Some brain teasers for translation by one of my students.

Gnebech                       Perhaps, maybe, I think that

Ndenim                         My husband (possessive of nene)

Ndeygwam                   My horse

Ndey                             My dog

Mbé                               See, I told you so!,  There!

Wégmakwé wdansen            Queen’s daughter

Wégmakwés                           Princess (diminutive)

Békadzet                       Be quiet, be calm, be patient, be peaceful

Nbékades, mbékades, nde békades

Békadze                        He/she is

Békadzet                       One who is

Kéndaswen                   Knowledge, education, art of becoming knowledgeable, becoming knowledgeable

Cho wi nda zhya si ibe énim’ediwat nde gizsom ndeto odo pi, i yé i ézhewébek égizsoyesh ébyat.

Mteno gi gizhabék mine gi gizhakwék ébidgéwat ibe éméndokaswat.

Gazhkjek

Penojek

Wéshkjek

Kékyajek

Ndebénma o ndey.

Mbwachewé’a o nitawes wabek gnebech.

Wgi gishpnedo ni waskonédonen o ndenim.

Nmedagwéndmenem gi ndokyanek, o ndéygwam mine o ndey.

Ggi wabma ne o wégmakwés égi zhyayen ibe épa nim’ediwat gi neshnabék.

Wgi bkadze ne o ga wje pkenagé i naganiwen wnago.

Ngi kigdo’a o wgyéyom wnago ga wje pkenagét, békadzet yawe o gi kedo.

Mbé, i yé i ga kto yan kche weswnago.

Mbé, i yé édépsenyan.

Mbé, i yé i ne ga wje widmoyan.

Hau                                         Well, so! Can also be a greeting or recognition.

Majishkat                               Move

Méméjek                                In particular

Bédo                                       I hope that/I wish that

Asho igwan                            On the other side of

Débso                                     Quite a bit/enough of

Shpemsegok                          Upstairs, somewhere up above

Iw se                                       And/used in story telling

                                                So/used in story telling

Dbenwé                                  Real

Agmesé                                   Walk in snowshoes

Ndagmesé                               I walk in snowshoes

Agmesét                                 Walk in snowshoes

Ni’wesh                                  lover/secret lover

Shpemek                                Above, heaven

Shpem                                    Up, above

Débwétwa                              Believe some one

Éwabdemok édébwétmok    Seeing is believing

Cho she ngi débwétwasi

I really didn’t believe him/her

Gbmadsownenan se gzheshmownenan

Our life is our language

Gzheshmownenan se gbmadsownenan

Our language is our life

Ni’wesh ma o yawe.

Méméjek ode Bodéwadmimwen nwi kenomagé nomek pkonyak.

Hau, gishpen ode zheshmowen ébédoyék ékéndemyék pené she gwi shketoyék ékigdoyék éwi débséyék, méméjek i bodéwadmimwen.

Sneget se ode gzheshmownenan éwi kéndet weye ma shna dbenwé i.

Gishpen ékéndet weye ode majmowen wéwéne i émno majishkat pené o bémadzet.

Iw se égi kedwat gi getsimnajek mno wi pi mine gwi mno zhewébes ézhyayen asho igwan naké shpemsegok gishpen éneshnabémyen.

Pené égi wipémwét ngoji o, ik she yé i ga wje agmesét.

Gizes

Gizos

Gizsom

Gizsoyesh

Gmowen

Gmonoswen

Gméyamget

Wénbisamgegt

Gméyam

Gméya

Gi gmowen bédbekok shote mjésh gi bgeshnomget i mbish gaga she gi moshknowen.

Kyétnam shna gi gméyamget geshép ngom.

Nyézanzik gode gigabések ga wje bambetowat shote mine ibe kche odan dbekok, mjesh i mbish gi mnoshknémget ni myéwnen.

Nwésh mowe o sekmekwé, i yé i ga wje bgednot o mamogosnan i mbish, mine i wawyastowen, mine i kche nodnen, wa je zibyéné’at o gokmeskignan, naké o sekmekwé.

I yé i wa zhe wébek gishpen émowet o sekmekwé.

Iw se ga kedwat gi kekyajek nangodgen égi penojéwiyan.

Iw énajmoyan, mbé!

Nwi zagnena’a o nemosh bwamshe zhishignegét.

Ggi zagnena’a ne o nemo.

Pené she ézagden’at o nemo.

Zagdenéa nemo yawe o kwésmo.

Zheké kenomagé o nde kwéyom pkonyak.

Wéwéne ga wje zhechkét o kwé égi kenomagét ode zheshmowen.

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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