Sentences with Animals

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Here are a few sentences to use with your new animal words. You can now say you saw an animal last night. You heard an animal last night. You smelled an animal, you saw the animal on the road. And you can see the difference in the word make up for the animal seeing you and you seeing the animal. You can make many sentences about most of the animals in the list by switching out the words for the animals present in the following sentences with other animals from your lists.

Nigii waabamaa  waawaashkeshii/ shkeshii dibikong? – Did you see the deer last night?

Nigii noondawaa mai’ingan noongwa. – I heard the wolf last night.

Ni biijiimaamaa zhiigaag. – I smell a skunk.

Nigii waabamaa waawaashkeshii miikanong? – Did you see the deer on the road?

Nigii waabamig wagosh. – The fox saw me.

Ni waabamaa wagosh. – I saw the fox.

Ni waabamaa wagosh nongom – I saw a fox today.

Gigii waabamaa ina wagosh ? – Did you see the fox?

Niwii waabamaa opitchi gizhep. – I will see a robin in the morning.

Bama apii!!


Wesiinhik / Ookaanag – Wild Animals / Farm Animals

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Wesiinhik / Ookaanag

Makwa – bear

nika- Canadian Goose

Amik – Beaver

Omakakii – Frog

Aamoo – Bee

Waagosh – Fox

Memengwaa – Butterfly

Ojiig – Fisher

Mashkodebizhiki- Buffalo

Bizhiki – Cow

Giniw – Golden Eagle

Aandeg – Crow

Zhiishiib – Duck

Adik – Caribou

Animosh – Dog

Baaka’aakwe- Chicken

Waawaashkeshi – Deer

Agongosens – Chipmunk

Mashtadim – Workhorse

Zhaangweshi – Mink

Maang – Loon

Waabizheshi – Marten

Bizhiw – Lynx


Kchi Waawaabiginoojii – Rat

Akakojiishi – Woodchuck

Mizisenh – Turkey

Wiinaange – Turkey Vulture

mai’iingan – Wolf

Asiginaak – Black Bird

Zhingos – Weasel

Washashk – Muskrat

Miskwaadesi – Mud Turtle

Gookooko’oo / gokoko – Owl

Mikinaak – Snapping Turtle

Gookoosh – Pig

Okaan – Farm Animal

Ajidamoo – Squirell

Gaag – Porcupine

Zhiigaag – Skunk

Bine’ – Partridge

Esibaan – Raccoon

Waabooz/ Waaboose – Rabbit

Baapaase – Downy Woodpecker

Nenookaasi – Hummingbird

Binesi – Thunderbird

Opichi – Robin

Gwiingweshi – Canadian Jay

Meme- Pileated Woodpecker

Diindiisi – Blue Jay

Gijigaaneshii – Chickadee

mayagi bine – Pheasant

Ginoozhe- N. Pike.

Gigooh – Fish

Diindiisi – Blue Jay

Mang /Mong – Loon

Agongosens – Chipmunk

Nenookaasi – Hummingbird

gijigaaneshii – Chickadee

Asiginaak – Black Bird

Zhingos – Weasel

Ojiig – Otter / fisher

Giniw – Golden Eagle

Migizi – Bald Eagle

Zhaangweshii – Mink

Kchi kaadi ginebic – alligator (big legged snake)

Gakina Gegoo – All Things In Life / Niizhwaaswi Mishoomis Gikinoo’amage’wiaman The Seven Grandfather Teachings

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Aaniin Niijiikwenyaag!

I am just going to do a quick post tonight. This one is on Akina Gegoo miinawa Niizhwaaswi Mishoomis Gikinoo’amaage’wiaman, think on these teachings. I will try and post more miijim words in tomorrow’s post.

Bama api gi Waabamin!

Gakina Gegoo – All Things In Life

Bemaadzid / Giigoohnik/ Manidoshenhsak— Humans/ Fish/ Insects

Maanwang/Netawging/Wesaakik/Mitigook— Berries/GardenVegetables/Vegetation/Trees

Aashbik/Asiniin/ Zhiw – Rock/ Stones/ Mountain

Wesiinhik / Ookaanag — Wild Animals / Domestic Animals

Niizhwaaswi Mishoomis Gikinoo’amaage’wiaman

The Seven Grandfather Teachings

1.)           Zaagi’diwin  –  Love

2.)           Debwewin – Truth

3.)           Dabasendizawin –  Humility

4.)           Gwayakwaadiziwin – Honesty

5.)           Manaajiiwaawin / Manaaji’ idiwin – Respect

6.)           Zoongide’ iwin  – Courage / Bravery

7.)           Nibwaakaawin – Wisdom

There is an Anishinabeg teaching story about the Seven Grandfathers. These teachings are taught from when one is just a small child all along through life. As our children grow so does their understanding of these teachings and the elders explain more in depth as the child is ready for understanding.

These teachings are important for understanding Anishinabeg culture. We as Anishinabeg try always to remember these teachings and approach all things in a good way with respect. None of these teachings operates alone but must go hand in hand with each other.

Anishinabe was given Wisdom in order to better his life through knowledge.

Anishinabe was given Love so that he could love his fellow Anishinabeg and teach them to speak well of each other.

Anishinabe was given Respect in order to show respect to all things (humans, animals, plants, water, air etc) on earth.

Anishinabe was given Bravery to face his life’s challenges in a good way.

Anishinabe was given Honesty to live in a good way with his fellow people, to speak well of others, to know and think through whatever life brings.

Anishinabe was given Humility to live in harmony and balance on earth with all other living things, never thinking himself to be better than any one of the other creations.

At last Anishinabe was given Truth after all of the other gifts were understood.

Reflect on these teachings and use them when you’re thinking about plants and the environment. One cannot pollute his water if he respects that water’s right to be pure so that all life may live and use that water, one cannot extensively log without respect, or wisdom to know that cutting all of the forest will leave no place for humans to gather wood for their uses, or for the animals to live. One cannot blow up a mountain top for coal if one knows the truth that the practice will pollute the ground water, ruin the habitat for humans and animals –  all life. One who knows these teachings will not over harvest plants for personal or commercial use.

Niiwin Nekeying – Four Directions

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Niiwin Nekeying – Four Directions

Waabanong – East

Zhaawanong – South

Epingishmok- West

Kiiwedinong – North

Ishpiming (Giizhigong) – Heaven / Sky / Father Sky

Ngo Kii Noonwin – Four Seasons

Minokaami – Spring

Niibing – Summer

Dagwaagi – Fall

Biboon – Winter

Niiwin Kchi Mishkikiinag – Four Sacred Medicines

Asema – Tobacco – Men’s Medicine

Giizhik – Cedar – Women’s Medicine

Mashkodewashk – Sage – Men’s Medicine

Wiingushk – Sweetgrass – Women’s Medicine

Ngo Bemaadziwin – The Good Life (Life Stages)

Abinoojiihn – Baby

Shkiniige – Youth

Nitaawgi – Adult

Kchi Anishinabe – Elder

Ngo Bemaadis – Four Aspects of Man

Nendamowin – Mind

Wiiwying – Body

Enmaanjwaang – Emotions (Feelings)

Jiichaag – Soul / Spirit

Bemaadzijik Niiweyangiswag – Four Races

Niibiishaaboke – Asian

Anishinabe – American Indian

Makadenini – African

Waabshkeye (Zhaagnaash, Wemtigoozh, Megwenh, Aanmaa) – White (English, French, Polish, Ukrainian, German)

Aaniin Nijiikwenyaag!

Sorry that I missed a few days posting. Last weekend was a whirlwind, it was ngashi (my mother)’s birthday… and tomorrow is my husband’s birthday so I had to run around and get gifts and cake and make cards… yes I make my own… hand drawn…  Mom liked hers, it had an woodland style migizi (eagle) on it with floral…. my husband’s is Dr. Who inspired but I cannot describe it as he has not gotten it yet.

Anyways, I have listed the four directions, the four seasons, the four sacred medicines, the life stages  the four aspects of man, and the four races here and I will be having to catch up on making videos the weekend of the 14th as my neice graduates with her Masters degree from CMU this weekend, and it is my first wedding anniversary on Sunday.

Minokami sure brings out lots of hustle and bustle, more events, weddings, birthdays and graduations and open houses to attend…. not to mention planting things  gitigaaning (in the garden).

I will cover the four colors and other colors another time, as there are two sets, animate and inanimate… which is confusing to a beginner.

Also, Barb Nolan a fluent speaker and immersion teacher has started a website were she has posted immersion videos to help in teaching the language to beginners. I strongly encourage you to check them out and listen to them over and over again. You can click the link for her site in the blogroll on the right side of the page. Immersion is the best and fastest way to learn Anishinabemowin… or any language for that matter. Immersion is how we learned English as babies, from hearing it all the time.

Don’t forget to practice, practice, Practice!

Bama pii giwaabamin!

Study Tips


Aanii Niijiikwenyaag!

I am home from work, and thought I would make a quick post about studying the language. You should try and listen to the language as much as possible of course, and practice saying the words with someone. Finding an Elder to speak with is the best idea, but if you are an Urban Native or live away from your people, sometimes you can find language tables at Universities like the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. You could look up language videos on Youtube, or practice with some of the sites and videos I have listed in the Blog roll.

For learning and memorization, each of my teachers and Elders had different recommendations for this. Some said that we should not focus on writing the language, only listening to it to learn the words and phrases. Which is good advice. Other teachers had their students write each new word / sentence 10 times to help them remember it, and use index cards as language flashcards for themselves, and label things in your house with the word only in Anishinabemowin on the item being labeled. Others had you string the words together in a song to help with remembering the words, or playing games in the language.

I personally have used all these methods. But I will tell you because I was learning to read and write the language in the beginning without having many opportunities to hear it spoken in person, I became somewhat dependent on the written word. However, today I have built up hundreds of hours of listening to fluent speakers and I can understand much of what they say. YAY!

My advice is to learn the words however works best for you, as you will know how you learn. Also, when beginning with the language, do not fear making mistakes in pronunciation, if you make a mistake you are more likely to remember the correct way to say it once you have been corrected.

I will tell you the most embarrassing mistake I ever made…

I was at a pow wow, helping my relatives with their booth, and we were talking about anishinabemowin words, and what I was learning. Long story short, I was standing there with my Auntie  and Uncle and they said what is the word for pipe? I said pojagawin? My Auntie burst out laughing and I turned 10 shades of red and I said “what did I say?”  She said “Ask your Uncle, he has one.” I instantly figured out what I said. I was sooooo embarrassed. So I then asked how to say it properly and learned the word for pipe and penis, and never made that mistake again. Just so you do not make that mistake,  the word for pipe is (opwaagan) and the word for penis is pojagawin

Keep learning!!

Please feel free to leave me comments or questions!!

Bama api gi waabamin

Ni Naajimiijime.

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Aanii (informal greeting akin to “Hi” used with friends and family).  Niijiikwenyaag (My Friends).

Ni naajimiijime nongom. – I am going after groceries now/today.

Naajimiijime Wiigamig – Grocery Store

What shall we put in our cart?  Miijim!! – Food!!

Oshki ikkidiwenan – Miijim – New words – Food

Nabop – Soup

Mandaminabop – Corn Soup

Pinaabo – Potato Soup

Baakaa’kwehnabop – Chicken Soup

Manoominabop – Wild Rice Soup

Miskwaadiisiminabop – Bean Soup

Doshkwaanes – Macaroni

Pakwezhigan – Bread

Pakwezhigansan – Cookies

Naapane / or Bassisid pakwejigan – Flour

Zibwagani Ziizibakwat – Brown Sugar

Ziizibakwat – Sugar

Amo Ziizibakwat – Honey (Bee Sugar)

Ozawa bimide – Butter

Bimide – Lard

Ziwitaagan / Ziitaagan – Salt

Gawiissagang / Wiisaagadt – Pepper

Wawon / Wawnon – Egg / Eggs

Bizhiki – Dodoshaaboo/ Doodoshaaboo – Cow Milk

Makademashkiikiiwaaboo – Black Medicine Liquid (Coffee)

Niibiishaaboo – Tea

Gitigaaning – In the garden

Mandamin – Corn

Jiisehns – Carrots

Miskodiisimin – Beans

Kosimaan – Squash

Opin / pineek – Potato / Potatoes

Ogin – Tomatoes

Zhiigaagamanj – Onions

Kchi anibiish – Cabbage

Anijiimin – Peas

Eshkandamig – Cucumber

Meat – Wiiyaas

Baakaa’kwehn – Chicken

Gokosh wiiyaas – Pork

Giigohn – Fish

Nagish – Bologna (aka Indian Steak he he)

Bizhiki wiiyaas – Beef

Waawaashkeshii wiiyaas – Venison

Mizise wiiyaas – Turkey

To Gather

Manoomin – Wild Rice

Miinan – Blueberries

Ode’minan – Strawberries

Niinaatigo Ziizibaakwat – Maple Sugar

Mishiiminag – Apples

Maanwang – Fruit

Gi bakade na? – Are you hungry?

Enh, aapijge nimbakade. – Yes, I am very hungry.

Ka, kawiin nimbakadesii. – No, I’m not hungry.

Giwii naajimiijime? – Did you go after groceries?

Enh, niwii naajimiijime noongwa.. – Yes, I went after groceries today.

Alright, I think that is where I will stop for today. There are many words and sentences that go along with learning the food words. I will try to get those up for you next weekend.

Bama api gi waabamin! – See you later!

How do you say …?


Aaniin Niijiikwenyaag!

I thought I would do another quick post on how to ask someone how to say a word in Anishinabemowin.

You can post questions like this in the comments section and I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

For example:

Anish keya ikido … little bear? – How do you say … little bear?

Makoohns – little bear / young bear.

Anish keya ikido … door? –  How do you say … door?

Ishkwaandem – door.

I am still trying to figure out all of the features I can use on this blog. I have learned this evening that because I have a blog instead of a self hosted site I cannot use plug-ins. So I am still working on trying to figure out how to add audio, so that you all can hear the pronunciations of the words.

Also I am developing a little pattern here, I am giving you words to learn, and trying to include a sentence that you can learn to say to use those words you are learning. As we get farther into this blog, I will try to clue you in to more of the linguistic side of our language and explain some of the mechanics of how it works. But for the beginner, I think it is better to see it this way, just to get your feet wet and not overwhelm you. Any suggestions or comments are appreciated, as well as any questions you may have, I will promptly answer.

Mino dibikad! – Good nite!

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