The Marianas–Langauge


The indigenous language of the Northern Marianas and Guam is Chamorro. For those who pay attention to such things, Chamorro is an Austronesian language, a member of the Malayo-Polynesian group, and not a Micronesian or Polynesian language like most of the languages spoken on nearby islands. Linguists suggest Chamorro is similar to languages
spoken in the Philippines, which may have traveled to with Filipinos to Guam when Guam was part of the Spanish East Indies. However Choamorro got to Guam and the Northern Marianas, due to Spanish colonization it has many Spanish words, so many so that it’s not so far from being a creole language. Today young people in the Northern Marianas are more likely to speak Chamorro than the young population of Guam, which generally favors English. In an effort to keep Chamorro alive and well schools in the Northern Marianas and Guam are legally required to teach the language.

Hello (Northern Marianas dialect): Hafa Adai Goodbye (Guam dialect): Biba! (cheers! good health!)

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