Nicola 1904: Sad Accident (Part 4)

It gives away no new thoughts of mine when I say the Christian warning in this concluding segment of our mini-series comes across different in Chinook Jargon than in English…

Read and see what you think.

Sad Accident 4 CW

…tilikom [SIC, repeated from preceding page] chako kopa Kamlups, pi wik saia 
…tílikam cháko kʰupa Kémlups, pi wík-sayá
…people come to Kamloops, and not-far
‘…people were coming to Kamloops, and it was almost’

Krismas pulakli, pi wik lili pus klaska kro 
Krísməs-púlakʰli [1], pi wík-líli pus łáska q’úʔ
Christmas-night, and not-long.time in.order.that they arrive
‘Christmas eve, and it wasn’t long until they’d arrive’ 

kopa Kamlups: klaska ilo tomtom ikta, pi klaska
kʰupa Kémlups: łáska (h)ílo tə́mtəm íkta [2], pi łáska
at Kamloops: they not think anything, and they
‘at Kamloops: they didn’t suspect a thing, and they’ 

chako aiak kakshit, pi ukuk kluchmin aiak 
cháko áyáq kákshit, pi ukuk łúchmən áyáq
become quickly injured, and that woman quickly
‘got injured in an instant, and that woman instantly’ 



     Wiht kanawi msaika, mamuk msaika 
     Wə́x̣t kʰánawi msáyka, mámuk [3] msayka
     also all you.folks, make your
‘You folks too, turn your’ 

tomtom kopa ukuk: tlus nanich pus wik
tə́mtəm kʰupa úkuk: (t)łús(h)-nánich pus wík
mind on this: good-watch so.that not
‘minds to this: take care not to’

msaika klatwa kopa tsipi mamuk: kah son
msáyka łátwa kʰupa t’sípi-mámuk: qʰá(x̣)-sán [4]
you.folks go to wrong-action: where-day
‘stray into wrongdoing: some time’ 

wik msaika komtaks, kah son wik msaika 
wík msáyka kə́mtəks, qʰá(x̣)-sán wík msáyka
not you.folks think, where-day not you.folks
‘that you don’t (yet) know, some time you don’t’ 

tomtom, iawa ST mamuk kopit msaika 
tə́mtəm, yawá Sáx̣ali-Táyí kʰupít msáyka
think, there above-chief finish you.folks
‘have any idea of, it’s then that God will end you’ 

kopa ukuk ilihi, pi iaka mamuk kort haws
kʰupa úkuk ílihi, pi yáka mamuk-kórt-háws
on this earth, and he make-court-house
‘on this earth, and he will judge’ 



     Ikta mamuk tilikom ayu nanich ikta kakwa, 
     Íkta mámuk [5] tílikam (h)ayu-nánich [6] íkta kákwa,
     what make people much-look something like.this,
‘Why is it that people can be seeing something like this,’ 

pi wik klaska chako kwash, wik klaska chako 
pi wík łáska chako-k’wásh, wík łáska chako- [7]
and not they become-afraid, not they become-
‘and they don’t become afraid, they don’t start’

tomtom kopa ikta?
tə́mtəm kʰupa íkta?
think about anything?
‘thinking of anything?’


Krísməs-púlakʰli [1] is the usual way of expressing ‘Christmas eve’.  

The words łáska (h)ílo tə́mtəm íkta [2] are literally ‘they weren’t thinking (of) anything’. Notice a difference from English: the verb tə́mtəm ‘to think’ takes a direct object in Jargon, not the indirect object signaled by the preposition ‘about’ in English.  

mámuk [3] msayka tə́mtəm kʰupa úkuk… ‘…turn your minds to this…’ — this is a really common use of mamuk, literally ‘make; do’, in Chinuk Wawa, to mean ‘put; place; move something’. Learn it. 

qʰá(x̣)-sán [4] — in previous installments of this mini-series, you’ve learned that this expression (literally ‘where-day’) is good BC Jargon for ‘when’. Now you can see that, like other question words in Jargon, it also serves as a relative term, here ‘some time’. 

Íkta mámuk [5] is a very important phrase for you to recognize, because in most dialects of Chinuk Wawa north of (and younger than) Grand Ronde, Oregon, it’s how you say ‘why?’ 

(h)ayu-nánich [6] is a nice little example of the Progressive aspect of a verb, here meaning ‘looking (at); seeing‘. 

wík łáska chako- [7] tə́mtəm: You may already be totally aware that chako- means more or less ‘become; get; turn’ etc. This example here, though, with an action verb, might have given you pause if you were mentally translating in English. The chako- technically functions as a marker of the start of an event or condition, so here we can understand chako-tə́mtəm as ‘start to think’ or even ‘be put in mind (of)’. 

Sad Accident 4 English

— from Kamloops Wawa #208 (March 1904), pages 8-9

What have you learned?