How do you say...?

Aaniin Niijiikwenyaag!

I thought I would do another quick post on how to ask someone how to say a word in Anishinabemowin.

You can post questions like this in the comments section and I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

For example:

Anish keya ikido … little bear? – How do you say … little bear?

Makoohns – little bear / young bear.

Anish keya ikido … door? -  How do you say … door?

Ishkwaandem – door.

I am still trying to figure out all of the features I can use on this blog. I have learned this evening that because I have a blog instead of a self hosted site I cannot use plug-ins. So I am still working on trying to figure out how to add audio, so that you all can hear the pronunciations of the words.

Also I am developing a little pattern here, I am giving you words to learn, and trying to include a sentence that you can learn to say to use those words you are learning. As we get farther into this blog, I will try to clue you in to more of the linguistic side of our language and explain some of the mechanics of how it works. But for the beginner, I think it is better to see it this way, just to get your feet wet and not overwhelm you. Any suggestions or comments are appreciated, as well as any questions you may have, I will promptly answer.

Some comments and questions from my previous blog:

harry assinewai

How do you say, or write 2012?

  • mondageesokwe

    Aanii Harry,
    To write the number 2012 you would write this: Niishdanak(2000) miinawa (again/ and) ashi niizh (12).
    If you were asking this because you are trying to write the date in Ojibwe, remember that the year “2012″ is a Christian calendar count, and not how we counted years. We did not have “weeks”, “days”, or the Christian concept of years. We went by the moons and winters type of system. I understand we all live in the modern world where we use the Christian calendar and dates, but I thought it would be good to note the above anyway. When I have seen things here written in Anishinabemowin it will be written something like this: “Waabagoni giizis, bezhigonangizo, 2012″ – Flowering Moon, first of the month, 2012.
    I hope this helps you, if you have any other questions feel free to post again.
    Mi iw

joe raphael

Anish keya ikido… Some female anishinabe names for our baby?


Boozhoo Joe,
In general the procedure for baby naming would come from a naming ceremony. The person who generally names babies could be the grandparent or someone from the Mide’ lodge or another spiritual person. What community are you from, perhaps I could put you in touch with someone? If you are just looking for a translation I might be able to help you, however, I really do not do naming ceremonies. Names are a very spiritual thing, and they often come with teachings, personal medicines, and or songs from the name giver. We learn what our babies names are from the Spirit world, someone who can speak with the spirits learns the name, or sometimes the name is told to the name giver in a dream. Sometimes elders will give their own name to a baby as their namesake they become their relative and carry the same medicines and songs as the name giver. If you have any other questions you can post again. I will respond as soon as I am able.