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American Indian Intertribal Association


19th Annual Toledo Pow Wow
Remembering Snowfeather
Calendar of Events
Indian Trails Forums
Powwow Etiquette
Native American Recipes
Native American Spirituality
Our Purpose
Becoming a Member
Contact Us


On this  page we'll introduce YOU to various Native American Languages and highlight important areas on those languages... Here is an example:
 phonetically, while others are written as found in Lakota books. Also, others may speak or spell a word differently; that is just fine. After all, we are all learning together!
Haw (how) = Hello
Haw Kola (how kola) = Hello male friend
Haw Mushkay (how moosh kay) = Hello female friend
Traditionally, in keeping with proper etiquette, the female waited for the male to say "haw" first.
Pilamaya (pee la ma ya) = Thank you!
Doe ksh kay ya oun hey? = How are you?
Waste (wash tay) = Good!
Huh =Yes
Hee ya  = No
Slol wa yea shnee = I don't know
Akicita (ah kee chee tah) =Veteran/Warrior/Soldier
Wakan Takan kici un = May the Crator/Grandfather/Great Spirit/God bless you.
Lay he hun nee key wash tay! = This morning is good!
Woounspe-Woh oun spay = lesson/teacher-something you learn from
Wah oun shpay we cha key ya = Allowing or letting them learn (school).
Blue gxoe cha ah snee wa key yea. = I am tired so I am resting.
St. Joe's wah chee pee ake tah blay.= I am going to St. Joe's Pow Wow.
wacipi (wah chee pee) =dance/pow wow.
Wana me glue sh tun cha e BLA blay of Wa key he hay? = Can I go now as I am finished.  (The implied meaning is for eating, studying or anything one is doing.)
Oun she la yea = Have compassion on me. (female speaking)
Oun she la yo = Have compassion on me. (male speaking)
Tan (dan-'t' is soft 'd') yan yahee ya (lo-ending for male; yea-ending for female) = Welcome, I am glad to see you.
(Your name) Ee ma chee ya pee ya (lo-male ending; yea-female ending) = My name is ...
Txan kal blah wah cheen  = I need to go outside (bathroom).
Bathroom is implied because of past use of outhouses.
Lol wah cheen = I am hungry.
Mnee wah cheen = I am thristy.
Ma Lakota = I am Lakota
Da Makota = I am Dakota. 
O ma key yo  = Help me (implied as please; male speaking)
O ma key ya nah = Please (meaning softened for female)
Ah key chee ta-keyn-we cha you oh nee huh pay. = Honor the veterans.
Broken down: "ah key chee ta" is the word for "veterans;" "keyn" equals "the;" "we cha you oh nee huh pay" is "honor them" in plural form.
Dacoo oun ktay hey? = What are we going to eat?
wa glay kshoun na taspan opemnipi wag moo zee! = Turkey and pumpkin pie!
Note: wa glay kshoun (turkey) na (and) taspan openmipi wag moo zee (pumpkin pie)
Ah kay wan chee keyn ktay = It was good to see you again! (female speaking)
Ah kay wan chee keyn ktay low = It was good to see you again! (male speaking)
Wah zee ya! = Santa!
Wah zee ya wana ou! = Santa is coming!!
Doe key ya lay hey? = Where are you going?
Wah gnee ktya! = I am going home!
Wah nee key yea txa um pay due = Christmas or Jesus' birthday (phonetic)
Phoenetic spelling: Oh makah txay ja  = New Year!
Written spelling at a guess: Omaka ta ja
Phonetic spelling: Txay huh wan chee youn kay shnee = I did not see you for a long time!!
Written spelling may be: te hu wan ci yun ke sni.
Ina ji (yea) = Female speaking
Ina je (yo) = Male speaking
Means either "to stop" or "the motion to stand up"
Phonetic spelling: ee nah zhee (yea) or (yo)
Oh snee. = It is cold.
Lila oh snee! (leela oh snee)= It is VERY cold!
    Male speaking to one person = He you woe.
    Male speaking to two or more = He you poe.
    Female speaking to one person = He you way.
    Female speaking to two or more = He you pee.
Wa nee yea due ne doe na hey? = How many winters are you?(How old are you?)
Lay he hun nee key lee la washtay. = This morning is good. (Good morning)
Leela ampaytu keen washtay. = Today is a good day! 
Chewy ta. = He/she is cold.
Nee chewy ta. = You are cold.
Ma chew ta. = I am cold!
He k pa sha sha yo. = Brush your teeth. (male speaking)
He k pa sha sha yea. = Brush your teeth. (female speaking) 
Due way nee shnee. = There is no one around.
Cheek se ya. = I remember you!
Ee glue zha zha yo. = I want you to wash up. (Male)
Ee glue zha zha pee. = I want you to wash up. (Female)
Me glue zha zha ktay. = I am going to wash up. (Either)
Dacoo ya cheen hey? = What do you want?
Ah sum pee (milk) ay dun ma kou way. = Give me some milk.
Remember Please: Male - Oh mak key yo; Female - Oh mak key ya nah
I yo monk pi sni (Ee yo monk pee shnee). = I feel bad.
I yo monk pi. = I am happy.
Use as response to:
Doe ksh kay ya oun hey? = How are you? Oh ya hey he! = You can do it!
Oh wa key he! = I  can do it!
Oh key heeb! = They can do it!
Hunta yo  = Get out of the way; something's coming (male).
Hunta yea = Get out of the way; something's coming (female).
Wa chay key ya yea. = I want you to pray.
Wana wa chay oun key ya ktay. = We are going to pray now.
Wakan Tanka = Creator/Great Spirit
Lakxol woe glag oun spay me tch chee yea cha wa glue sha na huh duh oh ma key ya yea (female) yo (male). = I'm learning how to speak Lakota, so if I mispronounce, please help me.
Txay huh wan chee youn kay shnee! = I did not see you for a long time!!
Ee yo monk pee. = I am happy.
Ee yo monk pee shnee. = I am not happy.
Oh lou lou tah! = It is stifling hot (no breeze)!
Wah oun chee! = You and I are dancing!
Heen akeeya  = Smile
na GXee oh wa key tay. = I am looking for my spirit.
Lay um pay tue keyn, Lakota (Nakota/Dakota) oh ya tay keyn, txa wa pay. = This day belongs to the Lakota (Nakota/Dakota) people.
Txun blays ya huh, txoe kata key ya, ma wah nee. = I am walking toward the future making good and sober decisions.
Lee la you pea ya nee glue zay. = You dress well today. (Used as compliment after the greeting "Hau.")
Nee coo zha hey? = Are you sick?
Na da ma y azan. = My head hurts. (words to replace head: he = tooth; tay zee = stomach)
Wa chay key ya yea. = I want you to pray.
Woe ksue yea. = In memory of those who died & remembering the living veterans.
Pilaymaya = Thank you!
Hoke she la hay cha = It is a boy!
We cheen ja la hey cha = It is a girl!
"Wa cheen txan e tch ya yo." = This is from the Lakota value of the northerly direction, and in this case, it means to have patience.
Wa chuntay oh gna kay = Generosity/Generous with your heart.
E wang oh ma nee (yo/yea) = Be careful when you travel.
Due wah he hey? = Who arrived?
Me da coo yea pee. = Formal greeting with good manners.
Lay he huh nee keyn oh snee. = It is cold this morning!
E woe blue wan ou yea (low/lay) = A blizzard is coming! (low - male ending; lay - female ending)
Doka hwo? = What's up? (Note: Very informal greeting; hwo is an elder male ending, so only use if you want to be considered an elder male!)
Wah oun hey? = Did it snow?
Enila = Be quiet!!
Hunta yea/yo = Get out of the way. (yea = female ending; yo = male ending) 
Hoe gxan oun you da pee ktay. = We are going to eat fish.
Ah snee wa keyn ktay. = I am going to rest.
Ah snee key ya po/pay. = All of you get some rest.
(po = male ending; pay = female ending)
Key kta yo/yea! = Wake up!
Key kta po/pay! = All of you wake up!
(yo/po are to be used as ending by males; yea/pay are female ending.)
Hey choon sh nee yea/yo. = Don't do that!
Maza sh kxan sh kxan doenakja hey? = What time is it? (Note: Native Americans did not live by a clock; instead, they lived by nature's clock.)
Umpo = Dawn/just before sunrise
Lay hee hannee = This morning
Hee hannee key = Next morning
Wee choe kan = Noon
Wee choe kan sum eya = Past noon or sun is past highest point
Hxtah yea tue = Evening
Han hey pee = Night
Txan kal doe kja hey? = What is it doing outside? (weather implied)
New gxay sh lou sh lou tay. = You don't listen. (Slips off ears)
Oh ya lay hey? = Who are you looking for?
Tiyospaye (tee-osh-pa-yea) = Extended family
Tiwahe (tee-wa-hey) = Immediate family
Ospaye (ohsh-pa-yea) = Tribe family (Sicangu Lakota, Oglala Lakota, etc.)
Oyate (oh-ya-tay) = Entire nation (Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate)
1. Nexhuitzilin- colibrí gris (grey hummingbird)
2. Quetzalhuitzilin- colibrí verde (green hummingbird)
3. Kokotzin- gavilán (sparrow hawk)
4. Zollin- codorniz (quail)
5. Kakalotl- cuervo (raven/crow)
6. Chikuauhtli- lechuza (barn owl)
7. Tizapapalotl- mariposa blanca (white butterfly)
8. Kuauhtli- águila (eagle)
9. Huexolotl- guajolote (turkey)
10. Tekolotl- tecolote (great horned owl)
11. Alotl- guacamaya (macaw)
12. Ketzaltototl- pájaro quetzal (quetzal bird)
13. Cochotl/toznene- loro/papagayo (parrot)