1820: Franchere, Relation d’un voyage…

Another thanks is due to Prof. Peter Bakker, for sending me this original French-language version of Gabriel Franchère’s valuable early Chinuk Wawa vocabulary.

Frachere

Gabriel Franchère (image credit: Wikipedia)

This word list, one of the very earliest to have been published, occurs in his book “Relation d’un voyage à la côte du Nord-ouest de l’Amérique Septentrionale
dans les années 1810, 11, 12, 13, et 14” (Montréal: De l’imprimerie de C.B. Pasteur, 1820.)

Young Franchère (1786-1863) was among the staff of the American Fur Company’s new Fort Astoria, now better known to Chinuk Wawa speakers as pʰuchúch from the name “Fort George” given to it by its new owners, the NW Co., in 1813.

The little CW lexicon in Franchère’s memoir has also been written about in George Lang’s fine book, “Making Wawa”, which investigates the early development of CW. George points out that the earliest solid documentation of Chinook Jargon shows us a pretty different language from what we now know. Early CW has more words that are lengthy and that are better characterized as borrowed straight from fluent Chinookan. (In our later CW, many of those words have become shortened or have fallen out of use.)

Today’s post is a nice chance to show you some early CW, and Franchère’s impressions and understanding of it. I’ll show this to you in his French, then translate it into English for you.

Have a look at how different the following is from the modern Jargon that you’re familiar with. I can write more about this subject in future posts here…

Il ne me reste plus qu’à dire un mot de la langue Chinouque, ou Tchinouke, qui est celle que parlent tous les indigènes depuis l’embouchure de la Rivière Columbia jusqu’aux chûtes. Cette langue est dure et d’une prononciation difficile pour les étrangers, étant remplie d’aspirations gutturales, comme celle des montagnards d’Ecosse. Les Tchinoukes ne connais-

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sent point les consonnes F, V, &c. Ils n’ont pas non plus notre R, mais une forte articulation gutturale qui approche un peu du son de cette lettre prononcée en grassayant, comme dans Chreluit, ou mieux peut-être Hreluit. Les combinaisons thl ou tl et lt sont fréquentes dans le Tchinouke, comme dans le Méxicain. Je mettrai, pour me conformer à l usage reçu, quelques mots de cette langue sous les yeux du lecteur, bien que je sente la presque inutilité d’une telle nomenclature.

Quelques mots de la langue Chinouque ous Tchinouke 

Etalapasse, Dieu, ou l’Etre Suprême.
Ekannum, le bon Esprit des Eaux.
Tilikum, les hommes.
Chouttilikum, des hommes.
Papisché aiyouks [SIC], Européens.
K outane [SIC], cheval. 
Kamoux, chien.
Moulak, chevreuil.
Equannet, saumon. 

Elaighté, esclave.
Tanasse, enfant.
Olik, fille.
Ibikats, le nez.
Tlaoltk, du sang.
Outlah, le soleil.
Ocoutlamaine, la lune.
Ilekai, la terre.
Icanneve [SIC], pirogue.
Issik, pagaie.
Thlipaight, corde.
Olo, la faim.
Patlatch, un présente.

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Passischqua, couverte. [SIC — should be couverture?]
Passisché, drap.
Kaienoulk, tabac.
Pousk, navire.
Sakquallal, fusil.
Ouâpto, patates.
Chalaks, fâché, [-]ée.
Naïka, mon, ma.
Icht, un, une.
Makust, deux.
Thloun, trois.
Lakut, quatre.
Quannum, cinq.

Takut [SIC], six.
Sinebakust, sept.
Stouktekane, huit.
Quaiust, neuf.
Itallilum [SIC], dix.
Ekoun icht, onze.
Ekoun makust, douze, et ainsi de suite.
Makust Thlalt, vingt.
Nix, ou Nixt, non, ne pas.
Kantchick, quand?
Ouinapi, bientôt.

Ste Kéch, je t’aime.
Kakhpah émoreya? où vas-tu?
Kantchik alachoya? quand pars-tu?
Kantchik euskoya? quand reviendras-tu?
Nixt énethlitkal, tu ne comprends pas.
Mitlaight o kok [SIC], assieds-toi là.
Tane tsé koulama, montre-moi ta pipe.
Patlatch nain maika? veux-tu me la donner?
Ikta mika makoumak? Que veux-tu manger?
Thlounasse olilé, peut-être des fruits.
Nix, quatiasse moulak thlousk, Non, donne-moi de la viande.

A translation of that into English:

It only remains for me to say a word of the Chinouque language, or Tchinouke, which is the one spoken by all the natives from the mouth of the Columbia River to the falls. This language is harsh and difficult to pronounce for foreigners, being filled with guttural aspirations, like that of the highlanders of Scotland. The Tchinoukes do not know

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the consonants F, V, etc. They do not have our R either, but a strong guttural articulation which approaches a little the sound of this letter pronounced while speaking with a “bur”, as in [Chinookan place name] Chreluit, or better perhaps Hreluit. The combinations thl or tl and lt are frequent in Tchinouke, as in Mexico [particularly in the Aztec/Nahuatl language, a comparison often made in the 1800s — DDR]. I will put, to conform to common practice, a few words of this language before the reader’s eyes, although I perceive the near uselessness of such a nomenclature.

A few words from the Chinouque or Tchinouke language:

Etalapasse, God, or the Supreme Being.
Ekannum, the good Spirit of the Waters.
Tilikum, the men.
Chouttilikum, men.
Papische aiyouks [spacing SIC], Europeans.
Kutane [SIC], horse.
Kamoux, dog.
Moulak, roe deer.
Equannet, salmon.

Elaighté, slave.
Tanasse, child.
Olik, girl.
Ibikats, the nose.
Tlaoltk, blood.
Outlah, the sun.
Ocoutlamaine, the moon.
Ilekai, the land.
Icanneve [“v” instead of “m” SIC], canoe.
Issik, paddle.
Thlipaight, rope.
Olo, hunger.
Patlatch, a present.

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Passischqua, covers [blankets].
Passische, sheet.
Kaienoulk, tobacco.
Pousk, ship.
Sakquallal, rifle.
Ouâpto, potatoes.
Chalaks, angry, angered.
Naïka, my.
Icht, one.
Makust, two.
Thloun, three.
Lakut, four.
Quannum, five.

Takut [SIC], six.
Sinebakust, seven.
Stouktekane, eight.
Quaiust, nine.
Itallilum [SIC], ten.
Ekoun icht, eleven.
Ekoun makust, twelve, and so on.
Makust Thlalt, twenty.
Nix, or Nixt, no, don’t.
Kantchick, when?
Ouinapi, soon.

Ste Kéch, I love you.
Kakhpah emoreya? where are you going?
Kantchik alachoya? when are you leaving?
Kantchik euskoya? when will you come back?
Nixt enethlitkal, you don’t understand.
Mitlaight o kok [spacing SIC], sit there.
Tane tsé koulama, show me your pipe.
Patlatch nain maika? will you give it to me?
Ikta mika makoumak? What do you want to eat?
Thlounasse olilé, maybe fruit.
Nix, quatiasse moulak thlousk, No, give me some meat.

What do you think?