By Justin Neely, CPN Language Department Director
Bozho Jayek (Bozhoe Jiyack)
Ni je na ginwa? (Nee-juh-nah geen-wah)
How are you all doing?
The summer is moving fast. We finished up our summer master apprentice program. I am very proud of the men and women who joined us for this eight-week, eight-hour-a-day summer program. It was intense, and each person rose to the challenge. Some came into the program with very limited knowledge, and a few came in with a foundation in the language. All that participated grew exponentially. The average increase was over 30%. Some went from a 20% on the initial test to 80% on their final test. It was a great experience for all involved. We started with three paid interns and then three folks who audited the course. In the end, five people finished the course.
We also wrapped up the Family Reunion Festival and headed to the Potawatomi Language Conference. It was a bit of a surreal feeling, as this is the first time in my 20 years of attending and presenting of not having either Billy Daniels or Jim Thunder there. My presentation was about our master apprentice program and other tools that can be used to learn the language. I gave my presentation entirely in Bodwéwadmimwen with a translation written on the right side of the handout. Next year’s Gathering and language conference will be hosted by the Pokagon Potawatomi.
We are now gearing up for the upcoming school year. We offer the language in any high school in Oklahoma for graduation credit. Currently, we have had five schools offer the language: Wanette, Tecumseh, Seminole, Shawnee and Maud. It is accredited with the state and can be offered in other districts as interest dictates.
We started a live class in our Facebook group, Potawatomi Language, from 1 to 3 p.m. every weekday. We have had good attendance in our initial classes. The first hour focuses more on beginner students, and then the second hour we build upon what they have been learning. It’s good for beginner or intermediate students. The finished classes are saved in the group, so check them out.
We have also started doing a word of the week with example sentences. We will select a word or verb and then build four to five sentences using the word. We then post those on our YouTube channel and in the Potawatomi Language group. We are also finishing up the movie House on Haunted Hill in Potawatomi.
Niben kedwenen — Summer words (nee-bin ked-win-in)
Niben — Summer, literally means a time of plenty (nee-bin)
Gmowen. — It’s raining. (guh-moe-in)
Wi gmowen. — It’s going to rain. (week moe-in)
Gshatemget. — It’s hot. (guh-shot-dam-get)
Mno gishget. — It’s a nice/beautiful day. (mino gish-get)
Mbesek nwi-zhyamen. — We are going to the lake. (mbusuk nuh-weez-hee-yah-men)
Ni je wa zhechkeyen wabek? — What are you doing tomorrow? (nee-juh wah zhich-kay-yin wah-buck)
Nasena! — Be careful! (nah-sin-nah)
Ni je ezhewébek? — What’s happening? (nee juh ez-huh-way-buck)
Wenet. — It’s good/beautiful. (win-et)
Myanet. — It’s bad. (meya-wnet)
Zam myanet. — Too bad. (zahm mee-yawn et)
Gbekte ne? — Are you hungry? (guh-buck-tay nay)
Ngonandem. — I am starving. (nuh-gon-ahn-dim)
Nizanet. — It’s dangerous. (nee-zan-zet)
Nizanze. — He/she is dangerous. (ne-zan-zay)
Ni pi je ezhyayen? — Where are you going? (nee-pee-juh ez-hee-yah-yin)
Ngoji — Somewhere (nuh-go-gee)
Cho ngoji — Nowhere (cho-ne-go-gee)
Miziwgemgok nde-zhya. — I am going to the bathroom. (mee-zee-oh-gum-goke nduh-zhee-yah)