1866 or earlier: More opera in Chinook?
An anecdote of early Settler times in British Columbia jokes about Chinuk Wawa…
This comes to us courtesy of reader Alex Code — hayu masi as always, Alik!
At last one of the ladies of the chorus solved the problem by sapiently remarking that no one could tell what the ordinary operatic singer is singing about anyway, and the audience wouldn’t know whether the performers were singing in English, Italian, French or Chinook.
— from page 232 of “The Pioneer Women of Vancouver Island, 1843-1866“, written by N. de Bertrand Lugrin, edited by John Hosie (Vancouver Island (B.C.) : The women’s Canadian Club of Victoria, 1928)
Typical stuff. The Jargon was part of people’s real lives, so it was often invoked in contrast to high-status and “classical” European languages.