Anishinaabe Culture & Language

Banner showing a sunset behind mountains with text in several languages.
Visitors are greeted at the door in multiple languages, including Anishinaabemowin.

NPS Graphic / GM Spoto

Daga Anishinaabemodaa! -
Let's Speak Anishinaabemowin!

Hear some spoken language. About Pronunciation:

Consonants have a similar pronunciation in Anishinaabemowin as English.
Vowels have the following pronunciation:
a = the "u" in sun
aa = the "a" in father
e = the "ay" in day
i = the "i" in sit
ii = the "ee" in teeth
o = the "o" in go
oo = the "oo" in tooth

Maajitaan agwajiing* - Go Outside

Places

Gichi Onigamiing = Grand Portage
Minong = Isle Royale
gichigami* = Lake Superior

Conversation

boozhoo* = hello
miigwech* = thank you
indizhinaakaaz* = I am called
gigawaabamin miinawaa* = I'll see you again
noongom* = today
mewinzha* = a long time ago

Actions

baapii* = he or she laughs
bimose* = he or she walks along
bimaadagaa* = he or she swims along
gwaashkwani* = he or she jumps

Weather

nibi* = water
noodin* = wind
ishkode* = fire
giizhig* = sky
mooka'am = sunrise, bangishimon = sunset
aanakwad* = cloud, aanakwadoon* = clouds
digow* = wave, digowag* = waves
Aaniin enakamigad a'aw mikwam?* = What's Happening to the Ice?

Transportation

jiimaan = boat/canoe, jiimaanan = boats/canoes
abwi = paddle, abwiin = paddles
miikana* = trail, miikanan* = trails
asin* = stone, asiniig = stones
minisan* = island

Plants

wiigwaas = birchbark
mashkodewashk, bashkodejiibik = sage
mitig* = tree, mitigoog* = trees
giizhik = a cedar tree, giizhikag = cedar trees
aninaatig = a sugar maple, aninaatigoog = sugar maples
miijim* = food

Animals

zagime* = mosquito, zagimeg* = mosquitos
amik = beaver, amikwag = beavers
makwa* = Black bear, makwag* = Black bears
migizi* = Bald eagle, migiziwag* = Bald eagles
giigoonh = fish, giigoonyag = fish plural
gayaashk* = gull, gayaashkwag* = gulls
mooz = moose, moozoog = moose plural

*words marked with an asterisk*

*These recordings are courtesy of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

The Ojibwemowin audios you are hearing were provided by Ranger Damon. Damon Gezhiibideg Panek is an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of White Earth Ojibwe and was a Park Ranger at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Before Gezhiibideg’s family “relocated” to White Earth in the 1860’s, they lived on Madeline Island and in the surrounding area. He currently lives on the Red Cliff Reservation with his family.

 

Cardinal Directions

Zhaawan - South
Giiwedin - North
Waaban - East
Ningaabii'an - West

Salutations

Aaniin - Hi/Hello
Gakina awiya - Everybody/All of you
Minogizheb / Minogigizheb / Minogizhebawagad - Good morning (the last one is the whole sentence "it is a good morning")
Nimbagosendaan mino-ayaayan noongom. I hope you are doing well today.
Giga-waabamin - Bye (me to you)
Giga-waabamininim - Bye (me to a bunch of you)
Gimiigwechiwi'in - I thank you
Gimiigwechiwi'ininim - I thank all of you (plural)

 

 
Line drawing of a swimming beaver holding a leafy branch.
Beaver Coloring Page

NPS Graphic / GM Spoto

Learn More

Other pages on our website include Anishinaabemowin:
Nature: click on the photos for plants and moons,
Wildlife: Amphibians & Reptiles, Birds, Fish, Mammals

Coloring pages - interpretive lessons with some Anishinaabemowin

Last updated: February 27, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 426
Grand Portage, MN 55605

Phone:

(218) 475-0123

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