Hafa Adai and welcome to another session of learning the CHamoru language! Around this time last year, we touched bases on the spirit of gratitude or gråtu in fino’ CHamoru. Additionally, we also broke down one of the most common phrases used in the CHamoru language: Si Yu’us Ma’åse’. To recap, each word of the phrase can be broken down as a sign of highest thanks in hopes of them being received by God. We shall take this moment to add another word to this list: agradesi or, in English, this translates to appreciate. It’s important to think of the definitions of both gratitude and appreciation before using them without cause. To appreciate something is to acknowledge the value of something or someone. Gratitude, on the other hand, celebrates being thankful on behalf of yourself or a third party.
With another year nearing its end, we’ve had to endure several new hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon us. However, at this time, we would love to acknowledge those who have been with us during this time and still continue to do so. We’ve asked some members of our group as well as those in the community the common question during this time of year: Who or what are you grateful for?
That alone seems like a generic question that would have obvious answers. Everyone has their own basis for answering such a thing given we’ve all gone through different experiences in such a short amount of time. One of the popular answers, of course, would be family or familiå. This word is similar in pronunciation to the Spanish counterpart of the same meaning. Without the guidance, love, and support of our families, some (or many) may have found ourselves lost. Coincidentally, our closest friends may fall under this category. In some cases where family isn’t the most immediate option, we have our comrades who may also come to our plea. Friends or ga’chong in fino’ CHamoru is also a very common word of identification used in the spoken language. On the other hand, there’s another more frequently used option which is che’lu. This word in particular can be heard used more often than the one mentioned prior. Now, what if, for whatever reason, family and children are not the priorities on this list of gratitudes? Sometimes, those we see only for four to eight hours a day become like family to us. Our coworkers can be such people we grow bonds with. Here, the word ga’chong would be more appropriate to use when referring to them.
What about children? Some of those we asked brought up an appreciation of their own kids whose very existence brings them joy unexplainable. Famagu’on is the CHamoru word we would translate “children” to in the native tongue. Påtgon is the word we would use to describe one child as opposed to many. Sometimes, the happiness in our lives comes in the smallest packages; that being the younger generation.
To recap, these are the words and their meaning that we have covered in this month’s short lesson:
- Family or familiå
- Children or famagu’on
- Child (singular) or påtgon
- Comrade/Associate or ga’chong
- Friend or che’lu
Hopefully you all were able to learn a little something new this time around.Thank you for reading this month’s update and we appreciate your time and dedication to our efforts!