Chinook Jargon Phrasebook
Kahta Mamook Kopa Chinook Wawa - How to speak Chinook

Chinook version - The Night Before Christmas

This translation was published in the Stanford University linguistic department's Sesquipedalian Weekly Herald Vol. IV, No. 11 (Dec. 19, 1993) and is available through the Sesquipedalian's internet site.  It is, however, a regular feature of most Chinook reference anthologies, so I am reproducing it here for the interest of students of the Chinook Jargon.  It was translated in the 1890s by Duane Pasco (with an interlineal rendering of the Chinook terms in English for easy reference).
 
Kopa polaklie elip Xmas, konaway ka keekwullie kopa house,
     On night before Xmas, everywhere inside to house,
Wake tillikum chako pe klatawa, hoolhool weght
     No people come and go, mouse also.
Stoken, klaska midite kow kloshe kopa chimney,
     Stocking, they be tied good to chimney,
Kahkwa spose klonas St. Nick chako yahwa tenas laly alki.
     Like if maybe St. Nick come there soon.
Tenas tillikums mitlite waum kopa klaska bed
     Children be warm in them bed.
Klaska nanitch la suk plums keekwullie kopa klaska la tate.
     Them see sugar plums inside them head.
Mama mitlite hakatshum kopa la tate pe naika mitlite moosum chapo,
     Mama have handkerchief on head and me have sleep hat,
Nesaika chee mamook youtlkut moosum.
     We begin longsleep.
Klahanie kopa illahee, naika kumtux kopa kwolan iktas.
     Outside on ground me hear things.
Naika sopena klak bed, naika tikegh nanitch yaka.
     Me jump off bed, me want look him
Naika coolie hyak kopa window pe mamook hahlakl yaka.
     Me run fast to window and open him.
Moon kopa chee snow, yaka mamook kahkwa sun towagh kopa konaway iktas.
     Moon on new snow, him make like daylight on everything.
Naika kumtux kopa eye, ikt tenas sleigh pe stotekin tenas mowitch
     Me see one little sleigh and eight little deer and
Pe ikt hyak tenas ole man.
     One big little old man.
Naika kumtux hyak, yaka St. Nick, nawitka.
     Me know fast, him St. Nick, indeed.
Hyak kahkwa chak-chak kawak okoke stotekin mowitch.
     Fast like eagle fly this eight deer.
Pe okoke tenas ole man, yaka whistle pe skookum wawa klaska yahul.
     And this little old man him whistle and strong talk them name.
"Alta Dasher, alta Dancer, alta Prancer, alta Vixen
     "Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer, now Vixen,
Klatawa Comet, klatawa Cupid, klatawa Donder pe Blitzen.
     Go comet, go Cupid, go Donder and Blitxen.
Saghalie kopa porch, saghalie kopa kullaghan,
     Up on porch, up on wall,
Alta klatawa hyak, alta klatawa hyak, alta klatawa hyak konaway mesaika!
     Now go fast, now go fast, now go fast you all!
Alta klatawa saghalie kopa koosah,
     Like dry leaves fly on strong wind,
So saghalie kopa house okoke mowitch kawak,
     And go high in sky. So up on house this deer fly.
Klaska sleigh pahtl kopa toys pe St. Nick weght.
     Them sleigh full with toys and St. Nick also.
Alta hyak naika kumtux kopa kwolan,
     Now, fast me know with ear,
Konaway mowitch klaska koko le pee, saghalie kopa house.
     All deer them tap feet, up on house.
Kunsih naika chako kilapai klak window, naika nanitch St. Nick.
     When me come return off window me see St. Nick.
Yaka chako whim kopa chimney.
     He come fall down chimney.
St. Nick capote yaka tkope animal tupsoo
     St. Nick coat him white animal hair
Keschi capote mitlite hiyu ashes kopa yaka.
     But coat have many ashes on it.
Ikt hyas la sak pahtl kopa toys St. Nick lolo kopa okoke.
     One big bagfull of toys St. Nick carry on shoulder.
Yaka kahkwa klahowyum mahkook man kunsih yaka mamook hahlakl la sac
     Him like poor sell man when him open bag.
St. Nick mokst eye, klaska kahkwa mokst tenas towagh.
     St. Nick two eye, them like two small light.
Yaka kapala klaska kahkwa mokst pil le bal.
     Him cheek, them like two red ball.
Yaka emeets kahkwa hyas pil amota.
     Him nose like big red strawberry.
Yaka tenas la push, yaka kahkwa kow pil la loba.
     Him small mouth, him like tied red ribbon.
Seeowist tupsoo, yaka tkope kahkwa snow.
     Face hair, him white like snow.
Youtskut la peep, yaka mitlite kopa la tah,
     Short pipe, him be in teeth.
Smoke, yaka mitlite kahkwa tkope kweokweo lowullo saghalie la tate
     Smoke, him be like white ring around above head.
St. Nick mitlite hyas pil seeowist pe hyas yakwatin.
     St. Nick have big red face and big stomach.
Okoke yakwatin, yaka hullel kahkwa jelly kunsih St. Nick mamook hee-hee.
     This stomach him shake like jelly when St. Nick laugh.
St. Nick, yaka youd tenas ole man.
     St. Nick, him happy little old man.
Naika halo kwass pe naika mamook hee-hee kunsih nanitch yaka
     Me not afraid and me laugh when look him.
St. Nick mamook pe yaka halo wawa.
     St. Nick work and him not talk. Kunsih yaka kopet mamook pahd konaway stoken, yaka nanitch kilapai
     When him stop make full all stocking, him look back.
St Nick le-doo tenas koko yaka emeets.
     St. Nick finger tap him nose
Yaka klatawa saghalie pe klak enatai chimney.
     And him go up and off other side chimney.
Yaka sopena kopa sleigh pe mamook whistle.
     Him jump to sleigh and do whistle.
Mowitch, klaska kawak hyak, nawidka.
     Deer, them fly fast, indeed.
Keschi, naika kumtux kopa kwolan, kunsih klaska klatawa siah,
     But, me know with ear, when them go far,
St Nick skookum wawa "Kwan Xmas pe kloshe polaklie kopa konaway tillikum."
     St. Nick yell, "Happy Xmas and Good Night to all people."


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