Ni Naajimiijime

Aanii (informal greeting akin to “Hi” used with friends and family).  Niijiikwenyaag (My Friends).

Ni naajimiijime nongom. – I am going after groceries now/today.

Naajimiijime Wiigamig – Grocery Store

What shall we put in our cart?  Miijim!! – Food!!

Oshki ikkidiwenan – Miijim – New words – Food

Nabop – Soup

Mandaminabop – Corn Soup

Pinaabo – Potato Soup

Baakaa’kwehnabop – Chicken Soup

Manoominabop – Wild Rice Soup

Miskwaadiisiminabop – Bean Soup

Doshkwaanes – Macaroni

Pakwezhigan – Bread

Pakwezhigansan – Cookies

Naapane / or Bassisid pakwejigan – Flour

Zibwagani Ziizibakwat – Brown Sugar

Ziizibakwat – Sugar

Amo Ziizibakwat – Honey (Bee Sugar)

Ozawa bimide – Butter

Bimide – Lard

Ziwitaagan / Ziitaagan – Salt

Gawiissagang / Wiisaagadt – Pepper

Wawon / Wawnon – Egg / Eggs

Bizhiki – Dodoshaaboo/ Doodoshaaboo – Cow Milk

Makademashkiikiiwaaboo – Black Medicine Liquid (Coffee)

Niibiishaaboo – Tea

Gitigaaning – In the garden

Mandamin – Corn

Jiisehns – Carrots

Miskodiisimin – Beans

Kosimaan – Squash

Opin / pineek – Potato / Potatoes

Ogin – Tomatoes

Zhiigaagamanj – Onions

Kchi anibiish – Cabbage

Anijiimin – Peas

Eshkandamig – Cucumber

Meat – Wiiyaas

Baakaa’kwehn – Chicken

Gokosh wiiyaas – Pork

Giigohn – Fish

Nagish – Bologna (aka Indian Steak he he)

Bizhiki wiiyaas – Beef

Waawaashkeshii wiiyaas – Venison

Mizise wiiyaas – Turkey

To Gather

Manoomin – Wild Rice

Miinan – Blueberries

Ode’minan – Strawberries

Niinaatigo Ziizibaakwat – Maple Sugar

Mishiiminag – Apples

Maanwang – Fruit

Gi bakade na? – Are you hungry?

Enh, aapijge nimbakade. – Yes, I am very hungry.

Ka, kawiin nimbakadesii. – No, I’m not hungry.

Giwii naajimiijime? – Did you go after groceries?

Enh, niwii naajimiijime noongwa.. – Yes, I went after groceries today.

Alright, I think that is where I will stop for today. There are many words and sentences that go along with learning the food words. I will try to get those up for you next weekend.

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.

Birthday Party

We went to my husband’s Uncle’s birthday party this evening, and I thought I would make a quick post on how to say Happy Birthday and how old you are in Anishinabemowin. Please note we counted by the winter count instead of years. So your age is however many winters you have lived.

Happy Birthday – Mino Dibishkaan

How many winters old are you? – Aaniin endaso biboonigiziyaan?

I am 34 winters old – nisimidana shi niiwin biiboonagiziiyaan.

Gindaaswinag – Numbers

1 – Bezhig

2 Niizh

3- Nswi

4 – Niiwin

5 – Naanan

6 – Ngodwaaswi

7 – Niizhwaaswi

8-  Nshwaaswi

9 – Zhangaaswi

10 – Midaaswi

To add/ or say and  – shi / ashi

Therefore if you were fifteen winters old you would say Midaaswi shi naanan  (10 and 5) biiboonagiziiyaan

20 – Niizhtana

30 – Nisimidana

40 – Niimdana

50- Naanmidna

60- Ngodwasmidna

70 – Niizhwaasmidna

80 – Nshwaasmidna

90 – Zhaangsmidna

Shakaakimikwe Giizhigad

Because it is Shkaakimikwe Giizhigad – Earth Day I thought we should learn some nature words.

Shkaakimikwe – Mother Earth

Giisis – Sun

Dibik Giisis – Moon

Noodin – Wind

Ankwaad – Cloud

Anang – Star

Nigwaagan – Rainbow

Asin – Stone

Zibi – River

Nibi – Water

Gamig – Lake

Mitig – Tree

Mitigoog – Forest

Wiigwaasaatig – Birch Tree

Giizhikaatig – Cedar Tree

Mishkode Miizhmiizhaatig – Red Oak Tree

Zhingobiinsaatig – Red Pine Tree

Niinaatig – Sugar Maple Tree

Wiisgaatig – Black Ash Tree

Miishkoonhs – Grass

Pakweyashk – Cat tails

Wiingushk – Sweetgrass

Mushkodewashk – Sage

Asema – Tobacco

Comment from Charles Lippert April 22, 2011:

Because the eastern dialects drop vowels (syncoped) when short and unaccented, here are the same list words in the full double vowel spelling with the vowels lost in syncope indicated as:
‘ = i that is syncoped
ª = a that is syncoped
º = wa, wi and o that are syncoped

In some communities, instead of totally dropping the vowels, these instead become a schwa (compare Mondageesokwe’s original listing to this any you’ll see which ones are kept as a schwa!).
Also, for reference, plural endings are also provided (even in words where a plural form makes *absolutely no sense*) as the plural form tells you the animacy of the word (i.e., if it ends in a “g”, it is animate (have a spirit), and if it ends in a “n”, it is inanimate (have no spirit)). Knowing the animacy helps the person better understand the world around us and our relationship to the world around us.
Miigwech Mondageesokwe for sharing!
= = = = = = = = = = = = =
ªshkaakªmigºkwe-giizh’gad(oon) — Be Earth Day(s)
ªshkaakªmigºkwe(g) –- Mother(s) Earth
giizis(oog) –- Sun(s)
d’bik-giizis(oog) –- Moon(s)
noodin(oon) –- Wind(s)
aanªkwaad(oon) -– Cloud(s)
ªnang(oog) –- Star(s)
nªgwaagan(an) –- Rainbow(s)
ªsin(iig) –- Stone(s)
ziibi(in/wan) –- River(s) (plural form depends on the community’s usage)
n’bi(in) –- Water(s)
ªgamii(g) -– Lake(s)
m’tig(oog) -– Tree(s)
m’tigoog –- Forest (lit. “Trees”)
wiigwaasaatig(oog) -– Birch Tree
giizh’kaatig(oog) –- Cedar Tree(s)
mªshkode-miizh’mizhaatig(oog) -– Red Oak Tree(s)
zh’ngobiinsaatig(oog) –- Red Pine Tree(s)
‘ninaatig(oog) -– Sugar Maple Tree(s)
wiisªgaatig(oog) -– Black Ash Tree(s)
miizh’shkoons(an) -– Grass(es)
ªpakweyashk(oog) –- Cat tail(s)
wiingashk(oon) –- Sweetgrass
mªshkodewashk(oon) -– Sage(s)
ªsemaa(g) -– Tobacco(es)

Aanii Miinawa Niijiikwenyag!

Aanii Niijiikwenyag!

I have posted my own orthography I just made up… to give you all an idea of the corresponding letter sounds in Odawa / English… for your pronunciation purposes. Any mistakes are my own. You all are much luckier than I, because when I was beginning to learn the language there was no google video – youtube- podcasts – websites and the like out there. Now there are tons of resources because our Odawa Kinoamagekwewag (female teachers) miinawa(also)  Kinoamageniniwag(male teachers) have worked hard to create learning materials, books, websites, podcasts and videos of the language. I will try to add more links to these sites as my site grows. Any media you can listen to a speaker on is good stuff… the more you listen the faster you will pick up the language. On a previous website I had made, I had sound files that pronounced all of the words for you. I will have to figure out if wordpress will let me do that.

Please feel free to leave comments, I would like to know what you would like to learn and we can try and move in that direction. There is one exception to this, please take note, I do not translate or attempt translations of names for people, historically or otherwise. Mainly because names are different entirely and have meanings and stories attached to them that were given to the recipient and may not correspond to a direct translation of the words that make up the name. So please do not ask me for name translations.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on introductions, greetings, food, numbers, weather, and animals…

Mino Shkaakamikkwe Giizhigad! Happy Earth Day!

Bizindaw weweni Kchi Anishinaabeg, goji bima’adoon iwe anishinaabe bimaadiziwin, weweni anishinaabe izhichigewin! Bishigendan aki!  Gego gegoo nishibabaamendagen omaa gaa pagidinigaadeg akiing gaa ozhitamagooyang. – Listen to the Elders, walk the old indian ways! Respect the Earth! Do not waste anything that has been put here on Earth!

Boozhoo Niijiikwenyaag!

Mondageesokwe ndizhnikaaz Makwa ndodem, nsimidana shi ngodwaaswi biboonagiziyaan, Odawa Anishinabekwe ndaw, Iwidi gaa baagwaajiwani ziibing ndoonjiba. Ben ninabem izhinakaazo.

Mondageesokwe is my name, I am bear clan, 36 winters old, an Odawa Indian woman is who I am.  Over there where the river currents are shallow where I am from,  Ben is my husband’s name.

Well I hope anyone who wants to learn a little Anishinabemowin (Ojibwe/Odawa language) can get some use out of my blog. I will be posting beginner Ojibwe phrases, maybe words with pictures, and if I can figure it out… maybe some audio too.  I am not a fluent speaker yet, however I have been following the Anishinabemowin trail for Oh my gosh.. twenty years! (I started learning simple words and phrases in my early teens and am still pursuing better eavesdropping and speaking skills). Just for those who think… “20 years and not fluent? ” There are not many fluent speakers where I grew up, in order to learn to speak properly one must hear the language spoken often. If you do not get to hear fluid fluent speech then it can slow ones learning down. Also note that Anishinabemowin is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most verb forms of any language. Anishinabemowin is a very action based language and very descriptive.

Odawa Orthography

Letter          Sound      English         Anishinabemowin

A as            “ah”         In Dakota         Anishinabeg

E  as           “eh”          In Energy       Enange’

I  as            “Ih”           In Bitter          Nibi

I  also  as     “E”          In Being          Nibiish

O as          “Oh”           In Bowl           Bijan Oma

O also as  “Ooh”         In Moon          Bidoon

B as          “Buh”         In Blanket      Baapii

C as           “Ch”           In Batch          Kchi

D as           “Duh”        In Deck           Abiding

G as           “Guh”        In Great         Gego

H as          “Huhh”     In Hand          Ahaw

J as            “Juh”        In Jaguar       Ajijaak

K as           “Kuh”        In Kernel        Gakina

M as         “Mmm”     In Music          Migizi

N as          “Nuh”       In Noodle         Niijii

P as           “Puh”       In Plate             Pangii

Z  as         “Zuh”        In Zealand       Ziibi

Zh as       “Zhhh”      In Beige             Boozhoo

S as          ” Ssss”       In Snake            Sa

Sh as         “Shh”      In Shake            Dash

T as           “Tuh”      In Tank             Taaswin

W  as        “Wuh”     In Wall              Waban

Y  as         “Yuh”       In Yellow          Wiiy