Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Just as we did centuries ago with Spanish, we do with English today.

We borrow the word and change it to fit our grammar and, many times, our pronunciation.

Nice to see also, as in the photo above, we feel free to change the spelling to match the way it really sounds to us.

So English "type" becomes Chamorro taip. Not as in "What's your type?" but rather "Can you type?"

Ti hu tungo' mantaip.
(I don't know how to type.)

This is interesting because, according to the normal rules, N+T becomes a simple N.

Man+tunu (to barbeque) becomes manunu.

Man+tungo' (to know) becomes manungo'.

So man+taip should become manaip. At first it sounds weird, but perhaps if heard often enough it wouldn't sound so strange. And, there are always exceptions to rules, so perhaps it would have remained mantaip.

Håye tumaip este?
(Who typed this?)

How about "typewriter?"

In other languages, the word becomes a compound word meaning "writing machine."

In Spanish, máquina a escribir.

In French, machine à écrire.

In German, Schreibmaschine.

So I suppose, in Chamorro, it could be måkinan månge'.

Måkina = machine (but also engine)

Månge' = to write (man+tuge' becomes månge')

Now månge' looks a whole lot like månnge' ("delicious") so be careful.

If you misplaced a typewiter you really liked, you could say

"Mångge i mannge' na måkinan månge'?"

"Where is the really good (literally, delicious) writing machine?"

We call anything we really like månnge' (delicious).

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