What the Little Turtles Learned.

What the Little Turtles Learned

Lesson One

Greeting

Kweh Hello

John (or Loretta or Norm)

ižatsih I am called

(the symbol ž stands for -zh-)

You can also identify yourself as Wyandotte by saying:

Wyandotte ižatsih Wyandotte, I am called.

Linguistic Note

The verb root here is -as- ‘to name, to be called’.

Lesson Two

Asking for something and thanking afterwards

We set this up so that one child had a deer figurine in his or her hand, and the other one asked for it politely. This is what the person asking for it said.

Tąnǫt  Give to me

uskęnǫtǫ it goes to the land of the dead (the word for ‘Deer‘)

When the deer figurine was given, the receiver then said:

Tižamęh Thank you.

Politeness Note

There were not expressions of ‘please’ or ‘you’re welcome’ in the Wyandot language. These are courtesy or politeness forms in European languages, not Aboriginal ones.
Linguistic Note

The vowels with the little curls underneath them are nasal vowels. In French they would be written with an –n- after the vowel:

ǫ on (as in the French word ‘bon’ meaning ‘good’)
ę en (as in the French word ‘chien’ meaning ‘dog’)
ą an

We got the kids to practice saying these vowels by holding their noses when they said ‘o’, ‘e’ and ‘a’.

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