Some sage advice….

Some folks who attempt to learn to speak another language, but in this case, Potawatomi, often take any type of shortcut they can imagine. This is usually in the form of printed materials, such as a dictionary or lexical works, but one cannot learn to speak a language that way. The best way to learn any language is to Immerse oneself in it. Surround yourself with speakers of that language so you hear that language all the time, every day. In that way, you will learn all the subtleties, intonations, inflections and other characteristics of the language and pick up those subtle sounds of fluency. You cannot accomplish that from any book, no matter how well it is written. Books are guides, not teachers, and they cannot give one the subtle sounds of fluency I have mentioned. This is why I keep hammering at basics. You cannot learn this language of Potawatomi without knowing the basics of it.

If you’re going to play country music in Texas, ya gotta have a fiddle in the band….and if ya gonna speak Potawatomi, ya gotta know your basics.

Greetings! 

Bo zho jak/ja ye’k.

Hello all/everyone

Bo zho, we’gni je e’she ne kazyen?

Hello, what is your name?

Don, ndesh ne kas.

My name is Don.

Mine she gin, wegni je e’she ne kazyen?

How about you, what is your name?

Hau, Dave ndesh ne kas.

Oh, my name is Dave.

Ni pi je e’je byayen?/ni pi je we’ch bya yen?

Where do you come from?

Hannahville ndoch bya.

I am from Hannahville.

Mine she gin, ni pi je we’ch bya yen?

How about you, where do you come from?

Hau, Toronto ndoch bya.

Oh, I come from Toronto.

Ni pi je e’she nakiyen?/Ni pi je e’je mik je wi yen?

Where do you work?

Shemewgemgok e’mikjewiyan/Shemewgemgok ndonjinaki.

I work at the restaurant.

Nake she gin, ni pi je e’mikjewiyen/enjenakiyen?

How about you, where do you work?

Dawewgemgok ndonjinaki/e’mikjewiyan.

I work at the store.

Ni pi je e’she bya ye’k?

Where do you (pl.) come from?

Hannahville, ndoch byamen.

We come from Hannahville.

Mine she ginwa, ni pi je e’je bya ye’k?

How about you, (pl.) where do you come from?

Mine she ginwa, ni pi je we’ch bya ye’k?

How about you, (pl.) where do you come from?

Ni pi je enjenakiye’k/ni pi je e’mikjewiye’k?

Where do you (pl.) work?

Kche odanek e’mikjewiyak/kche odanek enjenakiyak.

We work at the big town.

Ni je eshe ne kazod o?

What is that person’s name?

Dave e’shen kazo.

His name is Dave.

Ni pi je e’mikje’wit/ni pi je e’njenakit?

Where does he work?

Dawe’wgemek e’mikjewit/dawe’wgemek e’njenakit.

He works at the store.

Ni pi je we’je byat?

Where does he come from?

Kansas we’je byat.

He/she comes from Kansas.

Kansas we’je bye wat.

They come from Kansas.

Ni je e’she ne kaz yen?

What is your name?

Don desh ne kaz.

My name is Don.

Nin se zhe nDon.

I am Don.

Ni je e’she na kazot o gye’yom/gne’ne’yem?

What is your mother’s name?

Marian e’she na kazot o ngye/Marian shen kazo.

My mother’s name is Marian.

Ni je e’she ne kazot o gnos/gdedeyem?

What is your father’s name?

Don, Sr. e’she na kazot o nnos/Don, Sr. shen kazo.

My father’s name is Don, Sr.

Ni pi je e’zhya yen?

Where are you going?

Odanek ni pa zhya/odanek nde zhya.

I am going to town.

Ni pi je e’zhya yak?

Where are we going?

Zhoshkwe’wgemgok gde zhya men.

We are going to the skating arena.

Ni pi je e’wi zhyat ode?/bemadzet?

Where is this person going?

Neme’wgemgok e’wi zhyat.

This person is going to church.

Ni pi je e’zhya wat gi./bemadzejek?

Where are these people going?

Neme’wgemgok e’wi zhya wat.

They are going to church.

Odanek e’wi zhya wat.

They are going to town.

Ndezhya

I am  going.

Nde zhya men

We are going (excl.)

Gde zhya men

We are going (incl.)

Zhya

He/she is going.

Zhyé wag

They are going.

Ngi zhya

I went

Ngi zhya men

We went (excl.)

Gi zhya men

We went (incl.)

Ni pi je e’zhya yen                                                                 

Where are you going?

Ni pi je e’zhya yen wabek

Where are you going tomorrow?

Ni pi je e’zhya yen wabek pkonyak

Where are you going tomorrow night?

Kigdogemgok nde zhya

I am going to the community hall.

Kigdogemgok nde zhya wabek

I am going to the community hall tomorrow.

Kigdogemgok nde zhya wabek pkonyak

I am going to the community hall tomorrow night.

Ni pi je ga zhya yen

Where did you go?

Ni pi je ga zhya yak

Where did we go (incl.)?

Ni pi je ga zhya yek

Where did you (pl.) go?

Ni pi je ga zhyat

Where did he/she go?

Ni pi je ga zhyé wat

Where did they go?

Ni pi je wech bya yen

Where did you come from?

Ni pi je wech bya yen w nago

Where did you come from yesterday?

Ni pi je ga je bya yek

Where did you (pl.) come from?

Ni pi je ga je bye yak

Where did we come from (incl.)?

Ni pi je ga je byat

Where did he/she come from?

Ni pi je ga je bye wat

Where did they come from?

Ni pi je ga bya yen ode waben

Where did you come from this morning?

Odanek ngi bya yan ode waben

I came from town this morning.

Ni pi je ga je bya yek ode waben

Where did you (pl.) come from this morning?

Nemewgemgok ngi bya men ode waben

We came from church this morning (excl.).

Ni pi je ga bye yak ode waben

Where did we come from this morning (incl.)?

Mshkekiwgemgok gi bya men ode waben

We came from the hospital this morning (incl.)

Ni pi je ga je byat ode bemadzet

Where did this person come from?

Megwe pi ga je byat ago

He/she came from far away.

Ni pi je ga je bye wat

Where did they come from?

Zibik gi bye wak/zibe gi bye wak

They came from the river.

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya yen

When are you going?

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya yen odanek

When are you going to the town?

Wabek nde zhya odanek

I am going to the town tomorrow.

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya she mshkekiwgemgok

When are you going to the hospital?

Gizhnawkwek nde zhya she mshkekiwgemgok

I am going to the hospital in the afternoon.

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya men she skonogemgok

When are we going to the school (incl.)?

Gi byedon ne i mshkeke

Did you bring any of that medicine?

Cho wi she nde sasi shote

No, I don’t have any of that with me here.

Weswabek gde zhya men ibe skonogemgok

We are going to the school day after tomorrow.(incl.)

Stuff ya all need to learn

Greetings! 

Bo zho jak/ja ye’k.

Hello all/everyone

Bo zho, we’gni je e’she ne kazyen?

Hello, what is your name?

Don, ndesh ne kas.

My name is Don.

Mine she gin, wegni je e’she ne kazyen?

How about you, what is your name?

Hau, Dave ndesh ne kas.

Oh, my name is Dave.

Ni pi je e’je byayen?/ni pi je we’ch bya yen?

Where do you come from?

Hannahville ndoch bya.

I am from Hannahville.

Mine she gin, ni pi je we’ch bya yen?

How about you, where do you come from?

Hau, Toronto ndoch bya.

Oh, I come from Toronto.

Ni pi je e’she nakiyen?/Ni pi je e’je mik je wi yen?

Where do you work?

Shemewgemgok e’mikjewiyan/Shemewgemgok ndonjinaki.

I work at the restaurant.

Nake she gin, ni pi je e’mikjewiyen/enjenakiyen?

How about you, where do you work?

Dawewgemgok ndonjinaki/e’mikjewiyan.

I work at the store.

Ni pi je e’she bya ye’k?

Where do you (pl.) come from?

Hannahville, ndoch byamen.

We come from Hannahville.

Mine she ginwa, ni pi je e’je bya ye’k?

How about you, (pl.) where do you come from?

Mine she ginwa, ni pi je we’ch bya ye’k?

How about you, (pl.) where do you come from?

Ni pi je enjenakiye’k/ni pi je e’mikjewiye’k?

Where do you (pl.) work?

Kche odanek e’mikjewiyak/kche odanek enjenakiyak.

We work at the big town.

Ni je eshe ne kazod o?

What is that person’s name?

Dave e’shen kazo.

His name is Dave.

Ni pi je e’mikje’wit/ni pi je e’njenakit?

Where does he work?

Dawe’wgemek e’mikjewit/dawe’wgemek e’njenakit.

He works at the store.

Ni pi je we’je byat?

Where does he come from?

Kansas we’je byat.

He/she comes from Kansas.

Kansas we’je bye wat.

They come from Kansas.

Ni je e’she ne kaz yen?

What is your name?

Don desh ne kaz.

My name is Don.

Nin se zhe nDon.

I am Don.

Ni je e’she na kazot o gye’yom/gne’ne’yem?

What is your mother’s name?

Marian e’she na kazot o ngye/Marian shen kazo.

My mother’s name is Marian.

Ni je e’she ne kazot o gnos/gdedeyem?

What is your father’s name?

Don, Sr. e’she na kazot o nnos/Don, Sr. shen kazo.

My father’s name is Don, Sr.

Ni pi je e’zhya yen?

Where are you going?

Odanek ni pa zhya/odanek nde zhya.

I am going to town.

Ni pi je e’zhya yak?

Where are we going?

Zhoshkwe’wgemgok gde zhya men.

We are going to the skating arena.

Ni pi je e’wi zhyat ode?/bemadzet?

Where is this person going?

Neme’wgemgok e’wi zhyat.

This person is going to church.

Ni pi je e’zhya wat gi./bemadzejek?

Where are these people going?

Neme’wgemgok e’wi zhya wat.

They are going to church.

Odanek e’wi zhya wat.

They are going to town.

Ndezhya

I am  going.

Nde zhya men

We are going (excl.)

Gde zhya men

We are going (incl.)

Zhya

He/she is going.

Zhyé wag

They are going.

Ngi zhya

I went

Ngi zhya men

We went (excl.)

Gi zhya men

We went (incl.)

Ni pi je e’zhya yen                                                                 

Where are you going?

Ni pi je e’zhya yen wabek

Where are you going tomorrow?

Ni pi je e’zhya yen wabek pkonyak

Where are you going tomorrow night?

Kigdogemgok nde zhya

I am going to the community hall.

Kigdogemgok nde zhya wabek

I am going to the community hall tomorrow.

Kigdogemgok nde zhya wabek pkonyak

I am going to the community hall tomorrow night.

Ni pi je ga zhya yen

Where did you go?

Ni pi je ga zhya yak

Where did we go (incl.)?

Ni pi je ga zhya yek

Where did you (pl.) go?

Ni pi je ga zhyat

Where did he/she go?

Ni pi je ga zhyé wat

Where did they go?

Ni pi je wech bya yen

Where did you come from?

Ni pi je wech bya yen w nago

Where did you come from yesterday?

Ni pi je ga je bya yek

Where did you (pl.) come from?

Ni pi je ga je bye yak

Where did we come from (incl.)?

Ni pi je ga je byat

Where did he/she come from?

Ni pi je ga je bye wat

Where did they come from?

Ni pi je ga bya yen ode waben

Where did you come from this morning?

Odanek ngi bya yan ode waben

I came from town this morning.

Ni pi je ga je bya yek ode waben

Where did you (pl.) come from this morning?

Nemewgemgok ngi bya men ode waben

We came from church this morning (excl.).

Ni pi je ga bye yak ode waben

Where did we come from this morning (incl.)?

Mshkekiwgemgok gi bya men ode waben

We came from the hospital this morning (incl.)

Ni pi je ga je byat ode bemadzet

Where did this person come from?

Megwe pi ga je byat ago

He/she came from far away.

Ni pi je ga je bye wat

Where did they come from?

Zibik gi bye wak/zibe gi bye wak

They came from the river.

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya yen

When are you going?

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya yen odanek

When are you going to the town?

Wabek nde zhya odanek

I am going to the town tomorrow.

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya she mshkekiwgemgok

When are you going to the hospital?

Gizhnawkwek nde zhya she mshkekiwgemgok

I am going to the hospital in the afternoon.

Ni jo pi ne gwi zhya men she skonogemgok

When are we going to the school (incl.)?

Gi byedon ne i mshkeke

Did you bring any of that medicine?

Cho wi she nde sasi shote

No, I don’t have any of that with me here.

Weswabek gde zhya men ibe skonogemgok

We are going to the school day after tomorrow.(incl.)

What’s happening outdoors

Zagech ezhewébek- Weather

Gmowen- its raining.

Waseyamget- its bright/ sunny.

Boni- its snowing.

Gche binimget – it’s really snowing hard.

Pespeyasom get – drizzling.

Wenbismget – raining lightly.

Gwankwet- its cloudy.

Ni je ngom ézh gishgek zagech? How is the weather today?

Gshate- hot.

Ksenya- cold.

Noden- windy.

Gshate ne? Is it hot?

Ksenya ne? Is it cold.

Tkeya ne?  Is it cool?

Gmeya ne?  Is it rainy?

Gmyeyamget – raining.

Gmyeyambet – it’s rainy.

Yabwam ne?  Is it warm?

mno gishget – it’s a nice day

mno gishget ngom zagech – it’s a nice day outside

yabwamget zagech ngom – it’s warm outdoors today

wimno gishget ngom – it’s going to be nice today

gimno gishget – it was a nice day

kwan se ge mno gishget it’s really a nice day

mzhe kwet ngom it’s a clear sky today

kwan se ge mzhe kwet it’s really a clear sky

gsha tem get ngom it’s hot today

kwan se ge gshate it’s really hot

kwan se ge gsha temget ngom it’s really hot today

wiska kte mget it’s unbearabley hot

gwi pich gsha tem get ngom it’s going to be a really hot day

tke yam get it’s cool

tke yam get she anwe bgeji it’s cooling off a little

bidan kwet clouds are coming

ngwan kwet zagech ngom it’s cloudy outdoors today

ngwan kwet it’s cloudy

we ban met the wind is beginning to blow

nshiw we nmet ngom zagech it’s windy outdoors today

noden ngom it’s windy today

nsho na da nmet the wind is blowing in all directions

bkwe nem get zagech ngom it’s hazy outdoors today

gaga she gwi nshiw enmet zagech the wind is going to blow hard soon

kche noden really strong wind

nshiw wenmet it’s very windy

waw yasto wa je byat tornado is coming

wawyasto tornado

niska det ngom it’s stormy today

gmeyamget it’s raining

gmeyamget ngom zagech it’s raining outdoors today

gmo nos wen ngom it’s drizzling today

wenbisamget raining lightly

bonanmet wind is settling down/it is stopping

ksenyam get ngom it’s cold today

kwan se ge ksen yam get ngom zagech it’s really cold outdoors today

bonim get ngom it’s snowing today

gwi bonim get ngom it’s going to snow today

zho shkwam get ngom zagech it’s slippery outdoors today

gwi kche bonimke wabek/pkonyak it’s really going to snow tomorrow/tonight

nge dem get ngom it’s melting today

gi jak gezo o gon the snow is melting

gi jak gezo o mkwem the ice is melting

Immersion phrases

Weye ne gi wabdan ne i gbiskewagen?           Has anyone seen my coat?

Weye ne gi wabma o ngwes?                           Has anyone seen my son?

Ni je pi éwi bidgéyak?                                      When are we going in?

Ni je pi éwi wisniyak?                                                When do we eat?

Nedwendan ne anet gapi?                                 You want some coffee?

Nedwendan ne anet mkekwabo?                      You want some coffee?

Nedwendan ne i pwagasen?                              You want a cigarette?

Nedwendan ne éwdeméyen?                            You want to smoke?

Ni je épandewebneyen?                                    What are you looking for?

Énedwendayan anet gapi.                                  I want some coffee

Énedwendayan anet wisnewen.                        I want some food

Mishen i ziwtagen                                              Give me the salt

Gégo ziwtagnegékén i wisnewen                     Don’t salt the food

Zheton I kewewen                                              Make a flag

Zheton I wizaw kewewen                                  Make a yellow flag

Zheton nyéwo kewewnen                                  Make four flags

Gdesa ne anet sémau?                                        Do you have any tobacco?

Cho nensémau ndesasi                                      I don’t have any tobacco

Éhe, nde sa nensémau                                        Yes, I have tobacco

Kyénep byan shote!                                           Quick come here!

Kyénep byak shote!                                           Quick come here! (plural)

Ni je esh témget zagech?                                   What’s it like outside?

Wi gméyamget ne ngom?                                 Will it rain today?

Ni pi je i zakmogemek?                                    Where is the bathroom (outhouse)?

Ni pi je i wisnewgemek?                                   Where is the kitchen?

Ndeton anet mingaswenen                                I have some gifts

Ngi byédonen node mingaswenen                   I brought these gifts

Ébgednoyan ode sémau                                     I put down /offer this tobacco

Ébgednoyan ode nibiwen                                  I put down/offer this water

Nwi ngemo                                                         I will sing

Nwi madmo                                                        I will pray

Gwi madmomen                                                We will pray

Ge Wisnemen                                                     Let’s eat

Ge binakjegémen                                                Let’s clean up

Ge bidgémen                                                       Let’s go in

Ge wéwébdamen                                                Let’s begin

Gwi bokpedon ne?                                             You want a break?

Ode se ndekwéyom                                            This is my wife

Ode se ndeniyem                                                This is my husband

Nénmoshen i mbish                                           Hand me the water

Nénmoshen i wiyas                                            Hand me the meat

Nénmoshen i kemsagen                                     Hand me that ax

Nénmoshen i jishtegen                                      Hand me that broom

Nénmoshen I déwégen                                      Hand me that drum

Gi byédon ne I déwégen?                                  Did you bring a drum?

Gi byédon ne anet gishki?                                 Did you bring some cedar?

Nebyégén ode                                                     Write this

Gégo nebyégén                                                   Don’t write

Daga mishen gi penik                                        Please give me the potatoes

Daga byédweshen anet mbish                          Please bring me some water

Daga mina i kemsagen o Mkwabjegé              Please give the ax to Mkwabjegé

Daga nénmo i mbop o Kwénago                      Please hand the soup to Kwénago

Daga mina i kewéwen o Wawashkeshikwé    Please hand that flag to Wawashkeshikwé

Daga mina i gishkbojgen o Mzekwagé            Please hand that saw to Mzekwagé

Ni je éndebendat ode?                                       Who does this belong to?

Ni je éndebendat ode mkesen?                         Who does this shoe belong to?

Ni je éndebendat ode wiwkwan?                      Who does this cap belong to?

I yé I ne?                                                             Is that it?

Éhe, I yé I                                                           Yes, that’s it

I yé o ne?                                                            Is that him/her?

Éhe, I yé o                                                           Yes, that’s h/h

Jibteben shote                                                     Sit here

Jibtebek ibe                                                         Sit there (plural)

Jayék ginwa ne nodwak?                                  Can you all hear?

Jayék ginwa ne nodweshen?                            Can you all hear me?

Éhé nnodan                                                        Yes, I can hear

Cho wi she nnodansi                                         I can’t hear

Éhé nnodwen                                                     Yes, I hear you

Cho wi she nnodwesi                                        I can’t hear you

Gi nodagé ne?                                                     Did you hear (news)

Gi wabdan ne ode?                                            Did you see this?

Gi wabma ne o?                                                Did you see h/h?

Ngi wabdan i                                                      I saw it

Cho ngi wabdasin i                                            I didn’t see it

Ngi nodagé                                                         I heard

Cho ngi nodagési                                                I didn’t hear

Ngi zhechké I                                                     I did that

Cho ngi zhechkési I                                           I didn’t do that

Ni je éschegéyen?                                               What are you doing?

Ni je wa zhechkéyak wabek?                           What will we do tomorrow?

Ni je ga zhechkéyak wnago?                            What did we do yesterday?

Gkendan ne i?                                                    Do you know that?

Éhe ngekendan I                                                Yes, I know that

Gkenma ne o?                                                    Do you know h/h?

Éhe ngekenma o                                                Yes, I know h/h

chowi she gbbamzewen I                                  that is none of your business

ni je wej kendemyen I                                        why do you want to know that

chowi shna gmnesyen ekendemyen I              you really don’t need to know that

O kshemnedo madmowen

Nosinan wakwig ebiyin,
ape kitchitwawenitamag kitinosowin,
kitokumawin ape piyamikuk,
kitebwetako tipu wakwig,
apeke ichu tebwetakon chote kig.
Ngom ekijikiwok michinag wamitchiyak,
ponigitediwichinag kego kachikichiinakin,
echi ponigitediwiket woye kego kachikichiimidjin;
kinaimochinag ewi pwa patadiyak;
tchitchiyikwan nenimowichinag meyanuk waotichkakoyakin.
Ape iw nomikuk.

Just have some fun with language.

Énepijak                                         Seasons

Mnokmek                                        Spring

Nibnek                                             Summer

Dgwagék                                          Fall

Bbok/Bbomgek                               Winter

Gizsok:                                            Months of the year:

Chemkogizes                                   Big Bear Moon/January

Mkogizos                                         Little bear Moon/February

Nmébnegizes                                   Sucker Moon/March

Zisbadokégizes                               Sugar Moon/April

Démengizes                                     Strawberry Moon/May

Gtegégizes                                       Gardening Moon/June

Abtenibnegizes                               Mid-summer Moon/July

Minkégizes                                      Blueberry Moon/August

Watebgyagizes                                Turning Leaves Moon/September

Bnakwigizes                                    Falling Leaves Moon/October

Bbongizes                                        Snow Moon/November

Abtobbongizes                                Mid-winter Moon/December

Geshémnedogizes                           Spirit Moon/December

Gizhek:                                            Days of the week:

Ngotgizhek                                      First Day/Monday

Nizhgizhek                                      Second day/Tuesday

Abtosak                                           Midweek/Wednesday

Nyéwgizhek                                    Fourth Day/Thursday

Nyanogizhek                                   Fifth Day/Friday

Odankégizhek                                 Go to town Day/Saturday

Nemégizhek                                     Prayer Day/Sunday

Ni je ga wpijak égidgoyen?                    During what part of the year were you born?

É-_________ngi wdades.                        __________is when I was born.

Ni je pi gadgoyen?                                   When were you born?

É-__________ngi wdades.                      _________is when I was born.

Ni je pi ga nigyen?                                   When were you born/delivererd?

É-_________ngi nik.                               ____________is when I was born.

In reference to days of the week.

First                                                  éshkewebsek

Second                                          énishwek

Third                                                énswesek

Fourth                                              ényewsek

Fifth                                                 ényanosek

Sixth                                                éngotwatsek

Seventh                                            énoégsek

Eighth                                              énshwatsosek

Ninth                                                énzhaksek

Tenth                                                énmdatsosek

Eleventh                                          énmdatsoshejngotsek

Another way……..

First                                                  éko ngot

Second                                             éko nishek

Third                                                éko nswesek

Fourth                                              éko nyewek

Fifth                                                 éko nyanok

Sixth                                                éko ngotwatsek

Seventh                                            éko noegsek

Eighth                                              éko shwatsek

Ninth                                                éko zhaksek

Tenth                                                éko mdatsek       

Odo pi ebyat o mskwabiskewagnene

At this time the red coated man comes

Enen mego se mamanji piwen

Enen mego se mamanji piwen

Mine ewepomgek

We wish you a merry Christmas

We wish you a merry Christmas

And a happy New Year…….

Have fun with this language, as there are so many ways to say these same things……figure it out.

Lesson on the 4 types of verbs

Four Main types of verbs

AI, II, TI, TA

Animate Intransitive Verbs AI

These are words where something animate does something by themselves. Basically it doesn’t effect anyone or anything else

Example: I eat, I sit, I will go, I did read, I will write etc.

Wisne- he/she eats, maji-he/she leaves, wawijge- he/she reads,kikto-he/she talks,kedo-he/she says etc.

Inanimate Intransitive II

This is when something inanimate is a certain way.

Example: It is cold, It is round , it is red, they are long, it is small etc. Many weather forms are in this form.

Ksenya mget- it is cold, gshatemget- it is hot. Wawyeya- it is round, gachnwa- it is small.

Transitive Inanimate TI

Something is going on between someone  and an  inanimate object

Example, I see it. I touched it, I am eating it, Did you want it? I like it, etc.

Wabdan- he/she sees it, nodan- he/she hears it, nedwendan-he/she wants it, medagwendan-he/she likes it, mijen- he/she eats it. Dapnen- he/she picks it up,

Majidon- he/she takes it

Transitive Animate TA

Someone animate is doing something with someone or something animate. This can also be between either a person and a person or a person and an animate object.

Example: I am picking up the pipe. I see him. I hear him. She is talking to you. We are going to eat potatoes. Certain objects are animate such as potatoes, beans, corn etc. Wabma- see s.o., nodwa- hear s.o.

Kenona- talk to s.o., mina- to give s.o.

VAI-Verb Animate Intransitive

Animate Action verbs tell you what an animate noun or subject is doing. These verbs can also describe the state of being of the animate noun.

Here are some VAI examples:

Mikchewi-to work or h/s works

N de mikchewi ngom.                   I am working today.

G de mikchewi ngom.                   You are working today.

W de mikchewi ngom.                  H/S is working today.

N de mikchewimen ngom.          We (-) are working today.

G de mikchewimen ngom.           We (+) are working today.

G de mikchewim ngom.               You all are working today.

W de mikchewik ngom.                They are working today.

Maji- to leave or he/she leaves

N wi maji wabek.                                       I will leave tomorrow.

G wi maji wabek.                                       You will leave tomorrow.

Wi majiwak wabek.                                   H/S will leave tomorrow.

N wi majimen wabek.                               We (-) will leave tomorrow.

G wi majimen wabek.                               We (+) will leave tomorrow.

G wi majim wabek.                                    You all will leave tomorrow.

Wi majik wabek.                                         They will leave tomorrow.

Zhye- to go or h/s goes

N gi zhya wnago.                            I went yesterday.

G gi zhya wnago.                            You went yesterday.

Gi zhyewak wnago.                       H/S went yesterday.

N gi zhyamen wnago.                   We (-) went yesterday.

G gi zhyamen wnago.                   We (+) went yesterday.

G gi zhyam wnago.                        You all went yesterday.

Gi zhyewik wnago.                        They went yesterday.

Wisne-to eat or h/s eats

N ge wisen.                                      I am about to eat.

G ge wisen.                                      You are about to eat.

W ge wisne.                                     H/S is about to eat.

N ge wisnemen.                              We (-) are about to eat.

G ge wisnemen.                              We (+) are about to eat.

G ge wisnem.                                   You all are about to eat.

W ge wisnik.                                    They are about to eat.

VII- Verb Inanimate Intransitive

This is when a verb describes a state of being of an inanimate noun (inanimate descriptive verbs) or when an inanimate action verb tells what is happening with something inanimate (weather terms).

Weather term examples :

Gi gshatemget ngom.                   It was hot today.

Bonimget.                                         It is snowing.

Ksenyamget zagech.                     It is cold outside.

Wi Tkeyamget wabek.                  It will be cool tomorrow.

Gi yabwamget wnago.                  It was warm yesterday.

Mzhekwet ngom.                           It is a clear sky today.

Describitive inanimate intransitive verb examples:

Gachnwa ode dopwen.                This table is small.

Meshamget ode shkwadem.      This door is large.

Meskede ode gokbenagen.         This basket is expensive.

Wenpengede i msenegen.           The book is cheap.

Gshedemget i gapi.                        The coffee is hot.

Gi webnegade i nonagnabo.       The milk was discarded.

(VTA) Verb Transitive Animate

This is when a verb interacts with an animate noun and another animate noun. One animate noun is the subject and the other animate noun is the object.

VTA-Dapna -To pick up someone

Singular examples

N wi dapna o nemosh.                  I will pick up the dog.

G wi dapna o nemosh.                  You will pick up the dog.

Wi dapnan ni nemoshen.             He/she will pick up the dog.

In this example the object (nemoshen) becomes the 4th person or the obviative.

N wi dapnamen o nemosh.         We (-) will pick up the dog.

G wi dapnamen o nemosh.         We (+) will pick up the dog.

G wi dapnawa o nemosh.            You all will pick up the dog.

Wi dapnawan ni nemoshen.       They will pick up the dog.

In this example the object (nemoshen) becomes the 4th person or the obviative.

Plural examples

N wi dapnak gi nemoshek.           I will pick up the dogs.

G wi dapnak gi nemoshek.          You will pick up the dogs.

Wi dapnan ni nemoshen.             He/she will pick up the dogs.

In this example the object (nemoshen) becomes the 4th person or the obviative.

N wi dapnamen gi nemoshek.    We (-) will pick up the dogs.

G wi dapnamen gi nemoshek.    We (+) will pick up the dogs.

G wi dapnawak gi nemoshek.     You all will pick up the dogs.

Wi dapnawan ni nemoshen.       They will pick up the dogs.

VTA-Bidapkowebna-To put something animate in the oven

Singular examples

N gi bidapkowebna o bidi.                       I put the chicken in the oven.

G gi bidapkowebna o bidi.                       You put the chicken in the oven.

Gi bidapkowebnan ni bidiyen.                He/she put the chicken in the oven.

In this example the object (bidiyen) becomes the 4th person or the obviative.

N gi bidapkowebnamen o bidi.              We (-) put the chicken in the oven.

G gi bidapkowebnamen o bidi.              We (+) put the chicken in the oven.

G gi bidapkowebnawa o bidi.                 You all put the chicken in the oven.

Gi bidapkowebnawan ni bidiyen.          They put the chicken in the oven.

In this example (bidiyen) becomes the 4th person or the obviative.

Plural examples

N gi bidapkowebnak gi bidiyek.             I put the chickens in the oven.

G gi bidapkowebnak gi bidiyek.             You put the chickens in the oven.

Gi bidapkowebnan ni bidiyen.                He/she put the chickens in the oven.

In this example the (bidiyen) becomes the 4th person or the obviative.

N gi bidapkowebnamen gi bidiyek.       We (-) put the chickens in the oven.

G gi bidapkowebnamen gi bidiyek.       We (+) put the chickens in the oven.

G gi bidapkowebnawak gi bidiyek.        You all put the chickens in the oven.

Gi bidapkowebnawan ni bidiyen.          They put the chickens in the oven.

In this example (bidiyen) becomes the 4th person or the obviative

VTI –Verb Transitive Inanimate

Definition- When an animate noun/subject transfers a verb action upon an inanimate object.

Verb-Zibyedon- to wash something

Singular

N gi zibyedon i mjegode.             I washed the dress/skirt.

G gi zibyedon i mjegode.             You washed the dress/skirt.

Gi zibyedon i mjegode.                 She washed the dress/skirt.

N gi zibyedomen i mjegode.       We (-) washed the dress/skirt.

G gi zibyedomen i mjegode.       We (+) washed the dress/skirt.

G gi zibyedom i mjegode.            You all washed the dress/skirt.

W gi zibyedonawa i mjegode.     They washed the dress/skirt.

Plural

N wi zibyedonen ni mjegodnen.   I will wash the dresses/skirts.

G wi zibyedonen ni mjegodnen.   You will wash the dresses/skirts.

Wi zibyedonen ni mjegodnen.     She will wash the dresses/skirts.

N wi zibyedonen ni mjegodnen.   We (-) will wash the dresses/skirts.

G wi zibyedonen ni mjegodnen.    We (+) will wash the dresses/skirts.

G wi zibyedom ni mjegodnen.       You all will wash the dresses/skirts.

Wi zibyedonawan ni mjegodnen.  They will wash the dresses/skirts.

Verb- nedwabdan- to look for something

Singular

N de nedwabdan i wiwkwan.                 I am looking for a cap.

G de nedwabdan i wiwkwan.                 You are looking for a cap.

W de nedwabdan i wiwkwan.                He/she is looking for a cap.

N de nedwabdamen i wiwkwan.           We (-) are looking for a cap.

G de nedwabdamen i wiwkwan.           We (+) are looking for a cap.

G de nedwabdam i wiwkwan.                You all are looking for a cap.

W de nedwabdanawa i wiwkwan.        They are looking for a cap.

Plural

N da nedwabdanen ni wiwkwanen.     I should look for the caps.

G da nedwabdanen ni wiwkwanen.     You should look for the caps.

Da nedwabdanen ni wiwkwanen.         He/she should look for the caps.

N da nedwabdamen ni wiwkwanen.    We (-) should look for the caps.

G da nedwabdamen ni wiwkwanen.    We (+) should look for the caps.

G da nedwabdam ni wiwkwanen.         You all should look for the caps.

Da nedwabdanawan ni wiwkwanen.   They should look for the caps.

Language is dad gummed interesting….

Bodewadmi nazwenen – Potawatomi Colors

A study in particles relating to colors.

When studying the words for colors, one must take a moment and look around the world with the eye of an artist. The “blue” of the sky is not the same as the “blue” of a navy blue shirt. It is often helpful to understand Potawatomi color words by what they describe to avoid preconceived notions of what the translated color looks like.

Enadek                    what color it is   (inanimate)

Enazwen                 what color it is (animate)

Basic color words:

Mskwa                    Red

Wizaw                     Yellow or Brown

Wabshkya               White

Mkedéwa                Black

Skebgya                  Green

Gizhonazwen          Blue

Wéjepkwa               Dark Blue or Purple

Zhominazwenen     Another Purple

Wabikwé’a              Gray

Using these colors to describe things requires the use of particles, and a basic knowledge of color mixing. Here are some words and descriptions given by Donald Perrot, heritage fluent speaker, PBPN, May 12, 2012:

Skebgyawen – It is green (describing the color of a leaf on a tree)

Skebgyawnon – they are green (describing the color of many leaves on a tree against the color of the sky

Mkedeskebgyadenon – it is dark green.

Wabiskebgyadenon – it is light green.

Gishekskebgyadenon – it is bluish green.

Gizheknazwedenon – It is blue (describing the color of the sky at midday)

Gmidmagizhekdenon – it is a deep blue. (Prussian blue)

Gizhekayawen – It is blue (again describing the color of the sky, listed as a variant)

Gizhinon – It is sky blue (used to describe an object that is similar to the color of the sky)

Wejepkwa éskebgyawen – It is bluish green (describing the color of the grass as compared to the leaves on the tree)

Wejepkwa éskebgwa nake gizhonazwen mine skebgya – Blue Green (a deep green with bluish undertones, like the color of grass in the shade)

Wéjepkwadék – Dark purplish blue (describing the sky right after sunset before everything turns black)

Wabwejepkwazawedenon – They are a lighter purple (describing blooming lilac flowers)

Wabmeskwazawedenon – They are a “hot pink” color (describing hot pink flowers)

Wabmeskwaékwejgakwézawnon – They are a muted pink, literally “a shadow of itself” (describing the pale pink of a conch shell)

Wabwizawedenon – they are bright yellow (describing bright yellow flowers)

Wabmkedébiwabwedenon – They are a grayish color with brown undertones (describing the trunks of trees through the leaves)

Énazwenajek – used to describe the forms of colors of animate things

Nazwen – a color (noun)

Wabmkedé ékwejkawkwézawwedenon – They are a muted grayish color (describing the trunks of trees again)

Géchwa she wabnazwé’et se i namkemgéwen – More light can be seen as you go down, allowing the color to show through (describing how the color of the trunk of the tree changes as you look from top to bottom depending on how much light is filtering through the leaves)

Ékwejkakwewizawedenon – They have a muted brown color (describing the brown on a finished piece of furniture)

Zhonyaw – It is shiny (describes the metallic color of silver or gold)

Wizawsheshkiwen – Brown dirt

Jagnazwenen sheshkiwen – Dirt with many colors

Mskwegishek mine skebyagishek – Red and Blue days ( a teaching of the Potawatomi). 

Skebgya – a blend of green and blue with more green, used to describe green, growing things. It was noted that the color of the sky is considered the “true blue”. 

Gishek – Sky

Gizhekwedenon – The color of the sky. “an established blue”.

Wabakwet – Gray Cloud

Wabakwod – It is gray (describing a cloud)

Wabek – does not just mean tomorrow or morning. It’s real meaning is “White as it pushes the darkness away.”

Wabmskawizawedenon – they are a reddish orange color (describing a shirt)

Wizawmskwéwedenon – they are a reddish brown color, like the color of cherry wood

Wizawmskwedénon – they appear to be a blending of red and brown (describing a burgundy colored recliner)

Wabmskwédénon – they appear to be a blending of white and red (describing a pinkish color) perhaps the color of the rising sun in the Eastern sky.

Mskwawizawnon – the reddish yellowish of the rising sun.

Wizawamget o gizes – the sun is bright yellow in his full color.

Zhominazwenen ni ankwedonen – those clouds are purplish.

Wizawmkedenon i wngekwen – the bark is dark brownish.

Wabshkedbe – white headed.

Wizawdbe – yellow headed one.

Wabwizawdbe – platinum blonde headed one.

Mskwadbe – red head…

Desamenazwenon – flesh colored or flesh toned.

Wiyasenazwenon – skin or flesh toned.

Zheshkienazwenon – Earth tones or toned.

I repeat, never, never ignore basics!

Most people who become good or semi-fluent with these Neshnabek languages are those who have spent time learning the basics very well. Anyone I have taught or worked with who has grasped the concepts of the language and can actually speak it with some degree of fluency, are the ones who pay attention to the basics. The more one practices the basics of pronunciation, learning the emphatic pronouns, the demonstrative pronouns, the tense markers, and the affixes, along with a healthy knowledge of verbs and nouns, can usually excel in speaking and formulating good conversational phrases. If you are one who doesn’t pay attention to the basics of this language then you probably will not be able to ever speak like a fluent speaker, and you probably will never understand completely what is said to you. SO, I repeat, practice the BASICS!