Good day to you….

Gkweshkwatadmen- Lets get acquainted.

Énkwéshmo’ayen Weye                                 Upon Meeting Someone/Somebody

Bozho                                                              Hello.

Ni je na gin?                                                    How are you?/How goes it?

Mno wi shna anwe                                          I’m doing well/fine.

I zhe anwe                                                       I’m fine.

Gin je?                                                            And you?

Ndézhnekas                                                    My name is….I am known as…

Ni je ézh ne kasyen?                                       What is your name/what are you called, known by?

Bama mine gwabmen                                     Until we meet again. (sing.)

Bama mine gewabmenem                               Until another time. (pl.)

Migwétch                                                        Thanks. (meaning, I will give again, at some time)

Igwien                                                             Another way to say thanks.

Mishen i                                                          Give me that.

Nenmoshen i                                                   Hand me that.

Byénenmoshen i                                             Bring that to me.

Byénen i                                                          Bring that.

Byénan                                                            Hand it over.

Byédon i                                                          Bring that.  (inan.)

Byéna o                                                           Bring h/h.  (anim.)

Bidgén                                                             Come in.

Byébidgén                                                       Welcome, do come in.

Jibteben                                                           Sit down.

Jibteb i pedyebwen                                         Sit in that chair.

Jibteben zhi                                                     Sit there.

Jibteben shote                                                 Sit here.

Nedwendan gégo ne                                       Do you want something?

Neshnabé ne gdaw                                          are you Indian?

Bodéwadmi ne gdaw                                      are you Potawatomi?

Ni je ésh ne kas yen                                        what is your name?

Ni pi je wéj bya yen                                        where are you from?

Ni je énwéyen                                                 what’s your tribe?

A possible answer you might get:

_______________ shkwon genek ndoj bya

            I come from the ________________________ reservation.

Some more queries:

Ni je épichiyak ne i gshkwongenek                            How far is it to your reservation?

Manék gi neshnabék ne ibe gdoj bya yen                   Are there many Indians where you’re from?

Gde wichewé ne                                                         are you married?

Ehengh nde widge’eyan                                             yes, I am married.

Gdo nijanes ne                                                                        do you have children?

Éhé ndo nijanes                                                           yes, I have children.

Jo wi nde nijansesi                                                      no, I don’t have children.

Gdo nosemesek ne                              do you have grandchildren?

Ehe ndo nosemesek                             yes, I have grandchildren.

Jo wi nde nosemesesi                          no, I don’t have gchildren.

Jo mshe nde nosemesi                         no, not yet!

Ni je étsowat gi gnijansek                   How many are there, your kids?

Nizh yawik.  Ngot kwézés mine ngot gigabés.

            There are two.  One little girl and one little boy.

Nswéo yawik, ngot gigyagos mine nizh gigabések

There are three.  One little girl and two little boys.

Some possible responses to initial queries:

Hau, bozho

__________________ ndezh ne kas

Bodéwadmi ndaw

Ode shkongenek ndoj bya      (I come from this reservation.)

Jigwé ndotém                                      I am thunder clan.

Ni je o gdotém                                    What is your clan?

Neshnabémo ne                                  Do you speak Indian ?                                   

Hau, gda neshnabémen                       We should speak Indian.

Some more possible queries:

Gi bya ne éméndokasyen

            Did you come for ceremonies?

Gwi nimedi ne wa je zéksowat

            Are you going to dance when they have their doings?

Gwi nimedi ne wa je jingtemwat

            Are you going to dance when they pow-wow?

Gnegmo ne?

            Do you sing?

Gwi ggemo ne

            Are you going to sing?

Manék gode neshnabék énimediwat shote

            There are many these Indians that dance here.

Ode ngot mawjeshnowen mésham ngoji pi shote

            This is one of the biggest gatherings hereabouts.

Énchiwénmoyak i

            We’re proud of that!

Ode se nde kwéyom                           

This is my wife

Gode se nde penojéyek                                  

These are my children

Ibe édayak                                                      

We live over there

Ézhi ne                                                

Over there?

Ndo dabyan ndeto ne                         

Do you have a car?

Éhé dabyan ndeto

            Yes, I have a car.

Cho dabyan ndetosi

            No, I don’t have a car.

Mbusen nde shona gishpen éshyayan ngoji pi

            I go by bus if I go someplace.

Cho she dabyan ndetosi éwzgabyénma

            I really don’t have a car to drive.

Medagwéndan éyajmoyak nomek ngom

            I’m glad we could talk today for a while.

Ébgosénmeyan émedagwéndemyen gawje kigdoyak

            I hope you liked our talk.

Iw se she na ngom

            That’s all for today!

Ode se ndenim

            This is my husband.

Ni pi je ga ye yen wnago

            Where were you yesterday?

 Ni pi je enokiyen

            Where do you work?

Wewene ne edbegazyen ibe enokiyen

            Are you paid well there where you work?

Ngi nkweshmo’a o wenze kwe ngodek egi weshkgeyan

            I met a pretty lady once when I was a young man.

I ye o ga wje widge’éyan

            That is whom I married.

Nyanok gi penojek etoyak, wenzik

            We have five children, they are good.

Wenet i wij’uwewen

            Marriage is good

Memejek enkweshmoyen o wewene wijewagan

            Especially when you meet the right partner.

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.

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