Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Ants and the Cricket

I took a shot at translating one of Aesop's fables into the Grande Ronde dialect of Chinuk Wawa, as documented in Henry Zenk's excellent dictionary.  Here it is. (If any Wawa speakers happen to come across this, I am happy to hear feedback and corrections).

The original was "The Ants and the Grasshopper".  I made it "The Ants and the Cricket", since a cricket is called a "useless bird" (kʰəltəs-kələkələ), and the cricket sings, while the grasshopper doesn't.

t’siqʰwaʔ pi kʰəltəs-kələkələ
The ants and the cricket

kʰul-iliʔi ixt san t’siqʰwaʔ ɬas-munk-tlay məkʰmək ikta wam-iliʔi ɬas-munk-iskam.
One day in the winter, the ants were drying food which they had gathered in the summer.

kʰəltəs-kələkələ ya-chaku miməlust-ulu.
Cricket became extremely hungry.

ya-ɬatwa kʰapa t’siqʰwaʔ ɬas-haws, ya-aləksh məkʰmək.
He went to the ants' house, and he begged for food.

uk t’siqʰwaʔ ɬas-wawa, "pus-ikta wam-iliʔi wik ma-munk-iskam məkʰmək?"
The ants said to him, "Why did you not gather food in the summer?"

kʰəltəs-kələkələ ya-wawa, "wik na-t’uʔan lili pus na-munk-iskam məkʰmək.
The cricket said, "I didn't have time to gather food.

kʰanawi wam-iliʔi na-shati shati."
The whole summer long I sang and sang."

ɬas-munk-hihi-yaka, wawa, "pus kʰanawi wam-iliʔi ma-hihi pi shati, aɬqi kʰanawi kʰul-iliʔi ma-tanis pi ulu."
They laughed at him, and said, "If you laugh and sing all summer, then you dance and hunger all winter."

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