Chamorro phrasebook

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Chamorro (Fino' Chamoru) is the native language of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Although the English language is now the common language on both Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands, people still use the Chamorro language. Chamorro is also used on the continental United States by people from the Marianas and some of their descendants.
The numbers of Chamorro speakers have declined in recent years, and the younger generations are less likely to know the language. The use of English has caused the language to become endangered. Various representatives from Guam have unsuccessfully lobbied the United States government to take action to promote the language.
A large number of Chamorro 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: However, Chamorro very much uses its loan words in a Austronesian way (e.g.: bumobola "play ball" from Spanish bola "ball, play ball" with infix -um- and reduplication of root). However, Chamorro can also be considered a mixed language (Hispano-Austronesian) or a language that resulted of a contact and creolization process in the Mariana Islands. Modern Chamorro has many elements of Spanish origin: articles, interjections, prepositions, numbers, days dates and time...
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 Chamorros in Guam during the years of American rule in favor of American English. Chamorro is still widely spoken in the northern islands like Pagan, Saipan, Luta, and Tinian.

Pronunciation guide

Phrase list