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Vocabulary in Native American Languages: Michif Words

Welcome to our Michif vocabulary page! Michif is an Algonquian mixed language, derived from a mixture of the Cree and French languages. We have included twenty basic Michif words here, enough to provide a basic 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 Michif word that is not currently on our page, you can take part in our Indian translations fundraiser or visit our main Michif language site for more free resources.

Thanks for your interest in Native American languages!

Michif Word Set

Michif is a creole language with the very unusual feature of having nouns that come from the French language and verbs that come from the Cree language. You can see that the Michif nouns on this page are essentially French words with Cree-influenced phonology. (Sometimes they also incorporate the French word "le" or "la," which means "the," as the first sound of the Michif word--Michif lo comes from French l'eau, which means "the water.") Meanwhile most of the Michif verbs are clearly Cree, with the pronunciation slightly simplified. (The complex Algonquian verb morphology remains in place, on the other hand--very unusual for a mixed language!)

English Franais Michif Cree
One Un Haen Peyak
Two Deux Deu Nso
Three Trois Trwaw Nisto
Four Quatre Kaet Newo
Five Cinq Saenk Nynan
Man Homme Lawm Napew
Dog Chien Sh'yaen Atim
Sun Soleil Salay Psim
Water Eau Lo Npy
White Blanc Blawn Wpiskw
Yellow Jaune Zhounn Osww
Red Rouge Roozh Mihkww
Black Noir Nwayr Kaskiteww
Eat Manger Meechishouw Michisiw
See Voir Wawpouw Wpiw
Hear Entendre Payhtam Pehtam
Sing Chanter Nakamouw Nikamew
Leave Partir Shipwaytay Nakatew

Click here to see Michif words compared to words in related Algonquian languages: Algonquian Indian Words

Michif Picture Dictionaries

Here are some themed Michif word lists we have put together and illustrated for language learners. Feel free to print them out for classroom purposes!

*Michif animal words



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