I’d like to respond to Paul Zerzan on his letter to the editor, dated Oct. 29, 2016. Why does it drive you crazy that our island would like to preserve our language? More and more of our young adults have already taken the initiative to speak our language at home, to each other and to their children. I have seen and heard the beauty of our language exchanged and when their children are in my presence, I become a part of the conversation and that is mesmerizing!
When I was a child in school, I was punished abusively for speaking my native language — Chamorro. We were forbidden! My parents were afraid of the constant complaints from our teachers, so they spoke to us in your language, forcing English on us! Finally years later, with legislative support, our language became “official.” But as an adult, my response in our “official” tongue was somehow lost due to the lack of speaking it and your English language muddles my tongue.
Thank you, to friends and family who now freely converse with me without the worries of being “offensive” or “punished.”
I encourage all who come to Guam and choose Guam as your residence, not to lose your native tongues and to speak to your children as you have been freely speaking as a child in your native homeland. Imagine having more than one language to know!
I was taught Spanish, Japanese and English in school, but Chamorro was never a part of the language curriculum during my time.
I beg to differ, Zerzan, the Chamorro language from my great grandparents, grandparents, parents is very much alive! How can we teach and learn a “dead” language?
Catherine Flores McCollum is a resident of Tamuning.