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Native Languages of the Americas: Ojibwe
(Ojibway, Anishinaabemowin, Chippewa, Ojibwa)
Ojibwe--otherwise anglicized as Chippewa, Ojibwa or Ojibway and
known to its own speakers as Anishinabe or Anishinaabemowin--is an Language: Algonquian
language spoken by 50,000 people in the northern United States and southern Canada. There are five main dialects of Ojibwe : Western Ojibwe,
Eastern Ojibwe, Northern Ojibwe (Severn Ojibwe or Oji-Cree), Southern Ojibwe (Minnesota Ojibwe or Chippewa), and Ottawa (Odawa or Odaawa).
Speakers of all five dialects, including Ottawa, can understand each other readily. Many linguists also consider the
Algonquin language to be an Ojibwe dialect, but it has diverged more and is difficult for
Western Ojibwe speakers to understand. As its name suggests, Oji-Cree has borrowed many elements from
Cree and is often written in the
Cree syllabary rather than the English alphabet. On the whole Ojibwe is among the
healthiest of North American languages, with many children being raised to speak it as a native language. Ojibwe is a verb-based polysynthetic language
with relatively free word order.
People: The Ojibwe are one of
the most populous and widely distributed Indian groups in North America, with 150 bands throughout the north-central United States
and southern Canada. Ojibwe and Chippewa are renderings of the same Algonquian word, "puckering," probably referring to their
characteristic moccasin style. "Chippewa" is more commonly used in the United States and "Ojibwe" or "Ojibway" in Canada, but the
Ojibwe people themselves use their native word Anishinabe (plural : Anishinabeg), meaning "original people." The Saulteaux and
Mississauga are subtribes of the Ojibwe ; the Ottawa, though they are closely related
and speak the same language, have long held the status of a distinct tribe. Today there are 200,000 Ojibwe Indians living throughout their traditional territories.
History: The Ojibwe and Ottawa Indians are members of a longstanding alliance also
including the Potawatomi tribe. Called the Council of Three Fires, this
alliance was a powerful one which clashed with the mighty Iroquois
Confederacy and the Sioux, eventually getting the better of both.
The Ojibwe people were less devastated by European epidemics than their densely-populated Algonquian cousins
to the east, and they resisted manhandling by the whites much better. Most of their lands were appropriated by the Americans and Canadians,
a fate shared by all native peoples of North America, but plans to deport the Ojibwe to Kansas and Oklahoma never succeeded, and today nearly
all Ojibwe reservations are within their original territory.
Ojibwe Language Resources Ojibwe language samples, articles, and indexed links.
Chippewa Culture and History Directory Overview and related links about the Chippewas/Ojibways past and present.
Ottawa Culture and History Directory Overview and related links about the Ottawas past and present.
Chippewa Indians Fact Sheet Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Chippewa/Ojibway language and culture.
Ottawa Indians Fact Sheet Our answers to frequently asked questions about the Ottawa language and culture.
Ojibwe Legends Introduction to Ojibway mythology.
Our Online Language Materials
List of vocabulary words in the Ojibway language, with comparison to words in other Algonquian languages.
Ojibwe Pronunciation Guide:
How to pronounce Ojibwe words.
Anishinaabe Language Project:
Ojibwe language learning computer game (under development)
Christmas Story in Anishinaabemowin:
Text from an 1884 translation of the New Testament into the Ojibwe language.
Translation of the song "America the Beautiful" into the Ojibwe language.
Chippewa Words in Longfellow's Hiawatha:
Chart of words used in Longfellow's epic poem, with their original Ojibway forms.
Ojibwe Animal Words:
Picture glossary of animal words in the Ojibwe language.
Ojibway Body Parts:
Online and printable worksheets showing parts of the body in the Ojibwe language.
Worksheet with pictures of color words in the Ojibwe language.
Worksheet showing how to count in the Ojibwe language.
Ojibway Animate Nouns:
Lesson on Ojibway animate and inanimate nouns.
Lesson on the use of Ojibway possessive prefixes.
Ojibway Language Community and Tools
Primarily English-language, but there are Ojibwe speakers and students to talk to here
Ojibwe Language Society Miinawaa:
Another active online Ojibwe language messageboard.
Ojibwemowin Zagaswe'idiwin (Ojibwe Language Society):
Organization offering Ojibwe lessons and resources in the Minnesota area.
Ojibwe Cultural Preservation Organization:
Organization working to maintain Ojibway language and traditions.
Neshnabe Institute for Cultural Studies:
Educational organization promoting the Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe languages.
Information about Cree and Ojibwe radio broadcasts.
Freelang Ojibwe-English Dictionary:
Freeware dictionary program of Ojibway words and phrases, word roots, sound change patterns and grammatical affixes.
(The auto-generated dictionary is missing some entries for technical reasons ; you can download the complete file
here, and place it directly into your Program Files/Dictionary/language folder.)
UCAS for Windows
Cree Font for Macintosh:
Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics (used for writing Oji-Cree and occasionally Ojibwe), available for free download.
Canadian translation service specializing in English, French, Cree, and Ojibway.
Ojibway and Cree Cultural Center:
OCCC offers Ojibway and Cree translation, transcription, and interpretation.
Ojibway Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions
First Ojibwe Language and Culture:
Ojibwe language site with an online bulletin board, word lists, and Ojibwe language resources.
Let's Speak Ojibwe:
Online Ojibwe language lessons from the Ojibwe Language Society.
Ojibwe language information including grammar, pronunciation, and a few sample dialogues.
Chippewa Language Book:
Chippewa language information including spelling, grammar, and a calendar, also a textbook for sale.
Ojibwe Reference Sheet:
Ojibwe language grammatical reference.
Introduction to the old Ojibwe writing system, with a sample text.
Nishnaabemwin (Odawa) Anishininimowin (Oji-Cree):
Orthography and text examples from Ojibwe dialects.
General description of the Ojibwa language, from the Encyclopedia of North American Indians.
Ojibwe Language and Culture:
Ojibwe language pronunciation guide and word lists.
Scanned-in pages from an Ojibwa language primer.
Ottawa language pronunciation guide.
Hello Oklahoma: Ottawa Tribe:
Ottawa alphabet, greeting, and sample text.
Ojibway sentences, verb conjugations, and other learning aids.
Sample Ojibwe dialogues for language learning, with English translation.
The Ojibway Learner:
Language article and a word search by a student of Ojibwe.
Syntactic Inversion in Ojibwa
Word-Internal Syntax: Evidence from Ojibwa:
Linguistics papers on the Ojibwa language.
Online dictionary program translates simple Odawa- and Ojibwa-language sentences into English and back.
Oji-Cree Translation Dictionary:
Experimental online dictionary provides audio files and grammar for each Oji-Cree entry.
Online dictionary lookup for a variety of Ojibwe words.
Native America Calling: Ojibway:
Audio files of words and phrases in the Ojibwe language.
Ojibwe Glossaries Ojibwa and Potawatomi Kinship Words Ojibwe Wordlist:
Ojibwe Language Pages:
Ojibwe-language word lists.
Anishinabe Phrases Ojibwe Language Pages Anishinabe Audio Samples
Ojibwe-language talking phrasebooks.
Ojibwe language pages that include vocabulary lists.
Ojibwayan Language Tree Plains Ojibway Language Tree Eastern Ojibwe Language Tree Severn Ojibwe Language Tree: Saulteaux Language Tree Minnesota Ojibwa Language Tree Ottawa Language Tree Central Ojibwe Language Tree:
Theories about Abenaki's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Eastern Ojibwa Language Structures Severn Ojibwa Language Structures Minnesota Ojibwe Language Structures:
Ojibwe linguistic profiles and academic bibliographies.
Literature and Texts in the Ojibwe Language
Ojibwe story with hypertext for language learners.
Saga of Iyash:
Traditional legend in Oji-Cree and English, written in syllabics and recorded in RealAudio.
Naming as Cultural Transmission:
Story of a naming ceremony told in Ojibwe with English translation.
Play written by students in an Ojibwe language class, in Ojibwe and English, about a family's trip to a casino.
Cultural and historical research project of the MChigeeng Nishnaabek includes speeches, interviews with elders, and other Ojibwe transcripts.
Christmas Story in Anishinaabemowin:
Text from an 1884 translation of the New Testament into the Ojibwe language.
Northwestern Ojibwe Language Western Ojibwe Language Central Ojibwe Language Western Ojibway Text: Central Ojibwa Stories Western Ojibwa Book:
Information about different Ojibwa dialects presented by the Rosetta Project.
Ottawa Orthography Ottawa Grammar Ottawa Bible Translation Ottawa Text Ottawa Story:
Scanned-in Ottawa language materials from the Rosetta Project.
Severn Ojibwe Language Severn Ojibwa Orthography Oji-Cree Bible Stories Severn Ojibwa Alphabet:
Severn Ojibwe language materials from the Rosetta Project.
Human Rights: Ojibway:
Translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the Ojibwe language.
Lord's Prayer: Ojibwa Lord's Prayer: Ottawa Lord's Prayer: Severn Ojibwa (Oji-Cree):
Christian prayers translated into the Ojibwa language.
Eastern Ojibwa Genesis Northern Ojibwa Genesis:
Bible passages in the Ojibwe language.
Language Museum: Ojibwa:
Ojibwe language sample.
Human Rights, Ojibway Language
Ojibway translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Canadian Human Rights Tribute: Ojibwa Canadian Human Rights Tribute: Oji-Cree:
Plaques in the Ojibwa Indian language.
Ojibwe Language Preservation and Usage
Ojibway and Cree Cultural Centre: Language:
Program to maintain the Cree and Ojibway languages.
Ojibwe Language Revitalization Project:
Homepage of a Saginaw Chippewa initiative to preserve the Ojibwe language.
NPR segment about Ojibwe language maintenance efforts in Minnesota.
House of Languages: Ojibwa:
Information about Ojibwe language usage.
Western Ojibwa Eastern Ojibwa Ottawa Chippewa (Southwestern Ojibwa) Central Ojibwa Northwestern Ojibwa)
Severn Ojibwa (Oji-Cree):
Demographic information about Ojibwe and its dialects from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Ojibwe Proper Names
Acquiring a Native American Name:
Explanation of Ojibwe naming traditions by an Ojibwe mother.
Historical Ojibwe Names:
A database of Chippewa Indian names from the 1800's.
Ojibwe Place Names
Ojibwe-language place names and their meaning.
Aboriginal Place Names of Ontario:
Map of Ontario labeled with traditional Huron and Ojibwa names with their meanings.
American Indian Pet Names:
Our new fundraiser offering names for dogs and other animals in Native American languages (including Ojibway).
Ojibway Dictionary, Audio Tape and Language Resources
Concise Minnesota Ojibwe Dictionary Ojibwa-Chippewa-Ottawa Dictionary
Historic Ojibway Dictionary:
Ojibwe/Ottawa dictionaries for sale.
Comprehensive Ojibwe Language Program:
Ojibwe language audio courses.
Songbook and cassette tape of Ojibwe language songs from the Mille Lacs Band.
Ojibwe Akiing/Ojibway Turf:
Monthly newsmagazine in Ojibwe and English.
Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales and Oral Histories Portage Lake: Memories of an Ojibwe Childhood: The Dog's Children: Anishinaabe Texts Emma Minwaah Mtigooh:
Stories printed in Ojibwe with facing English translation.
Nishnaabemwin Reference Grammar Severn Ojibwe Communicative Practices
Walpole Island Ojibway:
More books on the Ojibwe language.
You're So Fat!:
Essays about Ojibwe and Algonquin sociolinguistics.
Ojibwe language courses in Canada, the US, and by distance learning.
Department of Indian Languages, Literature and Linguistics:
Language courses in Saulteaux Ojibwe and other indigenous languages at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College.
Northern Ojibwe Bible:
Old and New Testament translations into the Saulteaux Ojibwe language, in print and on audiocassette.
Learning Ojibwe Anishinaabemowin Links
Bibliographies of Ojibwe language learning resources.
Native American Dictionary List:
Ojibwe and other native language dictionaries and language materials for sale.
Additional Resources, Links, and References
La Lengua Ojibwa:
Article on the Chippewa Indian language in Spanish. With a language map.
Ojibwe language links.
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