Animal Sentences

Here are a few sentences to use with your new animal words. You can now say you saw an animal last night. You heard an animal last night. You smelled an animal, you saw the animal on the road. And you can see the difference in the word make up for the animal seeing you and you seeing the animal. You can make many sentences about most of the animals in the list by switching out the words for the animals present in the following sentences with other animals from your lists.

Nigii waabamaa  waawaashkeshii/ shkeshii dibikong? – Did you see the deer last night?

Nigii noondawaa mai’ingan noongwa. – I heard the wolf last night.

Ni biijiimaamaa zhiigaag. – I smell a skunk.

Nigii waabamaa waawaashkeshii miikanong? – Did you see the deer on the road?

Nigii waabamig wagosh. – The fox saw me.

Ni waabamaa wagosh. – I saw the fox.

Ni waabamaa wagosh nongom – I saw a fox today.

Gigii waabamaa ina wagosh ? – Did you see the fox?

Niwii waabamaa opitchi gizhep. – I will see a robin in the morning.

Bama apii!!

Wesiinhik / Ookaanag – Wild Animals / Farm Animals

Wesiinhik / Ookaanag

Makwa – bear

Nika- Canadian Goose

Amik – Beaver

Omakakii – Frog

Aamoo – Bee

Waagosh – Fox

Memengwaa – Butterfly

Ojiig – Fisher

Mashkodebizhiki- Buffalo

Bizhiki – Cow

Giniw – Golden Eagle

Aandeg – Crow

Zhiishiib – Duck

Adik – Caribou

Animosh – Dog

Baaka’aakwe- Chicken

Waawaashkeshi – Deer

Agongosens – Chipmunk

Mashtadim – Workhorse

Zhaangweshi – Mink

Maang – Loon

Waabizheshi – Marten

Bizhiw – Lynx


Kchi Waawaabiginoojii – Rat

Akakojiishi – Woodchuck

Mizisenh – Turkey

Wiinaange – Turkey Vulture

mai’iingan – Wolf

Asiginaak – Black Bird

Zhingos – Weasel

Washashk – Muskrat

Miskwaadesi – Mud Turtle

Gookooko’oo / gokoko – Owl

Mikinaak – Snapping Turtle

Gookoosh – Pig

Okaan – Farm Animal

Ajidamoo – Squirell

Gaag – Porcupine

Zhiigaag – Skunk

Bine’ – Partridge

Esibaan – Raccoon

Waabooz/ Waaboose – Rabbit

Baapaase – Downy Woodpecker

Nenookaasi – Hummingbird

Binesi – Thunderbird

Opichi – Robin

Gwiingweshi – Canadian Jay

Meme- Pileated Woodpecker

Diindiisi – Blue Jay

Gijigaaneshii – Chickadee

mayagi bine – Pheasant

Ginoozhe- N. Pike.

Gigooh – Fish

Diindiisi – Blue Jay

Mang /Mong – Loon

Agongosens – Chipmunk

Nenookaasi – Hummingbird

gijigaaneshii – Chickadee

Asiginaak – Black Bird

Zhingos – Weasel

Ojiig – Otter / fisher

Giniw – Golden Eagle

Migizi – Bald Eagle

Zhaangweshii – Mink

Kchi kaadi ginebic – alligator (big legged snake)

Gakina Gegoo – All Things In Life / Niizhwaaswi Mishoomis Gikinoo’amage’wiaman The Seven Grandfather Teachings

 Aaniin Niijiikwenyaag!

I am just going to do a quick post tonight. This one is on Akina Gegoo miinawa Niizhwaaswi Mishoomis Gikinoo’amaage’wiaman, think on these teachings. I will try and post more miijim words in tomorrow’s post.

Bama api gi Waabamin!

Gakina Gegoo – All Things In Life

Bemaadzid / Giigoohnik/ Manidoshenhsak— Humans/ Fish/ Insects

Maanwang/Netawging/Wesaakik/Mitigook— Berries/GardenVegetables/Vegetation/Trees

Aashbik/Asiniin/ Zhiw – Rock/ Stones/ Mountain

Wesiinhik / Ookaanag — Wild Animals / Domestic Animals

Niizhwaaswi Mishoomis Gikinoo’amaage’wiaman

The Seven Grandfather Teachings

1.)           Zaagi’diwin  –  Love

2.)           Debwewin – Truth

3.)           Dabasendizawin –  Humility

4.)           Gwayakwaadiziwin – Honesty

5.)           Manaajiiwaawin / Manaaji’ idiwin – Respect

6.)           Zoongide’ iwin  – Courage / Bravery

7.)           Nibwaakaawin – Wisdom

There is an Anishinabeg teaching story about the Seven Grandfathers. These teachings are taught from when one is just a small child all along through life. As our children grow so does their understanding of these teachings and the elders explain more in depth as the child is ready for understanding.

These teachings are important for understanding Anishinabeg culture. We as Anishinabeg try always to remember these teachings and approach all things in a good way with respect. None of these teachings operates alone but must go hand in hand with each other.

Anishinabe was given Wisdom in order to better his life through knowledge.

Anishinabe was given Love so that he could love his fellow Anishinabeg and teach them to speak well of each other.

Anishinabe was given Respect in order to show respect to all things (humans, animals, plants, water, air etc) on earth.

Anishinabe was given Bravery to face his life’s challenges in a good way.

Anishinabe was given Honesty to live in a good way with his fellow people, to speak well of others, to know and think through whatever life brings.

Anishinabe was given Humility to live in harmony and balance on earth with all other living things, never thinking himself to be better than any one of the other creations.

At last Anishinabe was given Truth after all of the other gifts were understood.

Reflect on these teachings and use them when you’re thinking about plants and the environment. One cannot pollute his water if he respects that water’s right to be pure so that all life may live and use that water, one cannot extensively log without respect, or wisdom to know that cutting all of the forest will leave no place for humans to gather wood for their uses, or for the animals to live. One cannot blow up a mountain top for coal if one knows the truth that the practice will pollute the ground water, ruin the habitat for humans and animals –  all life. One who knows these teachings will not over harvest plants for personal or commercial use.

One Response to Gakina Gegoo – All Things In Life / Niizhwaaswi Mishoomis Gikinoo’amage’wiaman The Seven Grandfather Teachings

Charles Lippert

Around where I am, gakina gegoo are described slightly differently:
* oniizhoogaadeg = the two-legged ones (humans)
* oniiyoogaadeg = the four-legged ones (quadruped animals)
* oningwiiganiig = the winged ones (birds)
* bemaadagaajig = the swimmers (fishes)
* memichaakamigaajig = the ones on the ground (everything else: plants, rocks, worms, etc.)

Niiwin Nekeying - Four Directions

Waabanong – East

Zhaawanong – South

Epingishmok- West

Kiiwedinong – North

Ishpiming (Giizhigong) – Heaven / Sky / Father Sky

Ngo Kii Noonwin – Four Seasons

Minokaami – Spring

Niibing – Summer

Dagwaagi – Fall

Biboon – Winter

Niiwin Kchi Mishkikiinag – Four Sacred Medicines

Asema – Tobacco – Men’s Medicine

Giizhik – Cedar – Women’s Medicine

Mashkodewashk – Sage – Men’s Medicine

Wiingushk – Sweetgrass – Women’s Medicine

Ngo Bemaadziwin – The Good Life (Life Stages)

Abinoojiihn – Baby

Shkiniige – Youth

Nitaawgi – Adult

Kchi Anishinabe – Elder

Ngo Bemaadis – Four Aspects of Man

Nendamowin – Mind

Wiiwying – Body

Enmaanjwaang – Emotions (Feelings)

Jiichaag – Soul / Spirit

Bemaadzijik Niiweyangiswag – Four Races

Niibiishaaboke – Asian

Anishinabe – American Indian

Makadenini – African

Waabshkeye (Zhaagnaash, Wemtigoozh, Megwenh, Aanmaa) – White (English, French, Polish, Ukrainian, German)

Aaniin Nijiikwenyaag!

Sorry that I missed a few days posting. Last weekend was a whirlwind, it was ngashi (my mother)’s birthday… and tomorrow is my husband’s birthday so I had to run around and get gifts and cake and make cards… yes I make my own… hand drawn…  Mom liked hers, it had an woodland style migizi (eagle) on it with floral…. my husband’s is Dr. Who inspired but I cannot describe it as he has not gotten it yet.

Anyways, I have listed the four directions, the four seasons, the four sacred medicines, the life stages  the four aspects of man, and the four races here and I will be having to catch up on making videos the weekend of the 14th as my neice graduates with her Masters degree from CMU this weekend, and it is my first wedding anniversary on Sunday.

Minokami sure brings out lots of hustle and bustle, more events, weddings, birthdays and graduations and open houses to attend…. not to mention planting things  gitigaaning (in the garden).

I will cover the four colors and other colors another time, as there are two sets, animate and inanimate… which is confusing to a beginner.

Also, Barb Nolan a fluent speaker and immersion teacher has started a website were she has posted immersion videos to help in teaching the language to beginners. I strongly encourage you to check them out and listen to them over and over again. You can click the link for her site in the blogroll on the right side of the page. Immersion is the best and fastest way to learn Anishinabemowin… or any language for that matter. Immersion is how we learned English as babies, from hearing it all the time.

Don’t forget to practice, practice, Practice!

Bama pii giwaabamin!

Study Tips

Aanii Niijiikwenyaag!

I am home from work, and thought I would make a quick post about studying the language. You should try and listen to the language as much as possible of course, and practice saying the words with someone. Finding an Elder to speak with is the best idea, but if you are an Urban Native or live away from your people, sometimes you can find language tables at Universities like the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. You could look up language videos on Youtube, or practice with some of the sites and videos I have listed in the Blog roll.

For learning and memorization, each of my teachers and Elders had different recommendations for this. Some said that we should not focus on writing the language, only listening to it to learn the words and phrases. Which is good advice. Other teachers had their students write each new word / sentence 10 times to help them remember it, and use index cards as language flashcards for themselves, and label things in your house with the word only in Anishinabemowin on the item being labeled. Others had you string the words together in a song to help with remembering the words, or playing games in the language.

I personally have used all these methods. But I will tell you because I was learning to read and write the language in the beginning without having many opportunities to hear it spoken in person, I became somewhat dependent on the written word. However, today I have built up hundreds of hours of listening to fluent speakers and I can understand much of what they say. YAY!

My advice is to learn the words however works best for you, as you will know how you learn. Also, when beginning with the language, do not fear making mistakes in pronunciation, if you make a mistake you are more likely to remember the correct way to say it once you have been corrected.

I will tell you the most embarrassing mistake I ever made…

I was at a pow wow, helping my relatives with their booth, and we were talking about anishinabemowin words, and what I was learning. Long story short, I was standing there with my Auntie  and Uncle and they said what is the word for pipe? I said pojagawin? My Auntie burst out laughing and I turned 10 shades of red and I said “what did I say?”  She said “Ask your Uncle, he has one.” I instantly figured out what I said. I was sooooo embarrassed. So I then asked how to say it properly and learned the word for pipe and penis, and never made that mistake again. Just so you do not make that mistake,  the word for pipe is (opwaagan) and the word for penis is pojagawin

Keep learning!!

Please feel free to leave me comments or questions!!

Bama api gi waabamin

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