Adelbert von Chamisso’s 1817 Chamorro Vocabulary
Summary: This report provides a translation and annotation of Adelbert von Chamisso’s glossary of Chamorro words assembled while he was on Guam in November of 1817 as the naturalist of the first expedition aboard the Russian naval vessel Rurik, Otto von Kotzebue commanding, which circumnavigated the world during the years 1815 to 1818. The lexicon appears as part of an appendix of Micronesian languages in volume II of the expedition’s full report (Kotzebue, O. 1821. Entdeckungs-Reise in die Süd-See und nach der Berings-Straße zur Erforschung einer nordöstlichen Durchfahrt. Weimar: Gebr. Hoffmann). The glossary provides a total of 183 German translations of 181 Chamorro words and includes numerous words not given in the most comprehensive Chamorro dictionaries. Further, several of these words are not, to my knowledge, currently in use. I hope that this list will prove useful in creating an updated and expanded dictionary of the Chamorro language.