By Pacific Island Times News Staff
The University of Guam Press is launching Finu’ Chamorro for Beginners by Dr. Faye Untalan under its Proa Publications imprint at Northern Marianas College in Saipan.
Finu’ Chamorro is a thorough and hands-on instructional guide with language exercises for CHamoru language learners of all levels. It is the first post-secondary CHamoru language curriculum created with contributions from an expert panel of CHamoru scholars, instructors, and fluent native speakers.
“Not able to learn their language at home, Chamorro youths look to schools, places and opportunities to learn their native language. The Finu’ Chamorro
textbook is a resource for all Chamorros who desire to learn their language,” said Untalan, who is a pioneer and leading expert on the CHamoru language and has widely published research on CHamoru culture and diaspora in the United States.
While Guam spells “CHamoru” with the first two letters capitalized and a “u” at the end of the word as mandated in Guam law, the Northern Mariana Islands uses “Chamorro.”
Untalan said the book’s content and lessons not only cover language and orthographic rules of the NMI but also offer a glimpse into the diverse traditions of the CHamoru people.
“Young Chamorros living in a multicultural society seek cultural identifiers to establish their identity. Knowing their language affirms their identity,” Untalan said. “We need to develop resources and opportunities for our youths who want to learn Chamorro, their native language.”
The Finu’ Chamorro book launch will be held at the Joeten-Kiyu Public Library in Saipan on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m.
The event will include an author signing and a discussion of the text with a panel of leading experts on CHamoru language and culture that includes Untalan; Leo Pangelinan, Director Northern Marianas History Council; Barbra “Bobbie” Hunter, Professor at the School of Business at NMC; and Manny Borja, a long-standing CHamoru author, advocate, and educator.
The book will launch in Guam at the UOG College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ Dean’s Office, Professional Development Room, on Jan. 26 at 3:30 p.m.
Pre-orders of Finu’ Chamorro for Beginners are available now for a special launch price of $45 at uogpress.com.