The Birth of Christ, in Chinook Jargon (part 2)

(View & hear Dale McCreery reading parts 1-6 aloud!)

 (Back to Part 1)


With the stage set by Zacharias’ vision and Elizabeth’s pregnancy with the future John the Baptist, Joseph and Mary come into the scene.

(Keep your eyes open for novel word choices here, and for some neat expressions relating to Christmasy ideas.)


Lisash shako wawa kopa Tlus Mari.
The angel comes to talk to Blessed Mary.

      Taham mun kopit pi ST mash
It was six months after when God sent

wiht lisash Gabriil kopa iht tanas
again the angel Gabriel to a small

tawn, Nasarit iaka nim, kopa iht haws
town called Nazareth, to a house

kah mitlait iht tanas klushmin,
where a certain young woman lived.

Mari iaka nim. Chi iaka malii
Mary was her name.  She was newly wed

kopa iht klahawiam karpintir,
to a poor carpenter.

Shosip iaka nim.
Joseph was his name.

     Shosip iaka ol man pi Mari iaka
Joseph’s ancestor and Mary’s

ol man, iaka taii David ankati
ancestor long ago was King David

pi wik klaska taii kopa iktas alta.
but they weren’t as rich as kings now.

Klaska klahawiam kanamokst.
They were both poor.

     Shosip klatwa mamuk karpintir kopa
Joseph went carpentering for

tilikom kakwa iaka tolo klaska
people(,) which is how he earned their


      Iht son pus Mari styuil
One day when Mary was praying

kopa ST, lisash shako kopa iaka
to God, an angel came to her

haws, iaka wawa kopa Mari:
house, he said to Mary:

“Klahawiam, o maika patl lagras.
“Hello, oh you who are full of grace.

ST mitlait kopa maika, maika ilip tlus
God is with you, you are the best

kopa kanawi kluchmin.”
woman of all.”

      Chi Mari kolan ukuk
As soon as Mary heard these

wawa, chako ayu iaka tomtom,
words, she started having doubts.

wik iaka komtaks ikta ukuk.
She didn’t understand what this was.

Iaka chako kwash. Lisash aiak
She got scared.  The angel right away

wawa: “Tlus wik maika kwash;
said: “Don’t be afraid:

[right column:]

ST iaka tomtom pus naika chako
It was God’s idea for me to come

kopa maika, pi naika mamuk komtaks
to you, and then I would bring the news

ikta iaka tiki mamuk kopa maika.
of what he wants to do with you.

alki maika tlap iht tanas, maika
In a while you’ll have a baby, you’ll

mamuk nim iaka Shisyu. ST iaka
name him Jesus. He’ll be God’s

tanas ukuk; iaka taii alki kopa
child, this one; he’ll go on to be the leader in

Shikob iaka haws, pi wik kansih iaka
Jacob’s house, and he’ll never

kopit taii.”
stop being the chief.”

     Mari wawa: “Kata alki ukuk
Mary answered: “How will this be [possible]

pi naika wawa ankati kopa ST pus
when I promised God long ago that

wik kansih naika komtaks man.”
I’d never know a man?”

Lisash wawa: “Nawitka, wik
The angel said: “True,

maika komtaks man pi maika tlap tanas
you haven’t known a man but you will have a baby

pi ukuk tanas, ST iaka tanas
and that child will be God’s child[,]

ilo ikta k’il kopa ST: kanawi
nothing is difficult for God: every-

ikta iaka tiki iaka mamuk.
thing he wants(,) he does.

Nanish ikta ST chi mamuk kopa
Look what God has just done for

maika kosin Sint Ilisabit. Ol
your cousin Saint Elizabeth.

kluchmin iaka alta, wik kansih
She’s an old woman now, never

ankati iaka tlap tanas, pi taham
before has she had a child, but six

mun alta iaka shako komtaks
months ago she learned

pus iaka tlap tanas. Nawitka
that she will have a baby.  It’s true,

ilo ikta k’il kopa ST.”
nothing is difficult for God.”

      Pus Mari shako komtaks
When Mary learned

kata ST iaka tomtom, iaka
how God was thinking, she

wawa: “Naika ST iaka ilaiti.
said: “I’m God’s slave.

Tlus iaka mamuk kopa naika ukuk
Let him do with me what

maika wawa.” Chi Mari wawa kakwa
you’ve said.”  Once Mary had said this

ST iaka tanas chako kopa iaka;
God’s child came into her:

ST SS mamuk pus ST tanas
God the Holy Spirit had God the Son

tlap iaka itluil kopa Mari,
take his body in Mary.

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[left column:]

Mari shako ST iaka mama.
Mary became God’s mother.

Tlus Mari iaka ukuk tlus klushmin
Blessed Mary was the good woman

ST wawa ankati pus iaka
who God was talking about long ago when she

kakshit snik iaka latit; pi
smashed the snake’s head; and

nawitka ShK, Mari iaka tanas
it’s true that Jesus, Mary’s child,

drit tolo kopa liiam.
really won out over the devil.

— Kamloops Wawa #117 (June 1894)

 (On to: Part 3.  Part 4.  Part 5.  Part 6.  Part 7.)