July 18, 2002 9:13 PM   Subscribe

God, you our Fadda. You stay in da sky. We like all da peopo know fo shua how you stay, an dat you good an spesho inside, an we like dem give you plenny respeck. We like you come king ova hea now. We like everybody make jalike you like, ova hea inside da world, jalike da angel guys up inside da sky make jalike you like. Give us da food we need fo every day. Let us go, an throw out our shame fo all da kine bad stuff we do to you, jalike us guys let da odda guys go awready, an we no stay huhu wit dem fo all da kine bad stuff dey do to us. No let us get chance fo do bad kine stuff, But take us outa dea, so da Bad Guy no can hurt us. Cuz you our king, you get da real power, an you stay awesome fo eva. Dass it!

Hawaii Creole English, from the Language Museum, which lists examples of 2000 languges.
posted by swift (14 comments total)
Jar Jar Binks was Hawaiian? Huh.
posted by ChrisTN at 9:16 PM on July 18, 2002

A long time ago, before the whiteman came and when the people were all full Cherokees, they had power, because they weren't all mixed with whites like they are now. One time there was a sickness around and a lot of people were dying. They didn't know what to do. But they looked around and they could see beautiful mountains everywhere and beautiful birds flying, and in the water there were beautiful fish that were good to eat, but if you took them out of the water they could die. The people thought there must be something wrong, because they were dying and yet there were good things everywhere.

- Cherokee.

posted by yhbc at 9:23 PM on July 18, 2002

Whats up with this ? Stealth editorial content??
posted by BentPenguin at 9:44 PM on July 18, 2002

Dass Da Kine! The language of my youth. Good times. But I don't think you can properly read it unless you've spoken it; the spelling just doesn't do it. It's nothing like Jar Jar, but I can see how it could be read like that if you didn't know better.
posted by Nothing at 10:01 PM on July 18, 2002

Ho brah, talkin' da kine on metafilter! I've actually thumbed through 'Da Jesus Book' before, it's kinda interesting from a linguistic standpoint. And no, pidgin doesn't sound a bit like Jar Jar Binks - often far less intelligible to the mainlander ear, and not nearly as annoying. Bamboo Ridge Press publishes a fair amount of work by local authors in the pidgin language (and is pretty much the only one that will publish anything in pidgin).
posted by Craig at 10:18 PM on July 18, 2002

This sample of Tibetan reads like editorial content too - sheer PRC propaganda. The site's a nice idea but for these obvious flaws, kind of a home-brewed version of the Rosetta Project.
posted by zadcat at 10:48 PM on July 18, 2002

> God, you our Fadda. You stay in da sky. ... No let us get
> chance fo do bad kine stuff, But take us outa dea, so da
> Bad Guy no can hurt us.

That's lovely in the way it strips the prayer (and the pray-er) of the false importance of archaic priestly constructions and speaks in concrete childish (to my ears) terms. "Our Father in heaven" becomes something more like a real father, like da fadda you loved, and really hanging above us, invisible and watching in the air like a magician, not safely put away in some pointless imagined dimension. The bad guys are bad guys and the good guys are good guys, and you should ask da Fadda to save you from the bad guys, just as the church would have you believe.

I speak, of course, as an outsider. To someone who speaks this language as a native, it is not simple or childish -- great women and men speak it -- and it may be capable of marvelous shades of meaning and beauty that we cannot see.
posted by pracowity at 10:52 PM on July 18, 2002

To linguists, "pidgin" denotes an incomplete, transitional language, which tends to use a stripped-down grammar and a very utilitarian vocabulary -- hence childish. Hawaiian Pidgin, technically, is a creole -- which is what a pidgin becomes after a generation or three, a mature first language.

I don't know why people are reacting so viscerally to the examples of political speech. It's a museum; it collects samples from the field. Heck, isn't the Flemish example also political? What about the English? Heck, the mere inclusion of certain once-suppressed languages like Ladin or Catalan or Provencal has a political component.
posted by dhartung at 11:26 PM on July 18, 2002

My poor mother, who is hard of hearing, had an impossible time trying to figure out what the hell I was saying when I'd return from my yearly three-month long visits to my family in Hawaiii.

But my little sisters, they know what I mean when I say mahalo for their little thoughtfulnesses, when I say I wanna play kama'aina for a summer and not just be their haole sister from the mainland, or when I let them know that even though I am pau with Hawai'i for another year, that I will return. Great link!
posted by annathea at 11:52 PM on July 18, 2002

dhartung, most of the entries are either the Our Father or Article 2 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Tibetan entry is a bogus political statement "justifying" China's oppression of Tibet. Given that the page's owner lives in Beijing it's hard not to see this as having a political intention.
posted by zadcat at 12:04 AM on July 19, 2002

Pidgin english, as I was told when growing up in Hawaii, was created by children. When people came from all over the world to work the plantations, their kids would play and go to school together. Pidgin english became their way of communicating and, when they grew up, they'd pass it on to their children. Das why we get Japanee, Hawaiian, Chinese an' all kine words l'dat in deah.

But the greatest skill anyone growing up in Hawaii can learn is to turn the pidgin off. It's fun around family and when you're a kid, (my wife knows when I'm on the phone with family in Hawaii; certain words accidentally slip through) but speaking that way is not career-friendly. It's a casual language, one for using when on the beach with friends, drinking beers and cooking fish on the hibachi.

Except for Governor John Waihe'e. I'm from Hawaii and I still can't understand what he says. Pidgin doublespeak is scary. Even moreso from a politician (and for you Hawaii readers, put Larry Price in there too. *shudder*)
posted by Tacodog at 12:06 AM on July 19, 2002

That's what I learned too, Tacodog (created by children.) I've been away since I was fourteen, and with very little connection back to the islands. Sometimes I think I've forgotten it, and then I hear someone from Keaau on the radio, or meet a guy recently from one of the islands in a grocery store, and I've got it all back.
posted by Nothing at 2:01 AM on July 19, 2002

Awesome link.

(And hats off to us MetaFilter folks for always being able to find the controversial bits! It's like pigs to truffles.)
posted by Tin Man at 6:16 AM on July 19, 2002

Okay, when I was reading the Hawaiian pidgin stuff in this thread, it was all coming through my head in the voice of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

I still remember when I lived in Hawaii for a little while and one of my nice cow orkers offered me some of his spaghetti at lunch.

"You like spaghetti?", he asked, and I said "yes". Little did I realize that 'like' meant 'want' to him, though - when he started heaping it on my plate, I was rather astonished. :)

Overall I like the twisting of English words to different meanings in that creole.
posted by beth at 6:29 AM on July 19, 2002

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