Union is accomplished! On y parle Chinook!
“Chinook spoken here,” that is.
No Chinuk Wawa here, but I’ve got to share this one-of-a-kind advertising use of the language in British Columbia’s frontier period, just after the colonies of BC & Vancouver Island were united.
Looks like a big dose of political opinions mixed in with a commercial appeal…
Union is accomplished and Producers Protected.
The country only can be saved by Patronizing
CAMERON’S ISLAND PRODUCE MARKET,
No. 18 Fort street, opposite Mrs. Heal’s Boarding-house.
SINCE WE ARE TO HAVE A TARIFF, Island Produce will be in demand and to supply the increase of orders it has been necessary to make arrangements with several more hunters and fishermen; also Producers will always be able to find a market for their vegetables and other produce at reasonable rates; whilst consumers can have their demands shipped free of duty. The market will henceforth be supplied with the finest Venison, Fish and Game of every description.
Clams and Oysters from the newly discovered beds at Chemainus.
Since preparing the above we learn that a special Telegram has arrived from the Home Government stating that Chinamen pedlars are to be taxed $30 per head, per month, and knowing it to be a fatal shock to them, the “Original” will go in mourning for the space of one month, in respect to their memory.
ON Y PARLE CHINOOK.
— from the Victoria (BC) Evening Telegraph of October 7, 1866, page 2, column 2
I’m a little confused: Why the switch to French? Why not simply “Chinook spoken”? I suspect I (and other readers not intimately familiar with the time and place of this ad) need to have this language choice contextualized…
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Me too. This was before there was a sense of Canadian identity as a bilingual French-English nation. French connoted either (1) the old fur trade or (2) high-class, highly literate culture. The tone of the ad overall is jocular, which inclines me away from the more prosaic (1) and toward the more fanciful (2). And talking about Chinook Jargon in formal French makes it even more fanciful. I’m interested in other people’s take on this! Thanks for bringing it up, Etienne.
Hmm. Could there have been a more practical motivation too? Any business wishes to attract as many customers as possible, and with the large number of French and Chinook Jargon speakers in Victoria whose command of (especially written) English was shaky, could the final statement “On y parle Chinook” be a way to indicate that anyone wishing to do business was welcome there (including people whose understanding of the article boiled down to “Market + 18 Fort Street”) , whether they spoke English, French or Chinook?
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