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Chinook in our region

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#1 Bernard

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 02:00 PM

I thought I would start this thread because it came up during our walk on Sunday.

Chinook is our own language that is not used much any longer other than in place names.

Here in Victoria we have
  • Tillicum - friend,
  • Tyee - top guy or chief,
  • Sitkum - half
  • Kimta - Behind or following

Let me know what others you know of out there.

CHINOOK@LISTSERV.LINGUISTLIST.ORG is the email for a listserv that exists for discussion of Chinook.

There is also a facebook group for Chinook Jargon

#2 victorian fan

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 02:54 PM

Chinook for water is chuck. I still use that word when referring to the ocean as 'salt chuck'.

dropped it in the salt chuck
drowned in the salt chuck

#3 Caramia

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 03:34 PM

I've read that there are only about 800 words in the language, and no grammer to speak of. If you need to make a more complex thought, you just join two words together and count on context to make it work. I guess properly it is a pidgin - a trade language, and there are words from not just the Chinook but many other aboriginal groups (they used it all the way up to the Inuit territory and all the way down to N. California). When the voyageurs and then colonists came French words were added, and then English, Hawaiian, Chinese, it evolved organically.

At various times of my life my dad and I have tried to learn Chinook Jargon. He knows a lot more than I do, and can communicate quite well. I only know a smattering of words. I asked my grandmother (she grew up in Victoria) if she knew Chinook Jargon. She said no. I said ok, so you don't know what I mean if I say Klahowya Tillicum. She said.. oh, well yes, but that's just slang. I thought that was neat because it shows what it might have been like when it was still common enough to be taken for granted. I'd really like to become fluent. This language is our legacy as Pacific Northwesters. We should try to hang on to it.

My favourite Chinook Jargon site: http://tenaswawa.home.att.net/ It teaches the language by telling a story.. and there is even a song that you can download and listen to for a feel for how the language sounds spoken.

#4 Bernard

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 04:06 PM

There was take at one point about trying to get a Chinook conversation group started here in Victoria.

Also, UVic has offered Chinook as a course

One of the sites I like for the language is this one.

Terry Glavin wrote a great book on the language a few years back - A Voice Great within us. He has an amazing poem in it - Chinook and English side by side.

Should these forums not have a place to discuss the history of the region? We have an interesting and varied history that is simply not well known at all.

#5 Bernard

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 10:23 AM

The Lord's Prayer
Nesika papa klaksta mitlite kopa saghalie,
Our Father who dwells on high,
Kloshe kopa nesika tumtum mika nem.
Good for our hearts Your Name.
Kloshe mika tyee kopa konaway tillikum.
Good You Chief of all people;
Kloshe mika tumtum kopa illahee kahkwa kopa saghalie;
Good Your heart to such country as Yours up above;
Potlatch konaway sun nesika muckamuck,
Give us all days our food.
Pe kopet-kumtux konaway nesika mesachie.
And stop remembering all our sins.
Kahkwa nesika mamook kopa klaksta spose mamook mesachie kopa nesika;
As our deeds by which we may have mad evil against you;
Mahah siah kopa nesika konaway mesachie.
Throw far from us all evil.

Kloshe kahkwa

Amen (good like; i.e. "be good")

#6 Caramia

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Posted 26 August 2008 - 10:43 AM

I have always seen the Heritage site as a place for that, but considering how fundamental this topic is to our culture, this seems like a good spot.


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