An exercise to keep one sharp

Do you understand?

Gnestoto ne                            do you understand me?

Gnestetan ne                          do you understand it?

Gnestotwa ne                         do you understand him/her?

Gnestotwak ne                        do you understand them?

Gnestota gwnan ne                 does he/she understand us?

Gnestota gwnanek ne             do they understand us?

Wnestetan                                he/she understands it (what is being said)

Wnestotwan                            he/she understands him/her

Cho, gneste tosnon                 I don’t understand you.

Cho, gneste totwa                   I don’t understand him/her.

Cho, gneste totwak gi             I don’t understand them.

Jo, gne ste to wso nem.          I don’t understand you guys.

Gne sto tan ne i?                     Do you understand that?

Gne sto tam ne i?                    Do you people understand that?

Ahau, nse tem ok ode             Ok, understand this!

Ne sto tan                               I understand!

Ne sto tamen                          We understand! (excl.)

Gne sto tamen                        We understand! (incl.)

Gne sto tamen ne?                  Do we understand? (incl.)

Gne sto twen                           I understand you.

Nse ta gwse                             He/she is understandable!

Gne ste townem                      I understand you people.

Gne sto twam ne ga wje kedyan        Do you all understand what I said?

Gne sto tam ne i nga ket?       Do you people understand what I said?

Ahau, gse tem ok jayék éktot ode kewézi

            Ok, understand everything this old man says!

Gi gne ste tam ne ga wje yajmoawat gi kékyajek wnago

            Did you understand what those elders told the people yesterday?

Cho wi she, gneste tosnon gode weshkjek ngom.

            I don’t really understand these young people of today.


Mno nes                                              goodness!

Nmno nes                                            my goodness!

Watiya                                                 gosh, my god, geez, holy wa!

Mamkatkemek                                    same as above, used by women folk.

Mamkaz                                              amazed at s.t., surprised at s.t.

Mamkadenma                                    surprised at h/h

Mamkadendat                                    surprised at s.t.

Kwansekemek                                     registering surprise at s.t.

Kyetnam                                              expression of surprise

Nshkwenwe’aye                                  surprised

Gshkonwenmat                                   surprised at s.o.

Gshkonwendek                                    surprised at s.t.

Gshkonwezet                                       to be surprised

Mbe                                                     a satisfied expression usually with a sigh.

Iw                                                        that’s it, I’m done, it’s over, that’s all.

Ahau                                                    ok, all right, oh,

I ye I                                                     that’s it, that’s ok, that’s correct/right.

Wi ye I                                                 same as above

Wi ye o                                                that’s the one, that’s h/h

Iw yedek                                              must be

Iwk she ye I                                         that’s the way it is

Iwk she anwek                                    well it’s better

Iw she anwe                                        so so, better I guess

Nemetsena                                          IDK

Nemetsena yedek                               I really don’t know

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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