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Vocabulary in Native American Languages: Maidu/Nisenan Words

Welcome to our Maidu vocabulary page! The Maidu language and its closely related dialects, Nisenan and Konkow, are indigenous languages of California. Some linguists associate them with the Penutian language family. We have included twenty basic Maidu 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 Nisenan word that is not currently on our page, you can take part in our translation of Native American languages fundraiser or visit our main Maidu language site for more free resources.

Thanks for your interest in Native American languages!

Maidu/Nisenan Word Sets

English (Français) Konkow words Maidu words Nisenan words
One (Un) Wuku Wiiti Wyttee
Two (Deux) Pene Pēne Peen
Three (Trois) Sa'apu Sāpwi Sapyj
Four (Quatre) Suye Tsöye Cyyj
Five (Cinq) Masani Māwike Maawyk
Man (Homme) Yepim or Maidum Maidüm Majdykym
Woman (Femme) Kulem Küle Kylem
Dog (Chien) Sum Söm Syym
Sun (Soleil) Ekimpakaum Pokom Okpajim
Moon (Lune) Deipampakaum Pōmpokom Pombokom
Water (Eau) Momim Momim Mom

Click here to see Maidu and Nisenan words compared to words in related Penutian languages: Penutian Indian Words

Additional Resources

   Native Americans in California
   Indian myths
   Native American names
   Penutian



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