Cree LanguageIf more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. - J.R.R. Tolkien
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Algonquian Language

Cree Language
Ojibwa Language

Algonkian (also spelled Algonquian) is the largest family of languages native to North America. Before the coming of the Europeans, Algonkian languages were spoken in what is now the eastern U.S., the southern half of Canada and parts of the western U.S.

As Algonkian speakers were the first native peoples that the English encountered in North America, a large number of Algonkian words have entered the English language. The English often adopted Algonkian words to refer to things that they had never seen before. Some examples of Algonkian words that have entered English: moose, skunk, chipmunk, raccoon, possum, persimmon, squash, hominy, squaw, papoose, wigwam, powwow, moccasin, wampum, tomahawk, woodchuck and toboggan. Some of the most important languages in this family are Cree (85,000 speakers), Ojibwa or Chippewa (50,000) Blackfoot (5,000) and Lenape or Delaware (around 1,000). The Blackfeet people (also known as Piegan) speak a language that is very similar to Blackfoot.

Countless place names in the U.S. and Canada come from the Algonkian languages. Here are just a few: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Saskatchewan, Chicago, Manhattan, Wissahickon and Nantucket.

The Algonkian Languages

English

Cree

Lenape

Ojibwa

Blackfoot

I

niya

nii

niin

niisto

you

kiya

kii

giin

kiisto

he, she

wiya

neeka

wiin

-

we

kiyanaw

kiiloona

giinawind

-

who

awina

aween

awenen

tahkaa

here

oma, ota

apaamu

omaa

o'tsipikkssi

where

tante

eenda

anndi

tsima

hand

chihchiy

naxk

ninij

ikinsst

heart

teh

deeh

de

sskit-sipahp

breast

tohtosim

aakan

doodooshim

okayis

eye

skisik

skiinjukw

shkiinzhig

apssp

ear

tawakay

tawak

tawag

sstooki

nose

kot

kiiwan

jaanzh

ksisis

mouth

ton

doon

doon

oo

face

kwakan

skiinjukw

dengway

sstoksis

foot

sit

ziit

zid

kat

skin

masakay

xay

zhaga'ay

 

head

stikwan

lushtiikan

shtigwan

tokaan

English

Cree

Lenape

Ojibwa

Blackfoot

shoe

skisin

mahksun

makizin

atsikin

man

napew

lunuw

inini

ninaawa

woman

iskwew

oxkweew

ikwe

aakii

child

awasis

amiimunz

abinoojiinh

oko's

bird

piyesis

chulEs

bineshiinh

pi'kssii

fish

kinosew

namees

giigoonh

mamii

wolf

mahihkan

wiixcheew

ma'iingan

omahkapi'si

water

nipiy

mbuy

nibi

aohkii

house

wikowin

wiikwahm

waakaa'igan

naapiooyis

rain

kimowan

sookulaan

gimiwan

sootaa

sun

pisim

kiishooxkw

giizis

ki'somm

moon

tipiskaw pisim

niipaahum

dibik-giizis

ki'somm

sky

kisik

giizhig

sspomoo

day

kisikaw

kiish-kwunuwii

giizhig

ksiistsiko

night

tipiskaw

piiskeew

dibikad

sskiina

hill

wachiy

aman-gaawunge

wajiw

miistak

English

Cree

Lenape

Ojibwa

Blackfoot

road

meskanaw

aanay

miikana

mohsoko

stone

asiniy

asun

asin

oohkotok

land

askiy

ahkuy

aki

ksaahko

sea,  lake

kihchikamiy

mbiisus

zaaga'igan

mo'toyaohkii

island

ministik

munahan

minis

mini

fire

iskotew

tundeew

ishkode

pakoyittsi

wood

mitith

xwus

mitig

 

river

sipiy

siipuw

ziibi

niitahtaa

wind

yotin

kshaxun

noodin

ssikssopo

to live

pimatisiw

pumaaw

bimaadizi

 

to die

nipowin

ehkwaawsuw

nibo

iponihtsi

to eat

michisowin

miichuw

wiisini

ooyi

it is cold

kisin

takwachuw

gisinaa

sstowa'pii

one

peyak

kwEi

bezhig

ni't

two

niso

nisha

niizh

ist

three

nisto

naxa

niswi

niookska

four

newo

newa

niiwin

niiso

five

hiyanan

palenàxk

naanan

niisit

English

Cree

Lenape

Ojibwa

Blackfoot

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