Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Chinuk wawa

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Chinuk wawa Wikipedia[edit]

submitted verification final decision

This language has been verified as eligible.
The language is eligible for a project, which means that the subdomain can be created once there is an active community and a localized interface, as described in the language proposal policy. You can discuss the creation of this language project on this page.

Once the criteria are met, the language committee can proceed with the approval and will verify the test project content with a reliable neutral source, such as a professor or expert.

If you think the criteria are met, but the project is still waiting for approval, feel free to notify the committee and ask them to consider its approval.

A committee member provided the following comment:

Project is eligible. Please contribute at incubator:Wp/chn. For LangCom: StevenJ81 (talk) 19:59, 3 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • The community needs to develop an active test project; it must remain active until approval (automated statistics, recent changes). It is generally considered active if the analysis lists at least three active, not-grayed-out editors listed in the sections for the previous few months.
  • The community needs to complete required MediaWiki interface translations in that language (about localization, translatewiki, check completion).
  • The community needs to discuss and complete the settings table below:
What Value Example / Explanation
Language code chn (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Chinook Jargon Language name in English
Language name chinuk wawa Language name in your language. This will appear in the language list on Special:Preferences, in the interwiki sidebar on other wikis, ...
Language Wikidata item Q35173 - item has currently the following values:
Item about the language at Wikidata. It would normally include the Wikimedia language code, name of the language, etc. Please complete at Wikidata if needed.
Directionality LTR Is the language written from left to right (LTR) or from right to left (RTL)?
Links Grand Ronde cultural information (see section "wawa") Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.

Project name Wikipitiya "Wikipedia" in your language
Project namespace Wikipedia usually the same as the project name
Project talk namespace "Wikipedia talk" (the discussion namespace of the project namespace)
Enable uploads no Default is "no". Preferably, files should be uploaded to Commons.
If you want, you can enable local file uploading, either by any user ("yes") or by administrators only ("admin").
Notes: (1) This setting can be changed afterwards. The setting can only be "yes" or "admin" at approval if the test creates an Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP) first. (2) Files on Commons can be used on all Wikis. (3) Uploading fair-use images is not allowed on Commons (more info). (4) Localisation to your language may be insufficient on Commons.
Optional settings
Project logo This needs to be an SVG image (instructions for logo creation).
Default project timezone America/Vancouver "Continent/City", e.g. "Europe/Brussels" or "America/Mexico City" (see list of valid timezones)
Additional namespaces For example, a Wikisource would need "Page", "Page talk", "Index", "Index talk", "Author", "Author talk".
Additional settings Anything else that should be set
submit Phabricator task. It will include everything automatically, except additional namespaces/settings. After creating the task, add a link to the comment.


Chinuk wawa is a creole language spoken in parts of the Pacific Northwest. It was adopted by fur traders to the region as a trade language, and at one time was spoken by nearly everyone in the region, settlers and Indians alike. The language has since died down, but is currently undergoing extensive revitalization. Classes in the language are offered at Grand Ronde, Lane Community College in Eugene, and Portland State University. Others have achieved some competency in the language by reviewing published dictionaries. Grand Ronde has an immersion Head Start preschool in the language, and the community there has been working together with linguists to produce a dictionary for the language, based on sound recordings of their elders. A working rough draft has been provided to many students of the language, including myself, and the final draft will probably be published within a year or two. I am myself not a native speaker but can speak competently in the language, and continue to learn. — The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sarge Baldy (talk)


  • Comment I think this is an interesting proposal, but what needs to be added straight away are links to the programs teaching the language and some kind of independent assessment of how many speakers there are (especially if there are any native speakers). I also think it would be good to get in contact with the actual instructors at these programs to gauge interest level. On the positive side, I think there may be Oregon and Washington Wikipedians (myself included) who would be interested in helping a Chinuk wawa encyclopedia get started. Steven Walling (talk) 01:33, 11 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment: +1 on everything Steven just said. Color me intrigued. -Peteforsyth 09:20, 11 December 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The following comments were initially added on a "duplicate" request:

  • Support: Wikipedia support for Chinūkwawa is absolutely vital. As an inter communal creole, Chinūkwawa has had a wide and deep impact on communities of the Pacific Northwest and even beyond. There is currently a deep resurgence of support and quotidian deployment of the language in several areas, both native and non. Most currently active amongst these with institutional presence teaching the language are the confederated tribes of the Grand Ronde, the University of Washington, Portland State University, and the University of Victoria. The Chinūkwawa language has wide interest and support across Cascadia from other tribal communities and individuals. At Grande Ronde, children have continually been raised with Chinūkwawa as a native tongue, are increasingly so, and receive schooling in that tongue via total immersion in elementary school and through adult education. The Grande Ronde has provided immense value in second language acquisition by the recent publication of a new dictionary and grammar, both scholarly and accessible, community promotion, and even an iOS app. Numerous other, older dictionaries also exist. Classes are also taught in cities such as Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. A Wikipedia for Chinūkwawa would support the revitalization efforts both of the language and the many native communities speaking the language, as there is currently an education hole between elementary immersion schools and adult education. A Wikipedia would be able to extend the intellectual resources of these demographics. It would also globalize learning of the language and provide scholars with a resource for study and teaching. Relevant selected links:

UofW publication Chinuk Wawa as Our Elders Teach Us to Speak It Grande Ronde School Language Program Grande Ronde language classes at GR, Portland, and Eugene Youth Chinuk Immersion Program Classes at Portland State University Classes at Lane Community College Historian of the language David Robertson 3 Reasons to Learn Chinuk Wawa Chaku Kemdeks Chinuk Wawa 曙䬠 (talk) 01:22, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]


  • This language has been called several things throughout history. It's currently accepted name both in the language itself and in English amongst native speakers and learners is largely "Chinuk Wawa", and by any orthography is accorded this name by the community doing the most work in language support and revitalization, the Federated Tribes of the Grande Ronde. The name "Chinook Jargon" has been less used in recent decades, having as it does a prejudicial dimunition of the richness of this very full creole language. In my experience, users in more northern regions, where the language survived longer amongst European communities, tend to still call it CJ in English; but will shift when they learn the language beyond the ambient pidgin level with which it spices local English. The main page names and wiki references ought to properly refer to it as such, Chinuk Wawa, with "Chinook Jargon" relegated to redirects and historical references. 曙䬠 (talk) 01:53, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    The name "Chinook Jargon", as Skookum1 once said, is "only a pejorative if you want it to be." Thousands before either of us were even born have learned and loved the language under the name "Chinook Jargon". Yeah, the name "Chinuk Wawa" is common nowadays, but such a term is a fairly recent invention. Even old Chinook texts tend to refer to it as things like "lalang", "chinook lalang", "wawa", or "chinook". I do commonly use the term "chinuk-wawa" in the articles I write on CJ wikipedia, but rather rarely do I use this term in English. And I can't be the only one who does this.
    Nearly every old [English] text, and many new ones, referred to it as the "Chinook Jargon". "Chinuk Wawa" prevails primarily in areas where the Jargon was influenced by Oregon's Grande Ronde community. I appreciate the efforts by the "G.R. gang" to revive the language, but an attempt to standardize the language would most certainly be absurd. After all, the whole point of the group's effort is to bring back a piece of history, but at the same time, their apparent goal to standardize the Jargon kind of goes against the purpose of this a little. For example, they have put together an alphabet that apparently represents every sound in Chinook, but there is no way in the world that, at least historically, more than a small fraction of speakers spoke Chinook with this exact collection of sounds. The Grande Ronde community cannot escape from this simple fact: there is essentially no such thing as a "proper way" to speak a pidgin language.
    Outside the GR confederation, as far as I can see, the terms "Chinook Jargon" and "Chinook Wawa" are often fully interchangeable, even among people who speak Chinook far better than any of us. For example, look at David Robertson, owner of the website and moderator on the CJ facebook group. He tends to use both names in English. And Tenas Wawa, one of the most resourceful (and also one of the funniest) websites to feature the Chinook Jargon, does not use the name "Chinuk Wawa" at all. So you can keep referring to it as "Chinūkwawa", even with that macron above the "U", but please let us be. POSSUM chowg (talk) 19:49, 30 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]


  • One of the issues of any textual deployment of Chinūkwawa is that of orthography. Numerous systems and lack-of-systems for writing the language have been created over the years. Many of these are dialect specific, as the Chinūkwawa straddles communities with very different linguistic origins, Chinookan, Salishan, English, French, Hawaiian, Cantonese, etc. Older orthographies based on archaic English reflect Puget Sound and northern usage. These are still current in BC, for instance. In Kamloops Wawa, a duployan based script, radically different than Roman alphabet, is used, and is undergoing Unicode adoption. Recent years have seen the Grande Ronde dialect become a standard, at least in the U.S., with its IPA-based orthography. Many people just still write it as it sounds best to them. Each of these conventions has strengths and weaknesses. The Grande Ronde standard is exact and scientific, and the mammoth dictionary includes other dialect spellings. But the lexicon as used is particular to the far southern form of Chinūkwawa, with its many quirks of pronunciation. The IPA characters are also very difficult to render without special programs, senselessly hindering online deployment. Older orthographies as still used in northern areas are even more senseless in imperfectly rendering many phonemes, or even not at all. The Kamloops script is lovely and elegant, but still lacks font support, never mind input methods. Of course, Wikipedia can't eliminate this mess. But any Chinūkwawa wiki would need to confront the issue tout de suite. I recommend a one-to-one ASCII friendly transcription of the Grande Ronde standard for consistency. A good version is on the user page of Nvolut. 曙䬠 (talk) 01:53, 23 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Native speakers[edit]

According to w:en:Confederated_Tribes_of_the_Grand_Ronde_Community_of_Oregon#Tribal_languages (unsourced), apparently a number of native speaker have been created?C933103 (talk) 20:12, 7 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, there have been children raised speaking Chinukwawa since it was first creolized about 200 years ago in Fort Astoria. The language spoken at the Grande Ronde shows several archaic features which militate that it derives from the variant at Fort Astoria. Children are currently taught in immersion at the Grande Ronde school. Other native speakers learn from family or community use. There are speakers from childhood scattered throughout the Northwest. I've seen no polls done on this, but Chinukwawa is undergoing a widespread manifest revival, with speakers of all levels increasing sober the last few decades. --曙䬠 - Sant'owax Q'ulsnas (talk) 20:58, 16 July 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Chinook interface translation[edit]

Somehow, I managed to get approved for translations of the Wikipedia interface into Chinook Jargon on Currently I have about 90% of Media Wiki's "most important messages" translated, although I'm pretty sure a good amount of my translations are fairly poor quality. As I told the administrators on, I did not consider myself the right man for the job, and I hope I can get someone who knows Chinook Jargon better than I do "on board", or at least get someone to proofread my translations. Chinook Jargon now appears as an interface translation on thanks to my contributions, although if you try to change your language it, you get redirected back to the English version. At least for now, Chinook Jargon translations of the Wikimedia interface will be primarily experimental if they are implemented, unless we can improve them. POSSUM chowg (talk) 18:18, 19 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

UPDATE: I just finished the translations, most still aren't that great but ok! So, anyway:
  • The Chinook Jargon version of Wikipedia (on Wikimedia Incubator) is currently active, albeit most contributions in the past month come from only two users (me and Jon Gua).
  • There has been a current and continuing effort to translate the MediaWiki interface into Chinook Jargon, ever since the language's approval on
  • Hopefully this makes Chinook Jargon/Chinuk Wawa eligible for final approval.

POSSUM chowg (talk) 21:38, 19 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Wait, since there are only two active users right now...I guess that is not considered "active"... POSSUM chowg (talk) 21:42, 19 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]


Holy cow! I never thought that this would happen! We have three active users (with at least 10 edits in the past month) on Chinook Jargon Wikipedia! We might be eligible for getting added to Wikipedia!
Also we are already trying to translate the interface to the Chinook Jargon on POSSUM chowg (talk) 20:15, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Status of the Chinook Jargon Wikipedia, April 2024 ([edit]

This was copied and pasted from my post on the Meta-Wiki Forum:

Chinook Jargon (chinuk wawa) Wikipedia has somehow been of the most active wikis on the Incubator for the past few months, with three active (with more than 10 edits in the past month) contributors: Jon Gua, ISO 369-3 nds, and myself. Apparently that is enough contributors for a language to be made official and added to Wikipedia. There are about 200 pages on the entire wiki, which is only about as big as the smallest Wikipedias. However, this wiki has been growing ridiculously rapidly, and the pages are longer than those found in most wikipedias of its size (compare Inupiaq Wikipedia). We're even trying to create plugins for the wiki and translate the interface on Chinook Jargon Wikipedia has one of only a few location map templates on the Incubator that actually (kind of) works.
hayu masi pus mayka nanich ukuk tʼsəm!! POSSUM chowg (talk) 20:32, 1 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]