25 Aug 2008

Chamorro language at risk in CNMI and Guam

1:34 pm on 25 August 2008

There is concern in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and in Guam that the native Chamorro language will disappear if people don't teach young people to speak it.

Julita Calvo, who works for the CNMI Department of Community and Culture Affairs under the language commission, says unless something is done the language will die in a few decades.

Language retention will again be a key topic at the annual Chamorro conference due in Saipan next month.

Ms Calvo says a recent survey showed that young people communicate only in English.

"We cannot just let our native tongue die out. That's our identity. We have to continue. Especially our young generation when you know according to our survey it really needs attention and preservation. And who knows how many years more before our language will die out?"

Julita Calvo of the CNMI Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Historical Preservation Office