Chinook Jargon

kaptengrot
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Chinook Jargon

Postby kaptengrot » 2015-04-07, 16:25

Hey, I don't actually know if this should go in this forum or not so mods, feel free to move it!

By chance I suddenly remembered about "the old fur-trader's language" that we learnt about in school in the USA so I looked it up. There's plenty of dictionaries for it, but I can't seem to find much audio or other new resources (everyone seems to be saying "go to one of these schools" which I can't since I don't live in the area!). The name is Chinook Jargon, Chinuk Wawa etc.

So I was wondering if anyone here speaks it and can record clear audio of the sounds? Like when I record English for learners, I record one word or sentence extremely slowly and draw out all the sounds, then I record another at normal speed. We could easily make a webpage with the audio on it, and once I learn more (I just started looking it up last night) we can do all sorts of stuff like write funny stuff in it and make fake advertisements in it :partyhat: :partyhat:

Otherwise anyone who knows it or is otherwise learning it is fine, let's chat in this thread!

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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-07, 16:47

The thing about Chinook Jargon is that, since it was an interlanguage for use among those with mutually-unintelligible native languages, it doesn't really have a standard pronunciation. Everyone just pronounced the words more-or-less according to the sound system of their native language and hoped for the best. The only commonly-used sound I can think of that isn't found in English is [ɬ], and it's easy enough to find demonstrations of that sound. Just look for videos teaching you how to pronounce Welsh ll.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

kaptengrot
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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby kaptengrot » 2015-04-07, 18:03

Yeah, I read some accounts like that, but then I also read other accounts which said stuff like "pronouncing it with this L is the real way" or other such things so I don't know anymore...
SV, EO: about C1 level; FO, IS: can read but can't write/speak; JP: beginner
http://learn-nordic.livejournal.com/ - resources if you want to learn any Nordic language (Greenlandic, Swedish, Old Norse etc.) but you have to make an account and join the community to see them.

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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby linguoboy » 2015-04-07, 19:20

Well, however you choose to say these words, it's not like there are many people alive who can correct you.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby Lauren » 2015-04-07, 19:27

I live in the area it was spoken. :mrgreen: It's a pretty interesting language. I have some PDF materials but that's about it. And yeah, there are extremely few speakers, if any that can claim to "speak" it.
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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby kaptengrot » 2015-04-07, 19:57

I grew up in Woodinville and Whidbey Island, the only word I remember hearing so far is "saltchuck" lol! If you can share those materials, I'd be glad :wink:

I know that no one is around who speaks it anymore, but it feels bad still... well, whatever, I guess. I just think it would be funny to have a little blog in it or something.

You grow up thinking "that was those guys from way long ago" but it actually wasn't long ago at all, so it's a strange feeling.
SV, EO: about C1 level; FO, IS: can read but can't write/speak; JP: beginner
http://learn-nordic.livejournal.com/ - resources if you want to learn any Nordic language (Greenlandic, Swedish, Old Norse etc.) but you have to make an account and join the community to see them.

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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby Lauren » 2015-04-07, 20:55

And you live in Sweden? Lucky! I like it here, but hate this country. :lol:

There's also "tyee" and "potlatch" that you might have heard, and maybe a few more I can't remember. I'll send you what I have in a PM in a bit.
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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby kaptengrot » 2015-04-08, 15:56

Yep, I moved abroad as soon as I could (age 18)! I got a student permit and lived in Iceland where University is basically free (only about $400 a year), which was allowed by my family since it was way cheaper to live that way than going to any American school. (By the way, Norway should be the same, and I think you can at least take online courses for free there in English, even if you don't move there). Then I got a girlfriend and moved to Sweden which was her country, and so now I live here on a spouse permit (so I don't have to pay school fees here or worry about a bunch of other stuff like regular income) ; D

Okay, now I took on a project! I'm slowly going through the various dictionaries, regularizing the spelling and sorting out the obviously-wrong meanings. It goes relatively fast since there's not THAT many words in the language but by far the most frustrating part is slowly figuring out how they were trying to spell the sounds out. The grammar, or lack of it, is becoming clear through their example sentences but I'll have to dig up actual writings to find more real examples later... Now for my first pass, I'm in the middle of the "K" section in this one: http://www.rjholton.com/cj/gibbsi-fr.htm
SV, EO: about C1 level; FO, IS: can read but can't write/speak; JP: beginner
http://learn-nordic.livejournal.com/ - resources if you want to learn any Nordic language (Greenlandic, Swedish, Old Norse etc.) but you have to make an account and join the community to see them.

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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby Lauren » 2015-04-08, 19:26

Heh, lucky... I had thought the same thing, going to Iceland and studying there. Problem is I am completely independent and couldn't afford to live there. Hopefully I can get out of this country sometime in my life. There's also the problem for there and Norway of strict immigration requirements.

Yes, the spelling is pretty bad. Some words are "phonetic" whereas some are based on an English spelling approximation so it can be hard to tell how to pronounce them.

Also, here's a song in Chinook Jargon!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S1gOAC4RCU
The English pronunciation is somewhat racist, but it's cool to hear it sung.

You've probably come across it, but this is a great book that I've always wanted. :D
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Re: Chinook Jargon

Postby księżycowy » 2015-04-13, 16:16

mod

While the conversation on free knowledge is interesting, let's keep this thread about Chinook Jargon and it's speakers. If need be, it can be continued else where..


The other conversation has been moved to the general language forum, as it was discussing more then just NAILs, otherwise I would have just created a new thread here. Not to mention it applies to all languages and language materials in general.


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