Didactic dialogues in CW dictionaries, Part 4C (Gibbs 1863 ex phrases/sentences)
Third in our mini-series of fluent southern sentences from US government treaty translator Geo. Gibbs:
(Image credit: QuoteFancy)
Anah nawitka mika halo shem. ‘Ah, indeed you are without shame.’
(aná, nawítka mayka hílu shím. lit. ‘oh.my, indeed you none shame’)
As Gibbs rightly advises us, aná is an interjection ‘denoting pain, pleasure or depreciation’.
It’s one of the best-known exclamations in Chinuk Wawa. It definitely originated in Indigenous languages, cf. Lower Chinookan aná and the Lower Chehalis Salish exclamations of surprise or disgust ʔəná[-]həʔa and ʔəná[-]čəna.
In the Grand Ronde Tribes’ 2012 dictionary, it’s known from the elders as an utterance ‘of surprise’ that was remembered as being said especially by older generations of females.
The same dictionary lists the historical occurrence of the same word as conveying ‘pain, sorrow, astonishment’.
I think you can generalize an English translation of aná as ‘oh my!’
(I’m borrowing that idea from Spokane Salish elder Pauline Flett’s description of hayó! in her language.)
Thus, aná is probably the way to say ‘OMG! in the Jargon.
Beyond these comments, I have one other thing to say.
There is more than one valid way to arrange the 3 words, mayka hílu shím.
Way 1 is as I just wrote it, and for me it has an overtone of ‘you have no shame’.
Way 2 is, hílu mayka shím — this is the way I think I usually say it, putting the “quantity” word hílu (‘none’) up front, the way CW grammar likes to roll.
For my mind, it also means ‘you have no shame’, but even more clearly so, as it’s literally saying ‘there is no shame that’s yours’ (implying that there should be).
The word shím always carries the presupposition that you ought to feel shame.
This is unlike modern English, where we can say ‘hey, no shame’ as a reassurance to someone that we don’t think they should feel at fault.
Way 3 is, hílu shím mayka, putting the subject last, as is typical for intransitive verb phrases.
This then sounds less like ‘you have no shame’.
Because it sounds intransitive, it sounds “stative” to me, saying that ‘you are’ this-or-that.
In this case, it sounds like it’s calling you hílu(-)shím, ‘shameless’, again as if you were deliberately neglecting your duty to feel bad about what you’ve done.
Now, that expression isn’t listed in the 2012 Grand Ronde Tribes dictionary, and I don’t seem to find it in the 250 issues of the Kamloops Wawa newspaper.
But there are plenty of parallel structures in the Jargon; just in the 2012 dictionary I see hilu mama hilu papa ‘orphan(ed)’, hilu ɬuchmən ‘widowed’, hilu-q’wəlan ‘deaf’, and numerous others.
A last note: our mayka hílu shím (etc.) has a similarly old-vintage synonym in Chinook Jargon “Manuscript 195” from Fort Vancouver circa 1830: < tapahote >.
That phrase is Métis/Canadian French t’a pas honte ‘you have no shame’!