Some thoughts from one of my notebooks

Donald A. Perrot

Ne ah si noh

Notes from Blue Notebook

A       ah

É       eh

I        ee

O       oh

E       uh

Í        ih

Á       âh

       aa

Inanimate Demonstratives

I.D. have (3) degree of distance

Inanimate Singular

Close                   ode             This

Not Close  i                  That

Far              éi                That over there

Inanimate Plural

Node          These

Ni               those

Éni             Those over there

Animate Singular

Ode            This

O                That

Ago            That over there

Animate Plural

Gode          These

Gi               Those

Égi             Those over there

I _____________.                N-/Nd- ________________.

You ____________.            G-/gd- _________________.

We (and you) __________. G-/gd- _____________men.

We (but not you) _________.      N-/nd- _____________men.

You all _____________.     G-/gd- _____________m.

They _____________.         _____________-k.

Inanimate Singular

Ode gok ben a gen                This basket

I gok ben a gen            That basket

É’i gok ben a gen                  That basket over there

Animate Singular

Ode ne ne                     This man

I ne ne                                    That man

E’i ne ne                       That man over there

Animate Singular

Ode ne ne                     This man

O ne ne                         That man

Ago ne ne                     That man over there

Inanimate plural

Node mkekwén            These baskets/boxes

Ni mkekwén                          Those baskets/boxes

Éni mkekwén                         Those baskets/boxes over there

Animate plural

Gode kwék                            These women

Gi kwék                        Those women

Égi kwék                      Those women over there

Wdapen i mkek           Pick up that box

Ode ne?                        This one?

É hé, wi yé i                           Yes, that’s it

Nadweshen ni mkekwén      Get me those boxes

Node ne?                      These?

Wi yé ni                        Those are the ones

Byéd weshen i mkek            Bring me that box

Ni nad weshen                       Get me those

Byéd weshen                         Bring (it) to me

Nad weshen                           Get (it) for me

Mishshen (Mizhshen)           Give (it) to me

Nen mewshen                        Hand (it) to me, pass me something

Wabdé shen                           Show (it) to me

What time is it?           Ni get so ya wek?

What time is it?           Ni jet so ya wek?

All my relations           Jage nagomguk

All my relations           Jage nagonan

All, all of us together            Jayék

At the council hall                Gidgaw gum gok

Toothbrush                            Ksiyab teken

Tooth                                      Bet

All of my relations inclusive of all living things               Gdenwémagnedok

Bathroom                     Dzhya ewi sakem yan

Drink                                      Dzhya ewi mnekweyan

Bathroom                     Nwi zhya i sakem gum uk

Drink                                      Nwi zhya i mne kwe yan

Please                                     Ta ga, mojma, gazha

Medicine man/Doctor           éshkukinisnage

Medicine man/Doctor           Éshkekini’snagé

Summer (season)                  Émnokmuk

August month middle of      Émnokmukkises

Winter                                    Épok

The ground is freezing          Éshugtukwok

Spring (season)            Éskumnokmuk

October/month of 1st frost    ÉsksegtukkisIs

In the fall season                   ÉtkwagnIshyagoIn

Fall                                Étkwagouk

Dawning                       Éwésabuk

Matchizibe                             Bad River

Makesit                         Big Foot

Mkedépoke

Chaskyd                       The Diviner

Chichak (Otchik)                  Crane (Potawatomi Leader)

Chichakose (Tchichaakane) Little Crane (Potawatomi Leader)

Abte’gizhék                           Half Day

Amikwa                        Bear (ojibwe clan community)

Ashkewi                       Mud all over his body

Ashkibi/Eskibee          The New River (Potawatomi Leader)

Assikanak (Ossigunac)         Black Bird (Odawa Leader)

Atsimethe (Etsimethe)          Potawatomi Leader

Awbenabi                     He Looks Back (Potawatomi Leader)

Winamek                      Catfish

Winamekos                            Little Catfish

Windigo                       The Cannibal

Wishé                                     The Yellow Catfish

Wiske                                     Potawatomi Culture Hero

Wizawdep (Ouasado)           The Yellow Head (Potawatomi Leader)

Ninwés                          Little Man

Nokamin(g)                           Early Spring

Mishikese                     Little Snapping Turtle

Mya’en Poch/Poj                  Withered Hand

Nyananseya                           Five Medals

Onangizes/Onaxa/Onaksa    He Flies Away

The Shimmering Light of the Sun

Gabinay                        Gabriel (Potawatomi Leader)

Gises (Kissus)                       The Sun (Potawatomi Leader)

Wiské                                     Culture hero

Chipiyapos/Chibiabos          Potawatomi Culture Hero

Chipo’o                        Soul

Dwagek                         Autumn (Potawatomi Warrior)

Gomo (Okama)            The Leader

Matchiwokama/Missengomau       Potawatomi Leader

Gashke’debé                          Shaved Head

Chemewse                             John Green

Wabaksekwé                          Riffles at Dawn Woman

Mendoké                      Spirit Worshipper or Blessed by the Spirits

Gwekjewen

Mokjewen

Wdapnen i mkesnen             Pick up that shoe

Ode ne?                        this one?

Éhé wi ye’ I                           Yes, that’s it

Nadweshen ni msenegenen  Get me those papers

Node ne?                      These?

Wi yé ni                        those are the ones

Byéd we shen i msenakseken        Bring me that picture

Ni nad weshen                       Get me those

Node ne?                      These?

Wi yé ni                        Those are the ones

Mishen I                       Give that to me

Byédon I                       Bring that

Byédweshen I                        Bring me that

Mingazot                      That which he/she was given

Minat                                      He/she gave

Minet                                      He/she gives

Some handy phrases to know

Weye ne gi wabdan ne i nbiskewagen?           Has anyone seen my coat?

Weye ne gi wabma o ngwes?                           Has anyone seen my son?

Ni je pi éwi bidgéyak?                                      When are we going in?

Ni je pi éwi wisniyak?                                                When do we eat?

Nedwendan ne anet gapi?                                 You want some coffee?

Nedwendan ne anet mkekwabo?                      You want some coffee?

Nedwendan ne i pwagasen?                              You want a cigarette?

Nedwendan ne éwdeméyen?                            You want to smoke?

Ni je éndewebneyen?                               What are you looking for?

Énedwendayan anet gapi.                                  I want some coffee

Énedwendayan anet wisnewen.                        I want some food

Mishen i ziwtagen                                              Give me the salt

Gégo ziwtagnegékén i wisnewen                     Don’t salt the food

Zheton I kewewen                                              Make a flag

Zheton I wizaw kewewen                                  Make a yellow flag

Zheton nyéwo kewewnen                                  Make four flags

Gdesa ne anet sémau?                                        Do you have any tobacco?

Cho nensémau ndesasi                                      I don’t have any tobacco

Éhe, nde sa nensémau                                        Yes, I have tobacco

Kyénep byan shote!                                           Quick come here!

Kyénep byak shote!                                           Quick come here! (plural)

Ni je eshewebek zagech?                                   What’s it like outside?

Wi gméyamget ne ngom?                                 Will it rain today?

Ni pi je i zakmogemek?                                    Where is the bathroom (outhouse)?

Ni pi je i wisniwgemek?                                   Where is the dining room?

Ndeton anet mingaswenen                                I have some gifts

Ngi byédonen node mingaswenen                   I brought these gifts

Ébgednoyan ode sémau                                     I put down /offer this tobacco

Ébgednoyan ode nibiwen                                  I put down/offer this water

Nwi ngemo                                                         I will sing

Nwi madmo                                                        I will pray

Gwi madmomen                                                We will pray

Ge Wisnemen                                                     Let’s eat

Ge binakjegémen                                                Let’s clean up

Ge bidgémen                                                       Let’s go in

Ge wéwébdamen                                                Let’s begin

Gwi bokpedon ne?                                             You want a break?

Ode se ndekwéyom                                            This is my wife

Ode se ndeniyem                                                This is my husband

Nénmoshen i mbish                                           Hand me the water

Nénmoshen i wiyas                                            Hand me the meat

Nénmoshen i kemsagen                                     Hand me that ax

Nénmoshen i jishtegen                                      Hand me that broom

Nénmoshen I déwégen                                      Hand me that drum

Byénénmoshen I msenegen                              bring me that paper

Byénénmoshen I modes                                    bring me the little bottle

Gi byédon ne I déwégen?                                  Did you bring a drum?

Gi byedon ne I gdewegen                                 Did you bring your drum?

Gi byédon ne anet gishki?                                 Did you bring some cedar?

Nebyégén ode                                                     Write this

Gégo nebyégeken                                              Don’t write

Daga mishen gi penik                                        Please give me the potatoes

Daga byédweshen anet mbish                          Please bring me some water

Daga mina i kemsagen o Mkwabjegé              Please give the ax to Mkwabjegé

Daga nénmo i mbop o Kwénago                      Please hand the soup to Kwénago

Daga mina i kewéwen o Wawashkeshikwé    Please hand that flag to Wawashkeshikwé

Daga mina i gishkbojgen o Mzekwagé            Please hand that saw to Mzekwagé

Ni je éndebendat ode?                                       Who does this belong to?

Ni je éndebendat ode mkesen?                         Who does this shoe belong to?

Ni je éndebendat ode wiwkwan?                      Who does this cap belong to?

I yé I ne?                                                              Is that it?

Éhe, I yé I                                                           Yes, that’s it

I yé o ne?                                                            Is that him/her?

Éhe, I yé o                                                           Yes, that’s h/h

Jibteben shote                                                     Sit here

Jibtebek ibe                                                         Sit over there (plural)

Jayék ginwa ne nodwak?                                  Can you all hear?

Jayék ginwa ne nodweshen?                             Can you all hear me?

Éhé nnodan                                                        Yes, I can hear

Cho wi she nnodansi                                         I can’t hear

Éhé nnodwen                                                     Yes, I hear you

Cho wi she nnodwesi                                        I can’t hear you

Gi nodagé ne?                                                     Did you hear (news)

Gi wabdan ne ode?                                            Did you see this?

Gi wabma ne o?                                                Did you see h/h?

Ngi wabdan i                                                      I saw it

Cho ngi wabdesin i                                            I didn’t see it

Ngi nodagé                                                         I heard

Cho ngi nodagési                                                I didn’t hear

Ngi zhechké I                                                     I did that

Cho ngi zhechkési I                                           I didn’t do that

Ni je éschegéyen?                                               What are you doing?

Ni je wa zhechkéyak wabek?                           What will we do tomorrow?

Ni je ga zhechkéyak wnago?                            What did we do yesterday?

Gkendan ne i?                                                    Do you know that?

Éhe ngekendan I                                                Yes, I know that

Gkenma ne o?                                                    Do you know h/h?

Éhe ngekenma o                                                Yes, I know h/h

chowi she gbbamzewen I                                  that is none of your business

ni je wej kendemyen I                                        why do you want to know that

chowi shna gmnezseyen ekendemyen I           you really don’t need to know that

nsetmok ne egi kenomageyan                          do ya all understand what I have taught?

Locatives and Obviatives

Something a bit more difficult to understand for some.

Locatives

In Potawatomi, you can take a noun and turn it into a “locative.”  The meaning of the “locative” form can range from “at the ____”, “in the ____”, “on the ___”,”near the ___”, “by the _____”, “to the ___” etc.  There are other words that give specific locations.

Noun                                                                     Locative

Dopwen (table)                                                Dopwenek

Wawabmowen (mirror)                                Wawabmonek

Mbagen (bed)                                                   Mbagnek

Wigwam (house)                                             Wigwamek

Dabyan (car)                                                       Dabyanek

Waséjgen (window)                                        Waséjgenek

Taswen (closet or cabinet)                           Taswenek

Shkemot (bag)                                                  Shkemotek

Gokbenagen (basket)                                     Gokbenagnek

Shkwadém (door)                                            Shkwadémek

Mbes (lake)                                                        Mbesek

Zibi (river)                                                           Zibik

Mtegwaki (forest)                                           Mtegwakik

Shkwengen (reservation)                             Shkwengenek

Odan (town)                                                      Odanek

Tkep (spring)                                                      Tkepik

Gtegan (garden)                                               Gteganek

Buildings

Here are some common buildings, with their plural and locative forms…

Building                                                                Plural                                                     Locative

Dawéwgemek (store)                                     Dawéwgemgwén                             Dawéwgemgok

Okyangemek (barn)                                        Okyangemgwén                               Okyangemgok

Negdoshawgemek (horse barn)                 Negdoshawgemgwén                    Negdoshawgemgok

Tasogemek (shed)                                           Tasogemgwén                                  Tasogemgok

Dabyangemek (garage)                                 Dabyangemgwén                            Dabyangemgok

Dabyankéwgemek (auto shop)                  Dabyankéwgemgwén                    Dabyankéwgemgok

Mshenkiwgemek (jail)                                   Mshenkiwgemgwén                       Mshenkiwgemgok

Tadiwgemek (casino)                                     Tadiwgemgwén                                Tadiwgemgok

Kigdowgemek (hall for speaking)               Kigdowgemgwén                             Kigdowgemgok

Skonogemek (school)                                     Skonogemgwén                                Skonogemgok

Zhonyawgemek (bank)                                  Zhonyawgemgwén                         Zhonyawgemgok

Ogemawgemek (admin office)                   Ogemawgemgwén                          Ogemawgemgok

Mshkekiwgemek (hospital, clinic)              Mshkekiwgemgwén                       Mshkekiwgemgok

Wisnewgemek (restaurant)                         Wisnewgemgwén                            Wisnewgemgok

Some other words you will need to know…

Shote – Here                      Ibe – Over there               Ézhi – Over there             Zhi – There

Zagech – Outside             Bidek — Inside

Specific Locatives

These are words that are used to be specific in a description of a location…

Aizhok                                      back and forth

Aidwegmeg                             on both sides of the house

Aidwe-yégwan                        on both sides

Azhwe-yégwan                        on the other side, beyond

Azhokne                                   across the road

Azhodaki, azhodakig               over the hill

Azhogmeg                               behind the house

Azho-odan                               across town

Azhwekwe                               beyond the woods

Azhegamdés                            on the other side of the room

Azhweseg                                in the next room

Béshoj                                     close

Bijigwan                                  inside of something

Bideg                                       indoors

Bke-yégwan                            off to the side

Bnoj                                         far away

Gojeg                                       outdoors

Jigateg                                     by trees

Jiggemeg                                 near a house or lodge

Jigigwan                                  near here

Jig-mbes                                  next to the lake

Jig-myéw                                 next to the road

Jig-odaneg                               near town

Jig-shkwedé                             by the fire

Jig-zibe                                    next to the river

Kwédagon                               on top of the snow

Kwédajwen                              upstream

Kwedaki                                   uphill

Kwédbeg                                 on the roof

Kwédbyég or kwéjbyég           on the water

Kwéjgemeg or kwédgemeg    on top of a house

Kwéjigwan                               on top

Mchig                                      in the open, on the ground

Ibe                                           there

Ézhi                                          over there

Shote                                       here

Bijbyék                                    in the water

Bijigwan                                  inside something

Giwta yégwan                         around something

Jigakwa                                   at the edge of the woods

Jigatek                                     by trees

Jigbyék                                    by the water, on shore

Kwedbyék                                on the water

Kwejbyék                                 on top of the water

Nambyék                                 under the water

Namkemek                              under the ground

Namsek                                   in the basement, under the floor, downstairs

Nanaw yégwan                       in the middle of it

Nbené yégwan                        on one side of something

Nekmek                                   everywhere, different places

Ngoji                                        anywhere, somewhere

Pemé yégwan                         on the side of something

Shkwé yégwan                        at the end, the last

Shpemek                                 above, in the air

Shpemsek                                upstairs

Shpemsegok                            somewhere up above, Heaven

Zagje yégwan                          outside of it

Zhiw, zhi                                  there

Obviatives

The Proximate and the Obviative

                When using Transitive Verbs in the “Win” forms…

                                The first main noun is the “Proximate.”

                                The secondary noun is the “Obviative.”

The speaker is considered the “1st Person”, and the listener is considered the “2nd Person.”  In English, everyone else is considered to be “3rd Person.”  However, Potawatomi separates “everyone else” into degrees called “obviatives.”  The Potawatomi language is notable for having multiple “degrees” of obviation:

                Proximate (3rd)  Obviative (4th)                    Further Obviative (5th)

                O bnéshi                              Ni bnéshiyen                     Ni bnéshiywnen

Don’t let the “Ni” confuse you, and don’t let the endings confuse you.

Always consider the verb.  The verb will tell you if there is a transitive action going on, and what kind of object to expect. 

                O kwé wabman ni nemoshen     (animate object)

                O kwé wabdan ni zawjisésen      (inanimate object)

If a “fourth person” is doing an action, a different ending is used on the verb:

O nene wabman ni gigabéyen éyayénowet.         The man sees the boy laughing.

Wmeshomsen odanek éyénet.                                  His grandfather is in town.

So how do you know which to use as the proximate and which to use as the obviative?

                The main noun is the proximate, and the secondary noun is the obviative.

But how do you know which to use as the main noun, and which to use as the secondary noun?

                It’s up to the speaker, the narrator, whoever is 1st person.  The perspective of 1st person is the deciding factor, not just by which noun    is closer, but also which noun is more important to the speaker.  This makes the use of the obviative very important to storytellers as a literary device.

Working with Obviatives

The Proximate and the Obviative

When using Transitive Verbs in the “Win” forms, the first main noun is the “Proximate,” and the secondary noun is the “Obviative.”

Don’t let the “Ni” confuse you, and don’t let the endings confuse you.

Always consider the verb.  The verb will tell you if there is a transitive action going on, and what kind of object to expect. 

                O kwé wabman ni nemoshen     (animate object)

                                The woman sees the dog

                O kwé wabdan ni zawjisésen      (inanimate object).

                                The woman sees the carrot

Here are more examples of obviatives in action:

                Gi jéman o nene ni kwéyen                        

The man kissed the woman

                Gi dbabman o wgyéyom ni penojén

                                The baby’s mother checked on the baby

                Gi miganan o gigabé ni shkenwén

                                The boy fought the young man

In each of these statements, the subject of the sentence is the proximate, and the object is the obviative.   When the INVERSE MARKER IS USED:

                O kwé wabmek ni nemoshen     (animate object)

                The woman is seen by the dog  Or            The dog sees the woman

                Gi jémek o nene ni kwéyen                        

The man was kissed by the woman          Or The women kissed the man

                Gi miganek o gigabé ni gigyagoyen

                The boy was fought by the girl  Or   The girl fought the boy

Some immersion phrases to learn

Weye ne gi wabdan ne i nbiskewagen?           Has anyone seen my coat?

Weye ne gi wabma o ngwes?                           Has anyone seen my son?

Ni je pi éwi bidgéyak?                                      When are we going in?

Ni je pi éwi wisniyak?                                                When do we eat?

Nedwendan ne anet gapi?                                 You want some coffee?

Nedwendan ne anet mkekwabo?                      You want some coffee?

Nedwendan ne i pwagasen?                              You want a cigarette?

Nedwendan ne éwdeméyen?                            You want to smoke?

Ni je éndewebneyen?                               What are you looking for?

Énedwendayan anet gapi.                                  I want some coffee

Énedwendayan anet wisnewen.                        I want some food

Mishen i ziwtagen                                              Give me the salt

Gégo ziwtagnegékén i wisnewen                     Don’t salt the food

Zheton I kewewen                                              Make a flag

Zheton I wizaw kewewen                                  Make a yellow flag

Zheton nyéwo kewewnen                                  Make four flags

Gdesa ne anet sémau?                                        Do you have any tobacco?

Cho nensémau ndesasi                                      I don’t have any tobacco

Éhe, nde sa nensémau                                        Yes, I have tobacco

Kyénep byan shote!                                           Quick come here!

Kyénep byak shote!                                           Quick come here! (plural)

Ni je eshewebek zagech?                                   What’s it like outside?

Wi gméyamget ne ngom?                                 Will it rain today?

Ni pi je i zakmogemek?                                    Where is the bathroom (outhouse)?

Ni pi je i wisniwgemek?                                   Where is the dining room?

Ndeton anet mingaswenen                                I have some gifts

Ngi byédonen node mingaswenen                   I brought these gifts

Ébgednoyan ode sémau                                     I put down /offer this tobacco

Ébgednoyan ode nibiwen                                  I put down/offer this water

Nwi ngemo                                                         I will sing

Nwi madmo                                                        I will pray

Gwi madmomen                                                We will pray

Ge Wisnemen                                                     Let’s eat

Ge binakjegémen                                                Let’s clean up

Ge bidgémen                                                       Let’s go in

Ge wéwébdamen                                                Let’s begin

Gwi bokpedon ne?                                             You want a break?

Ode se ndekwéyom                                            This is my wife

Ode se ndeniyem                                                This is my husband

Nénmoshen i mbish                                           Hand me the water

Nénmoshen i wiyas                                            Hand me the meat

Nénmoshen i kemsagen                                     Hand me that ax

Nénmoshen i jishtegen                                      Hand me that broom

Nénmoshen I déwégen                                      Hand me that drum

Byénénmoshen I msenegen                              bring me that paper

Byénénmoshen I modes                                    bring me the little bottle

Gi byédon ne I déwégen?                                  Did you bring a drum?

Gi byedon ne I gdewegen                                 Did you bring your drum?

Gi byédon ne anet gishki?                                 Did you bring some cedar?

Nebyégén ode                                                     Write this

Gégo nebyégeken                                              Don’t write

Daga mishen gi penik                                        Please give me the potatoes

Daga byédweshen anet mbish                          Please bring me some water

Daga mina i kemsagen o Mkwabjegé              Please give the ax to Mkwabjegé

Daga nénmo i mbop o Kwénago                      Please hand the soup to Kwénago

Daga mina i kewéwen o Wawashkeshikwé    Please hand that flag to Wawashkeshikwé

Daga mina i gishkbojgen o Mzekwagé            Please hand that saw to Mzekwagé

Ni je éndebendat ode?                                       Who does this belong to?

Ni je éndebendat ode mkesen?                         Who does this shoe belong to?

Ni je éndebendat ode wiwkwan?                      Who does this cap belong to?

I yé I ne?                                                              Is that it?

Éhe, I yé I                                                           Yes, that’s it

I yé o ne?                                                            Is that him/her?

Éhe, I yé o                                                           Yes, that’s h/h

Jibteben shote                                                     Sit here

Jibtebek ibe                                                         Sit over there (plural)

Jayék ginwa ne nodwak?                                  Can you all hear?

Jayék ginwa ne nodweshen?                             Can you all hear me?

Éhé nnodan                                                        Yes, I can hear

Cho wi she nnodansi                                         I can’t hear

Éhé nnodwen                                                     Yes, I hear you

Cho wi she nnodwesi                                        I can’t hear you

Gi nodagé ne?                                                     Did you hear (news)

Gi wabdan ne ode?                                            Did you see this?

Gi wabma ne o?                                                Did you see h/h?

Ngi wabdan i                                                      I saw it

Cho ngi wabdesin i                                            I didn’t see it

Ngi nodagé                                                         I heard

Cho ngi nodagési                                                I didn’t hear

Ngi zhechké I                                                     I did that

Cho ngi zhechkési I                                           I didn’t do that

Ni je éschegéyen?                                               What are you doing?

Ni je wa zhechkéyak wabek?                           What will we do tomorrow?

Ni je ga zhechkéyak wnago?                            What did we do yesterday?

Gkendan ne i?                                                    Do you know that?

Éhe ngekendan I                                                Yes, I know that

Gkenma ne o?                                                    Do you know h/h?

Éhe ngekenma o                                                Yes, I know h/h

chowi she gbbamzewen I                                  that is none of your business

ni je wej kendemyen I                                        why do you want to know that

chowi shna gmnezseyen ekendemyen I           you really don’t need to know that

nsetmok ne egi kenomageyan                          do ya all understand what I have taught?

Bgeji Ode Bodewadmimwen

Ekenomageyak Jibamnek – Teaching Spirits

Understanding the various ways of speaking and writing the Potawatomi Language.

When one learns a new language like Potawatomi, as so many of you are learning today, it is important for you to become exposed to the many variants of writing and spelling this language.

This booklet will give you many new ways to introduce yourself and to introduce others, as well as giving you some helpful pointers to better carry on a conversation in Potawatomi. It gives you a look at the way other speakers approach the gentle art of conversation, from the Potawatomi persuasion.

Have fun experimenting with your language and learning new ways to express yourself as you speak to others in the coming days of your language learning experience.

Compiled and edited by Donald A. Perrot aka Neaseno 

Table of Contents

Ekenomageyak Jibamnek – Teaching Spirits. 1

Bkan dwe ode kedwenen wa je kedot weye eyajmot 3

Upon Meeting Someone/Somebody. 4

Émnokmek. 9

Bodéwadmi Deshemwen. 10

Some simple commands: 11

Some questions: 12

Clans. 16

Where do you live?. 19

Introducing Someone: 22

Vocabulary: 29

Variants on Orthography. 36

Classroom Commands. 47

Megwa ode kedwenen. 53

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over Windows versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs. -Jack Lynch, English professor, author (b. 1967)

Bkan dwe ode kedwenen wa je kedot weye eyajmot

Ni je na ode wewene gishek

Hau mno wi she anwe ebmadziyan, migwej enajdoyen

Gin je, mno she bmades ne ngom

Hau kyet nam she mno gishget ngom

Wewene enozhegenenan se eyawyak

Manek ne gode neshnabek ga wje byewat shote

Anake gode bemadsejek ebyembetowat ebsendagewat

Wegwendek ekedwat shote ngom

Gkendan ne wa je kedwat gode gdogmamnajek

Énkwéshmo’ayen Weye

        Upon Meeting Someone/Somebody

Bo zho                                                       hello/a greeting

Some queries after the initial greeting:

Ni je na                                            how are you?

Neshnabé ne gdaw                          are you Indian?

Bodéwadmi ne gdaw                      are you Potawatomi?

Ni je ésh ne kas yen                       what is your name?

Ni pi je wéj bya yen                       where are you from?

Ni je énwéyen                                 what’s your tribe?

A possible answer you might get:

_______________ shkwon genek ndoj bya

          I come from the ________________________ reservation.

Some more queries:

Ni je épichiyak ne i gshkwongenek

          How far is it to your reservation?

Manék gi neshnabék ne ibe gdoj bya yen

          Are there a lot of Indians where you’re from?

Gde wichewé ne                    are you married?

Gdo nijanes ne                      do you have children?

Éhé ndo nijanes                     yes, I have children.

Jo wi nde nijansesi                no, I don’t have children.

Gdo nosemesek ne                do you have grandchildren?

Ehe ndo nosemesek              yes, I have grandchildren.

Jo wi nde nosemesesi            no, I don’t have gchildren.

Jo mshe nde nosemesi          no, not yet!

Ni je étsowat gi gnijansek

          How many are there, your kids?

Some more answers:

Nizh yawik.  Ngot kwézés mine ngot gigabés.

          There are two.  One little girl and one little boy.

Nswéo yawik, ngot gigyagos mine nizh gigabések

          There are three.  One little girl and two little boys.

Some possible responses to initial queries:

Hau, bozho

___________________________ ndezh ne kas

Bodéwadmi ndaw

Ode shkongenek ndoj bya

          I come from this reservation.

Jigwé ndotém                                  I am thunder clan.

Ni je o gdotém                                What is your clan?

Neshnabémo ne                             

Hau, gda neshnabémen

Some more possible queries:

Gi bya ne éméndokasyen

          Did you come for ceremonies?

Gwi nimedi ne wa je zéksowat

          Are you going to dance when they have their doings?

Gwi nimedi ne wa je jingtemwat

          Are you going to dance when they pow-wow?

Gnegmo ne?

          Do you sing?

Gwi ggemo ne

          Are you going to sing?

Manék gode neshnabék énimediwat shote

          There are many these Indians that dance here.

Ode ngot mawjeshnowen mésham ngoji pi shote

          This is one of the biggest gatherings hereabouts.

Énchiwénmoyak i

          We’re proud of that!

Ode se nde kwéyom                      

This is my wife

Gode se nde penojéyek                          

These are my children

Ibe édayan                                      

I live over there

Ézhi ne                                                

Over there?

Ndo dabyan ndeto ne                    

Do you have a car?

Éhé dabyan ndeto

          Yes, I have a car.

Cho dabyan ndetosi

          No, I don’t have a car.

Mbusen nde shona gishpen éshyayan ngoji pi

          I go by bus if I go someplace.

Cho she dabyan ndetosi éwzgabyénma

          I really don’t have a car to drive.

Medagwéndan éyajmoyak nomek ngom

          I’m glad we could talk today for a while.

Ébgosénmeyan émedagwéndemyen gawje kigdoyak

          I hope you liked our talk.

Iw se she na ngom

          That’s all for today!

Ode se ndenim

          This is my husband.

Ni pi je ga ye yen wnago

          Where were you yesterday?

 Ni pi je enokiyen

          Where do you work?

Ni je etse edbegazyen ibe enokiyen

          How much are you paid there where you work?

Ngi nkweshmo’a o wenze kwe ngodek egi weshkgeyan

          I met a pretty lady once when I was a young man.

I ye o ga wje widgeyan

          That is whom I married.

Nyanok gi penojek etoyak, wenzik

          We have five children, they are good.

Wenet i widge’ewen

          Marriage is good

Memejek enkweshmoyen o wewene wijewagan

          Especially when you meet the right partner.

Émnokmek                                   It is spring!

Gaga she nibnek                             Soon it will be summer.

Gwi gtegé ne                                   Will you plant?

Gde gtegé ne                                   Do you plant?

Gde gteganké ne                             Do you garden?

Nwi gtegadan ni zawjisésen

          I’m gong to plant those carrots

Nwi gteganak gi shegagoshek

          I’m going to plant those onions

Gwi gteganan anet ne shegagoshek

          Are you going to plant some onions?

Ni je éshgowat gi shegagoshek

          How are they growing those onions?

Téya méshan i ggtegan

          Wow, your garden is big!

Gachnwadon i ngteganés

          My garden is small

Ma she na mjésh méndamnek éshegoyan

          But I grow a lot of corn!

Gin ne?                Do you?

Ahau, bama shkejimeyek gwi kigdomen mine……

Ok, later on we shall speak some again…….

Bodéwadmi Deshemwen

Potawatomi, the way we speak it

Bo zho                                             hello, a greeting

Ho

Ahau

Hau

Nin (I)  Gin  (you)  Win  (he/she)

Bo zho (n)nikan                    hello my friend

Bo zho (n)nikanek                hello my friends

Ni je na                                   how are you

Ni je na gin                            how are you

Ni je na (n)nikan                   how are you my friend

Ni je na (n)nikanek               how are you my friends

Mno bmades                          I’m well

I she anwe                              I’m fine

Jo she mno ye’si                    I’m not well

Mno wi she anwe                  Oh, I’m doing well

                                                Oh, I’m fine

I je ye’ i e’mno bmadziyan  So it is that I am doing well

Get makes ma she na anwe e’bmadziyan

          Doing poorly, but still alive

Gin je                                      and you?

Gin je na gmno bmades ne

And you, are you well?

Some simple commands:

Nibwen                                   stand  (sing.)

Nibwek                                   stand  (pl.)

Bsetage’n                               listen

Bsetweshen                            listen to me

Bsetweshek                            listen to us

Bsetwe’ a o                            listen to him/her

Bset we’ a shek                     all of you listen

Kye’knotoshen                      repeat after me

Kye’knotoshek                      repeat after us

Nemetsena                              I don’t know

Win nato                                ask him/her

Dokem                                    quiet

Dokmeben                             sit quietly  (sing.)

Dokmebek                             sit quietly  (pl.)

Dadokmeben                         behave yourself

Dadokmebek                         behave yourselves

Jibdeben                                 sit down  (sing.)

Jibdebek                                 sit down  (pl.)

Kwiwe’bye’wimen                We are going to begin

Kwi kwe’n washmomen       We are going to take a break

Nomek kwi we’n wash momen

          A little while, we are going to rest

Nomek                                    a little while

Gaga                                       soon

Bwamshe                                before

I ye’ i                                      that’s it, that’s right

Wi ye’ i                                  that’s it, that’s right

Some questions:

Ni je e’she ne kasyen

What is your name/what are you called?

Ni pi je we’ch byayen

Where are you from?

Ni je o gdote’m

What is your clan?

Ni je e’neshnabe’ ne kasyen

What is your Indian name?

Ni pi je e’dayen

Where do you live?

Ni pi je e’ndebe’ndagziyen

Where are you enrolled?

Literally: where do you belong?

Ni je pi ne gi byayen

When did you arrive/come?

Neshnabe’ ne gdaw

Are you Indian?

Ni je e’niyen

What tribe/what kind?

Bode’wadmi ne gdaw

Are you Potawatomi?

Ni je e’neshnabe’ ne kasot o

What is that person’s Indian name?

Ni je e’neshnabe’ ne kasye’k

What are your Indian names?

Ni je e’neshnabe’ ne kaswat

What are their Indian names?

Ni je e’shne ka sot

What is her/his name?

Ni je e’shne kaswat

What are their names?

Some responses:

Nin  (I)  Gin  (you)  Win  (he/she)

______________ndesh ne kas

I am called/my name is

______________gdesh ne kas

you are called/your name is

______________shen ka na ye

he/she is called/his/her name is

______________shen kaso           same

______________shne kaso           same

______________nde shen kan gomen

We are called/our names are   (excl.)

______________nde shen kan gomen

we are called/our names are  (incl.)

______________gde shen kan gom

Ya all are called/ya all’s names are

______________shen ka na wik

They are called/their names are

Nin  (I)   Gin   (you)   Win  (he/she)

Ni je na gin wa                       how are ya all?

Ni je na ge win wa                how are they?

Ni je na o                               how is he/she?

Ni je na gde wenmagnek      how are your relatives?

Ni je na ggetsimnanek          how are your parents?

Ni je na ga zhikayen             how did you make out?

Ni je e’zhechkeyen               what are you doing?

Ni je e’zhechkeye’k              what are ya all doing?

Response: I am good/well/fine.

Nin                      nde mno bmades          I am g/w

Gin                      gde mno bmades          you are g/w

Win                     mno bmadse                 s/h is g/w

Ninan                  mno bmatsemen we are g/w

Ginan                  gmno bmatsemen         we are g/w

Ginwa                  gmno bmadsem  ya all are g/w

Winwa                 mno bmatsik                they are g/w

 

 

Clans

Mko/mkwa                            bear

Jigwe’k                                   thunder

Gigo                                       fish

Nanimwe’                               coyote

Moewe’                                  wolf

Mshike’                                  turtle

Bkoj bsheke                           buffalo

Kno                                         eagle

Me’gisi

Mge’shwash

Mbeshkno

Mshiwe’                                 elk

Wawashkeshi                         deer

Seksi             

Wasi                                        bullhead/catfish

Nabe                                        man

mskwabiskeno                       red tailed hawk

Name’                                     sturgeon

Negdosha                               horse

Bezhgoshi

What is your clan?

Gin                                we ni je (o) gdote’m

                                      What is your clan

Win                               we ni je (o) wdote’men

                                      What is h/h clan

Ninan                            we ni je (o) ndote’mnan  (excl.)

                                      What is our clan

Ginan                            we ni je (o) gdote’mnan  (incl.)

                                      What is our clan

Ginwa                           we ni je (o) gdote’mwa  (ya all)

                                      What is ya alls’ clan

Winwa                          we ni je (o) wdotemwan

                                      What is their clan

Some more on clan(s)

Nin                                _________ndote’m

                                      My clan is                             

Gin                                _________gdote’m

                                      Your clan is

Win                               _________wdote’men

                                      H/h clan is

Ninan                            _________ndote’mnan

                                      Our clan is  (excl.)

Ginan                            _________gdote’mnan

                                      Our clan is  (incl.)

Ginwa                           _________gdote’mwa

                                      Ya alls’ clan is

Winwa                          _________wdote’mwan

                                      Their clan is

Berries for clans:

De’men                         strawberry

Mskomen                      raspberry

Minen                           blueberry

Mkede’men                  blackberry

Where do you live?

Gin                                ni pi je e’je dayen

                                      Where do you live

Win                               ni pi je e’je dat

                                      Where does h/s live

Ninan                            ni pi je e’je ndaygo

                                      Where do we live  (excl.)

Ginan                            ni pi je e’je gdaygo

                                      Where do we live  (incl.)

Ginwa                           ni pi je e’je daye’k

                                      Where do ya all live

Winwa                          ni pi je e’je wda wat   

                                      Where do they live

I live in:

Nin                                __________nde da/e’dayan

                                      I live in

Gin                                __________gde da/e’dayen

                                      You live in

Win                               __________wdawat/e’dawat

                                      H/s lives in

Ninan                            __________nde damen

                                      We live in  (excl.)

Ginan                            __________gde damen

                                      We live in  (incl.)

Ginwa                           __________gde dam

                                      Ya all live in

Winwa                          __________wdawat/e’dawat

                                      They live in

Where are you from?

Gin                                ni pi je wech byayen

                                      Where are you from

Win                               ni pi wech byat o

                                      Where is h/s from

Ninan                            ni pi je wech byaygo

                                      Where are we from  (excl.)

Ginan                            ni pi je wech byaygo

                                      Where are we from  (incl.)

Ginwa                           ni pi je wech byaye’k

                                      Where are ya all from

Winwa                          ni pi je wech byawat

                                      Where are they from

I am from:

Nin                                ________ndochbya

                                      I am from

Gin                                ________gdochbya

                                      You are from

Win                               ________wje bye’wak

                                      H/s is from

Ninan                            ________ndoch byamen

                                      We are from  (excl.)

Ginan                            ________gdoch byamen

                                      We are from  (incl.)

Ginwa                           ________gdoch byam

                                      Ya all are from

Winwa                          ________wje bye’k

                                      They are from

Introducing Someone:

Njo, byan shote byénkwéshkew Bob.

Joe, come here and meet Bob.

Bozho, Bob, ni je na?

Hello Bob how are you?

Bozho, Iw she anwe, gin je

Hello, just fine, and you?

Iw she anwe gé nin.

I’m fine too.

Variations on basic greetings.

He.

Hey, calls to get attention.

Wa, gin negwne.

Well, so it’s you!

Ni je ézh bmadziyen?

How are you getting along?

Iw she na ayapen, gin je?

Just the same, and you?

Nmeno bmades.

I feel well.

Other answers.

Iw ayapen, or Iw she na ayapen.

Just the same.

Cho/kawin, nmeno yési.

I’m not doing too well.

Nmeno bmades.

I feel well, I’m getting along.

Hau, ngetmakes she anwe.

Oh, I’m poor but I’m living/alive.

Cho, shna apje kwéch.

I’m not real well.

Mji’ na anwe(k).

A little better, I guess.

Iw she anwe.

Just fine.

Will/want to.

Ngiwé                           I’m going home.

Ni je wi?                       Why?

Nwi giwsé                     I want to hunt/I will hunt.

Gge wijéwen                I’ll go with you.

Gwi wijéwe ne             Are you coming along?

                                      Are you going along?

Ni pi je                          Where?

Odanek                         To town.

Ahau, nge wijéwe        Okay, I’ll go along.

                                      Okay, I’ll come along.

Vocabulary:

Bidgé   (mbidgé)                   go in; enter.

Biskonyé (mbiskonyé)         get dressed.

Giwé (ngiwé)                          I will go home.

Giwsé (ngiwsé)                      I will hunt.

Wijéwe (nwijéwe)                 I will go along.

                                                I will come along.

The verb, Gge wijéwen, is a transitive form

and not based on, wijéwe, although it is related

to it.

Future tense prefixes:

Nmaji                            I am leaving/going.

Gmaji                            You are leaving/going.

(W)maji                        He/she is leaving/going.

*or ni maji.

A future tense prefix wi appears in front of the

main part or stem of the verb put after any personal prefix:

Personal prefix             Tense prefix       Stem

          N                                   wi               maji           nwi maji

          G                                   wi               maji           gwi maji

                                                Wi              maji           wi maji

The wi future often indicates intention, expectation, or desire about the action or event.  It can often be translated with want to as well as will. 

The combination nwi often contracts to ni.

Another future prefix ge used primarily with n and

g can be used when the action or event is not strongly intended, expected, or desired.

Nge maji                                I’ll leave/go.

Gge maji                                You’ll leave/go.

Future time words:

You can use wi or ge verbs to future words such as:

Bkonyak                                in the evening.

Gishnawkwék                        afternoon.

Nawkwék                               at noon.

Shkejiméyek                          a little while later.

Wabek                                    tomorrow.

Weswabek                              day after tomorrow.

Gishnawkwék nwi maji.

I’ll leave/go in the afternoon.

Wabek nge giwé.

I’ll go home tomorrow.

Bkonyak nwi giwsé.

I’ll hunt in the evening.

Word Order:

Although some words have fixed positions in Potawatomi sentences, many others may change positions.

Example:   Nwi giwé wabek          and

                   Wabek nwi giwé          are equivalent.

In general, the 1st word becomes the most emphasized one.

Practice:

Gwi nim edi ne?

Éhé, nwi nim edi!

Asking after someone else:

Ni je na njim?                        How’s Jim?

Iw she anwe.                          He’s fine.

O, Igwien.                     *Oh, that’s good.

*The translation here fits the way this phrase is

used, but note you can also use the phrase after

someone thanks you.

Kche mikwech             or                O, Igwien.

Expansion of this conversation:

O, égi byayen                        Oh, you came.

Njezhek she ngi bya    I just got here.

Ni je na Mani?                      How is Mary?

Iw she anwe                           Just fine.

Njim je?                                 And Jim?

Iw she anwe géwin               He’s fine too.

Other Answers:

You can ask ni je ézhe bmadzet as well as ni je na about someone.

Here are some other ways to answer when asked about

someone else.

Note:           Many of them are the same as when you

                   answer for yourself.

Iw she anwe                           Just fine.

Iw she ne ayapen                   Just the same.

Cho mno yési                        He’s not well.

Cho she apje kwéch              Not real good.

Mji na anwek                         A little better, I guess.

Yaknogé                                 He’s sick.

Mno bmadze                          He’s feeling fine.

*It is commonly understood that when one refers to he, it could also be she, thus; it could be he/she.

To good responses, the questioner might say;  O, Igwien and to other responses; O, géte se, Oh, so!

Ni je éshe ne kas yen?

Your name                             ndesh ne kas.

Wi yé I                                   That’s it/that’s right.

Mine kedon                           say it again!

Gisha je gin                           you do it now. (sing.)

Gisha je ginwa                       you do it now. (pl.)

Wéni je gin                            how are you?

Nmeno yé                               I’m fine.

Cho nmeno yési                     I’m not so good.

Bama gge wabmen                I’ll see you later.

Ni je éshene kazot o              What’s his/her name?

Some name                            zhen kazo.

Vocabulary:

Byak or shote byak                        come here. (pl.)

Néyap zhyak                                   go back. (pl.)

Iw                                                     that’s it or stop.

Bzegwik                                           stand up.(pl.)

Jibdebwik                                        they are all sitting.

Jibdebek                                          sit down (pl.)

Bye’m skon wik                              turn around (pl.)

Gwash kswéok                                jump (pl.)

Bmosék                                            walk along  (pl.)

Bmebtok                                          run along. (pl.)

Nimetik                                            dance  (pl.)

Kewézi                                             old man

Mdemozé                                         old lady

Zésksi                                               teenage girl

Gigabé                                              teenage boy

Gigyago                                           girl

Gigabé                                              boy

Nene                                                 man

Kwé                                                  woman

Penojé                                              child

Penojés                                            baby

Gigabé ne ode yawe?

Is this a boy?

Éhé gigabé o yawe.

Yes, that is a boy.

Gigyago ne ode yawe?

Is this a girl?

Éhé gigyago o yawe.

Yes, that is a girl.

Gigabé ne gdaw?

Are you a boy?

Kewézi ne gdaw?

Are you an old man?

Cho, kwé o yawe. (Kwé yaw) (Kwé ndaw)

Cho mdemozé o yawe. (Mdemopi yaw) (Mdemopi ndaw)      

Wéni je ode?                                   Who is this?

Name of someone                          o yawe.

Ni je éktoyen?

What are you saying?

Ni je nda kedyen i radio?

What would you call a radio?

How would you say radio?

Widmo o zésksi éwi biskon wet.

Tell that girl to put some clothes on.

Ahau, bzegwin, éwi mikjéwiyen.

Oh, get up so you can work.

Neshnabé ne gdaw?

Are you an Indian?

Bodéwadmi ne gdaw?

Are you Potawatomi?

Nakéndemwajek:

                   The wise ones.

                   The wisdom keepers.

                   The old ones.

                   Those who know.

Nakéndemwajek gwi kigdowik.

The wise ones are going to speak.

Zagech ne gwi zhya?

Are you going outside?

Énédwéndayan éwi deméyan/ndema.

I want to take a smoke.

Nétwéndan i?

Do you want that?

Nétwéndan ne ode?

Do you want this?

Nin ma ode gokbenaken.

This is my basket.

Nin ma ode dabyan.

This is my car.

Nin ma ode msenakseken.

This is my picture.

Nin ma ode msenakaken.

This is my poster.

Nin ma shows ownership.

Vocabulary:

A                ah  as in father

É                 eh  as in bet

I                  ee  as in peel

O                oh  as in bowl

E                 uh  as in put

Noég meshomsenanek          Seven Grandfathers’

Éwetodének; Bwakawen                                   wisdom

Kechitwawénindowen; Wdentanmowen         respect

Débwéwen                                                          truth

Édbeséndowen                                                   humility

Zagidowen; Debanawen                                    love

Gwékwadzewen                                                  honesty

Shiwéndowen; Wédaséwen                               bravery

Medagwéndowen                            something liked

Medagwéndeman                            I like something

Mnopkot                                          tastes good

Shkwéyak                                        turn around

Néyap                                               go again/do it again

Mégwa                                              again/more

Naké                                                  and, but, or, etc.

Mine                                                 and

Ngot                                                 one

Nish                                                  two

Nswé                                                three

Nyéw                                                four

Nyannen                                           five

Ngotwatso                                        six

Noég                                                 seven

Shwatso                                            eight

Zhak                                                  nine

Mdatso                                             ten   

Ponok                                               winter

Ngot pon                                          1 year

Ngot kises                                        1 month

Ngot neméwgishek                         1 week

Nish neméwgishek                          2 weeks

Nso neméwgishek                           3 weeks

Ngom                                               today

Njezhek                                            just now

Nomye                                              awhile ago

Wabek                                              tomorrow

Wnago                                              yesterday

Wesnago                                          day before yesterday

Zhéba                                               early this morning

Dbekok                                            last night

Weswabek                                        day after tomorrow

Ngotgishget                                      first day/Monday

Nishgishget                                      second day/Tuesday

Nsogishget                                       third day/Wednesday

Nyéwgishget                                    fourth day/Thursday

Nyannogishget                                 fifth day/Friday

Ngotwatsogishget                            sixth day/Saturday

Noéggishget                                     seventh day/Sunday

Nemé’gishget                                   prayer day

abtogishget                                       half week day (Wednesday)

Odankégishget                                 town day (Saturday)

Manigishget                                     Mary’s day/confessional day (Sat.)

Gishek                                              heavens/sky

Kijik                                                  above the horizon

Jik                                                     the horizon

Dbekises                                           moon

Kises                                                 sun

Negos                                               star

Negosek                                           stars

Ankod                                              cloud

Ankwedon                                        clouds

Jigwé                                                 thunder

Jigwék                                              thunders

Wawasmok                                      lightening

Ni je éshena ka don ode?

How would you say this?

How would you call this?

Tédbesé nda shena kaden i.

I would call that a wheel.

Wégni je wa kedyen gishpen éwi maji yen?

What would you say if you are going to leave?

Hau, bama pi mine kewabmen.

Oh, until another time I shall see you.  Until I see you again.

Iw kshe zhe anwe égi widmoyak wa je kéndemyan bgéji.

Now I have told you a little of what I know.

Bama pi mine gwi kigdomen ngoji,

Until another time when we shall speak again somewhere.

Variants on Orthography

Folks: Following you shall find another way of writing the Potawatomi language. It is often referred to as the old Potawatomi style of writing. It is important you find and see other/all ways of writing this language.

The word for “no” is “TTHO” and also “TTHO WI.”  Remember, the CH/J sound is written as TTH.  So the pronunciation for “TTHO” is joe.  Likewise, “TTHO WI”.

Another word used in the negative sense is “KE GO.”  Basically it means “don’t.”  it means “stop what you are doing immediately.”

Now we’ll use these words in response to some of the phrases that we just learned.

REMEMBER:     A-ah          as in father

          E-eh        as in letter                    

          I-ee            as in peel            

          O-oh       as in bowl

PHRASE

Gbe ktem ne?                                  Eh hengh.

Are you people hungry?                Yes.

Gbe ktem ne?                                  Ttho wi, ngi gish wi sne men.

Are you people hungry?                No, we have eaten alredy.

Ki wi sen ne?                                  Ttho, shna gi wi sne si.

Have you eaten already?                No, I have not eaten yet.

Gwi wi sen ne?                     Ttho, ngi gish wi sen.

Do you want to eat?              No, I have eaten already.

Wi se nen!                             Ah how, ma no nge wi sen.

Eat!                                         O.K., I’ll eat anyway.

Script of a possible conversation.

A simple conversation:

Hello                                                1st Person: Hau, Bo sho

How are you feeling                       Ni je na gin, mno bmades ne

Hello, I am fine                               2nd Person: Hau, I she an we, gin she

I am fine to                                      1st Person: I she an we ge nin

Where are you from                       1st Person: Ni pi je wech byayen

I am from Kansas                           2nd Person: Kansas ndoch bya

When did you come?                     1st Person: Ni jo pi ne gi bya yen

I got here day before yesterday     2nd Person: Wesnago e’gi she bya                                                          yan

What is your name                         1st Person: Ni je e’shna kas yen

Luke warm water I am called        2nd Person: Yab wam mbish e’she                                                         ne kas yan

                                                          Or Yab wam mbish desh ne kas

What is your clan                           1st Person: Ni je gdo tem e’dben                                                            dag zi yen                    

                                                          or Gde ton ne o gdo tem

My clan is Thunder clan                2nd Person: Chi kwe Ndo tem de ben da gwes

I don’t have a clan                          1st Person: Cho she ndo tem de ben dag si

Will you walk with me &              1st Person: Ahau, wi jew shen e’ bmose yak

Maybe we can visit your relation shode no mek gishpen gwi wabdi yak o

or some other Indian                      den we mag nek, mine bkan ek neshnebek

Yes, I will walk with you or go    Ahau, da wi jew wen

with you that’s all

We will expand on the sentence a little further.

Bo sho ni tthe na?  Ni pi tthe wetth bya yen?

                                                                   Traditional Writing

Bo sho nee che na?  Nee pee che wetch bya yen?            Pronunciation

Hello, how is everything?  Where are you from?             Translation

The response you may get might go like this:

I she an we.  Hannahville ntotth bya.                                

                                                                   Traditional Writing

Ee zhe ahn we.  Hannahville ndotch bya.                          Pronunciation

Everything is o.k.  I come from Hannahville.                    Translation

The same sentences appear below without any explanation, so pay

Particular attention to vowels and method or writing.

Bo sho ni tthe na?  Ni pi tthe wetth bya yen?

I she an we.  Hannahville ntotth bya.

Literal translations of Indian sentences into English is usually not possible so you have to structure the English language around the Indian sentence to come up with a viable translation.

Now we will proceed and start using sentences that would be part of any dialogue that you might encounter on any given day.  You have already been introduced to some general phrases of greeting.

Gin je.        And you.             Iw zhe anwe ge nin.    I’m fine, too.

This lesson will cover phrases dealing with the word sit or sitting.

Remember the one vowel – one sound concept.

Sit or sit down.                     Tthi be de ben

(addressing one person)

Sit or sit down.                     Tthi be de bek

(addressing more than one person)

Do you want to sit down?            Kwi tthi be dep ne?

Do you all want to sit down?                Kwi tthi be de bem ne?

He/she is sitting down.                           Tthi be de be

They are sitting down.                            Tthi be de be wik                 

Let us sit down.                             Ke tthi be de be men

Were you sitting down?               Ki tthi be dep ne?

Were you all sitting down?          Ki tthi be de bem ne?

You will notice that all the question end with the syllable “NE”. This syllable is on the very end of a lot of sentences, as you will see as we go along.

The next set of phrases has to do with something very important to most Indian People.  It has to do with eat and eating.

Telling one person to eat.                        Wi se nen

Telling more than one person to eat.      Wi se nek

Food, groceries, etc.                                 Wi se ne wen

Have you eaten?                                       Ki wi sen ne?

Have you people eaten?                          Ki wi snem ne?

Do you want to eat?                                 Kwi wi sen ne?

Do you people want to eat?                    Kwi wi snem ne?

I have eaten already.                                Ngi kish wi sen

We have eaten already.                            Ngi kish wi sne men

He/She is done eating.                                       Gi kish wi sne

They are done eating.                               Gi kish wi sne wek

Have you eaten yet?  Or                          Gi kish wi sen ne?

Have you finished eating?

Have you people eaten yet or                 Gi kish wi snem ne?

Are you people finished eating?

I will eat.                                                   Nge wi sen.

We will eat.                                               Nge wi sne men.

Now we will review some of the sentences we have just learned dealing with sitting and eating.  Compare the use of the singular and plural syllables.  In these two instances they are the same.

Do you want to sit down?                       Kwi tthi be dep ne?

Do you all want to sit down?                  Kwi tthi be de bem ne?

Do you want to eat?                                 Kwi wi sen ne?

Do you all want to eat?                            Kwi wi snem ne?

Notice that at the beginning of sentences N signifies “I” and K signifies “You.” 

(The K is also written as G, depending on the sentence and the writer.)

Do you want to eat?                                 Kwi wi sen ne?

I have eaten already.                                Ngi kish wi sen

TRUE/FALSE

I means Nin                 ____

You means Gin            ____

Him/her means win     ____

Also notice in the first syllable the way in which future and past

tense is indicated.

Do you want to eat?                                 Kwi wi sen ne?

I will eat.                                                   Nge wi sen

I have eaten already.                                Ngi kish wi sen

Next we will go into phrases dealing with being hungry and not being hungry.

I am hungry.                                             Ne be kte

We are hungry.                                          Ne be kte men

Are you hungry?                                      Ge be kte ne?

Are you people hungry?                          Ge be ktem ne?

He/she is full.                                           De pse ni

I am full.                                                   Nde pe se ni

We are full.                                               Nde pe se ni men

Are you full?                                            Gde pse ni ne?

Are you people full?                                 Gde pse nim ne?

Now we will go into phrases using where and where at.

“WHERE?”        is       NI PI TTHE

Where are you going?                    Ni pi tthe e sha ya yen?

Where are you people going?       Ni pi tthe e sha ya yak?

Where do you come from?            Ni pi tthe wetth bya yen?

Where do you people come from?         Ni pi tthe wetth bya yak?

WETTH is pronounced wetch.

Where are he/she going?               Ni pi tthe e she yat?

Where are they going?                   Ni pi tthe e sha ya wat?

Where is it at?                                 Ni pi tthe e tthe tek?

Where did you put it?                    Ni pi tthe ga tthe to yen?

Where did you guys put it?           Ni pi tthe ga tthe to yek?

When asking about a specific object, I pronounced ee, is used after NI PI TTHE:

Where is the knife?                        Ni pi tthe I ko man?

The syllable ndo is used in a possessive manner indicating ownership as follows:

Where is my knife?                        Ni pi tthe I ndo kman?

Where is my stocking?                  Ni pi tthe I ndo ke me das?

Where is my pet? (usually a cat)   Ni pi tthe o ndo kyan?

Where is my car?                            Ni pi tthe o ndo da be yan?

Where is my glove?                       Ni pi tthe o ne metth ka wen?

That’s all – ia tso

You’re a good cook-Kte wi kes ew ttan ta yen / kte mno se qe

Are you going to cook – Qe ttan ta na? Qi wttan ta ne

                             Qe kis ken ne? qi ki ken ne

Sit here and eat – sho te ttib ta ben e wi wis ne yen

Come and eat soon – na kett ka bye e wi wis ne yen

                        na kech kby a we we snee yen

make some fried bread – sas ko qa tuk pa qash kin wshe ton

fry some potatoes – ktah sos ko qa swak pin yak

and make some gravy — ka wshe ton me na pqash kin na

                                      bo kta shi tone

We’ll eat pretty soon – ka ka qi wis na men

We’re hungry – mbak te men

Starving to death – mbi ke na ta men

I ate too much – tow som we sen      nki wsam ktte wi sen

I’m full – ntow sam shke ne

I’ve had enough – nki teb sa iw tso

          deb sin ye na? – did you get enough to eat?

They’re sour – siw shin wik

Eat breakfast – wis nen

When are we going to eat?—ni tte o wbi wa wis niy ki

What’s for supper? –wek ne tte wa mitt ye ko

He’s really eating – ktte wis ne o

Do you want some too? – kin ne ke

Eat it – mi tten

Drink it – mne qen

Dump it out – si qeb nen

They’re going out hunting – wi kiw sek

Just a little – bke tti

Fry that chicken or make some soup – kta sas qes o bka a qa a ne ke mbob

Classroom Commands

Listen                                      Bse don (den)

Sit down                                 Tthi be e ben

Quiet                                       Dok me ben

Stand up                                 Nib wen                        A – ah

Get up                                    Bze gwin                      É – eh

Say it                                      Ke don                          I – ee

My turn                                  Nin nétem                     O – oh

Your turn                               Gin nétem                     E — uh

Their turn                               Win nétem

That’s right, that’s it             Wi ye I

Behave                                   Da dok me ben

Don’t                                      Ke ko

That’s enough                       Iw-dso

Stop it!                                   Bo nik en

Stop it!                                   Kash ton

Say it again                            Ki don mine

Come in                                  Bidgen

Wait                                        Bama

OK                                          Ahaw

No                                           ‘Ttho

No (with emphasis)               ‘Ttho-wi

Wait till later                         Bama na gech

OK, leave                                Ahaw – ma jin

Come here                              Sho te byan

Read                                        Wa wich ké

Write it                                   Nab ye ken

Thank you                              Mikwech

I am grateful                          I kwe yen

How was it?/How did it go?                   Ni tthe na tthe?

How did you do?                            Ni tthe ga shi kas ye ‘n?

Hello, how are you?                       Ahau, ni tthe na?

What are you going to do today? Ni tthe wa shetth ke yen nkom?

Are you busy?                                Ktot mes ne?

I have to go to work.                      Nwi we mik tthe wi.

I have a lot to do.                            Ma ne wa shetth ke yan.

I’ll be late.                                       Nwi wi ka yow.

It’s good to see you.                       Iw se na qi yen e wab ma ko yen.

                                                          O we net e wab me nen.

I’ll see you again.                           Ba ma mi ne ke wab men.

Do you need a ride?                       Wi ye ne qi ne bos?

Wake up, it’s time to get up.         To kin, iw shye e wi bse qi yen.

Hurry/wash up and get dressed.    Ksi qan, bis kon yen.

The bus is coming.                         Bye wak o wtab yan.

It’s 7:30, I hope you’re not late.    No ak mi ne ab te ya wen.

                                                          Kta ne bnon ka yow.

I’m going to be late, have a nice day.

I’ll see you later                     Nwi wi ka yow, ba ma ke wab men.

Give me a kiss.                               Nko we wtthem shen.

I’m home, I’m tired, I’m hungry. Nki bya, nte ye qes mi, ne mbak te.

Go out and play.                             Ba tthik ka son.

Get ready for bed.                           Wshen win e wi mba yen.

I’ll see you in the morning.           Kesh yeb ke wab men.

The kids are running around.        Bam be tok be no tthe yek.

The birds are flying around.          Ba mosh kok bne shi yek.

Who is he?                                                We ni tthe o?

Who are you?                                 We ni tthe kin?

Which is yours?                              Ni tthe kin I?

This is mine.                                    Nin o te.

Can I go too?                                  Nin ne ke nta shya?

She is staying home.                      Kshat ke.

It’s spinning.                                   Byem sko bo te.

That’s lost.                                                Ne ke te.

It’s raining.                                      Kmow win.

Light rain, drizzle, sprinkling.      Kmo wes wen.

It’s raining hard.                             Ktthe kmo wen.

Flooding.                                         Moshk en.

He/she is crazy.                               Ya gwad ze.

I’m lonesome.                                 Nki wa tes.

I’m crazy.                                        Nyak wa tes.

He’s lonesome.                               Ki wat se.

Your crazy.                                      Ktok wa tes.

It rained a lot today.                       Ki ktthe kmo wen nkom.

It was very cloudy today.              Kim nqan kot nkom.

Now it is starting to get cold.        I shye e ksin yak.

It was very windy today.               Wish kan mit nkom.

It is foggy today.                            Wen si wen nkom.

It is cold.                                          Ksen ya.

It is snowing.                                   Bo nim ket.

We are going to town.                    O tan nak wi shyek.

Tomorrow I am going to town.     O ta nak nwi shya wa bek.

Today I am going.                          Nwi ma tthi nkom.

I will come there tomorrow.                   Wa bak nwi bya shi.

We will come here.                        Sho te ni bya min.

Can you talk?                                  Ka ta no kik to ne?

Can you see?                                   Kmen wab ne?

I will not be there.                          Ttho she mwi ye si.

Sit here and eat.                              Shote tthibteben e wi wis ne yen.

Come and eat soon.                        Na ketth ka bye wi sen.

Watch the baby.                              Ko wa bam o be no tthe.               

I’m going outside.                          Sa ketth nwi shya.

Where are you going?                    Ni pi tthe esh ya yen?          

Come here.                                      Sho te byan.

I’m lazy.                                          Nya bye tes.

He’s lazy.                                        Ya byet se/nshow nat se.

Hurry and go to sleep.                    Wi ne mban.

I fell.                                                 Nke bak shen.

Did you fall?                                   Ke bak shen ne?

You dance.                                       Nim e tin.

Someone is coming.                       Wi ye bye wak.

One who knows all.                        Neb wa kat.

Look at it.                                        Wab ten.

Because of you.                              Kin ma bshe.

Are you going to have enough?    Oi teb sa ne?

                                                          Nish ma sha na?

                                                          Ta om yen?

Are you telling the truth?              Kteb we ne?

Oh yes.                                             Ke te.

On the window.                              Wa setth ke nak.

She’s baby sitting.                          Ksa taw so/ksha taw so.

He’s lying.                                       Ken wes ke.

He/she is running away.                 We bi e we.

They’re having fun.                        Mta qay wik.

May apple (for medicine.)             Bok te e men.

Some other time.                             Ba ma she na ngot dek.

Leaders.                                            Na ka ni tthak.

It’s broke.                                        Bok shke.

I broke it.                                         Nki bok be ton.

They’re haying                               Mosh ko ke tthak.

Baby swing                                      We web so wen.

They’re all laughing                       Ya yen wik.

He/she laughed.                              Ki ya ye no.

That child is crying.                       Mo wak o be no tthe.

They are smiling.                            Sho mi kwek.

This person is at it again.               Iw she mi ne o te.

Sit there in that chair.                     Tthib tab we nok shi ta ben.

You can lie down on that be.         Shi kta shkish en nbok nak.

I’m walking.                                    Nbam se.

I’m going outside to take a walk. Ni bam se sa ketth.

I’m going outside.                          Sa ketth nwi shya.

You can go.                                     Kta ma tthi.

That belongs to me.                        Nin nte ben tan i.

                                                          Nin ma I (personal)

They’re looking at you.                 kwab ma ko.

I can’t                                               Ttho mam ta.

Come over to eat at my house/home tomorrow noon.                         Wa bak ka bye wi sen naw qek.

I’m going to town in a little while to get some eggs.                                     No mak nwi net o ta nuk wa wen.

Over there is where they will eat tonight.      

          Ibe ewi wi sne wek bkon yak.

There is no beer, what are you going to drink?              

          Ttho ke go bish te wab bo, wek ni tthe wan i kwa ni yen 

You’re going to fall.                       kwi ni sa.

You might fall.                                Kta ne ni sa.

Are you going?                               kwi shya ne.

Pretty good.                                     Wéwéne shna.

Are you sick?                                  Ktak no ka ne?

About the same.                              A ya pen.

Where did you come from?           Ni pi tthe ka wte bya yen?

What time is it?           Ni tthe tso ya wak? Ni tthe et tso ya wek?

What day is it?                                Wek ni tthe nkom ya wek?

Megwa ode kedwenen

Gégo nanmeshiken                         Don’t blame me

Cho she ngi zhechkéyansi i           I didn’t do that

Bnewi o kwé kchemokman égi wiché’wa        

          A long time ago a woman married a white man

Mbishkik                                         Place where there is a lot of                                                                   water (Marshfield)

Mami                                                Soon (n)

Gaga                                                 Soon (s)

Kénep shote byan                           Come here quickly

Binakchegé                                    To Clean

Niskbejgé                                         To make a mess

Ggi binakton édayan                       I cleaned my house (I cleaned                                                                where I live)

Kénep gda byan shote éwi binchegéyen édayan    

          You should come over here quickly and clean up where I live

Msenaksegnen                                 Moving pictures – her word for                                                             Cartoons

Wabnotakchegen                            TV (noisy thing you look at)

Genadolok                                       Bread (ONEIDA)

Wibdén                                            Mouth full of teeth

Nibdén                                             My teeth (my mouth full of teeth)

Nibet                                                 One tooth

Ndon                                                 My mouth

Zegnenwagen                                  Tongue

Ndep                                                 My head

Nin je o                                            It’s mine

Gdep                                                 Your head

Gin je o                                            It’s yours

Ni je na i gdep ngom?                     How is your head today?

Mémagzedé                                     Big Foot (name for old neighbor                                                           of hers)

Wéchgshatek                                   Where the hot weather comes                                                                from

Wéchksenyak                                  Where the cold weather comes                                                              from

Ksenyaniyek                                   Northern Potawatomi (people                                                                who live in the cold)

Wapshkankwet                                White Cloud (her mother’s                                                                     name)

Mskwankwet                                   Red Cloud

Bébamsekwe                                   Traveling woman

Kchegno                                          Big Eagle

Énkwankot                                      It is cloudy

Tkanmet                                           The wind is making it feel chilly

Ksenya                                             Cold

Tkiyamget                                        It’s cool (something)

Tkiyamget i shapkezken                The stove is cool

Wezowen                                         Heater, wood heater

Wjandéwen                                     Cooking Stove

Shkapke’en                                     Lock

Meskedé                                          It’s expensive

Mshkomnokmek                             Early spring, first day of spring

Cho wi kewabma nijansen             She doesn’t watch her kids

Cho wi kiékma nijansen                She doesn’t teach her kids right

Zhonya égi msenemak                   She borrowed money from me

Ngi we’a zhonya                            I loaned her money

Ngi nsenema anet zhonya              I loaned her some money

Mteno pené kyébadzik                   They are only always naughty

Zibyéngen                                        Washtub

Gwi zibyéngé                                  I will do the laundry

Zhoshkwékegen                               Iron

Nwi zhoshkwé’an                           I am going to iron

Jegodé                                              Skirt

Mejgodé                                           Long dress

Mejgodéyen                                    Long dresses

Biskewagen                                     Coat

Bbebgoyan                                      Man’s shirt

Ni pi je i nbiskewagen                             Where is your shirt?

Ni pi je ni nmkeznen                      Where are your shoes?

Mejdasen                                         Leggings like they used to wear

Zibyéngen i gbiskewagen               Wash your shirt/clothes

Mégwa she nde bmades                 I’m still living

Gibatashen o dabyan                       That car got stuck

Éshcegéwat                                      What they are doing

Nbadwéwéges                                 You are making too much noise

Gi bbonimget shote                        It snowed here

Ksenyamget                                     It’s cold

Neshnabé ne gi?                             Are they Indians?
Gégo gwi gishton                           Don’t or I’ll spank you

Cho she apje wenseson                  I don’t have much hair

Éjedweshen (person)                      Upside down (person)

Jedweshen (object)                         Upside down (object)

Jedweshen ode dopwen                 Table is upside down

Jedweshen ode jibtebwen              Chair is upside down

Jedweshen o gigyago                      Girl is upside down

Kiwades                                           Lonely

Gego Kiwadzeken                          Don’t be lonely

Nde penmo                                      I depend on him

Nde penmontak                               He depends on me

Nde pendmondon                           I depend on you

Nde penmondowak                        I depend on him

Tkeykaboyak mbish                        Cool Water

Gshatebotek mbish                         Hot Water

Naden i tkeykaboyak mbish           Bring me some cool water

Nde zostum?                                   Cough

Ngi wnendan i                                 I forgot it

Gego nendemoken                         Don’t forget

Gego nendemoken émbiwéyen     Don’t forget to water (reference use the bathroom)

Niézanya                                          It’s dangerous (sounds like lasagna)

Wéneshkan                                      I get up

Bsegwin                                           Rise Up

Waben                                              It’s morning

Ngi gteine zheshen                         I got _____________

Shabnegen                                       Needle

Moshwagen                                     Scissors

Sebab                                               Rope

Pe’égwadon                                     Patch it up

Ni pe’egwadon i waboyan             I will patch up that blanket

Wabaksikwe                                    She Walks At Dawn

Éngemot                                          She is singing

Pkwakik                                           Mountain

Kwédakik                                         Hill

Ngiwzheton                                     I put it together/I made it

Ngiwzheton nmechgodé                I put my dress together/I made                                                              my dress

Ngiwzheton i waboyan                  I put that blanket together/I made                                                          that blanket

Ngi mnoston                                   I fixed it, I assembled it

Ngi mnoston wa je wjandayan      I fixed it/assembled it what I will                                                          be cooking on 

Mkwom                                           Ice

Wewnezi                                          Beautiful water (Name)

Éankenotwet                                   An interpreter

Yankenotweshen                            You come explain it to me

Nagech                                             Soon

Mami she byan                                Come back early

Nagech she byan                            Don’t be gone long

Nomye                                             Not very long ago

Nomye wi byéwak                         Not long ago he came

Nomek                                             In a little while

Nomek she gchikas                        In a little while you can play

Nomek she ge kewabem o Gasknezos  

                                                          Watch Whisper for a little while

Nin washmo                                    I’m going to rest

Byéwashmon                                   Come and rest

Jibdeben éwashmoyan                   Sit down and rest

Bokto                                               Pear

Mechgodé                                         Dress

Bama                                                Wait

Bwitshen                                          Wait for me

Babwichkén                                    Wait

Ni gishkshkwa ode                         I will cut this

Ni gishkshkwa ode mshimen        I will cut this apple

Ik she she anwe                               Oh all right I guess

Yabyétze o nemosh                        That dog is lazy

Yagwatze                                         Crazy

Segdebé                                           Curly Top

Génozi                                             Tall (man’s name)

Génozet                                            The tall one/He/she is tall

Gish’kakwéwgemgok                     Lumber Camp (where they cut                                                              that wood)

Gi nizhokmago émikchéwiyan o gigabéyek

                             They helped me when I worked those boys

Gego k’kezoken                              Don’t hide

Ék’kezot ode gigyago                     This girl is hiding

Kyébadze ode gigyagos                 This little girl is mischievous

Zaskokwanpenyék                          Fried potatoes (French fries)

Penyek gi zaskokwanak                 Potatoes that were fried

Bkwéshgen zaskokwadé                Frybread

Nodoyé                                            Always getting mad

Nodoyé ode Gasknezos                  Little Whisper is always getting                                                            mad

Gégo, gwi wépodon!                      Don’t, or I’ll spank you!

Wi nisé                                             She will fall

Gwi nisa                                          You will fall

Gi nisé                                             She fell

Gego maziken                                 Don’t climb around

Gego kwedaziken                           Don’t climb (like stairs or trees)

Bneksegnek                                   Hominy

Mdamennabo                                  Corn soup

Ni nana o neaseno                          I’m going after Neaseno

Ni nana o kiwekemokwe               I’m going after Ruthiye

Wegni nedwendemen                    What do you want?           

Nsodebegenek                               3:00

Mdatso shech nyannen                  15

Ngotosek                                       1000

Zisbakwet                                        Sugar

Washpek                                          Something sweet

Démenen                                          Strawberries

Mkedémnek                                    Blackberries

Mkedéneni                                                Black man

Mshimen                                          Apple

Mshimenek                                      Apples

Mshimenek gwi mwak                   You will eat apples

Bshewkwen                                     Cows

Gokoshek                                         pigs

Enemokwe                                                 a name

Kchegno                                          another name

Ojmin                                               oatmeal

Kwenago                                          yesterday woman (a name)

Penabo                                             Potato soup

Penyek                                             potatoes

Penyek ne gwi mwak?                   You want to eat some potatoes?

Penabo ne gwi mijen?                    You want to eat some potato                                                                  soup?

Penyek ne gwi giswa                      You gonna cook potatoes?

Mdamnabo                                      corn soup

Ngi mdagway

Gizhgokwe                                      a name

Wédajwen                                        another name

Neaseno                                           something windy (a name)

Gizhgeni                                          a name

Mabis                                               a name

Ni pi je éshyayen                            Where are you going

Ni je pi wa zhyayen                       When are you going

Ni jo pi yawik ga byayen?            What time was it when you                                                                    came?

Penojek                                            kids

Ni pi je gi penojek ezhyawat?       Where are those kids going?

Win ndo wabem o wawjanek        Go look for a cook

Gishpen gwa zhyan boskwabnen….or I will roll you down the hill

Bodewadmi emawjedit                   Where the Potawatomi meet.       

Yayeno                                            laugh

Zhomigwé                                        smile

Aishogishek/Edwegishek               Both sides of the sky

Zhawne’en                                                 South wind (woman’s name)

Zhabwas                                          See right through it (woman’s                                                                name)

Enobi                                               a name

Egawni                                             a name

Medagwendan ewi wisnewat        They like to go out to eat

Nkiwades                                         I’m lonely

Kchetetbesé                                     The big wheel

Zhonya                                            money

Wishkpeno                                      She’s sweet

Gasknezos wishkpeno                    Little Whisper is sweet

Nagech she byan                            Don’t be gone long/come back                                                              soon (S)

Mami she byan                                Don’t be gone long/come back                                                              soon (N)

Nagech – Southern, Mami – Northern

Gmesé mbéwak                               Your big sister is sleeping

Gshimé                                             Little sister

Skebyatemget                                  Everything is green

Gégo nendemoken                         Don’t forget

Pené she nodagzewat                      They are always noisy

Mine i egwan                                  And over there

Génoze o kwe                                 That woman is tall

Wi nijansése                                    She’s going to have a baby

Ginyano ni nibden                          My teeth are sharp

Ginyanen ni wibden                       Her teeth are sharp

Ginzik gi shkezhek                         My nails are sharp

Gi jigwéwen                                    It was thundering

Gi gmowen                                      It was raining

Minwéwze                                       Good worker

Nwi mbwachwa o Gizhgokwé      I’m going to visit Gizhgokwé

Gwi zibyendon géni?                     Did you wash too?

Ngi meschegé i mbagen                 I rearranged my bed

Gambot o neneyem                        My mother died

Ngyében                                          Referring to mother that was

Gégo bawéwéken                           Stop making so much noise

Cho she gégo ngi meschegési        I didn’t do any housework

Gemochké                                        He stole it

Égmodet I zhonya                          He stole that money

Éapteniben                                                it’s mid summer

Yankobdé                                        Double Knot

Yankobjegén                                   Great Grandchild (Double knot)

Nyankobjegén                                 My great grandchild (my double                                                           knot)

Gashotmego                                    Leftovers (what we didn’t eat)

Yayeno                                            Laughing

Nyayeno                                          I’m laughing

Kcheyayeno                                    She’s laughing hard

Begdé                                               Dry

Begdémget ode waboyan               This blanket is dry

Begdémget zagech                          It’s dry outside

Wnago                                             Yesterday

Neshnabé étadit                               Neshnabé gambles/where he                                                                  gambles?

Weswnago                                       Day before yesterday

Cho she gego ndenabnesi               I’m good for nothing

Nweshmo bégishek                        I’m resting all day

Gego nendemoken                         Don’t forget

Gego nanmeshiken                         Don’t forget me

Ngi nendem i                                  I forgot it

Pkebdon                                           Pick that (she said this is used for                                                         things that are on a plant)

Pkebdon i wabgon                          Pick that squash

Ngi pkebnamen ni mkedéminen   We picked those blackberries

Ngi minkémen                                We went blueberrying

Ngi pkebnamen gi mskomenek    We picked those raspberries

Mamgenen                                      To pick something up that                                                                      someone has discarded

Mamgenen ni mkesnen                  Pick up those shoes

Ngi mamgenanen ni                       I picked those up (that someone                                                            had thrown away)

Ngi mamgengé                                To pick something up to reuse it                                                           (To recycle?)

Épkebdoyen                                    you pick things that are growing

Dapnen                                            Take that

Dapnen i wabgon                           Take that squash

Gi gtegé ne?                                    did you garden?

Gzizgengé                                         To scrub the floor

Zhizijeké                                          To sweep the floor

Kadengen                                         Braided rug

Kadenagen ne i winsesen?             Are you braiding hair? 

Kadengé                                           To braid

Nwi kadenanen ni winsesen           I will braid my hair

Gishkzhanen ninsesen                    Cut your hair

Zibyénan ni winsesen                     Wash your hair

Niézanya                                          Dangerous

Niézanzik                                         They are dangerous

Gwi nisa                                          You’re going to fall

Webdon I                                         Throw it in the garbage

Naké pegdon I                                 or throw it somewhere

Gapi nwi zheton                              I’m going to make coffee

Gwi mnekwé ne                              Will you drink some?

Ni pi je ézhyayen?                          Where are you going?

Bagdwé                                            To play baseball (to hit with a stick)

Ébagdwéwat                                    They are playing baseball

Nwi bagdwémen                             We are going to play baseball

Ébsedegéwat                                    They are playing squaw dice

Nodnokwe                                       Wind woman

Seksiwiyas                                       Deer meat

Seksi negesh                                   Deer sausage

Bnéwiyas                                         Turkey meat

Bémashkat                                       To fly (like a bird)

Bamashké                                         To fly in something (like a plane)

Gi bamashké ne?                            Did he fly?

Shkodé ode yawen                          This is fire

Wigézen ébwajagzayen                  Be careful you will be burned

Kyénbezen                                       Hurry Up

Kyénep byan                                   Come Quick

Nmedné                                           My blanket

Nde pkwesmon                               My pillow

Nwi pe’egwadon ode waboyan     I will patch up this blanket

Nwi pe’egwadon ode gbedi           I will patch up this pair of pants

Gdebanen                                         I love you

Mskoze o bneshi                             The bird is red

Mskwane i biskewagen                  The shirt is red

Mekdéwak                                       Black

Wabshkyak                                     White

Éskpegyak                                       Green

Wabshkedebé                                  White Headed Person (white                                                                  hair)

Éshkwedmo                                     Watermelon

Gokobé                                            Cucumber

Gokobéyen                                      Cucumbers

Wabgon                                           Squash/Pumpkin

Wabgonésen                                    Small squash, Acorn Squash

Gzhapkezgen                                   Stove, like an old wood stove

Gigénowen                                      Cooker

Wjandéwen                                     Cook Stove

Gzhabozen i mbish                         Heat that water (implies putting                                                            it into a kettle/pot)

Gzhabodék                                      Something liquid that is hot

Gzhabozen i gapi                            Heat that coffee

Gzibyé ni wnagnen                         Wash those dishes

Mégwa she anwe nde ném             I’m still breathing

Nsheké éjibdebyan shote               I’m sitting here alone

Ni gnona o Zhikwes                       I’m talking to Zhikwes

Ni yayajmo’a o Zhikwes               I’m talking to Zhikwes

Ni gnona ode Zhikwes                   I’m talking to this Zhikwes

Ni je gaktoyen                                 What did you say

Ni je éyayamwet                             Who are you talking to

Ngi nona                                          I spoke to him/her

Ngi yayajmo’a o Whisper              I spoke to Whisper

Gi kigdowek                                   He/she talked to me

Gi yayajmo’ek                                He/she talked to me

Gi yayajmomen                               We talked

Yatsoké                                            Tell stories

Éyatsokét                                         He/she tells stories

Basic things in Potawatomi

BASIC STUFF

Ked                to say s.t.

Kedo               h/s is saying s.t.

Ndekto             I am saying s.t.

Gdekto             you are saying s.t.

Kedwik             they are saying s.t.

Some phrases and questions:

Ni je ektot o         what is he/she saying?

Ni je ektoyen         what are you saying?

Ni je ga kedyan       what did I say?

Ni je ga kedyen       what did you say?

Ni je ektowat         what are they saying?

Ni je wa kedwat       what are they going to say?

Wi kedwik wa je byayak they are going to say s.t. when we get there.

Wi ye I, wa kedyan    that’s what I’m going to say.

Wi ye I, wa kedwat    that’s what they’re going to say.

Wi ye I nda dena          that is what I told him/her.

Ngi dena                  I told him/her

Ngi dena a’o ma she na but I told him/her

Widmo a’o wa kedyen       tell him/her what you’re going to say

Some more phrases:

Iw, ga kdot            that’s what he/she said

Iw, ga kedyan         that’s what I said

Iw, ga kedyen         that’s what you said.

Iw, ga kedwat         that’s what they said.

Iw, ga kedwat neko    that’s what they used to say.

Gda ket ne ode        can you say this?

Ni je ode da kedyan   how would I say this?

Ni je ode da kedyen   how would you say this?

Ni je ode ezh ne kadek what is this called?

Ni je node ezh ne kadek   what are these called?

Ni je nda zhen kadmen ode cup

                  What would we call this cup? (we-u)

Ni je gda shen kadyen ode cup

                  What would you call this cup?

Gwa begasen she zhna, nda zhen kadan

                  Gwa begasen, I would call it

Ni je node gda zhen kadyen node dishes

                  What would you call these dishes?

Desnagnen she zhna, nda zhen kadanen

                      Dishes I would call them.

Ni je ezh ne kasyen       what are you called/what is your name?

Ni je ezh ne kaswat       what are they called?

Ni je ezh ne kazyen       what are you called?

Ni je ezh ne kazot o      what is that person called?

Luke Warmwater zhen kazo  Luke Warmwater he is called.

Yabwam mbish zhen kazo “                          “

Ni je o yawet         who is he/she?

Ni je o                 who is that?

We ni je gi yawjek    who are they?

Ni je gi

Wegwni je I yawek     what is that?

Ni je I

Gokbenagen I yawen    it is a basket

Ni je ni yawek        what are those?

Ni je ni

Gokbenagnen ni yawnon     those are baskets

Dasgen je na a o kewezi ni je pi ewabmayen

Shake hands with that old man when you see him.

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.

Cho wi she, gneste tosnon gode weshkjek ngom.

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

Ni je etse dbuh gnek      what time is it?

Ni je tso yawek           what time is it, but could also mean, how many are there?

Some time phrases:

Ngodek                at one time

Ngodek ga zhe webek   it happened at one time

Ngodek zhna zhi       some day

Ngodek na              for once

Nangodgen              sometime/once in awhile

Wa wika            later/once in awhile/now and then/not often

Bama                   wait

Bama pi               later

Nagech                later

Bama shkejimeyek       later on

Ngoji mana            sometime/somewhere around

Gisneget               it was hard times

Bnewi                 a long time ago

Bnewi pi               a long time ago

Megwe pi               a long time ago/could be far away too

Bnoch                 far away

Gaga/mami             soon

Nomek                 a little while

Pene                   always

Nomye                 a little while ago

Njeshek               just now

Odo pi                at this time

Ode zhe pi            right now

Mine pi               another time

Cho wi pi             never

Cho wika               never

Cho she gego           nothing/zero

Cho wi she gego        it’s nothing really

Chom she               not yet

Kwech                  yet

Ibe pi                over there

Ezhi pi               way over there

Some exclamations:

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 dk

Ngi                I did

Nge                I am about to

Nda                I could/can/would

Nwi                I will