Chinese case at Osoyoos

A short note today on a 4-step chain of interpreters in a court case involving folks of several cultures. The case was an interesting one, there being two Chinese and one Chinook and… Continue reading

Jack you patlach me shirt

“Narrative of the Voyage of H.M.S. Herald during the Years 1845-1851: Under the Command of Captain Henry Kellett Being a Circumnavigation of the Globe…” (volume 1) by Berthold Seemann (London: Reeve and Co.,… Continue reading

Is this why they call it False Creek?

If you’re a newspaper reporter in post-frontier British Columbia, how do you get around the British-style libel laws of young Canada, so that you can write about what look like questionable dealings by government officials with the native… Continue reading

Tillicum: spose mika engine cockshut…

An advertisement in Chinook Jargon, in a post-frontier BC newspaper. As we often see in this time period, settlers could be expected both to be literate and to comprehend the pidgin. [My clarifications… Continue reading

Tinas Martin

Regular readers will understand that the Chinook Jargon word siwash migrated into Pacific Northwest regional English, with mostly distressing results. Today I’m sharing an 1898 local-colour piece from the Boundary Country of British Columbia,… Continue reading

Hyiu Siwash kopa Chahko Mika

This Chinook Jargon letter from Greenwood, BC, is not only a neat new example of the post-frontier, English-language-influenced, genre of writing in the language– –it also gets us closer to the origins of the… Continue reading

The Siwash Had His Views

Again with the late-frontier era tilt towards English in people’s Chinook Jargon. This time we’re taken to far northwestern British Columbia’s Taku River district. I’ll add clarifications and translations in brackets: The Siwash… Continue reading

Typos & Indian reserves in Chinook Jargon

Today’s lesson: learn how to apologize for a mistake in your writing, and how to say “Indian reserve”.      Ukuk Disiyus nsaika wawa, wik This Decius we were [I (Father Le Jeune)… Continue reading

Impressions of a Tenderfoot: During a Journey in Search of Sport in the Far West

“Impressions of a Tenderfoot: During a Journey in Search of Sport in the Far West” by Mrs. Algernon St. Maur (London: John Murray, 1890).  It’s said that this was quite a popular book… Continue reading

The Trottings of a Tenderfoot

“Trottings of a Tenderfoot: Or, a Visit to the Columbian Fiords” by Clive Phillipps Wolley (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1884). To read more about Mr Phillipps-Wolley‘s b. (1854, d. 1918) whack-a-mole ubiquity in frontier… Continue reading