The Mariana Islands, divided politically into Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, are technically a territory of the United States, but it doesn’t have state status, governed by a locally elected governor. Inhabitants are American citizens but cannot vote in U.S. elections, as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are not part of the electoral college. Given that the island chain is technically part of the United States, English is the dominant language, but the indigenous language of the islands, Chamorro, is still spoken by many people.
Specifically, around 58,000 people still speak Chamorro today across Guam and the other major islands in the Mariana Islands chain, despite the ubiquity and prestige of English. The usage of the language at home is decreasing, but there has been a surge of interest in revitalizing the language in recent years, resulting in Chamorro immersion schools, apps to help learn the language, and a popular soap opera that promotes the Chamorro language. Nonetheless, translation services for Chamorro are hard to come by, and that’s where we at TranslationServices.com come in. We’re proud to offer professional translation services for Chamorro!
Would you like to see our rates for Chamorro translation services? Just reach out and ask today!
Discovering more about Chamorro
Chamorro, sometimes written CHamoru, is spoken by roughly 25,000 people in Guam and an additional 32,000+ in other parts of the Mariana Islands and elsewhere. In Guam, few young people speak the language, whereas many do in the Northern Mariana Islands, but many aren’t passing it on to their own children. The dialects are different, with NMI Chamorro speakers considering the Chamorro spoken in Guam grammatically incorrect and Guamanian speakers considering NMI Chamorro to be archaic.
Chamorro is an Austronesian language, likely having been brought to the Mariana Islands from Southeast Asia around 2000 BC. More specifically, it’s a Polynesian language, related to Hawaiian. Chamorro sentences start with the verb, employing a verb-subject-object word order, which is common in Polynesian languages. Word order can be flexible in Guam, but NMI Chamorro usually employs a strict VSO word order. Unlike Hawaiian, which exhibits minimal inflection, Chamorro is an agglutinative language, meaning it uses affixes to indicate grammatical relationships, which can result in long words. Chamorro also distinguishes clusivity in its first-person plural pronouns—in other words, there are multiple words for “we” depending on whether the listener is included.
We can translate to and from Chamorro for a wide variety of needs.
Don’t worry about the complexity of Chamorro—our translators are native speakers who can seamlessly translate between Chamorro and English. We work with both Guamanian Chamorro and Northern Mariana Islands Chamorro, so just let us know which one you prefer. If you need translation from Chamorro, our team is available for all sorts of texts, from historical documents, to literature (traditional or contemporary), to personal notes or memos. If you’re looking for translation into Chamorro, our translators can help with a variety of needs, including business materials to cater to locals, pedagogical materials to help teach Chamorro children in their ancestral language, and entertainment content like websites, apps, books, and games to both teach Chamorro learners the language and give speakers more avenues to enjoy their language.
No matter why you need Chamorro translation services, we’re here to help. Just message us to let us know what you’re looking for!