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#1 Dec-06-2018 06:39:pm

Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4260

A Visit from St. Nicholas

"A Visit from St. Nicholas" (a.k.a., "The Night before Christmas"), by Clement Clark Moore, is reputed to be the most famous American poem.  As such--and since it's less than three weeks to Christmas--I thought I'd try to produce a Delaware version.  There isn't much point in making a literal translation because that would just make for a long work of prose.  The poetry would be completely lost.  Likewise, a rhyming version would do extreme violence to Delaware grammar, for way too many conjunct forms would have to be used plus syntax would suffer.  However, such a version could be made in blank verse which adheres to the meter employed in Moore's poem; and this is what I chose to do.  Of course, this is a "version"--not a "translation;" as it must be.  I hope I've been able to capture the sense of each line, in this manner.  First, for those who need a refresher, you can listen to the English version, here:

https://ia902700.us.archive.org/9/items … l_64kb.mp3

And, below is the text of the Delaware version with a sound file after it, so you can hear what the text sounds like when spoken.  If you want to follow the text while listening to the sound file, you can open a new window on your computer and re-enter the forum there.  Play the sound in one window then switch to the other window to follow the text, simultaneously.  Or, you can simply print out the text, if you have a printer.  So far as I know, this sound file is the only recording of the spoken Mission Delaware (Northern Unami) dialect ever made.  Merry Christmas!


Celischmassinkpanne allamigawan                 {when-it-was-Christmas inside-the-house}​
ta auween ktschukquiwi nachpene poques      {not a-person he-does-not-move even a-mouse}​
kakunall hattepannil wscheyiskte                   {stockings they-were-there by-the-fire}​
eli geschiechsit Nick pecho a pat                     {for Saint Nick soon would he-come}​

amemensak chansonink achpopannik            {children in-bed they-were-there}​
kendisall wuntschi laschimuinewo                 {candies of-they they-dream}​
wikimak woak ni ndachansonunanink            {my-wife and I in-our-bed}        ​
nschengiechineen wentschi a gauwijenk        {we-lie-down so-that could we-sleep}​

auwijewi quatschemunk ganschhittaquot        {however outside there-is-a-terrible-noise}​
lachpi ndamui nemen elekup                          {quickly I-arise to-see-it what-happened} ​
eheschandekink ngeschamehhella                  {to-the-window I-run-fast}​
nanne ndauwunna woak nemen elek               {then I-open-it and I-see-it what-it-is}​

nipahwi gischuch nentsitasu kunink                     {of-night the-luminary he-appears on-the-snow}​
woaselenemen elemamek hakink                         {to-illuminate-it all-over on-the-ground}​
enda kschiechi nentsitawichtit neschgink              {when clearly they-appear-to-me in-my-eyes}​
tangtatask woak chaasch ahtschuhuwunschak      {a-little-sled and eight little-deer}​

tataskwunk mihillusis allumskuseu                     {in-the-sled an-old-man he-drives}​
schawi nennawa geschiechsit Nicolaus               {immediately I-recognize-him Saint Nicholas}​
taat woapalannewak lachpi pepannik                 {like bald-eagles quickly they-came}​
woak schipuweu woak wuntschimawall lueu       {and he-whistles and he-summons-them he-says}​

"Keschihillat! Kendkat! Wilawochweet! Woakus!"     {“Dasher! Dancer! Fancy-Walker! Fox!"​
"Alank! Teengpommwet! Pedhakquonk! Sapiak!"     {“Star! Little-Archer! Thunder! Lightning!}​
“awossenachke li wochgitaque li"                           {“over-the-fence to on-top-of-the-house to"}​
“kschihillak! kschihillak! kschihillak! wemi!"             {“go-quickly! go-quickly! go-quickly! all!"}​

taat combachkwall talli wawujallachsu                 {like leaves in a-whirlwind}​
pommihillewall li pemmapannik                           {they-fly toward the-sky}​
nanne wochgitaque nawahhellewak                     {then on-top-of-the-house they-alight}​
witschi cheli pechpapitonk woak Nick.                  {with many a-toy and Nick.}​

nanne spanquewoaganink mbendawanep      {then in-the-wink-of-an-eye I-heard-them}​
amangitinkhattachgihhillepannik                   {they-were-stomping-hard}​
nachk ngettenemenep woak ngwelpihilla       {my-hand I-pulled-it-away and I-turn-around}​
ehelinguatekink Nicolaus niechiu                   {in-the-chimney-pipe Nicholas he-comes-down}​

miechhekenink pegiu wil li w’sit                       {in-fur he-is-dressed his-head to his-foot}​
equit niskewall untschi wipelachteu                 {his-clothes they-are-dirty from chimney-soot}​
wiwasch wunajundamen menotesink               {a-bundle he-bears-on-his-back in-a-sack}​
linaxu pepamchit enda tauwunnenk                 {he-looks-like a-trader when he-opens-it}​

wuschgink waseleu woak k’lakelendam            {his-eye it-is-bright and he-is-merry}​
wonanno woak w'hickiwon machkewall            {his-cheek and his-nose they-are-red}​
spwetonechin taat gechpilgussowoagan           {he-has-his-lips-pursed like a-knot}​
wittoney woapsu taat kuhn woapelechin          {his-beard it-is-white like snow it-is-white-and-shiny}​

hopoakan wipitink w’tschitaninin                         {a-pipe in-his-teeth he-holds-it-tightly}​
queschhattek wuntschi wikhen woakawi wil         {smoke from-he builds-a-house around his-head}    ​
neka chinktelinqueu woak machaskutscheu         {he he-has-a-large-face and he-is-big-bellied}               ​
ktschukquihilleu enda kekeleksit                         {he-shakes when he-laughs}​

manittotit wisu woak wingelendam                      {a-little-spirit he-is-fat and he-is-happy}​
woak ngekeleksihump enda newake                    {and I-laughed when when-I-see-him}​
nanne mboakinquehelluk woak gluphokqueu        {then he-winks-at-me and he-turns-his-head}​
metschimi woatellit ta wischasiwun                      {soon he-makes-it-known-to-me not to-not-fear}​

ta w’teliechsiwi schuk mikemossu                        {not he-does-not-speak but he-works}​
otschuwiechtonall kakunall nanne eu                    {he-fills-them the-stockings then he-goes}​
lohikan w’taton w’hikiwonink                               {an-index-finger he-places-it on-his-nose}​
tatandachgokwehelleu na allumsu                        {he-nods-his-head then he-goes-away}​

tatask pusu w’schipuwe achtuhwunk                  {the-sled he-boards he-whistles to-the-deer}​
palli kendhuwak taat wochganim nimchok          {away they-fly like seed which-wind-blows-away} ​
amangiechsu eli echquineichgussit                     {he-shouts as he-disappears​
“meli Celischmass!  wawullamallessik!"              {“Merry Christmas!  Fare-ye-well-always!"}

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gesd0z1ymucpe … 1.WAV?dl=0



#2 Dec-09-2018 11:26:am

Registered: Feb-04-2012
Posts: 37

Re: A Visit from St. Nicholas

This was so beautifully done! And how magical to hear Mission Delaware poetry after a one or two centuries of silence. Thank you, Sschkaak! I will listen to this every Christmas.




#3 Dec-09-2018 11:37:am

Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4260

Re: A Visit from St. Nicholas

Anischi nitis!



#4 Dec-09-2018 05:39:pm

From: Tx
Registered: Nov-20-2010
Posts: 7

Re: A Visit from St. Nicholas




#5 Dec-09-2018 05:58:pm

Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4260

Re: A Visit from St. Nicholas

Thanks so much, Jeremy.



#6 Dec-17-2018 11:15:am

Registered: Jul-15-2014
Posts: 107

Re: A Visit from St. Nicholas

Awesome job - nice to see it in verse rather than prose!

Also nice to hear the pronunciation of NU.



#7 Dec-17-2018 12:55:pm

Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4260

Re: A Visit from St. Nicholas

Ulewe!  Genamel, Kavik.



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