Lesson 8:  Ge Wisnemen Let’s Eat

To help you have a family dinner, here are the words for some of your family members: 

N’os My dad   NoshéMy aunt (mom’s sister) 
DédéDad/DaddyNzheshéMy uncle
NgyéMy momNshegwesMy aunt (dad’s sister)
Néné Mom/MommyNitawesMy cousin
N’okmisMy grandmother  NshiméMy little brother/sister 
GokoGrandmaNshiMy lil’ bro/sis
NmeshomesMy grandfather  NidgekoMy sister
MeshoGrandpaNmeséMy big sister
NdewémaMy older brother (for girls)NikanMy brother/friend
NdanesMy daughterNgwesMy son
NsezéMy older brother (for boys)NijanesMy child
NoseméMy grandchildNosemésMy little grandchild

To make these words mean “your”, you must insert a “G” sound to stand for “Gin” which means “You.”  G’os=Your dad, Gdédé=Your daddy, G’oko=Your grandma, Gnoshé=Your aunt, Gnitawes=Your cousin.

Table Manners

 N’os, mishen gi penik  (My Dad, give me the potatoes)

Goko, nénmoshen i mbedé (Grandma, hand me the butter)

Nidgeko, byénenmoshen i waskek (My Sister, pass me the pepper)

Néné, nénmoshen i ziwtagen (Mommy, hand me the salt)

Mesho, byédweshen anet mbish (Grandpa, bring me some water)

Nshimé, mishen i kcheémkwan (My little sibling, give me the big spoon)

Ndanes, byédweshen anet gapi (My daughter, bring me some coffee)

Nitawes, nénmoshen ni zawjisésen (My cousin, hand me the carrots)

Ngwes, mina i nonagnabo se o gshimé (My son, give the milk to your little brother/sister)

Nijanes, nénmo i mbop se o gnitawes (My child, hand the soup to your cousin)

Our vocabulary matrix: 

NounsVerbsOther wordsParticles
Penik – potatoesMishen – give meAnet – someGi – Those in front of an animate noun, past tense in front of a verb
Mbedé – ButterNénmoshen – hand me I – That (when “that” is inanimate)
Waskek – PepperByénenmoshen – Pass me Ni – Those in front of an inanimate plural noun, also an interrogative
Ziwtagen – saltByédweshen – bring me O – That in front of an animate noun, Go do something in front of a verb
Mbish – waterMina – give something to someone  
Kcheémwakn – big spoon   
Gapi – coffee   
Zawjisésen – carrots   
Nonagnabo – milk   
Mbop – soup   

When verbs end with -shen, they can mean it’s an action that reverts back to me (give me, hand me, pass me), or they can have to do with lying down (zhashgeshen – lay down, weshen – rest, pekshen – fall down). 

Here are some practice phrases for eating and drinking:

ZéschegénSet the table
Gbekté ne?    Are you hungry?
Cho gbektési ne?   Aren’t you hungry?
MbektéI’m hungry
Kyét nam she mbekté  I’m really hungry
Cho mbektési   I’m not hungry  
Gbektém ne?   Are you all hungry?
MbektémenWe are hungry
GbektémenWe all are hungry
Cho mbektésimenWe are not hungry  
Bkedé ne o?Is he/she hungry?
Bkedéwak ne gé winwa?  Are they hungry?
Gashknabagwé ne?   Are you thirsty?
Éhe ngashknabagwé  Yes I’m thirsty
Cho ngashknabagwésiI’m not thirsty
Gashknabagwém ne?  Are you all thirsty?
NgashknabagwémenWe are thirsty
GashknabagwémenWe all are thirsty
Cho ngashknabagwésimen  We are not thirsty
Gashknabagwé ne o?  Is he/she thirsty?
Gwi mnekwé ne?   Do you want a drink?
Gwi mnekwém ne?   Do you all want a drink?
Wégni je émnekwéyen?  What are you drinking?
Wégni je émnekwéyék?  What are you all drinking?
Ménkwén ode   Drink this
Gnedwéndan ne ode mijem? Do you want this food?
Mégwa ne?    Want more?
Mégwa ne gapi?   Want more coffee?
Mégwa ne mbish?   Want more water?
Mishen émkwanGive me a spoon
Byédweshen bkedjigenBring me a fork
Ni pi je i koman?Where is that knife?
Byénenmoshen i kwabegenPass me the dipper/serving spoon
Nénmoshen ziwtagenHand me the salt

Here is a review of Wisne, Mwa and Mijen.

Wégni je émijyen?  What are you eating?
Ode pen nwi mwa  I will eat this potato
Penyék ne gwi mwak? You want to eat some potatoes?
Peniwabo ne gwi mijen? You want to eat some potato soup?
Mshimenek gwi mwak You will eat apples
Mshimenek nde mwak I’m eating apples
Bidi nde mwa  I’m eating chicken
Wiyas nde mijen  I’m eating meat
Wégni je émijyak pkonyak? What are we eating tonight?
Mdamnabo émijyak pkonyak We are eating corn soup tonight
Gokosh wiyasen émijyak pkonyakWe are eating pork chops tonight
Wégni je éwisneyak pkonyak?What are we eating tonight?
Zaskokwadék gwi wisnemen pkonyakWe will eat frybread tonight
Mnejimnen mine zawjisésen éwisneyak pkonyak   We will eat peas and carrots tonight
Hau, nge wisen  Ok, I’m going to eat
Hau, nge wisnemen  Ok, we (not you) are going to eat
Hau, Ge wisnemen  Ok, Let’s eat (all of us)
Gwi wisen ne?  Will you eat?
Gwi wisnem ne?  Will you all eat?
Gi wisen ne?   Did you eat?
Gi wisnem ne?  Did you all eat?
NdépsenyéI’m full.
Ngi gish wisen  I’ve finished eating/I’ve already eaten
Ngi gish wisnemen  We already ate
Ngi gish wisnemen bwamshe ébyaygo shote    We ate before we came here (exclusive, not you)
Nde mijnenjiganjegé  I’m eating with fingers
Gégo mijnenjiganjegéken Don’t eat with your fingers
Nwi widopangémen pkonyakWe will eat with others tonight (company)
Gwi widopangémen pkonyakWe all will eat with others tonight
Ndanes nwi widopma I will eat with my daughter
Ndenim nwi widopma I will eat with my husband
Ndekwéyom nwi widopmaI will eat with my wife

Your assignment for this lesson is to have dinner!  Use as much of the language as possible while eating with your family or your friends. 

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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