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Chamorro (Chamoru)

Chamorro (Chamoru) is the native language of the Chamorro or Chamoru of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. It is also used in the mainland United States by immigrants and some of their descendants.

It is an agglutinative language, grammatically allowing root words to be modified by an unlimited number of affixes. For example, masanganen˝aihon "talked awhile (with/to)", passivizing prefix ma-, root verb sangan, directional suffix i "to" (forced morphophonemically to change to e) with excrescent consonant n, and suffix ˝aihon "a short amount of time". Thus "Masanganen˝aihon gue' ": "He/she was told (something) for a while".

Chamorro has many Spanish loanwords and other words have Spanish etymological roots (e.g. tenda "shop/store" from Spanish tienda), which may lead some to mistakenly conclude that the language is a Spanish Creole: Chamorro very much uses its loan words in a Micronesian way (eg: bumobola "playing ball" from bola "ball, play ball" with verbalizing infix -um- and reduplication of first syllable of root).

The numbers of Chamorro speakers have declined in recent years, and the younger generations are less likely to know the language. The influence of English has caused the language to become endangered. Various representatives from Guam have unsuccessfully lobbied the United States to take action to promote and protect the language.[citation needed] In Guam (called "Guňhan" by Chamorro speakers, from the word guaha, meaning "have"), the number of native Chamorro speakers have dwindled in numbers in the last decade or so while in the Northern Mariana Islands, young Chamorros still speak the language fluently.

There are approximately 50,000 to 75,000 speakers of Chamorro throughout the Marianas archipelago. It is still common among Chamorro households in the Northern Marianas, but fluency has greatly decreased among Guamanian Chamorros during the years of American rule in favor of (a largely pidginized) American English, which is commonplace throughout the inhabited Marianas. (Ref: Wikipedia)

Chamorro on

To find foods and foods and food-related items in in Chamorro you may search by any of the following terms:
Chamoro Chamorro Chamorru Chamoru Guam Guamanian Islands Lengua Northern Mariana Pacific

These terms associated with languages are hidden behind the scenes as there is some crossover with other languages. The traveller  may not be precisely certain which language is in use, and can search using more general terms such as "Guamanian'' or "Pacific Islands".

You may use any of the above terms in any search you make using 'Translate from English' so that if you wish to search for a translation of  mushroom, choose whichever of these language terms that you think is most appropriate, say:
'Mushroom Guam' and then click on 'Translate from English'.

One of the problems of providing searches in a multilingual world-wide food dictionary is trying to help people reach the things they are searching for. People do not always know the precise language being used, so these more general searches, such as 'Guamanian' should result in a successful search.

Also included in the glossary are dishes from the cuisine of the region, cookery terms, cooking methods, drinks, food festivals, days of the week, months of the year etc.

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