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New ZEALAND DIALECT. This extract is part of a prayer, as contained in Lee's Grammar of the New Zealand Language.
E Jihova! e Atúa núi koe. Náu O Jehovah! thou art a great te máhinga katóa tánga ki dúnga God. Thou hast made all things ki te rangi ki raro ki te wenúa. in heaven above and in the earth
beneath. Pai' ráwa tóu e ánga ki te tán- Good indeed is thy work as to gata. Náu ra óki te tangata ;
Man sprung from thee; tóna áha óki, me tóna waidúa óki. from thee are his soul and spirit.
E e ára ra óki tátu; waka ma- We are sinners ; do thou put tára mai koe ta tátu nei e ára ! away our sins! Jesus Christ' is Ko Jizus Kraist ra óki te matára our Surety. He became a ransom tánga. I te útu ra óki ía mo tátu.
He spilt his blood as a I madingi ai ia tóna tóto e wakára satisfaction to God, and out of love ra óki ki te Atúa, e méa waka to us. 'roha ki a tátu.
Ka waka pai átu tátu ki á koe; We praise thee; we cleave to ka ánga átu. To tátu Atúa ra óki thee. Thou art our God; we will koe ; é ara te Atúa átu mo tátu. have no other God. Thou didst Náu ra óki i tono mai ai táu Ta- send thy Son into the world to maiti ki te A'o nei ki a óra ai tátu.
Upon a first examination of the above examples, it would seem that, in the New Zealand dialect, there is an exception to the general rule, which makes every syllable end with a vowel. We have, for instance, tangata, 'man,' and madingi, the syllabic division of which words appears to take place between consonants. But this may be in appearance only. The letters ng, coming before a vowel, prevail in large classes of New Zealand words, where they probably express nothing more than a simple sound partaking of the two letters, and not to be conveyed by any single character in the English alphabet. The above words may then be divided ta-gna-ta, ma-di-gni ; and the same also of ngo-ngi, pure water,' ngu-ngu, stooping,' and numerous others. Nga is used to denote the plural of nouns ; as, matua, ' a parent, nga matua, 'parents. We have seen no instance of this combination of letters in the Tahitian or Hawaiian dialects, but it exists in the Tongatabuan, as the word itself indicates.*
* The Polynesian words are commonly short, seldom extending to more than three syllables. Nor does the tendency to verbal combinations prevail, which our philologists have discovered in the languages of the North American Indians. An exception must be made, however, as to the names of some of the gods, which partake strongly of the
The Missionaries are now engaged in translating the New Testament into Hawaiian, but they complain of the difficulty of the task by reason of the multitude of words in the Greek, for which there are no corresponding terms in Hawaiian, and representing things of which no native has any ideas. They instance faith, holiness, throne, dominion, angel, demoniac, as words of this sort, and add, that the natives call an angel either an akua, a god, or a kanaka lele, flying man.
.* One thing has struck us with a good deal of force, in looking over the translations that have come into our hands, which is, that the word God is rendered by atua, as it is pronounced in New Zealand and the Society Islands, or akua, as heard in the Hawaiian dialect. This will be seen in all the examples quoted above. Now this word is used, as far as we can learn, throughout Polynesia, to express imaginary heathen deities, without any definite application to deities of a particular character, dignity, or influence, but to every species of imaginary beings, whether good or bad, and much more commonly the latter. Indeed, from such accounts as have come to us, the impression is strongly left on our minds, that the atuas are almost universally considered as ministers of evil, the objects
character of Indian proper names. The following are appellations of deities. Hiatataaravamata, quick glancing eyed cloud holder ; Hiatawawahilani, heaven rending cloud holder; Kaneruruhonua, earth shaking Kane ; Makorewawahiwaa, fiery eyed canoe breaker. These words will remind our readers of the long catalogues of Indian names, similarly compounded, which constitute the signatures to Indian treaties. For example, Ootaujeaugenh, broken are ; Tioohquottakauna, woods on fire ; Soggooyawauthau, red jacket; Kaujeagaonh, heap of dogs ; Hombahagren, fine day; Cageaga, dogs round the fire ; Tekakisskee, taken out of the water.
But yet they do not reach to such a length as certain Indian words, which came under the notice of Cotton Mather, and which that author somewhat facetiously observes, one would think had been growing ever since Babel unto the dimensions to which they are now extended.' He adds, for instance, if my reader will count how many letters there are in this one word, Nummatchekodtantamooonganunnonash, when he has done, I, for his reward, will tell him, it signifies no more in English, than our lusts; and if I were to translate our loves, it must be nothing shorter than Noowomantammooonkanunonnash; or, to give my reader a longer word than either of these, Kummogkodonattoottummooetiteaongannunnonash, is, in English, our question.' Magnalia, Book 111. At this point the author abruptly leaves the subject, and the separating of these words into their component elements, must be the task of profounder philologists than ourselves.
* Missionary Herald for September, 1825, p. 275.
of terror, whose agency is to be dreaded. We would ask, if it is not an essential mistake to represent the Supreme Being by a term conveying such ideas, and whether old impressions will not adhere so closely to the name, as to embarrass the natives exceedingly, in their attempts to gain a correct notion of the true God? To us this appears probable, and we see no good reason, why the words denoting the Supreme Being in the Bible should be rendered by the names of heathen deities, more than by words of any other import
. Is it not better to employ a term, which has no prescriptive meaning to the natives, and to which is to be attached a set of new ideas? In this case you have only to sow the seed, but in the former, you must first submit to the infinitely more laborious and troublesome task of clearing away the rubbish, and preparing the soil. Why should not the word Jehovah be used invariably, as it is in some instances, to signify the Supreme Being ? Other words, such as God, Lord, when they do not mean the same as Jehovah, and also angel, spirit, may preserve their original Greek orthography, so far modified as to admit of an easy pronunciation by the natives. We venture these remarks with deference, but we deem the subject to be of no little importance, and one which demands the very serious attention of the Missionaries, in the first stages of their labors. The main thing is to find out the shortest and plainest road to truth, and to remove at the outset every stumblingblock, which may contribute to increase confusion and perpetuate error. The great apostle to the Indians, Eliot, was in our opinion more judicious. In his translation the names of the Deity are preserved as in the English Bible. The prominent words in the title page of his Indian Bible are Up Biblum God, meaning, we suppose, the Book of God. Sometimes he uses the word Jehovah, where in the English it is Lord or God, but we have discovered no instance in which he employs the names of the heathen deities to denote the Supreme Being.
It has been a theory, in which geographers and philologists have universally concurred, that the Malayan and Polynesian languages were from the same stock, or rather that the latter was only a branch of the former. The investigations of the Missionaries have shown this theory to have no foundation in fact, and that few languages are more diverse in their radical principles. The theory, that the Polynesians migrated from Asia, or the Asiatic islands, falls at the same time to the ground. It is quite as likely that the Asiatics are emigrants from Polynesia, and whoever pursues the subject, with the degree of knowledge that at present exists upon it, we apprehend will find himself in a circle. "That our readers may form some comparison between the Malayan and Polynesian, as they affect the eye and ear, we shall here quote in the Roman character a passage of
a Malayan poetry, as we find it in Marsden's Grammar of the Malayan Language. Kuda putith etam kuku-nia
• A white horse, whose hoofs are Akan kuda sultan iskander
black, is a horse for Sultan IskanAdenda etam baniak chumbu-nia der; my love is dark, various are Tidak bulih kata iang benar. her blandishments; but she is in
capable of speaking the truth.' Burong putih terbang ka-jati A white bird flies to the teak Lagi tutur-nia de makan sumut tree, chattering whilst it feeds on Biji mata jantong ati
insects. Pupil of my eye, subSurga de-mana kita menurut. stance of my heart, to what heaven
shall I follow thee.' With what immediate success the Missionaries will meet, in communicating religious impressions, cannot be with certainty predicted. A few highly encouraging examples have already occurred, among which may be reckoned that of Keopuolani, the late queen. That all the notions of heathenism can be at once removed, and their place supplied by a pure christian faith, is too much to expect. The generation now on the stage must ever be
very dark minded christians at best ; yet the Hawaiians are a docile people, and they may doubtless be made to understand some of the doctrines, as well as the moral precepts and injunctions of the Scriptures. But the brightest harvest is in a future season, when the children of the schools shall go out into society, with minds properly stored, and habits rightly trained. Much has been done in the Society Islands, during the thirty years since the Missionaries first visited them. Wars have ceased, the horrors of a shocking barbarism have vanished, mild governments are established, the arts of civilized life are eagerly cultivated, stated religious worship is kept up in many places, and, according to the best accounts, it is hardly too much to say, that this region, so lately sunk in the deepest gloom of a savage heathenism, is now a christian land. Schools are planted in the villages with native teachers, reading and writing are common attainments, and books are written, printed, circulated, and used. These are noble achievements, and they have been made, let it be understood, by the sole efforts of the Missionaries, whose sacrifices and sufferings have been greater than can be well imagined,
but whose constancy has borne them through to the end. In their success they have a rich reward.
We may safely expect as rapid and complete success, from the American Missionaries at the Sandwich Islands. They receive protection, and even encouragement from the chiefs ; about one thousand children attend their different schools; houses for public worship are erected, some of them at the expense of the chiefs themselves, and a good degree of attention is paid to the religious services. It is impossible, that such a system of instruction should not work its way into the thoughts and habits of the people. The king, Rihoriho, who died in England, was friendly to the Missionaries, and bestowed his patronage, but his death has caused no perceptible change in their condition. Karaimoku, the present ruling chief, who, for his talents as a politician and statesman, is familiarly called Billy Pitt by foreigners, has from the beginning favored their objects and is still their firm supporter. He had himself been their pupil in learning to read and write, and he speaks the English language; as does also Kuakini, otherwise John Adams, governor of the island of Hawaii. This is a rare accomplishment, as few will apply themselves to the severe labor of learning a new language, although they are eager to acquire the knowledge of reading and writing their own.
Six years ago the language of these islands was a fleeting sound, existing
only in the mouths of the natives ; it is now a written, unchanging vehicle of thought, suited to communicate ideas to the people, which they had before no power of attaining. The advantage of this single improvement in their condition is not to be estimated. Vessels belonging to the natives, and manned wholly by them, ply regularly from one island to another, and it is rare that they do not convey letters.
This writing is a wonderful thing,' said a chief to Mr Ellis, when he had just finished reading a letter from his sister on another island; formerly my sister would entrust her message to a third person ; before he reached me he would forget half that was told him, and divulge the other half; now she writes it on paper, and it is as if she whispered it in my ear. The benefits of commerce begin to be understood. Rihoriho sent a cargo of salt to Kamtschatka, which yielded a profitable return. Karaimoku afterwards fitted out a brig, belonging to himself and the young princess, on a sealing voyage, which produced twelve thousand dollars. Tamahameha once sent a cargo of sandal