Chamorro Language Commission to adopt “CHamoru” spelling

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The legislature’s committee on culture and justice held an informational briefing this morning on the status of the Kumision I Fino Chamoru Yan I Fina’na’guen I Historia Yan I Lina’la Taotao Tano’.

Guam – Which in English translates to the Commission of the Chamorro language and Teachings of the History and Life of the People of the Land. Today lawmakers were given updates on how the commission is using it’s fiscal year 2018 appropriation., the rules of conduct and organizational structure, the publication and distribution of the Chamoru orthography, the media use of orthographic rules, and the distribution of the Chamoru dictionary. Dr. Rosa Palomo said they are currently researching how best to create a Chamoru dictionary for children. Commission member Peter Onedera says they’ve even thrown around the idea of creating things like a Chamoru thesaurus. The commission is also working on re-adopting an official orthography or rules for spelling based on the 1983 orthography that has been adopted by law. They also plan on expanding the Chamoru orthography slightly. “One of the first things during one of our meetings was to adopt to readopt the existing orthography with very minor changes and basically the main changes are the spelling of Chamoru and that the letters CH and NG are considered one letter and therefore will be capitalized as such,” said Teria.

Hope Cristobal says although the commission is only 7 months old they have already been able to put together a four-year strategic plan. This plan includes advocating for the preservation of sacred places and cultural sites. “We are looking at existing policies laws and procedures that impact these resources and make recommendations to authorities about the best way to preserve to restore and to maintain these historic sites and cultural sites. Our traditional place names as well,” said Cristobal.

The commission members say they have a rather large agenda with rather limited funding sources but they are committed to doing the best they can with the resources they have.