Jim at UJG has an entry on the charming Renaissance genre of mixed-language poetry (vernacular words mixed into Latin verse) known as “macaronic” (after the Macaronea by Tifi Odasi [Typhius Odaxius] of Padua, 1486). But the style, if not the name, goes much further back; it was very popular among the wandering medieval poets, who loved to mix Arabic, Spanish, Provençal, French, English, and other languages, depending on their audience and experience. (The Andalusian zajal, for instance, consisted of colloquial Arabic verses with Spanish words inserted.)
Here are a couple of examples, drawn from Robert Briffault’s The Troubadours.
A celuy que pluys eyme en monde,
of alle tho that I have found,
saluz od treye amour,
with grace and joye and alle honour,
Sachez bien, pleysant et beele,
that I am right in good heele,
et mon amour doné vous ay.
and also thine owene night and day
–Camb. Gg. iv, 27; Chambers and Sidgewick, Early English Lyrics, VIII, early XVth century.
And this quatrain (Harleyan, 2253):
Scripsi haec carmina in tabulis,
Mon hostel est en mi la vile de Paris,
may I sugge namore, so wel me is;
yet I deye for love of hire, duel hit ys.
Incidentally, if you google “macaronic poetry” the first hit is a Bosna Forum article by Amila Buturovic called “Macaronic Verse in Ottoman Bosnia and the Incitement to Multivocality” (the direct link doesn’t work—here’s the Google cache); it discusses the history and theory of the topic, with special reference to Bosnia, but sadly gives only one small example:
Elif-eldi nijjet geldi,
primakni se duso meni.
Da ja kazem elif tebi,
ti si tanka, elif motka
tu je osnov, tu je potka.
Alif is in hand (?) and intention here,
come closer to me, my sweet.
Let me say alif to you:
alif is a stick, and you are thin
that’s the basis, that’s the trick.]
But it begins with a delightful anecdote:
One Saturday morning as the cottage country north of Toronto awoke to a temporary ice age, my three-year old daughter broke its frigid stillness outdoors by resorting to a polyglot description: “Mommy,” she said, “çok je zima outside.” Put in plain English it meant, “Mommy, it is very cold outside”.
Enchanted by her linguistic economy and multivocality, I found myself face to face with a set of questions raised by her spontaneous leap through three languages – English, Turkish, and Bosnian – which captured with such candor her impressions.