What we come to believe about ourselves

Edebwetagzemen ge ninan eneshnabeweyak/ygo

We believe in ourselves as neshnabek.

Edebwetagzeyan ge nin eneshnabe’eyawyan

I believe in myself as a neshnabe.

Edebwetagzeyan ge nin eneshnabemyan

I believe I can speak Indian…..

Edebwetagzeyan ge gin eneshnabemyen

I believe you can speak Indian….

Edebwetagzeyan ge ginwa eneshnabemyek

I believe you all can speak Indian.

Gdebwetagzeyek ne eneshnabemyek

Do you all believe you can speak Indian?

Ni je ekedyan dog I neshnabemwen

How do you say dog in Indian?

Ni je nda kedyan wolf I neshnabemwen

How would I say wolf in Indian?

Ni je eshne kadeg I neshnabemwen

What is it called in Indian? (inanimate)

Ni je eshne kazot o I neshnabemwen

What is its name in Indian?  (animate)

Daga mine kedon

Please say that again!

Mine I gda ket

Could you say that again?

Noj be dan ge donen i

Could you say that slower/more carefully?

Cho gnestotnon

I don’t understand you!

Ni je ektoyen

What are you saying?

Nde neshnabem, gin je

I speak Indian, do you?

I ye I ne gweyak

Is that the way?

Ndew nendan ekedyan i

I forgot how to say it.

Daga natewa o

Please ask him/her!

Daga widmo o

Please tell him/her!

Daga gda widmowa o

You should tell him/her!

Widmoshen wegni je yawen i

Tell me what that is.

Cho nge kendesin i

I don’t know what it is.

Ni je eshne kadeg I:

Table                                      dopwen

Basket                                     gokbenagen

Closet                                     taswen

Car                                          dabyan

Door                                       shkwadem

Window                                 wasechgen

Shelf                                       deskjegen                              

Oven                                       bidapkewebnen

Can                                         biwabken/biwabkos                                

Bottle                                      mode

Pencil                                     mbyegewen/shebyegen

Radio                                      wabnotagjegen

Television                              msenatsetagjegen

Stove                                      shkapkesgen

Computer                               zhobnotagjegen

Refrigerator                            kwemimkek

Nail                                         ske’egen

Hammer                                  bkejgasen                              

Saw                                         gishkpojgen

Axe                                         kemsagen

Ladder                                    kwedasiwagen

Frying pan                              zaskowan

Paper                                      msenegen

Book                                       msenaken

Sled                                        zhoshkwejgen

Poster                                     msenakagen

Light                                       waskonewen

Glasses                                   skizhgoshgajgenen

Cup                                         gwabgen/gwabgas

Dish                                        wnagen

Yanmeat – to threaten s.o.

Yanmeajgewen – threat  (n.)

Yanmeajmo – threaten  (vta)

Yajmat – tattle on s.o.

Zamdonwe – h/s talks too much.

Gzamdon – you talk too much!

Ndagsegewnen – voices.

Mzenatsegnen – images.

Mzenatsegen – picture.

Mzenatkezen – poster.

Pshkwenake – to miss s.t. as in shooting at s.t. or s.o.

Shkwaz – sound of a voice.

Mneshkwzo – h/s has a good voice.

Tagwze – sounds like/referring to s.o.’s voice or sound.

Gishkne gwewiyan – vest/clothing or garment without sleeves.

Eje bmengazwat – home  (va)  where they’re being taken care of.

Benegen – vinegar.

Jejeket – cry like a baby; sometimes used as cry baby!

Zamkeges – you are overly foolish!

Gsabyenaye – to baptize s.o./literally, to dip s.o.

Ge zhebawi o – h/s is an early riser!

Epijbkes – to immerse….

Epij bkezo – h/s is immersed!

Epij bkezwat – they are immersed.

Bin dawbawdon – to soak s.t. to clean.

Bin dawbawdwa – soak s.o. to clean them….

Ziga andaw – to baptize….

Bkezo’andaw – to immerse, as in baptize…

Gsabyenaye – to baptize s.o. or s.t., as to immerse totally!

Wangesewen – dimple.

Menins – pimple.

Myanagewen – wound

Wati – blood clot.

Menisewen – pus.

Webnamen – to push s.t.

Nwi o she webnamen – we are going to push h/h as in a vehicle.

Gwi o she webnamen – we are going to push h/h…. we + u.

Debnake o penojes bwamshe epekshet zhi ngoji

Reach out for that little one before they fall somewhere…

Get Creative:

Casket                                              jibewmkek

Hubcap                                            dodabwiwkwan

Shoelace                                          dosdap

Tweezers                                          dakonjegen                                                        

Thimble                                           gandagwaswen/gatakwaswen

Pin cushion                                     zhabnegenpekwashmowen

Cell phone                                       biwabdomagen

Floor lamp                                       mjikwaskonenjegen

Door knob                                       ishkwadewzagnegen

Key                                                   shkapke’gen

Pull switch                                       wikbdonjegen

On-off switch                                  atebdonjegen                        

The small hand on a clock             shenosdbegen

The big hand on a clock                 gcheshenodbegen

Business card                                  anokiwmsenegas

Bicycle                                             nizhoditibiwebishkegen

Motor cycle                                     nizhoditibiwebishkedabyan

Tractor                                             gtegewdabyan

Bull dozer                                        gchegatiwnakiwdabyan

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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