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Old 06-29-2012, 03:14 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
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Does anyone know about Chinuk Wawa (Chinook Jargon)? Some of the words, such as skookum, are apparently still used in Canada, though it's pretty much dead south of 49.

This site is pretty interesting, it seems like it would be a really easy language to learn.

http://learnchinook.wikispaces.com/home

It's basically a Metis language since it developed as a result of contact between Native Americans and white people, most of the words are from Chinookan, Nootka, French and English.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Canada
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But did anyone ever speak that as their native tongue? As far as I know it was only used for trading between the peoples of the Pacific Northwest who all spoke different languages. It wasn't like Bungie or Michif, was it? As in, were there any native speakers?
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
1,328 posts, read 2,831,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
But did anyone ever speak that as their native tongue? As far as I know it was only used for trading between the peoples of the Pacific Northwest who all spoke different languages. It wasn't like Bungie or Michif, was it? As in, were there any native speakers?
There were some native speakers, like children of white/native couples, but for the most part it was a lingua franca yes.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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Default Chinook Jargon

Everyone always says it was a trade language. That's not entirely true. When the US government rounded up Indians and put them together on reservations, Chinook Jargon was the only language they had in common. It was eventually replaced by English, but it was spoken well into the 20th century. Many whites even used it.

These days there's a bit of a resurgence in interest in the language. It's taught to school children on reservations, and numerous colleges offer courses in it.

The best part about learning Chinook Jargon is almost all the Indian place names in the Pacific Northwest are from this language. It's something you run into in the strangest places. I occasionally find someone who uses a few words of it. It's usually just something they've always used without knowing why.

Yes, it's easy and fun. Get on board.
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