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Vocabulary in Native American Languages: Hidatsa Words

Welcome to our Hidatsa vocabulary page! Hidatsa is a Siouan language, related to other languages like Crow and Dakota. We have included twenty basic Hidatsa words here, enough to provide a simple comparison with related American Indian languages. All the nouns are singular and all the verbs are 3rd person singular ("he or she sings") because many indigenous languages don't have a separate infinitive ("to sing") the way English and French do.

If you need to know a Hidatsa word that is not currently on our page, you can take part in our Indian translations fundraiser or visit our main Hidatsa language site for more free resources.

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Hidatsa Word Set

These vocabulary words come from 19th century sources, and I recently received mail from a Hidatsa speaker informing me that some of these words are not pronounced this way anymore--in particular, that "luetza" is pronounced "nuetza" in modern Hidatsa, and "miri" is pronounced "mini." These could be changes in the language due to the multilingualism of the Hidatsa people during the 20th century ("mini" is the word for water in Mandan, one of the other languages of the Fort Berthold Reservation, and neither Mandan nor Arikara had an "l" sound.) On the other hand, it is common in Siouan languages for sonorants (like l and r) to vary phonologically with other sounds, so it's possible that "nuetza" was always the usual form of this word and it was only pronounced "luetza" under certain conditions. Further input on this question is welcomed.

English (Français) Hidatsa words
One (Un) Luetza
Two (Deux) Nopa
Three (Trois) Nawi
Four (Quatre) Topa
Five (Cinq) Kihu
Man (Homme) Itaka
Woman (Femme) Mia
Sun (Soleil) Midi
Moon (Lune) Makumidi
Water (Eau) Miri

Click here to see Hidatsa vocabulary words compared to words in related Siouan languages: Siouan Indian Words

Additional Resources

   North Dakota Indian tribes
   Online Native American dictionary
   Native American names
   Siouan languages



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