isuba sa hapullo kopoli tuk! isuba sa hapullo sa kopoli tuk!
the horse bit my butt! the horse bit me on my butt!
sa hapullo kopoli
and my second sentence I use:
sa hapullo sa kopoli
This is a subtle difference between "bit my butt" and "bit me on my butt". You may think this trivial nonsense but this is a difference between my horse biting my entire butt which is a huge mouthful or biting me on my big butt. When speaking English we know "bit my butt" and "bit me on my butt" mean precisely the same, which is sloppy language, just as fat ass Americans are lazy and sloppy. Speaking Choctaw requires precision in description if to speak Choctaw correctly and effectively; we are not a lazy fat ass sloppy peoples, least not those of us who are traditional American Indians.
You know our "sa" is a personal possessive pronoun referring to bloodline, marriage or body part, just as you know our "am" is a same pronoun but for ownership of something. Here is why I use "sa" instead of "am" in my second sentence.
When I interpret to English: "The horse bit my butt. The horse bit me on my butt!"
In my native Choctaw tongue: "The horse bit my butt. The horse bit my butt and gave me my bite!"
While interpreting to English there is a need to dumb down our meaning so English speakers can understand. Our
Chahta anumpa is a very high level use of language compared to the English language. English is for dummies, Choctaw is
for smarties. English is baby talk, Choctaw is adult talk.
Gopher! Gopher! Gopher! Which word should you gopher? Well, go for a word which is used locally, go for a word which is a regional dialect. Researching and learning of Chahta anumpa etymology, word origin and history, can be a real stinker, can lead you down a meanering gopher hole much like following a meandering and branching creek!
Reminds me of teaching elementary level children. I am discussing big cats. I ask, "What does a puma look like?" A young girl raises her hand, I choose her, she prefectly describes a puma. "How big is a puma?" I ask. She holds up a hand then spreads a thumb and forefinger about two inches apart. She believes a puma is about two inches tall because she has only seen photographs of pumas and all pumas appear about two inches tall to her! This is a distinct disadvantage of English words, a lack of adequate description. In Enlish we "label" things. In Choctaw we "describe" things.
Our two other expressions for gopher also make good sense. You will note both are related to water.
yumbak chito is a "great rain thing". Sense of "great" is not "big" rather "powerful" as in a spirit or an English "deity". Our word chito typically means "big" but can also mean "great" in a sense of ability or mysticism. Our word yumbak is worthy of research and study for excellent understanding. Remove "y" at beginning and remove "k" at ending - umba remains which means "rain". Our word "umba" is root for "yumbak". Use of a "y" sound at beginning signals this is a personal thing, a body part, signals this is a living thing. Use of "k" at end signals this thing "behaves like" the root word, umba or rain.
A gopher does behave like rain. When rain comes down, raindrops immediately soak into earth and vanish. A gopher does the same, he digs into earth then vanishes. Rain softens earth as does a gopher. During and after rain is when gophers are most obvious. Rain soaks earth making mud and rain soaks earth filling up gopher tunnels with water. A gopher instinctively knows to burrow close to earth surface to avoid mud and water filled tunnels. Near surface a gopher leaves behind furrows which look much like a meandering creek. Gophers seem to come with rain thus a "great rain thing".
A meandering dirt creek is a fitting description for a gopher. yakni bokli is a dirt creek maker. This is gophers leave behind furrows at surface which look much like meandering creeks. Our word yakni means land, earth or dirt. For our word bokli remove "li" at ending. This leaves "bok" which is the root word. This "li" added at end signals "performs a physical action like the root word" which is "creek". Makes good common sense, a living thing which makes dirt look like meandering creeks. This well describes a gopher and there is no need to actually see a gopher to know when a gopher is around! A dirt meandering creek leads to your carrots, you pull your carrots and there is little left because a land creek maker ate your carrots!
I will again emphasize how important this is for you to carefully research and understand Choctaw words. You should now well understand why this is critical to leave behind English if to well speak American Indian tongues.
English labels things. Indian tongues describes things.
Which expression you use for "gopher" is easy to figure out. Use an expression which is known by those to whom you speak! More fun is to create a description of your own. You do not have to use an "official" Choctaw word or expression. Art of speaking Indian tongues is describing whatever thing about which you are talking.
na yakni oksanla hobachi okshinilli - "a thing which mimics a mouse swimming in dirt", said while
making a "bucktoothed" face and making little earth digging claws.