Chinuk Wawa in a Stó:lō hymn book (Part 10)

reform bureau

Wilbur Fisk Crafts’ Reform Bureau’s office (image credit: Alcohol Problems and Solutions)

The last of 3 chorus-only hymn translations.

The first was ridiculous. The second was okay. What do you think we’ll find today?

The last of the 3 hymn fragments (mystifyingly, to me) diverges the most from what I take to be the original text:

help me

(“O Wondrous Story of the Lord”, Wilbur F. Crafts)

Oh, Jesus, klosh spose mika help,
ó, djísəs, łúsh spus mayka hélp, [1]
oh, Jesus, good if you help, 
DDR: ‘Oh, Jesus, please help,’

Original: ‘Help me, dear Savior, Thee to own,’
     Nika wake skookum alta; 
     nayka wik-skúkum álta; [2] 
     I un-strong now;
     DDR: ‘I’m weak now;’
     Original: ‘And ever faithful be;’
Klosh mamook haul nika konamoxt
łúsh mamuk-hál nayka kʰánumákwst [3]
well cause-pull me together.with 

DDR: ‘Bring me well along with’
Original: ‘And when Thou sittest on Thy throne,’
     Mika, kopa saghalie.
     máyka, kʰupa sáx̣ali.
     you, to above.
     DDR: ‘You, to the sky.’
     Original: ‘Dear Lord, remember me.’

Comments on #3:

ó, djísəs, łúsh spus mayka hélp [1] ‘Oh, Jesus, please help’ — Very good BC Chinook Wawa. Particularly the verb hélp (as opposed to “southern” dialect yéʔlan) is a diagnostic trait of this.

nayka wik-skúkum álta [2]  ‘I’m weak now’ — Also top-notch Jargon; in all dialects, wik- functions as a bound (prefixed) negative marker on a limited set of roots, here giving us ‘weak’ (literally ‘non-strong’) as opposed to the also existing phrase hilu skukum ‘(is) not strong; without strength’.

łúsh mamuk-hál nayka kʰánumákwst mayka [3] ‘Bring me well along with you’ — Again good Chinuk Wawa. The łúsh (literally ‘good; well’) is pretty obviously meant as an Imperative marker, but in the absence of an expressed subject ‘you’, it sounds more like an adverbial usage: ‘well’. Mamuk-hal is one of several established expressions in the language for ‘bring’; for example, page 6 of George Shaw’s good 1909 dictionary has it, also meaning to harvest things that are pulled out of the ground, like potatoes, as well as ‘bring’, and even ‘to tug on’ (put an obligation on) someone’s heart! 

Summary of #3:

This is one of the best Jargon religious texts by the three-man Methodist team on the lower Fraser River. What’s unexplained is its big divergence from the supposed English original! Would composer and social activist Wilbur Crafts approve?

What do you think?