Friday, May 27, 2011



Different people pronounce this expression differently.  The great majority say "Ola mon" or "Ola mohon."

Some say "Olåra mon" or "olåra mohon."

And fewer say "Ohala mon," or "Ohala mohon."

To understand the meaning of this phrase, we must go back to its original form, the Spanish expression "Ojalá."

"Ojalá" in Spanish means "would that," "if only," "hopefully."

Notice the title of the music album above from the group Maná.  "Ojalá pudiera borrarte."

It means "IF ONLY I could erase you." (I guess we know how that relationship ended.)

We picked up the phrase OJALÁ and pronounced it OLA or OLÅRA, although a few man åmko' kept the more faithful pronunciation OHALA.

Then we added MOHON which is pure Chamorro which means the same as Ojalá, "would that," "if only."

If someone asks "Who shall go to the store?" one could say "Hågo mohon," "Hopefully you."

"I mohon," means "If only it were so," "If only it would happen."

Then Chamorros shorten words many times.  "Mohon" becomes simply "mon."

So....OLA MON is a Chamorro expression meaning the same thing :  "If only it were so," "If only it could happen."

"Ola mon ya guåho un ayek para guinaiya-mo." "Hopefully you choose me to be your love."


The Spanish phrase has an interesting beginning.  The Spaniards themselves learned it from the Muslims who conquered Spain in the year 711.  The Muslims spoke Arabic and "wa-sa allah" means "if God (Allah) wills it."  The Spaniards heard it a lot from the Muslims and adopted it as their own, but with their own pronunciation.  "Wa-sa allah" became "ojalá."  Then Chamorros changed it to "ola" or "olåra" and added "mohon."

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