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Vocabulary Words in the Iroquoian Language Family

These Iroquoian Indian words are not spelled phonetically--each word is spelled according to the orthography of its own language, so if you're not familiar with these languages you will need to follow the links to see how to pronounce them. We are working on a second chart transcribed into IPA symbols. We have included twenty basic Iroquoian words, enough to give you a feeling for each language. All the nouns are singular and all the verbs are 3rd person singular ("he or she sings") because many Native American languages don't have a separate infinitive ("to sing") the way English and French do.

If you would like to know an Iroquoian word that is not currently on our page, you can take part in our American Indian translations fundraiser or visit our main Iroquoian languages site for more free resources.

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Iroquoian Word Sets

Bear in mind that Iroquoian languages use prefixes on their verbs, unlike Indo-European languages (which generally use suffixes). For example, all the Mohawk verbs start with "ra," "ron," "ro" or "ren" because those are the 3rd person singular prefixes in Mohawk. So if you're used to speaking English, French, or another European language, you may have to look closely for the verb roots.

Northern Iroquois Southern Iroquois Extinct Iroquoian Languages
English (Français) Cayuga Mohawk Oneida Onondaga Seneca Tuscarora Cherokee Laurentian Nottoway Susquehannock Wyandot (Huron)
One (Un) Sga:t Enhskat Úska Sgá:dah Ska:t Ę:chi Sagwu Segada Unte Onskat Skat
Two (Deux) Dekni: Tekeni Tékeni Dégnih Tekhni:h Né:kti: Ta'li Tigneny Dekanee Tiggene Tindee
Three (Trois) Ahsenh Ahsen Áhsv Áhsęh Sëh Áhsę Tso'i Asche Arsa Axe Shenk
Four (Quatre) Gei: Kayeri Kayé: Gayí:h Ke:ih Hę'tahk Nvgi Honnacon Hentag Raiene Andauk
Five (Cinq) Hwihs Wisk Wísk Hwíks Wis Wísk Hisgi Ouyscon Whisk Wisck Weeish
Man (Homme) Ho:nhgweh Ronkwe Lukwé Hę:gweh Hökwe Rę:kweh Asgaya Aguehan Enihā Itae'aetsin Aingahon or Onnonhou
Woman (Femme) Ago:nhgweh Yakonkwe Yakukwé Gųnų:gweh Yakökwe Akę:kweh Agehya Aggouette Ekening Achonhaeffti Utehke or Ontehtian
Dog (Chien) So:wa:s Erhar É:lhal Jí:hah Ji:yäh Chír or Gís Gihli Aggayo Cheer Abgarijo Agnienon or Yunyeno
Sun (Soleil) Ga:gwa:' Karahkwa Yotahala Gáæhgwa:' Kä:hkwa:' Híhte' Nvda Isnay Aheeta   Yaundeeshaw
Moon (Lune) Enhni'da:' Ehnita Ohní:ta' Ęhní'da' Ë:ní'ta:' Í:ka'r Nvda Assomaha Tethrāke   Yaundeeshaw
Water (Eau) Ohneganohs Ohneka Ohne:kánus Ohnéganos O:ne:ka' À:we Ama Ame Auwa Oneega Saundustee
White (Blanc) Genh'ge:nh Kenraken Owískela' Owæhé'sda' Kakë:'ët Uhwaryá:kę' Unega   Owheryakum    
Yellow (Jaune) Oji:tgwa:' Otsinekwar Otsí:nkwala' Ojí'tgwa:' Jitkwä:'ë:' Uchi'tkwáhneh Dalonige        
Red (Rouge) Otgwenhj'ia:' Onekwenhtara Onikwvhtala' Otgwęhda:' Tkwëhtä:'ë:' Katkwarà:yę' Gigage   Ganuntquare    
Black (Noir) Swenh'd'aenh Kahòntsi O'swv:ta' Oshwę'da' Jë:sta'ë:' Kahęschi Agvnige   Gehuntee   Che'estaheh
Eat (Manger) I:ge:s Raeks Í:laks Íheks I:se:k Rachù:rih Agi'a   Untchore Sischijro  
See (Voir) Ge:genh Ratkahthos La:kvhe' Hagęha' Hato:kha' Ratkáhthuhs Agowatiha   Waskehee    
Hear (Entendre) Hoto:nhde' Rahronkas Lothu:té: Hathų:de' Ha:ökha' Rathęhna:ch Atvgi'a   Thrahurta    
Sing (Chanter) Hore:nho:t Raterennotha' Tehalihwákhwa' Hodę:nó:da' Hatënotha' Ra'nwę'è:ręh Dekanogi'a Thegnehoaca      

Additional Resources

   Wikipedia: Iroquoian



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