The Barclay Sound Vocabulary
hanks to Pat Huggins for locating an obscure Chinook Jargon work at the University of Washington library. The title is "Vocabulary of the Natives of Barclay Sound, Vancouver Island, 1861." It contains a 128-word vocabulary list and several sentence examples, some of which will follow. It was apparently collected for the British Admiralty.
When reading the introduction, written somewhat hastily in longhand, one might assume that the unknown author of this material, although he uses the term "Chinook" at the heading, was under the impression that he was collecting examples of the local indigenous language:
"I have endeavored, in compiling the following vocabulary of the language spoken by the natives of Barclay Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, to secure a faithful production of the sounds when read. . . . The vocabulary has been compiled with care and written down from the mouths of different intelligent natives. Words obtained from one Indian have been carefully compared with the testimony of others, and any defect or peculiarity of pronunciation has been immediatly corrected. The Barclay Sound language differs slightly from that spoken at Clayoquot Sound and a considerable difference exists at Nootka, but the Indians all understand the language of Barclay Sound on a greater or less degree.
It's unnecessary to give the whole word list, since the definitions and pronunciation are, with the exception of a very few minor items, Chinook Jargon as we know it today. The spelling is interesting in that the letter "R" is used. It is, of course, silent.
Here, then, are some of the sentences and translations the author has provided: