In order to differentiate singulars and plurals when we are speaking (or writing), the common way we know of is by adding the letter “S ” to the end of the word. Of course, this is the case for purely English speaking people. Without getting too in depth on that concept, let us instead turn to the way it is done in the CHamoru language. Unlike English, adding “S” (pronounced as seh in the Aftabeton CHamoru) is not the proper way to pluralize common nouns. Rather, the word siha is prefered connotation at the end of nouns to create the pluralized version. For example, the CHamoru word for book is lepblo. If you wanted to identify that there is more than one book, then you would simply add siha after the word lepblo.
A sample sentence could look like this:
Este i lepblo. This is a book.
Now, if we add the siha, it would look something like this:
Ennao i lepblo siha. Those are books.
You may have noticed that I changed the beginning word from the previous example. The difference between using “Este” and “Ennao” can be a bit more complicated to discuss. Fear not, it will be explained in a future language lesson! For now though, we’ll just keep this simple for yourself and whomever else may be following along. Also, keep in mind that the word “siha” is a general term to pluralize nouns. Some words in the CHamoru language already have pluralized versions of them. Two common examples would be the plural terms for låhi and pa’låoan. In its singular form, both words are translated to man and woman respectively. However, if you would like to address a congregation of either men or women, the words la’låhi and fama’låoan are used in place of the singular.
Try and explore with different words to see what can be used with siha at the end of it. To start off, here are more sample words that are deemed appropriate for this principle.
Fanihi Bat (fruit bat)