Varieties of Kamtok (vs. Tok Pisin)

From West African Pidgin-English: A Descriptive Linguistic Analysis with Texts and Glossary from the Cameroon Area, by Gilbert Donald Schneider (Athens, Ohio, 1966), pp. 226-229. Each English phrase is translated into three versions: a. anglicized Kamtok, b. “broad” Kamtok, and c. Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea (the last being my translations). All varieties here are likely to be somewhat rural and old-fashioned.

ORTHOGRAPHY: Schneider writes the 7 vowels of Kamtok /a, ɛ, e, i, ɔ, o, u/ as a, e, ey, i, o, ow, u. Another source writes them a, eh, e, i, oh, o, u.

1. He married trouble.
a. hi don mari trobu.
b. i don mari trobu.
c. em i maritim trabel.

2. I stay in this town.
a. ay di silip fo dis tawn.
b. a di silip fo dis tong.
c. mi stap long dispela taun.

3. Do you have children?
a. yu get pikin?
b. yu get pikin?
c. i gat pikinini bilong yu?

4. They are pleased with my work.
a. dem di glad fo may wok.
b. dem di glat fo ma wok.
c. ol i laikim wok bilong mi.

5. My strength’s gone.
a. may strong hi don finish.
b. ma trong i don finis.
c. strong bilong mi i go pinis. / mi no strong moa.

6. Our Bible is on the table.
a. wi baybl dey fo tebl.
b. wi bau dey fo tebu.
c. Baibel bilong yumi/mipela i stap long tebol. (‘ours incl. you’/’ours excl. you’)

7. Pineapple is good food.
a. panapl na swit chop.
b. panabu na shwit chop.
c. ananas i switpela kaikai.

8. They’re having a meeting about coffee tomorrow.
a. dem get miting fo kofi tumaro.
b. dem get miting fo kofi tumaro.
c. ol i gat (wanpela) miting bilong kofi tumora.

9. Pardon me.
a. eskiys mi witi dis wan.
b. chus mi fo dis wan.
c. sori ya long dispela. (?)

10. This guava isn’t sweet.
a. dis gwava now di swit.
b. dis gwava now di shwit
c. dispela yambo i no swit.

11. Your oil isn’t good.
a. dat yu oyl now gud.
b. dat wuna oya now fan.
c. wel bilong yu i no gutpela.

12. He’s not speaking the truth.
a. hi now di tok tru.
b. i now di tok tru.
c. em i no tok stret.

13. I can’t sit on that chair.
a. ay now fit sidawn fo dat chea.
b. a now fit sidong fo dat chia.
c. mi no inap sindaun long dispela sia ya.

14. Come and scratch my back.
a. kom skrach mi fo bak.
b. kom kras mi fo bak.
c. kam skrapim baksait bilong mi.

15. We’re going to the town.
a. wi di kamawt go fo tawn.
b. wi di komot go fo tong.
c. mipela i go long taun i stap. (‘we’re on the way to town’)

16. Throw it on the ground.
a. meyk yu trowwey fo grawn.
b. meyk yu trowwey fo grong.
c. tromwe i stap long graun.

17. It has a strong odor.
a. hi di smel plenti.
b. i di simel plenti.
c. i gat strongpela smel (bilong en)

18. Who broke my pot?
a. wichman don browk may pot?
b. husman don browk ma pot?
c. husat i brukim sospen bilong mi?

19. My brother’s in the house.
a. may broda dey fo haws.
b. ma broda dey fo has.
c. Brata bilong mi i stap (insait) long haus.

20. Go and sit down outside.
a. meyk yu gow sidawn fo awtsay.
b. meyk wuna gow sidong fo ausai.
c. go sindaun long arasait / ausait long haus.

21.Who owns that oil?
a. na wichman get dat oyl?
b. na husman get dat oya?
c. dispela wel ya i bilong husat/wanem man?

22. Come and give me another one.
a. kom giv mi oda wan.
b. kom gif mi ada wan.
c. kam givim/bringim mi wanpela moa / narapela (‘more of same’ / ‘different’).
(More polite is: Wanpela moa i kam!)

23. They have many possessions.
a. dem get plenti kagow.
b. dem get plenti kagow.
c. ol i gat planti samting.

24. The medicine causes itching.
a. dat medisin di skrach.
b. dat metsin di kras.
c. dispela marasin i mekim skin i sikrap.

25. Who rang the bell?
a. wichman don ring bel?
b. husman don ring bel?
c. husat i pulim/paitim belo? (‘pull/strike’)

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Filed under anglosphere, Cameroon, language, Papua New Guinea

One response to “Varieties of Kamtok (vs. Tok Pisin)

  1. Pingback: Far Outliers Off to Africa for Two Weeks | Far Outliers

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