Friday, February 21, 2020


It was a quarter past 8 in the morning and as I walked from my car in the parking lot to the front door of the building, I saw him sitting on a bench anxiously looking at his phone, as if expecting a message or a call.

As I got closer, I said to him,

~ Kalan guaha håfa un nanangga.
~ It's as if you are waiting for something.

~ Depotsi para u fan gaige esta i taotao-ho gi a las ocho ya trabia ti man måfåtto.
~ My people were already supposed to be here at 8 and they haven't come yet.

Then he added,

Ma tungo' man haggan.

They know how to be a turtle (haggan).

By that he meant it was in their nature to move slowly like a turtle, especially in the morning.

Tungo' means "to know." Ma means "they." Ma tungo' means "they know."

Man can be a plural marker at times but it can also (along with fan) make things a verb.

Haggan is the noun "turtle," but man haggan means "to be or act like a turtle."

There is another way the turtle is used in a Chamorro expression as a metaphor or symbol for something, but that's another blog post.

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