Brought to you by the letter O (in shorthand)

(Update 05/07/2013:  See below for edits showing my interpretation of the CJ here. — Dave)

The first issue of the legendary Chinook Jargon missionary newspaper Kamloops Wawa has been shown in a lot of articles and books.  Fuggeddaboudit!

Kamloops Wawa no 2 of June 1891

Here’s issue 2, from June of 1891.

Being not only a new periodical, but also written in a new alphabet, Kneeded to get the word out in more ways than one.

So front cover = tutorial.

After the barest of preliminaries for those who could already read the stuff–

“No. 2” (using the shorthand numerals that hastily got jettisoned), “June 1892” (oops!),
“Kamlups Wawa”

–the editor buckles right down.  I can skip his L2 (look it up) English, so dig into this Chinook Jargon and let me know your interpretation of it…(the edits showing my interpertation are in italics–Dave)


ukuk tsim iaka     this mark’s

nim O.  mamuk tsim     name is “O”.  write 

iht aias rawnd.      a big circle.

tlus nanich pus iaka     be careful that it is 

drit aias.     really big.



ukuk tsim iaka     this mark’s 

nim U.  mamuk tsim     name is “U”.  write 

iht aias rawnd     a big circle

kakwa O, pi mamuk     like “O”, but make 

tanas til kopa insaid.      a little tail on the inside.



ukuk tsim iaka nim     this mark’s name 

AW.  mamuk tsim […]     is “AW”.  write […]

I’m giving no hints yet.  But I can share my enjoyment of the fact that Chinuk pipa (shorthand) letters had actual names.  That’s a point of familiarity for me as a reader of English.

Also, this page of text is an utterly typical example of Kamloops-area CJ, with its high percentage of English words learned “on the street”.

As usual, I’ll post an update with my suggested translation after you folks chip in with yours, in the Comments below. — Dave