Am Bratach No. 318
April 2018
editor@bratach.co.uk


Litir bhon a Cheathramh
le Alasdair MacMhaoirn

Fhuair mi preusant for inntinneach bho charaid ann an Canada sa mhos seo. S e clraidhean de Red River Bungi a bh ann. Nuair a bha mi aig co-labhairt ann an Toronto an-uiridh, thachair mi ri buidheann de Metis, agus thisich sinn bruidhinn air cnan. Tha cnan Michif, aig na Metis agus bhruidhinn sinn cuideachd air cnan eile a bha cumanta aig m malairt nam bian, Bungi.
I recently received an very interesting present from a friend in Canada. It was a copy of recordings made of Red River Bungi. When I attended a conference in Toronto last year I met with a group of Mtis, and we discussed language. The Mtis have their own language, Michif, and they said there was another language commonly used during the Fur Trade, Bungi.

Tha na Metis aithnichte mar mhuinntir tsail ann an Canada. Tha iad, sa mhr-chuid, ann am Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta agus Ontario, ach tha iad anns na roinnean eile cuideachd. Mar a tha iad fhin a cantainn, Rugadh sinn neo-eisimeileachd, agus s iad na daoine a thinig measgachadh muinntir tsail agus daoine Erpach a bha an-ss ann am malairt nam bian.

The Mtis are recognised as a First Nation in Canada and they come, for the most part, from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario, but they lived in other provinces as well. As they say themselves, We were born of independence, and they share the cultures of both First Nation tribes and European settlers who were involved in the fur trade.

Tha an cnan aca na mheasgachadh de chnan tsail agus Fraingis. Leugh mi uaireigin gu robh Gidhlig ann cuideachd agus, on a bha an cothrom agam sa cho-labhairt, dhfhaighnich mi dhaibh mun Ghidhlig. Thuirt iad rium gu bheil Michif gu math diofraichte eadar na diofair iteachan, agus nan robh Gidhlig ri lorg, bhiodh e colach gum biodh i ri lorg faisg air Red River far an robh gu ler Gidheil. Cuideachd, bha cnan eile ann ann an shin, s e sin Bungi.
The Mtis language is a result of a mixture of First Nation languages and French. I have read that there may be a bit of Gaelic also and since I had an opportunity at the conference I asked about Gaelic connections. I was told that Michif can be very different from place to place and if Gaelic was there it would most likely be found near the Red River, where many Gaels had settled. Also, they said there was another fur trade language called Bungi.

B e ite cudromach a bh ann an Red River aig m mhalairt nam bian, on bha an Companaidh Hudsons Bay a cumail baile ann. S ann faisg air Winnipeg a tha e san l an-diugh. Cuideachd, eadar 1812-1815, chuir Lord Selkirk buidheann de Ghidheil ann, cuid dhiubh Cille Dhonnan, airson an d chuid a bhith a neartachadh Breatainn an aghaidh nan Stitean Aonaichte agus airson, na bheachd fhin, a bhith a toirt faochadh dha na Gidheil a bha a fulang leis na fuadaichean. (S e sgeulachd airson l eile a th ann!). S e a bh ann an Red River, ach baile a bha na ite measgachaidh eadar diofar dhaoine, cuid tsail agus cuid Erpach. A-mach sin thinig na Metis agus Michif, agus cuideachd Bungi.
The Red River, near present day Winnipeg, was very important during the fur trade owing to settlement by the Hudsons Bay Company. In the years 1812-1815, a number of Gaels, many from Kildonan, were taken there by Lord Selkirk in order to strengthen British presence in the face of American expansion and also, in his own mind, to help the Gaels who were suffering under the Clearances (a story for another time!). Red River was a meeting palce for First Nation people, as well as Europeans. Out of all this came the Mtis and Michif, and also Bungi.

S e facal bho na tsanaich a th ann am Bungi, a tha a mneachadh facal no dh, a rir colach on a bha facal no dh diofar chnan ann. Tha e diofraichte bho Mhichif, a tha ln Fraingis, on a tha e stidhichte air a Bheurla ach colach ri Michif on a tha facail thsail ann cuideachd. Dhfhs e gu bhith na chainte bhaisteach mu chuairt Red River agus feumaidh mi aideachadh gu bheil e dha-rribh duilich dhomh a thuigsinn, a dhaindeoin mo chuid Gidhlig, Beurla, Fraingis agus rud beag Anishinaabais!
Bungi is an Ojibwe word meaning a few, because there were a few words from different languages in it. It is very different from Michif, which is very French and because Bungi appears to be mostly English, but like Michif there are native ways of speaking as well. It was the usual language around Red River, and I found it almost impossible to follow, and I speak Gaelic, English, some French and a little Ojibwe!

On a bha mi a faighneachd ma deidhinn, chuimhnich mo charaid, aig a bheil ceangal ri Taigh Tasgaidh ann am Manitoba, gu robh clraidhean de Red River Bungi ann, agus thuirt e gun cuireadh e leth-bhreacan thugam. Thinig iad thugam bho chionn goirid. Thuirt e gur e rud math gun deach coimhead orra on a bha iad ann an droch stite. On a bha idh ann, chaidh an sbhaladh agus tha iad a-nis ann an cruth dideatach. An ath mhos, sgrobhaidh mi air na clraidhean fhin.
Owing to my inquiries, my acquaintance, who has connections with an archive in Manitoba, remembered that there were recordings and he said he would send me copies. They came and he said that it was a good thing that they were looked at because they had deteriorated badly. However, they have been saved and are now digitised. Next month Ill describe the recordings.

 

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