Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Acadian Slang or Chiaque

For the ones who do not know what Acadian Slang is ,well the Acadians had their own language. Many kept their language from their old homeland, but as time went by and other languages came along, many words were mixed together with their own. Another word for the slang was Chiaque , this language was spoken a lot in New Brunswick, especially the Moncton area and Shediac. I came across the following letter written in Chiaque in 1897 by a Dr Philippe Leblanc . Regis Brun the historian had this letter in one of the SHA books at the genealogy center in Moncton. I tried to find who this Doctor Philippe LeBlanc was, apparently he went to the St Joseph College in Memramcook then studied medecin in Detroit Michigan, went to the Klondike Gold Rush ,stayed a few years and returned home. I found two Philippe Leblanc born in St Anselme, one was baptized as Philip White, the other as Philippe LeBlanc. I am not sure if he was one of these two. Anyway he wrote a letter from Alaska dated 9 march 1897 to his parents, I am going to add it as he wrote it then I shall translate it into English.

Chers parents;

Ah! Ah! Me voila enfin rendu parmi les Indians. Je suis dans notre tente et on est tres confortable. Mom compagnon avec notre homme sont aller avec un voyage a 10 milles d’ici et je suis chef du camp ,cuisinier ent tete. Mon bill fare pour souper ce soir est bacon, beans, rice, rice bread and coffee. Je suis tres bien et je mandate tres bien a nos conditions en tente. Les choses sot tres encourage ante. Maintenant il nous faux hauler notre stuff 55 milles avec nos chiens et chevaux. On a 15 tonnes de stuff. Ne soyez pas en peine de moi. J’ecrirai a chaque fois que jaurer chance. Le pays est tres interessant et picturesque. Notre tente est dans une bocage pres de la route. On a un pied d’branche et notre poele de cuisine. Nos lits sont des sacs 7 pieds de long avec material de canvas waterproof. Ces sacs sont doubler avec fur peltrie de sorte qu’on porrait coucher dehors sans avoir froid. On est habilles en vrai Alaska way. C’est moi qui a soin des chevaux, forgeron, etc. On a notre foin et avoine ,unstrument,fers pour les ferres. Deux chevaux que j’ai acheter a Seattle qui me coute rendu ici, $50.00 chaque un. On a refuser $100.00 pour un. On mettait bien 3 toiles sur 6 traines et un cheval menait cela sur la glace. J’ai pour table a ecrire une boite qui nous fait aussi pour table a manger. On s’ammuse bien. On est happy. Mes amities a la famille et amis. Philippe


Ah, ah, here I am among the Indians. I am in a tent where we are quite comfortable. My partner along with another man have gone on a trip about ten miles from here. I am the head chef at the camp. My menu for supper is bacon, beans, rice, rice bread and coffee. I am quite well and I am growing accustom to our tenting conditions. Things are very encouraging. Now we have to haul our stuff 55 miles with our dogs and horses. We have 15 tons of stuff. Don’t worry about me. I shall write as often as I can. The coutry is very interesting and picturesque. Our tente is in a wooded terrain near the road. We have a foot of branches and our kitchen stove. Our beds are bags 7 feet long with waterproof canvas material. These bags are doubled with   some kind  feathers, that we could even sleep outdoors without being cold. We are dressed in true Alaska way. It is I that tends the horses, blacksmith. We have our hay and oats,tools, horse shoes etc. Two horses that I bought in Seattle cost me fifty dollars each, we refused one hundred dollars for one. We would put three toiles (canvas?) on six sleds and one horse hauled that on the ice. I have a box for a writing desk that also serves as a kitchen table. We amuse ourselves well. We are happy. Best wishes to the family and friends. Philippe.

Now this was translated by me so it may not be exact word for word but you get the idea what the letter said. Think about it, this was written in 1897 when Dr Philippe Leblanc went to the Yukon during the Gold Rush. Have a great day ,thanks for stopping by, now here are some of my latest creations you can find at

No comments: