Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Chinuk wawa

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Chinuk wawa Wikipedia[edit]

main page Requests for new languages (Wikipedia Chinuk wawa)
submitted verification final decision
Crystal Clear mimetype file temporary.png Discuss the creation of this language project on this page. Votes will be ignored when judging the proposal. Please provide arguments or reasons and be prepared to defend them (see the Language proposal policy). (See an unofficial analysis of this request.)

This proposal is on hold:

Waiting for native speakers. If you are a native speaker of Chinuk wawa, please say it on this page or send email to --Millosh 11:29, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Proposal summary
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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)
  • Comment: +1 on everything Steven just said. Color me intrigued. -Peteforsyth 09:20, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

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)


  • 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)


  • 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)

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)

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)