sun smoke boat

Sun Smoke Boat

Commercial Chinuk Wawa, early post-frontier.

Late enough that it’s just being used as an eye-catching curiosity, and contains a coinage for ‘telephone’–and is not fluent. Early enough that people recognized and resonated with it.

SUN SMOKE BOAT.

Kopa Astoria Kloshe Klatawa Kopa
Salt Chuck.

Spose Mesika Tikeh Klatawa Siah Kopa Astoria. Tikeh nanich Hias Chuck Columbia. Nanich. Hias Stick Hias Stone. Hyiu Sammon. Tenas Nanich Salt Chuck? Hyiu He-he. Iskum Smoke Boat Lurline Sinamox. Hyas Watch. Kopa Taylor Oehut. Spose Tikeh Weght Kumtux WaWa Tenas Chickamin Lope Tahkum Tukamonuk Pe Klone Tahtlum.

The above is Chinook Jargon formerly spoken by the now almost extinct Indian tribes of the Northwest In their intercourse with the traders and trappers and translated signifies that if you desire a delightful daylight ride down the mighty Columbia and view all the scenic beauties, take the steamer Lurline daily except Sunday at 7 A. M., from Taylor-street dock. For further particulars, call Phone Main 613.

— from the Portland (OR) Sunday Oregonian of July 6, 1905, page 14, column 2

My commentary, in case you rightly suspected that there is more to the message:

First off, the punctuation is terrible, as we constantly find in English-language newspapers’ treatment of the Jargon.

Now:

SUN SMOKE BOAT.
sán smúk pót
day steam boat
‘Daily steamboat.’

(That use of sán is for ‘daily’ is made-up by someone trying to translate from English word-by-word. So is smúk pót. Good Jargon might say stin-put kanawi san.)

Kopa Astoria Kloshe Klatawa Kopa Salt Chuck.
kʰapa Astoria ɬúsh ɬátwa kʰapa sáltsəqʷ
from Astoria good go to saltwater
‘From Astoria it’s easy going to the sea.’

(This too is bad Jargon due to actually being English in disguise.)

Spose Mesika Tikeh Klatawa Siah Kopa Astoria. Tikeh nanich Hias Chuck Columbia.
(s)pus msáyka tíki ɬátwa sayá kʰapa Astoria tíki nánich háyás(h) tsə́qw Columbia
if you.folks want go far to Astoria want see big water Columbia
‘If you folks want to go way over to Astoria, (and) want to see the big river “Columbia”,’

Nanich. Hias Stick Hias Stone. Hyiu Sammon. Tenas Nanich Salt Chuck? Hyiu He-he.
nánich háyás(h) stík háyás(h) stún háyú sámən tənəs-nánich sáltsəqw háyú híhi
see big tree big rock many fish little-see saltwater much laugh
‘see tall trees, big rocks, a lot of fish, have a glimpse of the sea, (and) have a lot of fun,’

Iskum Smoke Boat Lurline Sinamox. Hyas Watch. Kopa Taylor Oehut. Spose Tikeh
ískam smúk pót Lurline sínamakwst háyás(h) wách kʰapa Taylor úyx̣ət (s)pus tíki
take steam boat Lurline seven big watch at Taylor street if want
‘take the steamer Lurline (at) seven (o’)clock at Taylor street; if (you) want’

Weght Kumtux WaWa Tenas Chickamin Lope Tahkum Tukamonuk Pe
wə́x̣t kə́mtəks wáwa tənəs-chíkʰəmin-lúp táx̣am-tak’umunaq pi
more know talk little-metal-rope six-hundred and
‘to know more, call (on) the telephone (to number) six hundred’

Klone Tahtlum.
ɬún-táɬlam
three-ten
‘thirty.’

(And this also is pretty poor Jargon for the same reasons. There’s a bit of irony in how easy it is to spot non-fluent White folks’ Chinuk Wawa due to its being much more pidgin-looking and simplistic than the real McCoy! I’m particularly amused by the use of “big watch”, i.e. “clock”, to indicate “o’clock”. Grand Ronde says tintin; Kamloops says oklak.)

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