4-language mix in JMR Le Jeune’s notes to self

If you like puzzles, read on.

code mixing

Image credit: Bilinguistics)

In a shorthand manuscript at the University of Saskatchewan in Father JMR Le Jeune’s handwriting (the founder & editor of Kamloops Wawa) are some amusing notes to himself written in a mix of Chinook Jargon, English, Secwepemctsín Salish and French.

Some of that last in this sample is distinctly Métis French, another indication of the lingering influence of the BC “French of the Mountains” that we’ve seen in the same region.

I haven’t deciphered all of this, and I have a particularly hard time reading French in shorthand.

So, have a look and make suggestions about this snip, since these are just rough translations.

[J=Jargon, E=English, S=Secwepemctsín, F=French]

[E] som git stok in [J] kopa styuil ilip
“Some get stuck in in [sic] prayers; even”

ayu pus kopit [J/S] lahanshut ilo komtaks ikta wawa
“more, when done with confession, don’t know what to say.”

[E?] kod piii om di … [F?] mil li klil [F] vinyu pur dir
“Could pay ’em the … ? ? ? come to say”

[S] ihi nohwamh [F] i di [S] katsha konkwanma hwait i ns
” ? ain’t-it and says father pity-me, many are my”

kistinshut kihshama [J/F] labsolyusio
“sins, give-me absolution;”

[F] dis k [E?] litl [Métis French] pchi [S] krilmyuh
“(they) say that little little [sic] Natives…”

I would share an image of the shorthand original, but embarrassingly, I seem to have lost track of that image in my computer 🤔

kata maika tumtum?
What do you think?