Chinook Wawa


A language of United States

Alternate Names
Chinook Jargon, Chinook Pidgin, Jargon, Tsinuk Wawa
Chinuk Wawa

No known L1 speakers in United States. A total of 1,000 L2 speakers in both Canada and the United States (Grant 2013). Total users in all countries: none known.


Oregon: Polk and Yamhill counties, Grand Ronde reservation.

Language Status

9 (Dormant). Language of registered tribe: Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon.


None known. Many words from Chinook, large admixture of words from Nuu-chah-nulth [nuk], Canadian French [fra], and English [eng].

Language Use

Shifted to English [eng].

Language Development

Dictionary. Bible portions: 1912. Language revitalization began in the 2000s, especially after the release of ‘Chinuk Wawa—As our elders teach us to speak it’. It is reported that some members of the tribe are now fluent speakers.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Formerly used widely in 19th century as a trade language between Native Americans and Europeans, and between speakers of different languages.

Also spoken in:

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