Immersion words and teachings

Try your hand at pronouncing these.

Gwi wisen ne?  – Will you eat?

Gwi wisen ne ode mbop? – Will you eat this soup?

Gwi byéwisen ne ode mbop? – Will you come eat this soup?

Maji – To leave

Nmaji – I leave

Nwi maji – I will leave

Nwi maji ngom – I will leave today

Nwi maji wabek – I will leave tomorrow

Nwi odanké – I will go to town

Mnekwé – To drink

Gmnekwé – You drink

Ggi mnekwé – You drank

Ggi mnekwé ne? – Did you drink?

Ggi mnekwé ne ode mshimnabo – Did you drink this apple juice?

Wisen/Wisne – To eat

Nwisen – I eat

Gwisen – You eat

Wisne – He/she eats

Nwi wisen – I will eat

Gwi wisen – you will eat

Wi wisnet – He/she will eat

Nwi wisen ode mbop – I will eat this soup

Gwi wisen ne ode mbop? – Will you eat this soup?

Wi wisnet o kwé – The woman will eat

Bidgé – To enter

Nbidgé – I enter

G bidgé – You enter

Wbidgét – He/she enters

Nwi bidgé – I will enter

Nwi bidgé wabek – I will enter tomorrow

Wabek nwi bidgé i wigwam – Tomorrow I will enter the house

Independent Indicative

Nmaji – I leave

Gmaji – You leave

Majiwag – He/she leaves

Nmajimen – We (-) leave

Gmajimen – We (+) leave

Gmajim – Y’all leave

Majik/Majiwak – They leave

Conjunct Indicative

Majiyan – as I leave

Majiyen – as you leave

Majit – as he/she leaves

Majiygo – as we (-) leave

Majiyak – as we (+) leave

Majiyék – as y’all leave

Majiwat – as they leave


Majin – Leave!

Majik – Leave, y’all!

Independent Indicative

Nminké – I pick berries

Gminké – You pick berries

Minkéwag – He/she picks berries

Nminkémen – we (-) pick berries

Gminkémen – we (+) pick berries

Gminkém – y’all pick berries

Minkéwat – they pick berries

Conjunct Indicative

Minkéyan – as I pick berries

Minkéyen – as you pick berries

Minkét – as he/she picks berries

Minkéygo – as we (-) pick berries

Minkéyak – as we (+) pick berries

Minkéyék – as y’all pick berries

Minkéwat – as they pick berries


          Minkén! – Pick berries!

          Minkék – Pick berries, y’all!

Independent Indicative

Nzhya – I go

Gzhya – you go

Zhyéwag – he/she goes

Nzhyamen – we (-) go

Gzhyamen – we (+) go

Gzhyam – y’all go

Zhyéwat – they go

Conjunct Indicative

Zhyayan – as I go

Zhyayen – as you go

Zhyét – as he/she goes

Zhyaygo – as we (-) go

Zhyayak – as we (+) go

Zhyéwat – as they go


          Zhyan – Go!

          Zhyak – Go, y’all!

Independent Indicative

Njibdep – I sit

Gjibdep – you sit

Jibdebe – he/she sits

Njibdebmen – we (-) sit

Gjibdebmen – we (+) sit

Gjibdebem – Y’all sit

Jibdebwik – They sit

Conjunct Indicative

Jibdebyan – as I sit

Jibdebyen – as you sit

Jibdebet – as he/she sits

Jibdebygo – as we (-) sit

Jibdebyak – as we (+) sit

Jibtebwat – as they sit


          Jibdeben – sit!

          Jibdebek – sit, y’all!

Independent Indicative

          Nwisen – I eat

          Gwisen – you eat

          Wisnet – he/she eats

          Nwisnemen – we (-) eat

          Gwisnemen – we (+) eat

          Gwisnem – y’all eat

          Wisnewat – They eat

Conjunct Indicative

          Wisneyan – as I eat

          Wisneyen – as you eat

          Wisnet – as he/she eats

          Wisneygo – as we (-) eat

          Wisneyak – as we (+) eat

          Wisneyék – as y’all eat

          Wisnewat – as they eat


          Wisnen! – Eat!

          Wisnek! – Eat, y’all!

Nda zhya zhi wabek. – I should go there tomorrow

Biskemwenen nda gishpnedon – I should buy clothes

Biskemwenen nda je gishpnenan wabek iw pi nda je zhyayan – I should buy clothes when I go wherever

Ngi zhadgé wnago – I stayed home yesterday

Jayék géwinwa gi zhyéwat zhi mawjeshnowen – All of them went there to the meeting

Mawjeshnowen gi zhyéwat zhi jayék géwinwa ma shna nin se wi zhe gi zhadgéyan – They all went there to the meeting, but as for me, I stayed home.

Nge mbyégé ode seshmowen – I’m about to write this language

Gi bémadsejek wi wawidawat ode – Those people will read this

Gi bémadsejek wi wawidwat i seshmowen émbyégéyan – Those people will read this language that I write.
odanek nwi zhya – I will go to town

Nwi chikaz tadiwgemek – I will play at the casino

Odanek nwi zhya échikazyan tadiwgemek – To town I will go to play at the casino

Nwi chikaz ibe tadiwgemek ezhyayan zhi odanek – I will play at the casino when I go there to town

Medagwendan dnekmegzewen – I like the game

Ngi wato bégishek – I had fun all day

Medagwendan ode dnekmegzewen égi watoyan bégishek – I like this game that I’ve had fun with all day.

Gwi bazmyagwes ne? – Do you stink?

Gishpen ébon gzindyé’en – If you don’t wash your butt.

Gwi kche bazmyagwes ne gishpen ébon gete gzindyéyen? – Will you really stink if you don’t really wash your butt?

Ni je pi ga majiyen? – When are you leaving?

Gwi wisen ne bwamshe émajiyen? – Will you eat before you leave?

Ni je pi gwi majiyen ne wabek mine gwi wisneyen bwamshe emajiyen – when are you leaving tomorrow?  And will you eat before you leave?

Gge wisnemen ebokbetoyak nomek ode she pi! – Let’s eat as we take a break at this time

Gwi bokbetomen ewisneyak – We will break to eat

Ekendaswiyak wnago ebmadsiwyak ngom ekenomageyak se she wabek – We learn yesterday to live for today and to teach for tomorrow.

Gi mnopkwet ne ga je wisneyen – Was it delicious what you ate?

Wégni je ga mijyen – What did you eat?

Wégni je o ga wjandat? – Who cooked?

Mno gigenokwé ne yawe ne o? – Is she a good cook?

Gdo zam shkené ne? – Did you eat too much?

Mgabéwes ne – Are you fat?

Widmoshen bgéji wni éyawyen – Tell me a little about yourself

Wégni – What

Wégwni – What

Ni je – What

Wéni – What

Ni je wi je – how

Ni je ne – how

Ni je wéj – why

Ni pi je – where

Ni je pi – When

Ni jew pi – when

Ni jo pi – When

Iw pi – When (statement)

Iw pi ezhyayan zhi – When I go there

Ni je pi ezhyayen – When are you going

Ni pi je ezhyayen – where are you going

Ni je o ezhyat – Who is going

Ni je wi je ezhyayen – how are you going

Ni je weje ezhyayen zhi – Why are you going there

Ni je wa zhechkéyen ébyayen zhi – What will you do when you get there

Ni je étse mekwiyen étoyen – How many dollars do you have?  (How much money do you have?)

Wégwni je ga dbegéyen – How much were you paid?

Ni je wi je wa zhyayan zhi – How do I get there?

Wégwni je o ga zhechkét ode – Who did this?

I yé o gigabé ga zhechkét i – It was that boy who did it

I yé o ne gigabé – Is that the boy?

Éhe ode gigabé yawe – Yes this is the boy

I yé o ne g’os – is that your father?

Ehe o n’os yawe – yes that’s my father

I yé o ne gmeshomes – is that your grandfather

Ehe o nmeshomes yawe – yes that’s my grandfather

I yé o ne gdogmam – is that your tribal chairman

Ehe o ndogmam yawe – yes that’s my tribal chairman

I yé o ne gdenim – is that your husband?

Ehe o ndenim yawe – yes that’s my husband

I yé ne gi gnijansek – are those your kids

Ehe gi nijansek yawik – yes those are my kids

I yé ne gi getsimnek – are those your parents

Ehe gi ngetsimnek yawik – yes those are my parents

I ye ne gdo zhonyam – is that your money?

Wete she gete yawen i! – heck yeah it is!

I ye ne gdo dabyanem – is that your car?

Ehe ndo dabyan yawen – yes that’s my car

Ni je éshewébzet o mbibis – what’s the matter with the baby

Ni je ga zhegnonat – who called

Ni je o – who is that

Ni je pi ga shegnonat o – when did he call

Wegwni je ga je nedwendat – what did he want

Ne je etso pongesyen = how old are you

Kyetnam kiwadmen – I really miss you

Nkiwadmen – I miss you

Nswewabtek shech nyannen ndetse ponges – I am 35 (I have seen 35 winters)

Cho she gdebendawen yawen i – That’s none of your business

Gi widmo ne o ga kedyan – did you tell him what I said?

Mendokaswenen yawen wa je zhechkéyak pkonyak – A ceremony it is what we will do tonight

Debendagwes – I am enrolled, I belong

Shkapkesgen – Stove

Wdmagze – he/she is pitiful

Ngetmages – I am pitiful

Getmages ne? – are you pitiful?

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: Logo

You are commenting using your 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