Chinook Indian Language (Coastal or Lower Chinook)
The Chinookan languages are considered by most linguists to be part of the Penutian family
of languages. Coastal or "Lower" Chinook, once spoken on the Washington coast by the powerful Chinook tribe at the mouth of the Columbia River, is the language
that is generally referred to simply as "Chinook." The Chinook Indian tribe was one of the most important tribes of the west coast, but their language has not been
spoken since the early 20th century and few records remain of it. Instead, the Chinook people are better-known for the widespread pidgin trade language,
Chinook Jargon, that its speakers used
to communicate with trading partners throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Our list of vocabulary words in the Chinook language, with comparison to words in other Penutian languages.
Language materials for the Chinook Jargon, a trade pidgin based on Chinook, Nootka, French,
English, and other languages of the Northwest Coast.
Chinook Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions