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Ojebway Language:

A Manual for missionaries
and others employed among the Ojebway Indians
by Edward F. Wilson, 1874


Part II. Dialogs and Exercises.


Translated imperfectly and corrected.

Exercise I.

"And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive!" — (Gen. xliii, 27.)

We will suppose that a beginner, using the Dictionary and Grammar diligently, has translated the verse thus: —

"Kuhya oge-kuhgwajemaun oonje omenobemahdezewinewah, kuhya keëkedo, meno-uhyah nuh koosewah owh uhkewaze oonje owh kegekeekedoom? Bemahdeze kayahbe nuh?"

We will now point out and rectify the mistakes.

Oge-kuhgwajemaun dush, (dush better than kuhya at the commencement of a sentence, and must follow the verb); azhebemahdezenid, (here a verb should be used instead of a noun, and note that it is put in the 2nd third person, as applying to the brethren who are addressed); oo-oo keënaud, (here the subj. is used, and the trans. verb enaun, to say to, instead of ekedoo, to say); meno-uhyah nuh koosewah? (this correct); owh uhkewaze kahduzhemagoobun, (here we use the trans. verb duhzhemaun, to speak or tell about, and it is put in the pluperf. part. 2nd pers. pl., ye — him); kayahbe nuh bemahdeze, (this a better construction). The verse now reads literally: —
"And he asked them how they are, this he saying to them, Is your father well, the old man, him of whom ye did speak (or had spoken)? Does he yet live?

Exercise II.

"And Joseph gave them waggons according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.
"To all of them, he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment." — (Gen. xlv, 21, 22.)

This we will suppose translated thus by a beginner: —

"Joseph dush ogemeenaun odahbaunun tebishko od-enahkoonegawin Pharaoh, kuhya ogemeenaun meejim oonje meekunaung.
"Kuhkenuh wenuhwah ogemeenaun papazhig enenewun aunjekoonuhyawenun. Benjamining dush ogemeenaun niswauk booquahbikun shooneyah, kuhya nahnun aunjekoonuhyawenun."

We will point out and rectify the mistakes.

Joseph dush ogemeenaun, (this correct); odahbahnun, (correct); tebishko kah-ekedogoobunan, (here a verb is used in preference to a noun, from ekedo, to say, pluperf. part. of the Dubitative, as he had said or ordered — placed in the Dubitative to imply that this order of Pharoah's was merely matter of report); Pharaoh, (or better, owh Pharaoh); kuhya ogenuhwuhpoonaun, (this will be found to be the word in the Dictionary for provisions for a journey,—used verbally); kuhkenuh anduchenid enenewun ogemeenaun, (anduchid, or papazhigood, each declinable as a participle, here put in the 2nd 3rd pers. to agree with enenewun, from obsol. verb neut. duche); ahgwewinun kaoonjeuhyaunjekoonuhyanid, (clothes, that they may change from time to time; from aunjekoonuhya, to change the clothes; ka, sign of the future; oonje, for, that, in order that; uhyaunje, frequentative of aunje, anew; koonuhya, clothing; nid, ending of 2nd, 3rd pers. part. to agree with enenewun); Ogemeenaun dush ween Benjaminun, (ween here is emphatic, Benjaminun with ending of the 2nd 3rd pers. It is not correct to use the dative ending ing, with anim. nouns, the to is implied in the verb); niswauk duss wahbik shooneyaun, (wahbik is sufficient as implying money, booquahbikun would mean rather little bits of silver; on duss, see Numerals, p. 23); kuhya ahgweewinun nahning menik che-uhyaunjekoonuhyanid, (nahning menik, five times; che uhyaunjekoonuhyanid, that he might change from time to time, 2nd 3rd pers. to agree with Benjaminun). Thus, literally: —
And Joseph gave them waggons as Pharaoh had ordered, and provisioned them. To all the men each he gave clothes for them to change from time to time; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and clothing enough for him to change five times.

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