COWASUCK BAND
of the
PENNACOOK-ABENAKI PEOPLE

The People of the White Pines

The Abenaki Language

The Abenaki language is classified by linguists as belonging to the Algonquin family of Native American Languages. Therefore, there are many similarities between the terms used by the tribes ranging from New England to Northeast and Central Canada, and often it is possible for these distinct groups to verbally communicate. In our homeland encompassing Southern Quebec, Vermont, New Hampshire and parts of Maine and New York, many modern place names are derived from their original Native pronunciation. For example, the name of the well-known Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire originated from the Abenaki word Winninebesakik or region of the land around lakes. The main difficulty in understanding the Abenaki language from many published sources is that, unlike the English language, there is not always a literal translation for a word. For example, according to Gordon Day's Abenaki Dictionary, the Abenaki word for clock is babizookwazik. However, in Abenaki translation this word loses some of its meaning and becomes "that thing that ticks." The concept of a clock and other terms is further complicated because Native Americans do not think along Western European lines, and have an altogether different concept of what time is and how it is measured. Consequently, while many place names have remained similar to their original names, a literal translation of many other Abenaki words is not possible.

N'gadiwawaldam aln8ba8dwawogan.
I want to learn Abenaki language.

  1. Greetings, Questions & Commands
  2. Meetings & Relations
  3. Basics: Alphabet, vowels, grammar rules
  4. Phrases Part 1
  5. Parts of the Body
  6. Wintertime
  7. "to" Verbs 1
  8. "to have" & "to be" & Verbs 2
  9. Short Conversations
  10. Animal Names
  11. Simple Responses & Action Words
  12. Sound-A-Like-Words & Numbers
  13. Say That in Abenaki
  14. Months & Seasons
  15. An Abenaki Letter
  16. Trees & Colors
  17. Names
  18. Fall Gathering
  19. Time of Day
  20. Historical Place Names
  21. Abenaki Legends & Stories of Old
  22. Time in Words
  23. An Abenaki Prayer
  24. Elie Joubert's Abenaki Language © site.
  25. Joseph Laurent Dictionary Online




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