Wemtegozhiyek with glossary


  1.  Ngom wdopi wémtegozhi yewak naganit

Up to today, the French are the leaders somewhere

  •  Iw je ngom wdopi nnodamen weye éwépodek biwabek wizhgya énayek wi zhé ibe Kansas mémek.

Nowadays we hear someone blacksmithing, especially there in KS, they say.

  •  O je yé o gchemnedo eng(e)t wémtegozhi

That’s the great spirit of the French

  •  O yé o gangezot wémtegozhi ékdonegek

That’s the lost French, so they say.

  •  I je ngom bme yewak zhena nekmek

Now he is moving around in different places.

  •  Jo win gdemagzesi ginan wi éneshnabéwigo gdekdomen

He is not poor; we who are Indians say that.

  •  Wémtegozhi manéton wzawzhonya mine mkedébiwabek

The French have lots of gold and black iron

  • Mine ngom égkendemgo bgoch négdoshayek mine seksik jak shena éyemgek

And today we know wild horses and deer and so forth are there

  • Ode je nene win wdebénman

This man owns them

  1. Ode je wémtegozhi gzhénmnedon wgi nizhokmagon éwi mishgweset ode je anet gikansenan Spanish énayek ode wdekwénzhgewan

Now God helped the French to be powerful, but our brother the Spanish was victorious

  1. I je ngom wdopi ode wémtegozhi nwéch zheninweze zhode kik

Up to today, the French are very weak in the world

  1. Ngodek je ode wémtegozhi wgi nizhokmowen ni neshnabén

At one time the French helped out the Indians.

  1. I ji i pi ode wémtegozhi wgi minan ngemwen i je yé i ngom gode neshnabék éyewat I je ode ngom nim’ediwen gode neshnabék égcheyowat

At that time the French gave him a song, and that’s the one these Indians here use in their dancing to this day.

  1. I je o wémtegozhi éginat niw gigabéyen.  Nasena zhechgén ézhwidmonan.

The French told one boy, “Be careful to do things the way I tell you.”

  1. I je o wémtegozhi éwishteyaywat égkeno’mewat ni gigabéyen

So that French (Spirit) was teaching the boy how to blacksmith

  1. I je o gigabé wi kapi égi ne wishteyaywat égi gkenomowat niw wmeshomsen

Finally the boy started to blacksmith, and he taught his grandfather.

  1. Wi kapi égi négdoshayensawat mine zhena gégo

Finally they had a pony and so forth.

  1. O negdoshas wgi nizhokmagwan

The pony helped them

  1. Ébwamshe je yewawat négdoshayen wgi wbesh egwan ni seksiyen wgetganéswa

Before they had the pony, the deer were ruining their gardens.

  • Gigabé éggenonat ni négdoshayen ni je wa zhechgéyan?

The boy asked the pony, “What should I do?”

  • I je o négdosh énat, Wigbish mtegok wdenen ge dkobdon nkwégnak gekwedso égme keshyép ge giwta omgon iw ggetganwa.

And the pony said, “Get some bark from the basswood tree, tie it around my neck, jump on, and ride me around your garden every morning.”

  • I je gi seksik éwi zégsewat.

The deer will be scared

  • Nesh je gégo zhe gwi zhe ngok.

Of course, they will say something to you.

  • O seksi ékedot Wégni je o wakayabdé byé zizdeyatek?

The deer said, “What does that round tooth have sticking out between his legs?”

  • Égme kezhyép zhena o je wémtegozhi nizhokmowen I je mine wa mijwat wiyas o gi wje wdetnanawa.

Every morning the French Spirit helped them, and that’s how they obtained their meat to eat.

  • Ga gish jagnénat wdenwémagnen ni wmeshomsen ga gish mbonet égi majit

After his relations and grandfather died, he left.

  • I je géyabé wémtegozhi nizhokmowan géyabé je ngom gnizhokmagnan.

Still the French helped him, and is helping us to this day.

  • I je ngom pi neshnabé wémtegozhi mskwé wéj gwgezhek o wémtegozhi égi wzhwénmat.

Up to today Indians have French blood inside them, because the French (Spirit) blessed them.

  • Ode gigabé égi majit égi byat odanek neshnabén éyenet

This boy left and came to where there was an Indian village.

Ga gkéndek je ni wémtegozhiyen wgi gkenomowan neshnabén w zhi enet

What he learned from the French he taught the people who were there.

  • Ga gish gkenomowat wiznabén wa zhetonet, gégo wgi nan gégo nsedi kegon wgi nan

After he taught his fellow people what to do, he told them something, “Don’t kill one another,” he said.

  • I je o wémtegozhi égi nat niw gigabéyen ga widmowak éwi bwa mje dodadwat

And the French told the boy what to tell them, that they should not abuse each other

Mine i je ngom wdopi neshnabék énwék dbénwék.

And so up to this day, the Indians are surely civilized.

  • I je ngom wdopi déwégen nim’ediwen débwétanawa neshnabék i yé i ga gowat ni wémtegozhiyen

Up to this day the Indians believe in the drum dance; that’s the one the French told him about.

  • Iw je ngom wdopi jak neshnabék wdébwétanawa ode madmowen iw je wéj mno widokwdatwat.

And up to today, all the Indians believe this way and that’s why they are good friends.

  • Nchiwénmok éwabdawat ngom wdopi

They are happy to see each other up to today.

  • Iw je ékwak ode wémtegozhi yajmowen

So that’s how long this French story is.

Wémtegozhiyek Glossary

Anet                           Part of

Bgoch            Wild

Biwabek                    Iron

Bmeyéwak               To be in a place and moving

Bwa                            Can’t; Don’t; preventative

Bwamshe                  Before

Ébwamshe               It was before

Byé                             To come; Preverb meaning coming

Byat                            He/she comes

Dbénwék                  They are civilized

Débwétanawa        They believe in it

Wdébwétanawa     They believe in it

Déwégen                  Drum

Dkobdon                  Tie something

Dodawat                   They treat each other a certain way

Mje dodawat           They abuse each other

Égcheyowat             They really use it

Égi                               Past tense

Egme                          Every (prefix for time)

Égme keshyép         Every morning

Ékwak                        How long something is

Énayek                      Having to do with the making of iron

Énet                            he/she/they are there

Énwék                       Surely; Certainly

Éwi                             Future tense

Ga                               Past tense

Gchemnedo             Great Spirit

Ge                               Immediate future

Gégo                          Something; Stop/Don’t

Gekwedso                Jump on (imperative)

Géyabé                      Boy (another word)

Ggenona                   To ask someone

Éggenonat                he/she asked him/her

Ggetganwa              Your garden

Gi                                Those (animate); Past Tense

Gigabé                       Boy

Gigabéyen                Boy in 4th person

Gikansenan              Our friend (+)

Ginan                         We (+)

Gish                            After

Giwta                         Around

Giwta omgon          Ride around

Gkendan                   To Know something

Égkendemgo           We know something

Gkéndek                   He learns something

Gkenomagé             To Teach

Égkeno’mewat        He teaches them

Gkenomowat          He teaches him

Gkenomowan         He teaches them 

Gode                          These (animate)

Gowat                       They told him

Gtegan                      Garden

Wgetganéswa         Their garden

Ggetganwa              Your garden (plural you)

Gwgezhek                Something is inside someone

Gwi                             You will; Will to you

Gzhémnedo             The Great Spirit (God)

Gzhémnedon          Great Spirit in 4th person

I                                   That (inanimate)

I je ngom                  Up to today (idiom)

I ji i pi             At that time (idiom)

I yé i                           That’s it (idiom)

I je yé i                       That’s it (idiom)

I je o                           That’s him/her (idiom)

I je gi                          That’s them

Ibe                              There

Iw                               particle that marks a point

Iw je ngom               Nowadays

Jagnénat                   All of them

Jak                              all

Jak shena éyémgek            They are all over the place

Jak neshnabék                    All the Indians

Je                                emphasis particle

Jo                                No

Jo wi                           No emphasized

Kapi                            Finally (older form of gégpi)

Kedo                          To say something

Ékdonegek               They say

Gdekdomen             We (+) say

Ékedot                       He/she says

Kéyshep                    Morning

Kik                              Earth, the world

Madmowen             Prayer

Maji                            To Leave

Majit                          He leaves

Manéton                   Many/much

Mbo                           To Die

Mbonet                     He dies

Mémek                      Especially

Meshomes               Grandfather

Wmeshomsen         His grandfather

Mijen                         To eat something

Mijwat                       They eat it

Mina                          To give to someone

Minan                        He/she gave something to him/her

Mine                          And; Again

Mishgweset             Strong, h/s is

Mje                             Something bad (Prefix only)

Mkedébiwabek       Black Iron

Mno                           Something good (prefix only)

Mswké                      Blood; Red

Mteg                          Tree

Mtegok                     Trees or At the Tree (locative)

Naganit                     Leader

Nasena                      Look out, be careful

Nat                             Tell someone something

Enat                            he/she tells him/her

Gngok                        They tell something to you

Wgi nan                    He told them

Nchiwénmok           They are happy

Négdoshayek          Horses

Négdoshas               Pony

Négdoshayen          Horse in 4th person

Négdoshawensawat          They have a horse

Nekmek                    Different places; Everywhere

Ne                               Preverb meaning to start something; Question marker

Nene                          Man

Nesh je                      But; Of Course; Or

Neshnabé                 Indian

Éneshnabéwigo      We are Indians

Neshnabén               Indian in 4th person

Neshnabék               Indians

Ngeto                         To lose something/someone

Énget                         He/she is lost

Ga ngezot                 He/she was lost

Ngdemagze              To be pitiful or poor

Ngdemagzesi           H/s is not pitiful or poor

Ngemwen                 Song

Ngodek                     Once

Ngok                          They say something to you

Ngom                         Today

Ni                                Those (inanimate); 4th person marker; Question marker

Niw                             Those (inanimate); 4th person marker (variant)

Ni je                           What (interrogative)

Nim’ediwen             Dance

Ninweze                    Weak, to be

Nizhokmo                 To Help

Nizhokmagon          He/she is helped by him/her/them

Nizhokmowen        He/she helps him/her/them

Nizhokmagwan      He/she is helped by him/her/them

Nizhokmowan        He/she helps him/her

Gnizhokmagnan     We are helped by him/her/them

Nkwégnak                My neck (locative)

Nodan                                   To hear something

Nnodamen               We hear (-)

Nsedikegon              Kill each other (negative)

Gégo nsedikegon   Don’t kill each other

Nwech                       More

O                                 That (animate)

O je yé o                    That is the one (idiom) (animate)

O yé o                        That is the one (idiom) (animate)

Odan                          Village; Town

Odanek                     To a village or town (Locative)

Ode                            This

Pi                                 Time

Seksik            Deer

Seksiyen                    Deer in 4th person

Shena                        Emphasis particle

Wa                              Future tense marker

Wabdan                    To see something

Ewabdawat              They see each other

Wakayabdé             Round Toothed Person

Wbeshegwan          They ruin something

Wdebénma              To own someone

Wdebénman            He/she owns him/her/them

Wdekwénzhgewan             He/she/they are victorious

Wdena                      To get something

Wdenen                    He/she gets it

Wdetnanawa          They get it

Wdenwémagnen   His/her relatives

Wdopi                       At this time

Widoktadwen         Good Relations; Community Spirit; Communalism; Tribalism

Widokwdatwat       They get along well, they are good friends

Wégni                        What

Wéj                            Why; Indicates Purpose or Direction

Wémtegozhi                        French (cross stick people)

Wémtegozhiyen     French in 4th person

Wépodé                    To Pound on something

Éwépodek                He pounds it

Weye                         Someone

Wgetganéswa         Their garden

Wgi                             He/she/They did

Wi                               Future tense; Emphasis particle

Wi zhe ibe                Way over there

Widmo                      Tell someone

Ézwidmonan           He/she tells someone something

Widmowak              He tells them

Wigbish                     Bark

Win                            He, she, it (animate)

Wishteyé                  To blacksmith

Éwishteyaywat       They are blacksmithing

Wiyas                         Meat

Wizhgya                    To be strong

Wiznabén                 His fellow people (4th person)

Wje                            Direction something is from

Wmeshomsen         His grandfather

Wzawzhonya          Gold

Wzhi                          There

Yajmowen                A Story or Teaching

Yé                                To Be in a place

Yéwak                        They are in a place

Éyémgek                   They are in a place

Éyéwat                      They are in a place

Yéwawat                   They have someone in a place

Éyénet                       It is in a place (something animate)

Zégze                         Scared, be

Zégsewat                  They are scared

Zhe                             Emphasis particle

Zhechgé                    To do

Zhechgén                  Do something (imperative)

Zhechgéyan             I do something

Zhena                        Emphasis particle

Zhena gégo              etcetera; somethings

Zheton                       To make something

Zhetonet                   He she makes something

Zhode                        Here

Zhwénma                 To bless someone; have mercy on someone; take pity on someone

Zhwénmat                He/she blesses him/her

Zizdeyatek                Something between his legs

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s