EXAMPLES OF ORDINARY CONVERSATION IN CHINOOK WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION
The "idea" given here is the sense or idea of the sentence conveyed by the spoken words. Notice how Chinook condenses ideas into a few words and conveys intelligence by inference. This is the graphic value of Chinook which thus becomes largely a word symbolism or kind of a "verbal shorthand" instead of an ordinary spoken language.
||"How are you, friend!"|
|"Good (am) I."|
(Idea: I am well.)
|"Kah mika klatawa?"
|"Where you (are) go(ing)?"|
|"Nika klatawa copo nika house. Chaco?"|
|"I go to my home. (Will you) come?"|
|"Nowitka; nika tika nanage copo mika canim."
|"Yes; I want (to) look over your canoe."|
(Idea: Yes, I wish to take a look at your canoe.)
|"Klosh kahkwah; spose mahkook
|"Good like that; perhaps buy (it)| no?"
(Idea: That is good; maybe you would like to buy it?)
|"Halo mahkook; nika mamook chee."
|"No buy (it) I make new (canoe)."|
(Idea: No, I do not wish to buy; I am making a new one myself.)
|"Yowah nika canim; klosh spose klosh nanage. Okoke delate skookum canim."
|"There my canoe (is); good if good look (you). That very strong canoe."|
(Idea: There is my canoe. It would be well for you to look it over carefully. It is a very strong, well built canoe.)
|"Good like that."|
(Idea: What you say is good, I will take your advice.)
|"Chaco copo house pe nanage nika klootchman."
|"Come to house and see my wife."|
|"Okeoke nika klootchman
| okeoke nika tilacum Chon Bance.
|"This my wife| this my friend John Vance."
| "Klosh; chaco pe mitlite wake lalie mesika muckamuck."
|"Good; come (in) and stop| not long we eat."
(Invitation to dinner.)
|"Halo mitlite nika
| Nika klatawa hyak pe klap nika ow. Mesika klatawa enati yahka chuck copo Seattle pe klap nika klootchman mitlite copo nika tenas ow pe klatawa copo nika klootchman ats elip chaco polikely."
|"No stop me| I go quick and find my brother. We go across him (the) water to Seattle and find my wife (who) stays with my small brother and go to my wifeís sister before come night."
(Idea: No, I cannot stop, I must go quickly and find my brother, then we must go across the water to Seattle and meet my wife who is staying with my younger brother and then we must go on to my sister-in-lawís home before night.)
| a a e! Wake lalie mesika. Chaco pe tenas mitlite copo nesika. Lolo mika klootchman pe konaway mesika klatawa copo kuitan siah copo lamountín illahee pe iskum olallie nah?"
|"Very well! Not long you-all-together. Come, and little (while) stay with us. Bring your wife and all (of) us go with horses far into mountains land and get berries| do you agree?"
(Idea: Very well. Before long all of you come and stay with us for a while. Bring your wife (and family) and we will all go on a berrypicking trip with the horses into the mountains, would you like to do this?)
| a a e! Delate cultas cooley nah?" |"I agree! Very pleasure-trip| is that it?"
(Idea: That would be fine! A regular pleasure trip, thatís the idea, isnít it?"
|"Nika tika tízum sail"|
||"I want printed (or broken-colored cloth, calico or figured goods).|
|"Nowitka. Klosh okeoke?"
|"Yes. Good this (kind)?"|
|"Halo; klale pe tíkope."
|"No; black and white."|
|"Klosh kahkwa okeoke?"
|"Good like this?"|
| konce chickamun?"
|"Yes| how (much) money?" (What does it cost?)
Ordinarily "Konce" means "When" but it is always used thus: "Konce chickamun?" to mean "How much money?" It is never used in any other way to mean "how" but is always used as above when "How much money?" is meant.)
|"Ict yard, sitkum dime."
|"One yard, half dime."|
|"Klosh; tatlum yard nika tika."
|"Good; ten yards I want."|
|"Spose nika mahkook konaway nika lacasset lokut tatlum yard nika mahkook."
||"If you (will) buy all my baskets four tens of yard(s) I buy."|
(Idea; If you will buy my baskets I will buy forty yards of (this) cloth.)
|"Chim, nika tika mahsh konaway stick copo nika illahee. Konce chickamun ict sun mika tika spose mamook mahsh konaway stick spose mamook klosh copo piah copo lasee pe lahash pe mamook haul copo kuitan copo nika house?"|
||"Jim, I want taken (away) all timber from my land. How much money (per) one day you want if make taken away all timber (and) if make good for fire with saw and axe and make haul by horse to my house?"
(Idea: Jim, I want this land of mine cleared. How much do you want per day to clear away all the timber and to cut it into stove wood for my fire with saw and axe and haul it to my house?)
|"Ict dollah pe sitkum ict sun| klosh spose kahkwa." |"One dollar and one-half one day| good if like that."
(Idea: I will do it for a dollar and a half a day and be satisfied to do it for that.)
|"Nah six! Mika comtox kahtah oiehut mesika klatawa spose chaco copo Tom Chones house?"|
||"O friend! You understand what road we go suppose come to Tom Jonesí house?"
(Idea: O friend! Do you know what road we take to reach Tom Jonesí house?)
|"Nowitka, klatawa copo okeoke oiehut tenas siah pe konce nanage oiehut klatawa copo sun mika klatawa yowah pe wake alki mika nanage house copo stick yowah."
|Yes, go by this road little far and when see road go(ing) toward sun you go there and not (long) by and by you see house in woods over there."|
(Idea: Yes, go along this road until you see a road going East then you go along that road not far (a little way) and you will see the house over there (to the right) in the timber.)
It is hard to write this kind of conversation as the gestures cannot be written and it is the gestures used by the speaker that indicate place, direction, etc., and designate what road that is to be followed. The conversation, however, will give a good idea of the way Chinook is put together to convey ideas. Author.
|"Klahowya! Halo mika nanage tísolo kuitan? Ict klale, ict tízum | konaway mamook kokshut mesika lope pe klatawa hyak copo polikelie. Klosh nanage nika copo konaway stick pe halo klap. Mika nanage?"
||"How are you! No you see lost horse? One black, one spotted| all made broken their ropes and go quick in night. Good look I in all timber and no find. You see?"
(Idea: How are you. Did you see any stray (or lost) horses? I have lost two, one black, and one spotted
they broke their ropes and got away last night. I have looked good in the timber but canít find any trace of them. Did you see them?)
|"Halo nanage, wake siah mesika chaco."
||"No see, not far we come."|
|"Konaway tilacum! Copo tatlum sun nika mamook tanze copo nika house. Delate heehee, delate muckamuck pe delate tanze. Hiyu delate klosh heehee. Chaco konaway tilacum pe cultas heehee mamook copo mesika; lolo klootchman pe ictas copo canim copo piahchuck illahee spit pe iskum klosh heehee. A| a a ah!" |
||"All friends! In ten days I make dance at my house. Much fun, much eating and much dance. Many much good fun. Come all friends and good-time-fun make with us; bring wives and goods in canoe to "Whiskey spit" and get good fun. It is as I say!"
(Idea: Invitation to feast dance. "Listen, everybody! In ten days I will give a feast dance at my house. We will have plenty of fun, plenty to eat and a good time. Come all friends and have a good time with us, bring your wives and families and your outfits in your canoes to "whiskey spit" and have a good time with us. You wonít regret it. It is as I say.")|
HTML rev. 8/1/01