On conversational phrases

Conversation Script

A:  Gwi zhya ne ge gi, ibe medatso bi nag?                

Are you going to Washington, too?

B:  Ehe, nwi zhya.                                                  

Yes, I am going.

A:  Génin nwi zhya ibe.  We gwni je wa je zhya yen?

            I’m going there too.  What are you going there for?

B:  Nwi o widokage. Gin je?                                            

I’m going there to participate.  You?

A:   Nin je wi o nim edi.                                        

I’m going there to dance.

B:  Ni jo pi, wa ne ma ji yen?                                          

When are you leaving?

A:  Eshke ge sot, ode nmebne gizes nwi maji.                       

I’m leaving on the first of March.

B:  Ni jo pi je neyap wa bme byayen?                         

When are you coming back?

A:  Ngot wadso gishek, ode nmebne gizes pi neyab wa bme byayan.

            I’ll be back on the sixth of March.

B:  Nin se wi zhe ode zisbaktokégizes eshkegesot nwi maji, mine demengizes neyap wa bme byayan

            As for me, I’m leaving the first of April, and I’ll be back in June.

Negative Phrase Conversation

A:  Njeshek ne gi bya?                                          Did you just arrive?

B:  Cho, zagech ngi nibwe égi wdeméyan                  

No, I was standing outside smoking

A:  Hau, Mani ne gi wabma zagech ?                Oh, did you see Mani outside ?

B :  Cho weye ngi wabmasi zagech                    I didn’t see anyone outside

A:  Hau? Cho ne gi wabmasi o Mani?               Oh?  Didn’t you see Mani?

B: Cho she Mani ngi wabmasi, cho she weye ngi wabmasi zagech 

                        No, I really didn’t see Mani, I really didn’t see anyone outside

A:  Hau? Ni pi je éyéyet o Mani?                        Oh, where is Mani ?

Mani :  Hau, bozho                                                Oh, helllo

B :  Hau, gin negwne.                                            Oh, so it’s you

A :  Cho zagech ne gi zhyasi ?                              Didn’t you go outside ?

Mani :  Cho zagech ngi zhyasi.                            No, I didn’t go outside. 

            Ngi sakem.                                                   I went to the bathroom.

A: Gi yapjemaji o Mani ngi shedé’a gé nin     

I thought that Mary had left for                                                                         good/implication here is to run off.

Mani: Cho gi yapje majisi ngoji weye                          

No I didn’t run off anywhere.

           Zamjesh éshede’ayék gé ginwa ézhechkéyan shna

                        You people are thinking way too much of what I do.                                 

Participle Practice Phrases

Ni je pi wa wisnewat gi békdéjek?       

            When are those hungry ones going to eat?

Widmo gi badgéjek éwi madmoyan    

            Tell those who are going in I will pray for them

Ngi wabmak gi yayénojek ibe                

            I saw those ones who are laughing over there

Widmo o éjabdebet zagech ébidgét shote    

            Tell that one sitting outside to come in here

Nwi shema ode ébékdét             

            I’m going to feed this hungry one.

Ni pi je ézhyéwat gi wédmajek égi jibtebwat zagech?       

            Where did those smokers go who were sitting outside?

Gi jagé ne o égi wasnet?             

            Did that one who was eating consume everything ?

Kchemikchéwiwat gi gagénojek

            They are working hard those cookers

Kchemikchéwiwat gi kwék égigénowat          

            They are working hard those women who are cooking

Nenmo anet mijem o émajit                  

            Give some food to that one who is leaving

Widmo o shkenwé énébat odo pi énawkwék!         

            Tell that young man who is sleeping that it’s noon!

Wigézen gi gawséjek gishpen mtegwakik gwi zhya

            Watch out for those hunters if you go into the woods

Seksi gi nsa o égi gawsét             

            That one who was hunting killed a deer

Ngi wabmak gi bamséjek odanek         

            I saw those ones walking in town

Kyébadzik égishkwébyéwat gi ménkwéjek    

            They are naughty when they get drunk those drinkers

Mbusen wi neboswik gi gawéjek          

            Those who are going home are going by bus

Nin se égi bamsét ibe                               

            I am the one who was walking over there.

Gin se mteno éwasnet      or        Gin se mteno éwisneyen 

            You are the only one who is eating  or  You are the only one eating

Ginwa ne se égi wédmajek zagech?    

            Are you all the ones who were smoking outside ?

Nétawasnet o                                             

            He/she is the one who is always eating.

Wégwéndek ézhechkét o éjabdebet pené zhi.                     

            I wonder what he does that one who is always sitting there

Wégwéndek éshedé’at o éyayénot      

            I wonder what he is thinking that one who is laughing

Neshkama o ébambetot bidek  

            Get after/bawl out that one who is running inside

Ni pi je ézhyéwat gi majijek?                 

            Where are they going those that left?

Ni je enendemyek eje kendasyek ode seshmowen?

            What do ya all think of how you’re learning this language?

Ngot kedwen se  ije pi anake mjesh kedwenen?

            One word at a time or many words/phrases?

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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