåtlos, in Chamorro.

Odåye and otdåye.

To order for someone.

"Bai hu otdåye hao magagu-mo." "I will order clothes for you."


  1. Pale' -- my Mom knew about email back in the 60s .. whenever we're going to Agana, she'd say "kao para en fan malak Hagat'na? .. check ha' fan email" who said Bill Gates discovered email .. Chamorros already had us checking email. :)