Marianas Variety

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    Wednesday, March 20, 2019-1:54:47A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Chamorro is Spanish

YES, indeed.  The word “Chamorro” has a Spanish origin.  And I’m glad that Laura Souder discusses the origin of that word.  She’s right.  The word “Chamorro” has a Spanish origin.

I am aware that Chamorro is a surname prevalent in Central as well as South America.  I know about that since my George Washington High School days — two years of Spanish plus one semester of that at UOG-Saipan under Kit Porter.   

For example, a former lady president in one of the South American countries is Violeta Chamorro.  A lot of my Latino friends in California at Navaires Alameda, and Navaires Santa Clara, are familiar with the surname “Chamorro.” 

The same goes with the word “Chamorita.”  It’s a Hawaiian-Portuguese song, and one can hear that song being sung on the Big Island, Hawaii.  A Hawaiian lady, Emma, cut that song, Chamorita, on CD, and I have a copy of that CD. 

Sure, a lot of our Chamorro words are of Spanish origin, with a variation.  Also, when I was a language instructor-informant at Peace Corps Micronesia in Hawaii, I met several of the Returning PCV  who had just come out from the hills of Mexico, and they were saying that they could understand or make out what we, Chamorro Language instructors, were saying in Chamorro. 

The Public Health group — John C. Pangelinan, Nick T. Palacios, Corpsman John Mettao, and Dr. Calixtro C. Cabrera, and me.  Of course, we were not surprised.  We knew that a lot of our Chamorro words were of Spanish origin.  Our RPCVs called it “Corrupted Spanish.”  And we took it in stride.

Our ancestors on Guam intermingled with the Spanish administration, and that started the language assimilation. 

Do we have someone to thank for bringing forth this language assimilation issue?  Sure, we can start with Laura Souder, for one.  And the rest of the Chamorro language “researchers.”  It’s an educating discussion.

RUDY M. SABLAN
Garapan, Saipan