Rabaul News was a Pidgin-language newsletter published with support from the Department of Education in the Territory of Papua-New Guinea in the late 1940s and 1950s. Like many such papers at the time, it aspired to bring a reliable news source to the indigenous residents of the Territory, encourage adult education, and explain (or justify) colonial policy. Although it included a lot of material written by government officials, it was edited and produced by both indigenous nationals and white officials, and it published news submitted by readers. In an early issue held by the State Library of New South Wales, one reader – Bill Mondo, “biugal-boi long Polis” – calls for peace and brotherhood among the people of Rabaul.

The text is faded in places, and I’m not very good with Pidgin. Mondo’s Pidgin seems a bit old-fashioned too, plus it is not clear whether and how it was edited for publication. I’ve made an attempt to transcribe what he writes, and I post it here in the hope of collecting opinions about what he is saying and how he says it. I am curious about the rhetoric as well as the content. If you have any thoughts, please get in touch with me online.

“Yumi Olsem Wantok Tasol”

Transcribed by Ryan Schram, 28 June 2016

Source: Rabaul News, vol 3, issue 4 (February 7, 1948), p. 4–5. Held at State Library of News South Wales.

Note: Text has been divided into sentences based on punctuation but is otherwise presented as it appeared on the page. A word followed by a question mark in square brackets indicates a conjecture. Otherwise text in square brackets is supplied to give context.

Detail of page 4 of Rabaul News (7 February 1948)

Headline

Yumi Olsem

WANTOK TASOL.

-o-

Paragraph 1

“Orait my laik mekim wanpela liklik toktok long yumi olgeta wantok long olgeta peles kanaka na long stesin tu.

Yumi harim pastem, sapos i nogud long yupela olgeta, orait maski.

Orait nau mi laik tok long pasin bilong yumi oltem yumi mekim na toktok [palanti?].

Nau yumi mas pinis long ol kain toktok nabaut bilong yumi olgeta peles –

koros long giraun long narapela man long narapela hap –

emi nogud tumas.

Paragraph 2

Tok olsem long arapela man i wantok bilong yu ino gudpela tumas.

Yumi olgeta i wantok tasol, noken makim tok olsem long wan-sikin bilong yu.

Pinis long dispela tok – yumi olgeta peles noken mekim moa.

Paragraph 3

Orait nau sapos yumi mekim toktok olsem long sampela, yu tin i gudpela pasin bilong yumi long mekim olsem?

Yumi olgeta ol wantok tasol.

Rabaul i noken koros long New Guinea na New Guinea i noken koros long Rabaul – olsem.

Paragraph 4

Rabaul [i?] noken tok olsem long New Guinea:

“Wanem, giraun bilong yu na yu kam [hambak?] longen?

Na New Guinea tu i noken tok olsem long Rabaul[:?]

“Wanem, giraun bilong yu na yu kam [hambak?] longen?”

Paragraph 4

I nogud long yumi yet i toktok olsem namel long yumiyet, long wanem, yumi olsem wantok tasol.

Sampela samting na pasin yumi mekim i orait na i sitaret.

Tasol i gat palanti samting yumi ol hed longlong yumi save toktok longen na into sitaret liklik long iar bilong sampela.

Paragraph 5

Long wanem yumi toktok longlong olsem, bikos yumi no bin tingim dispela gudpela samting – sikul.

Ol wantok, sikul tasol iken mekim yumi save palanti samting na tingting sitaret;

na sapos tingting bilong yumi

Page 5, Headline

YUMI OLSEM WANTOK TASOL. (Ikam yet).

-oo-

Detail of page 5 of Rabaul News (7 February 1948)

Paragraph 6

[na sapos tingting bilong yumi] i sitaret, oli ken harim save toktok bilong yumi – i sitaret tru.

Na yumi mas lukim ol pikinini bilong yumi –

Oli mas gat sikul,

nogud b[ae?] oli mekim sampela long ol longlong pasin olsem palanti long yumi oli mekim.

Paragraph 7

Em tasol liklik toktok bilong mi na i sitaret long mi na sapos ino sitaret long yupela, i orait maski.

Mi – Const. Bill MONDO – No. 3975, Biugal-boi long Polis

-oo-