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  • Spoken by almost half of the population of the island of Guam (approximately 70 thousand people).

  • About 80% of ethnic Chamorros have some command of the language.

  • Also spoken in Northern Mariana Islands.

  • 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 Micronesian way (eg: bumobola "playing ball" from bola "ball, play ball" with infix -um- and reduplication of root).

  • 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 grammar has many elements of Spanish origin: articles, numbers, prepositions.

  • Chamorro's nearest grammatical relatives are found in the Philippines. Some of the similarities between the Chamorro language and languages of the Philippines may be due at least in part to the fact that after 90%-95% of the native Chamoru population was wiped out during Spanish rule, large numbers of Filipinos began to be shipped to the archipelago, thus possibly influencing Chamoru language and culture. (Filipinos outnumber Chamorus in the Northern Mariana Islands.)

Online Dictionaries
Other resources
  • Chamorro Language Resources: 1908 Bible, 1918 Chamorro-English Dictionary, Chamorro Language Grammer book - 1908 Chamorro Bible (technically called a portion) containing six books: Y Salmo Sija, Y Ybangelio Según San Mateo, Y Ybangelio Según San Marcos, Y Ybangelio Según San Lucas, Y Ybangelio Según San Juan, Y Checho Y Apostoles Sija. The Bible books are in HTML format accompanied by scanned images (low-resolution and high-resolution) of the corresponding pages in the original Bible. The translation was done by Francis Marion Price (1850-1937). also contains a Chamorro language resources section which includes the scanned images of a 1918 Chamorro-English/English Chamorro dictionary by Edward R. von Preissig, Ph.D and a Chamorro language grammar book by William Edwin Safford. All the books can be freely copied, printed, and mirrored.
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