American Indian languages * American Indian tribes * L'Algonquin (French version)

Algonquin Language (Algonkin)

Language: Algonquin is the language for which the Algonquian language family is named. This has caused great confusion: many websites incorrectly identify other Algonquian languages as Algonquin or the Algonquin language as Algonquian, and some people even claim there is no "Algonquin" language. There is, and it is spoken by about 1500 Algonquin people in the area which is now Quebec and Ontario. "Algonquin" refers only to that language, while "Algonquian" refers to the entire language family-- just as "German" refers to a language while "Germanic" refers to a language family. The Algonquin Indian language is a verb-based and polysynthetic language closely related to Ojibwe. Some linguists even consider it an Ojibwe dialect, since people who speak Algonquin and Ojibwe can roughly understand each other (similar to Spanish and Italian speakers in Europe.)

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Names: The origins of the name Algonquin are unclear. It is often said to be a Mohawk name meaning "bark-eater," but that is mistaken-- the Mohawk name for the Algonquin tribe was Adirondack (which does mean bark-eaters.) "Algonquin" may have come from the Maliseet word elehgumoqik ("our allies,") the Mi'kmaq word algoomaking ("of the fish-spearing-place"), or the Maliseet word elakanqin ("they are good dancers.") In their own language, the Algonquin people call themselves Anicinàbe ("original people") and their language Anicinàbemowin ("original people's language.") Since this is the same self-designation used by the Ojibwa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes, Algonquin people today most often use the names Algonquin or Omàmiwinini to differentiate themselves from these other, politically independent tribes. Alternate spellings of these tribal names include Algonkin, Algonkian, Algoumequin, Algoquin, Algongin, Algonquen, Algic, Anishinabe, Anishnabe, Anishnabeg, Anishnabek, and Omamiwinini.

People: There are 8000 Algonquin Indians in Canada today, organized into nine nations in Quebec and one nation in Ontario. The Algonquin Indians were the victims of unfortunate European politics. The banding together of the Iroquois Confederacy had driven the Algonquins from lands that were once theirs, and when the French arrived trading firearms for furs, the Algonquins jumped at the deal. Though the French were good friends to the Algonquins, they did not make such good allies. The powerful Iroquois, aided first by the Dutch and later by the British, defeated the French and Algonquins alike. Though the Algonquins were defeated, they were never destroyed, and the Algonquin Indian culture lives on in pockets of their once-vast territory.

Algonquin Language
Algonquin language samples and resources.

Algonquin Culture and History
Information and links about the Algonquin Native Americans past and present.

Algonquin Indians Facts for Kids
Our answers to common questions about the Algonquin tribe.

Algonquin Legends
Online library of Algonquin mythology.

The Anishinabe
Information about the Algonquins and other Anishinaabe people.

Algonquin Language Resources

Our Online Language Materials

Algonquin Words:
    List of vocabulary words in the Algonquin language, with comparison to words in other Algonquian languages.
Algonquin Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Algonquin words.
Algonquin Animal Words:
    Picture glossary of animal words in the Algonquin language.
Algonquin Body Parts:
    Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in Algonquin.
Algonquin Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in the Algonquin language.
Algonquin Numbers:
    Worksheet showing how to count in Algonquin.
Algonquin Foods:
    Worksheet with pictures of food words in the Algonquin language.
Algonquin Animate Nouns:
    Lesson on Algonquin animate and inanimate noun types.
Algonquin Possession:
    Lesson on the use of Algonquin possessive prefixes.

Algonquin Dictionaries and Language Books for Sale
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

You're So Fat!:
    Book of essays about Ojibwe and Algonquin sociolinguistics.
Native American Language Dictionaries:
    Algonquin and other American Indian language books and other materials for sale.

Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Algonquin or Algonkian?:
    Explaining the difference between the words 'Algonquin' and 'Algonquian.'
Anishinaabe Language Map:
    Map showing the regions where Algonquin, Ojibwe, and other related languages are spoken.
Learning Algonquin:
    Video language lessons from Kitigan Zibi Algonquin Nation.
Algonquin Courses:
    Downloadable language lessons from Pikwakanagan First Nation.
Algonquin First Nation Language Resource:
    Algonquin dictionary from the Golden Lake Algonquin tribe, with audio files.
Lexique Algonquin:
    Digitized language materials from the Rosetta Project.
Algonquin Glossaries:
    English-Algonquin word lists from the Algonquin Nation Tribal Council.
Eagle Village Algonquin Language * Algonquin College Audio Samples:
    Audio recordings of Algonquin words and phrases.
    Profile of the Algonquin language including a phonological inventory, orthography and a text.

Literature and Texts in Algonquin

Canadian Tribute to Human Rights:
    Dedication in Algonquin Anishinabe and English.
Children Singing Peace Around the World:
    Algonquin translation of a children's peace song.
Algonquin Prayers * Language Museum: Algonquin:
    The Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary translated into the Algonquin Indian language.
Algonquin New Testament: * Algonquin Words of Life:
    Translations of bible passages into the Algonquin language.

Algonquin Language Preservation and Usage

The Trees Are Talking:
    Documentary film on the history and usage of the Algonquin language in Quebec.
Algonquin grandmothers working to preserve their language:
    Newspaper article about language revival efforts among the Algonquin First Nations.
The Algonquin Language Immersion Program of Kitigàn Zibi School:
    Research paper about language endangerment and language preservation projects among the Algonquin people.

Algonquin Linguistics Research

Spielmann Bibliography:
    Linguist from Pikogan First Nation studying the Ojibway and Algonquin languages.
Algonquin Papers:
    Archive of linguistics papers on Algonquin.
Northern Algonquin Language Tree * Algonquin/Algonkin Language Tree:
    Theories about Algonquin's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Algonquin Language Structures:
    Algonquin linguistic profile and academic bibliography.

Algonquin Proper Names

Algonkins Placenames:
    North American place names in the Algonquin Indian language.
Algonquin Moons:
    Learn the names of the Algonquin months of the year.
Native American Names for Pets:
    Fundraiser offering names for dogs and other animals in Native American languages (including Algonquin).

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Additional Resources, Links, and References

  Anishnabe Language Learning:
  Bibliographies of Ojibwe and Algonquin school materials.
  OLAC: Algonquin:
  Reference list of Algonquin language materials.
  Wikipedia: Algonquin * Britannica: Algonquin Language:
  Encyclopedia articles on the Algonquin language.
  La Lengua Algonquino:
  Article on the Algonquin language in Spanish. With a language map.
  Langues autochtones: Algonquin: * L'algonquin:
  Information about the Algonquin language in French.
  Algonquin Language and Literature Resources * Algonkin Language:
  Algonquin Indian links.

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