When I set out to look for learning materials on the web, I was initially excited to find so many search results for the language. This excitement quickly faded with the number of 404 - Not Found messages I kept getting on each click of a link. So I've created this space as a repository of resources for learning Anishinaabemowin, or more specifically, Ojibwemowin. With time, I hope it can be of use not just to me, but to others.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Basic past tense (VAI)

So far, we've learned the present tense for VAI verbs in both independent and conjunct forms, one of two forms of the future tense, and a conditional mood. We've also briefly touched on the imperative, in the form of "Let's [do something]".

We haven't yet gone into the past tense. In fact, for whatever reason, Pimsleur chose not to include it in its 30 lesson course. So I'm including some basics here.

The rules are as simple as when forming the future tense. Instead of using "wii", we'll be using "gii". So to ask if it was cold yesterday, for example, we would say "Gii-gisinaa agwajiing?"

Some other examples, using both independent and conjunct form, and a negative:
Examples using "minikwe"

  • Awenen gaa-minikweyan makade-mashkikiwaaboo? ** - Who drank the coffee? (Remember that because we're using a question word ("Awenen") we need to conjugate the verb in conjunct form.)
  • Gigii-minikwe zhingobaaboo na? - Did you drink the beer?
** More on why minikwe takes "gaa" as a past tense marker in a later post.

Examples using "izhaa"

  • Gigii-izhaa na iwidi niimi'iding bijiinaago? - Did you go to the pow-wow yesterday? 
  • Oodenaang nigii-izhaa dibikong. - I went to town last night.

Here's an example of using the past in a negative form:

  • Gaawiin ningii-izhaasii adaawewigamigong. - I didn't go to the store.

New words:

  • bijiinaago - yesterday
  • dibikong - last night
Things get more complicated once we move beyond VAI verbs. I'll cover those in another post (or two), but for now, this is a basic start using the past tense with VAI verbs.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 17

Another short dialog with just a couple new verbs, a noun, and a number. I've supplemented this lesson with how to form negative statements.

Dialog -

F: Gidayaawaa na zhooniyaa?
M: Gaawiin. Imbiigoshkaa.
F: Indayaawaa zhooniyaa.
* * * * * * * * * *
F: Midaaswaabik na gidayaawaa?
M: Midaaswaabik indaaawaa.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a line-by-line breakdown:

F: Gidayaawaa na zhooniyaa?

  • Both the new verb have [SOMETHING] (ayaaw] and the noun for money (zhooniyaa) are introduced. She's asking "Do you have any money?"
M: Gaawiin. Imbiigoshkaa.
  • Another new verb, "biigoshkaa", meaning "to be broke" in this case. He answers "No. I'm broke."
F: Indayaawaa zhooniyaa.
  • She says "I have some money."
* * * * * * * * * *
F: Midaaswaabik na gidayaawaa?

  • We have a new number "midaaswi" (ten). When combined with waabik (dollar), the "wi" is dropped to form "midaaswaabik" (ten dollars). Notice that waabik is not in a plural form.  She asks "Do you have ten dollars?"
M: Midaaswaabik indaaawaa.
  • He answers "I have ten dollars."

New words this lesson:
  • midaaswi - ten
  • zhooniyaa - silver; money
  • biigoshkaa - be broke
  • ayaaw - have SOMETHING

Forming negative sentences

We briefly saw how to form a negative verb conjugation back in lesson three with the verb nisidotan (understand) and in lesson seven with gikendan (know), as well as the sentence "Gaawiin,Anishinaabe-inini aawisii." (He is not an Anishinaabe man).

In all these cases we used "gaawiin" in front of the verb, and added either "sii" or "ziin" at the end of the verb. The basic rule is that if the verb ends in a vowel, it takes "sii" as the ending and if it ends in a consonant it takes "ziin" as the ending.

So, some practice with some verbs we've already learned.

  • Biigoshkaa? Henh. Gaawiin, odayaanziin zhooniyaa. Is he broke? Yes. He has no money.
  • Gibaabaa na a'aw? Gaawiin, Nibaabaas aawisii. Is that your father? No, that's not my father.
  • Bakwezhigan giwii-adaawen na? Gaawiin, niwii-adaawesii. Do you want to buy some bread? No, I don't want to buy any.
  • Giwii-izhaa na iwidi adaawewigamigong? Gaawiin, Adaawewigamigong ni-wii-izhaasii. Do you want to go to the store? No, I don't want to go to the store.

In a future post I'll go over how to form negatives for weather verbs, since they're slightly different.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 16

Another short dialog today, with a couple conditionals and the verb "to bring", both animate and inanimate.

We also have a new question, "How much?"

Dialog - 

M: Gidaa-biidoonan makizinan.
F: Gidaa-biinaa gimisenh.
M: Ingaa-biinaa na nimisenh?
F: Ingaa-biinaa na animosh?
* * * * * * * * * * * *
M: Aaniish minik?
F: Bezhigwaabik.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

A line-by-line breakdown:

M: Gidaa-biidoonan makizinan. 
  • Here we have a new preverb, "daa", which functions as a conditional "should".  It's formed with the verb just as "wii" is - pronoun-tense marker-verb root. The verb, "bidoon", means "bring SOMETHING". So he says "You should bring your moccasins."
F: Gidaa-biinaa gimisenh. 
  • We've got another new verb here, "binaa", also meaning "bring", but this is the animate verb, "bring SOMEBODY/SOME LIVING THING". We also have the word "gimisenh", meaning "your sister". She is saying "You should bring your sister."
M: Ingaa-biinaa na nimisenh? 
  • The preverb "gaa" is a future tense preverb, and can mean "shall", or "should".  But because it's a question of possibility, it functions as "can" or "could". So he's asking "Can I bring my sister?" Again, sister has the possessive pronoun "ni" affixed at the beginning of the word.
F: Ingaa-biinaa na animosh? 
  • This is the same concept using another animate noun, "animosh", "dog".  She is asking "Can I bring the dog?"
* * * * * * * * * * * *

M: Aaniish minik? 

  • This new word "minik" means "amount". Literally, He asks "What amount" or "How much?"
F: Bezhigwaabik. 
  • We have the number "one", "bezhig" attached to "waabik", literally meaning "metal", but here we are using it to denote currency. She's saying "One dollar."
* * * * * * * * * * * *

New words this lesson:
  • daa- - should; might; would
  • gaa- -will; shall; should
  • bezhig - one
  • nimisenh - my older sister
  • animosh - dog
  • waabik - dollar
  • minik - amount
  • Aaniish minik? - How much is it?
  • biidoon - bring SOMETHING
  • biinaa - bring SOMEBODY

Other vocabulary:

  • wa'aw[e] - this 
  • Awenen wa'aw? - Who's this?
  • i'iw[e] - that
  • Wegonen i'iw? -(What's that?
  • gigozis - your son
  • nindaais - my daughter
  • obaabaayan - his father
Possessive pronouns. These are always attached to the beginning of relative words, such as son, daughter, brother, sister, etc.
  • ni- My
  • gi- Your
  • o--an his/hers (Note that there is also a suffix added for the third person singular possessive.)

A list of other relatives and relationships can be reference here on the Family Members page. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 15

This lesson, aside from the review dialog and a couple words, we'll focus on how to make plurals.

Dialog - 

F: Niwii-izhaa iwidi niimi'iding.
M: Giwii-izhaa na iwidi niimi'iding?
F: Henyanh, niwii-izhaa iwidi niimi'iding.
M: Niwii-adaawen gegoo iwidi niimi'iding.
F: Daga, izhaadaa.
M: Aaniish apii niimi'iding?
F: Waabang gigizheb.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
M: Niwii-adaawenan makizinan.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a line-by-line breakdown:

F: Niwii-izhaa iwidi niimi'iding.
  • We learned the verb "izhaa" in the summary of lessons 1-10, but it is reintroduced here. She is saying "I want to go (there) to the pow-wow.
M: Giwii-izhaa na iwidi niimi'iding?
  • "Do you want to go (there) to the pow-wow?"
F: Henyanh, niwii-izhaa iwidi niimi'iding.
  • "Yes, I want to go (there) to the pow-wow."
M: Niwii-adaawen gegoo iwidi niimi'iding.
  • We also learned the verb "adaawe" (buy) in the summary of lesson 1-10. He is saying "I want to buy something (there) at the pow-wow."
F: Daga, izhaadaa.
  • In lesson 8, we learned that "daga" means "please" or "come on". "Izhaadaa" is the 3rd person imperative for "go", so she is saying "Come on, let's go."
M: Aaniish apii niimi'iding?
  • "When is the pow-wow."
F: Waabang gigizheb.
  • "Tomorrow morning." (Learned in lesson 13.)
* * * * * * * * * * * *

M: Niwii-adaawenan makizinan.
  • "makezin" is a new word, meaning "moccasin". There's an "an" ending, making it plural. He says "I want to buy moccasins."

New words this lesson:
  • makizin - shoe, moccasin
  • izhaa - go [SOMEWHERE] (We actually learned this in the Summary and review of Lessons 1-10)

A note on plurals.

Forming plurals in Ojibwe is done in two ways, one for animate objects and one for inanimate objects.

As we see with the inanimate moun "makizin", we only need to add an "an" to it to make it plural (makizinan). If the noun ends in a vowel, just an "n" is added.

For animate mouns, an "ag" is added when the noun ends in a consonant or "wag" when the noun ends in a vowel. So let's take a look at the word "ikwe" (woman). To make it plural (women), we simply add "wag" since it ends in an "e", making "ikwewag".

Another example of a word ending in a consonant is "waakaa'igan" (house). To make it plural, we simply add "an" to the end, making it "waakaa'iganan" (houses).

Here are a few new words to practice making plurals:

Inanimate nouns -
  • mazina'igan (book), plural form is mazina'iganan
  • mazinaatesijigan (television set), plural form is mazinaatesijiganan
Animate nouns - 
  • animosh (dog), plural form is animoshag
  • gaazhagens (cat), plural form is gaazhagensag
  • bineshiinh (bird), plural form is bineshiinyag (because bineshiinh ends in a nasalized 'nh", we change the "nh" to a "ny".
Example sentences:
  • oshki- (new), attach to beginning of the noun
    • Niwii-adaawenan niizh oshkimazinaatesijiganan.  (I want to buy two new television sets.)
  • Animoshag nibaawag(The dogs are sleeping.)
  • Gaazhagensag bakaded. (The cats are hungry.)
  • nagamo (sing)
    • Bineshiinyag nagamod.  (The birds are singing.)

* The verb must also be plural.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Talk about the weather

Pimsleur lessons have been progressing rapidly, so I wanted to take a break from the lessons and talk about weather in Ojibwe.

Amazingly, the Pimsleur course doesn't touch on weather at all in any of its 30 lessons! I'm not sure why, either, as it's an important aspect of Ojibwe culture, and also could have easily been tied into a later lesson on hunting. Talking about the weather in Ojibwe is straightforward once one simple concept is taken into account.

In Ojibwe, all weather words are in fact verbs, so while the concept of "it's raining" may fit with that, "it's sunnying" will seem odd, but that's how the language works.

So let's take a look at some weather verbs:
  • mino-giizhigad - a good/nice day
  • biiwan - blizzard
  • mizhakwad - clear
  • gisinaa - cold
  • gizhide - hot
  • gimiwan - raining
  • zoogipon - snowing
  • noodin - windy
And let's include a preverb to intensify:
  • gichi- - great, very, big, a lot
If we want to say for example, that the weather is very hot, we simply attach "gichi-" to the verb "gizhide" (hot), so "Gichi-gizhide." means "It's very hot."

We've already learned a couple of these adverbs, but these words can further define the weather verb:
  • minawaa - again
  • geyaabi - still
  • aazha - already
  • megwaa - right now

Finally, some full example sentences:
  • Mino-giizhigad. (It's a good/nice day, It's nice out.)
  • Gichi-gisinaa noongom. (It's very cold today.)
  • Wii-mino-gizhide. (It's going to be hot.)
  • Wii-gimiwan dibikak. (It's going to rain tonight.)
  • Wii-zoogipon waabang. (It's going to snow tomorrow.)
  • Gimiwan minawaa. (It's raining again.)
  • Geyaabi gimiwan. (It's still raining.)
  • Megwaa gimiwan. (Right now it's raining.)
  • Megwaa gichi-zoogipon. (Right now, it's snowing a lot.)
  • Maagizhaa wii-gizhide waabang. (Maybe it will be hot tomorrow.)
  • Aazha zoogipon. (It's already snowing.)
  • Wii-zoogipon dibikak. (It's going to snow tonight.)

Notice that, while this is not a hard-and-fast rule, words like "dibikak" (tonight), "waabang" (tomorrow) and "noongom" (today or now) usually follow the weather verb, while words like "minawaa"(again), "geyaabi" (still), "aazha" (already) and "megwaa" (right now) precede the weather verb. "Gimiwan minawaa." (It is raining again.) is the only example I've included that puts "minawaa" at the end.

I've only included present and future tenses, because that's all we've covered so far in the course, but once we get to the past tense (it'll be introduced in a supplemental lesson, as Pimsleur doesn't cover it), they can easily be applied to these same examples.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 14

We've got a couple new verbs this lesson, and I've also introduced another conjunction (adv) to be able to create more dependent clauses.

Dialog - 

F: Aaniindi niimi'idiwaad? Aaniinidi niimi'iding?
M: Aaniish apii wii-biindigewaad?
F: Wii-miigiwewag na?

M: Henh. Wii-miigiwewag. 

Breaking it down line by line:

F: Aaniindi niimi'idiwaad? Aaniinidi niimi'iding? 
  • A new verb - "niimi", meaning dance, and with the third persona plural (they). Also notice the word "niimi'iding". It's actually a verbal form of "being at a pow-wow". So she asks "Where are they dancing? Where is the pow-wow?"
M: Aaniish apii wii-biindigewaad? 
  • Another new verb - biindige, means "come in" or enter". Again, the third persona plural (they) is used. He asks "When are they coming in?" This is in reference to the Grand Entry, which is part of the pow-wow ceremony.
F: Wii-miigiwewag na? 
  • And another new verb - miigiwe, means "give", "present" or "gift". The "wag" ending tells us it's third person plural again. She's asking "Will they be having a giveaway? (Will they be giving away?, literally) This is another ceremonial piece of the pow-wow.
M: Henh. Wii-miigiwewag. 
  • He responds "Yes, they're going to have a giveaway."

New words for this lesson:
  • dibikak - dark; tonight - In the oral drills but I've provided an example below
  • niizh - two - Numbers are beginning to be slowly introduced. a complete list can be found on the right sidebar.
  • niimi'idim - be a pow-wow
  • biindige - enter; go in
  • miigiwe - present; give; gift; grant; contribute

Other vocabulary to add into the mix:
  • ishkwaa-dibikak - after dark
    • Ishkwaa-dibikak, aaniish niimi'idiwaad? (After dark, will they dance?)
  • jibwaa-dibikak - before dark
  • maajaa - leave, depart
    • Niwii-maajaa jibaa-dibikak. (I'll leave before dark.)
  • anwaataa - finish
    • Jibwaa-waabang, giwii-anwaataa na? (Will you finish before tomorrow?)
  • giishpin - if
    • Giishpin giwii-anwataa noongom, aaniish waa-izhichigeyan waabang? (If you finish today, what will you do tomorrow?)

With the introduction if "giishpin" we have another way to create a dependent, or subordinate clause.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 13

In this lesson we have some new words relating to days and parts of the day, such as tomorrow and morning. I've also included a note at the end regarding the use of "after" (introduced in this lesson) and "before", introduced in my "Other vocabulary" section.

Dialog - 

M: Aaniish apii asemaa wii-adaaweyan?
F: Ishkwaa-wiisiniyaan.
M: Ishkwaa-wiisiniyaang.
F: Aaniish apii wii-niimi'idiwaad?
M: Ishkwaa-naawakweg.

Breaking it down line by line:

M: Aaniish apii asemaa wii-adaaweyan?

  • When will you buy tobacco?
F: Ishkwaa-wiisiniyaan.
  • Here is the new word/preverb for "after". he answers "After I eat."
F: Aaniish apii wii-niimi'idiwaad?
  • "When are they dancing?"
M: Ishkwaa-naawakweg.
  • "After noon". The "eg" ending on "naawakweg" means "in" or "on", so this sentence could be translated as "in the afternoon."

New words this lesson (many of these were only introduced in the oral exercises, so they're extra vocabulary to play with):
  • zhebaa - this [past] morning
  • waabang - tomorrow; dawn; morning
  • waabang gigizheb - tomorrow morning
  • gigizheb - morning; early morning
  • ishkwaa- - after; completed; end of...
  • baabaanaan - grandfather (also means father)

Other vocabulary
  • jibwaa-before

*** A note about the preverbs ishkwaa- and jibwaa-

These two preverbs are important for our progress. With them, we can now begin to form more complex sentences with dependent clauses.
As such, when using "after" and "before" as a preverb, the verb must always be in conjunct form (yaan, 1st person singular and yan, 2nd person singular). As long as the person matches in both the main and dependent clause ("before/after I... [do something], I... [will/want to do something]" or "before/after you... [do something], you... [will/want to do something]"), the conjunct form can be thought of as "before/after [verb]ing"

Example sentences:
Oodenaang jibwaa-izhaayaan, niwii-jiibaakwe. (Before going/I go to town, I want to cook.)
Jibwaa-wiisiniyan, giwii-minikwen gegoo? (Before eating/you eat, do you want to drink something?)
Ishkwaa-wiisiniyaan, niwii-nibaa. (After eating/after I eat, I want to sleep.)

In these examples, the dependent, or subordinate clause comes before the main clause.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 12

Another short lesson. Only a couple new nouns and two more verbs, but important ones, and one of them was already introduced in my Summary of Lessons 1 through 10.

Dialog - 

M: Niwii-izhichige gegoo.
F: Aniish waa-izhichigeyan?
M: Niwii-adaawen gegoo.
F: Wegonen waa-adaaweyan?
M: Asemaa niwii-adaawen.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
M: Maamaanaan, giwii-wiisin na?
F: Gaawiin noongom; baanimaa.
M: Maamaanaan, aaniish apii wii-minikweyan aniibiishaaboo?

A line-by-line breakdown:

M: Niwii-izhichige gegoo.
  • Here's one of the two new verbs, "izhichige" (do [something]). It needs an object [something] and can't be used on its own. He's saying "I'm going to do something," **
F: Aniish waa-izhichigeyan?
  • Here "Aniish" means "What", so she is asking "What are you going to do?" **
M: Niwii-adaawen gegoo.
  • I introduced this verb "adaawe" (buy) in my summary of Lessons 1-10. He's responding "I'm going to buy something." **
F: Wegonen waa-adaaweyan?
  • She asks "What are you going to buy?" **
M: Asemaa niwii-adaawen.
  • Here's a new noun, "asemaa", meaning tobacco. He's answering "I'm going to buy tobacco." **
** In all these cases, -wii- and waa- can be used as "going to"

* * * * * * * * * * * *

M: Maamaanaan, giwii-wiisin na?

  • Here's our second new noun, "maamaanaan".  In the audio, we're told it means "grandmother", but it is also a way to say "Mother Earth", and is also used to speak affectionately to an elder woman. So he is asking "Would you like to eat?", with the affectionate title of "maamaanan".
F: Gaawiin noongom; baanimaa.
  • As we've already learned, "noongom means either "today" or "now". She responds "Not now; later."
M: Maamaanaan, aaniish apii wii-minikweyan aniibiishaaboo?
  • "When would you like to drink tea?", again affectionately referring to her as "maamaanan".

New words this lesson:
  • asemaa - tobacco
  • maamaanaan - grandmother
  • izhichige (vai) - do [SOMETHING]; act so
  • adaawe (vai) - buy; sell; traffic; trade; deal

Let's add some more vocabulary that fits in with buying things:
  • bakwezhigan (bread) Bakwezhigan niwii-adaawen. (I'll buy some bread.)
  • doodooshaaboo-bimide (butter)
  • waawan/waawanoon (egg/eggs)
  • gitigaanens/gitigaanensan (vegetable/vegetables)
  • Adaawewigamigong ni-wii-izhaa. (I'm going to the store.) (Already introduced in Summary of Lessons 1-10).
  • Aaniin ezhichigeyan? (What are you doing?) Here, "aaniin" functions as "what".

Ojibwe verbs are... complicated, and I don't want to introduce types of verbs that we've not yet learned in the lessons, so for now I'm sticking with VAI verbs.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 11

This is a very short lesson. I think beginning with this lesson, in addition to just giving the translation of each sentence and introducing any new vocabulary, I'll also include a couple more example sentences of my own. It's time to start getting used to creating my own output.

Dialog - 

M: Giwii-naawakwe-wiisin na?
F: Henyanh. Niwii-naawakwe-wiisin.
M: Wegonen waa-minikweyan aniibiishaaboo maagizhaa nibi?
F: Nibi niwii-minikwen.

And the line-by-line breakdown:

M: Giwii-naawakwe-wiisin na?
  • We have a new word - naawakwe, which is a verb meaning "be noon"/"be midday. When combined with "wiisin" we create a new verb meaning "eat lunch". So the sentence reads "Do you want to eat lunch?"
F: Henyanh. Niwii-naawakwe-wiisin.
  • "Yes. I want to eat lunch"
M: Wegonen waa-minikweyan, aniibiishaaboo maagizhaa nibi?
  • Another new word here: "maagizhaa", means "maybe" or perhaps". When stuck between two nouns or objects, it means "or". So he asks: "What would you like to drink, tea or water? Remember that because we're using the question word  for "what" (wegonen), we need to use the conjunct conjugation of minikwe.
F: Nibi niwii-minikwen.
  • I want to drink water.

New words this lesson:
  • maagizhaa - maybe; perhaps; or
  • naawakwe-wiisini - eat lunch; eat at midday; eat at noon
  • naawakwe (vii) -be noon; be midday

A couple new phrases mixed in with what we've already learned:
  • Maagizhaa niwii-babaamose. (Maybe I'll go for a walk.)
  • Wegonen waa-minikweyan, makade-mashkikiwaaboo maagizhaa doodooshaaboo? (What would you like to drink, coffee or milk?)  
  • Giwii-naawakwe-wiisin noongom? (Will you eat lunch today?)

Progressing further through the course, we'll keep producing our own sentences at the end of each lesson. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pimsleur Ojibwe Summary, lessons 1-10

Pimsleur sort of gets a bad rap in some language-learning circles, due to the limited amount of vocabulary it teaches. With this review of the first ten lessons, I want to demonstrate that it doesn't have to be that way. We can extend what we're learning with a little bit of thought and legwork. I've only used an online dictionary to supplement what we've already learned. No new grammar is introduced. I've recommended the Ojibwe People's Dictionary before, and it's what I used.

I'm at an advantage because I found some good grammar explanations and not-so-exact dialog transcripts for the course online, but I should also note that this Ojibwe course is better than some of the other Pimsleur courses I've seen. It's not a copy of the same dialog in every other language course that Pimsleur sells, so it's more tailored to the language's special characteristics.

The following is a short list of all grammatical parts we've learned so far in lessons one through ten. The brown text is what we've actually learned, noted with the lesson number. The text in green is new vocabulary I've added, with example sentences using only the grammatical rules we've learned up to this point. Some of the vocabulary will be introduced in later Pimsleur lessons, but I chose to add them into the mix now, because they require no further grammar knowledge and can easily extend what we've already learned.

At the end of this review I've also included a list of basic phrases learned, broken down by lesson number.

I plan on doing a review like this of lessons 11 through 20 and 21 through 30, too, once we've completed them.

So here's the breakdown of what we've learned so far:


ga- future tense marker (will), Lesson 1
izhi- thus; so; such, Lesson 2
mino- good; nice; well, Lesson 2
maazhi- bad; unwell; ill-formed, Lesson 3
wii - future tense (want to, would like to), Lesson 6
gichi-/chi- large; big; much; very, Lesson 10

bi- toward, here, this way
Come here (Bi-izhaan omaa.)

eta go - just, only, Lesson 1
gaawiin - no, Lesson 1
henh/henhyanh - yes, Lesson 1
miinawaa - again, also, too, Lesson 1
gaye - also; too; and; as well, Lesson 7
niibowa - much; a lot, Lesson 7
apii - then; while; at that time, Lesson 8
baanimaa - later; afterwards, Lesson 8
baanimaa apii - after a while; later on, Lesson 8
noongom - now; present; today, Lesson 8

still, yet (geyaabi)
I'm still hungry. (Geyaabi imbakade,)

soon (wayiiba)
I'm going to cook soon (Wayiiba niwii-jiibaakwe.)

always (moozhag)
I always drink water. (Moozhag nibi niminikwe,)

aaniish (questions word) - what?; how?; why?, Lesson 2
aaniindi (question word) where?, Lesson 5
Where are you going?
aaniish apii - when?, Lesson 8
wegonen - what?, Lesson 9

who (Awenen)
Whos is this?, Who is that? (Awenen wa'aw?, Awenen a'aw?)

Anishinaabe - Human; Indian; People; Person, Lesson 1
Ojibwe - Ojibwa , Lesson 1
inini - man; person, Lesson 3
ikwe - woman, Lesson 3
Zhaaganaashi - English; Irish; Scottish; British; Anglo-Canadian. Colloquially: non-Native; White, Lesson 4
zaaga'igan - lake, Lesson 5
giniw - eagle, Lesson 8
waabigwan - flower, Lesson 8
waakaa'igan - building; house; cabin; fort, Lesson 10
nibi - water, Lesson 10
aniibiishaaboo - tea, Lesson 10

coffee (makade-mashkikiwaaboo)
milk (doodooshaaboo)
beer (bilewaagoo)
food (miijim)

I want to buy coffee, milk, beer (Object + ni-wii-adaawen.)
Makade-mashkikiwaaboo ni-wii-adaawen.
Doodooshaaboo ni-wii-adaawen.
Bilewaagoo ni-wii-adaawen.

Will you buy milk? (Gi-wii-adaawen doodooshaaboo?)

river (ziibi) (Gichi-ziibing is Mississippi River)
city/town (gichi-oodena/oodena)
store/shop (adaawewigamig)

I want to go to the store, city, river (Place +(ang/ing/ong) + ni-wii-izhaa)
Adaawewigamigong ni-wii-izhaa.
Oodenaang ni-wii-izhaa.
Ziibing ni-wii-izhaa.

pronoun and demonstrative
ni/in/ind/indo and gi/gid/gido 1st and 2nd person singluar, Lesson 1
niin - I, me, my, Lesson 2
giin - you, your, yours, Lesson 2
aawi - he, she, it, Lesson 3
a'aw (demonstrative) - that (one), Lesson 4
-wag (conjunct) - third person plural: they; their; them; theirs verbal conjugation, Lesson 5
iwidi (demonstrative) - over there; yonder; that way, Lesson 5
omaa (demonstrative)- over here; hither; this way, Lesson 5
gegoo - something, Lesson 7

this (one) (wa'aw/wa'awe)
Whos is this? (Awenen wa'awe?)

aawi (vai) - is; am; be; are, Lesson 1
ojibwemo (vai) - speak the Ojibwa language, Lesson 1
waabam (vta) -find SB; see SB, Lesson 1
giizhigad (vii) - be day; be light, Lesson 2
ayaa (vai) - am; be, Lesson 2
nisidotam (vai2) - understand, Lesson 3
bakade (vai) - hunger; be hungry; be starving, Lesson 4
onjibaa (vai) - come from SOMEWHERE; originate from SOMEWHERE, Lesson 5
niimi'idi+wag (vai) - dance (with each other), Lesson 5 (always plural)
gikendan (vti) - know SOMETHING, Lesson 6
minikwe (vai) - drink, Lesson 7
daa (vai) - reside; live at; home; stay, Lesson 9
miijin (vti3) - eat ST, Lesson 9

go (izhaa)
I'm going to the city. (Gichi-oodenaang nindizhaa.)

come (izhaa)
Come to the restaurant (Bi-izhaan wiisiniwigamigong,) ** Notice the "bi-" preverb

buy (adaawe)
I'll buy food. (Ni-wii-miijimadaawe) ** Notice that "food" and "buy" are combined to form a new verb "buy food"

cook (jiibaakwe)
She is still cooking. (Geyaabi jiibaakwe.)

thirst/be thirsty (giishkaabaagwe)
I'm thirsty. (Ningiishkaabaagwe.)
Are you thirsty? (Giishkaabaagwe na?)

sit (namadabi)
He's sitting over there. (Namadabi iwidi.)

stand (niibawi)
I want to stand (Ni-wii-niibawi,)

go for a walk/stroll (babaamose)
I will go for a walk. (Ni-wii-babaamose.)

sleep (nibaa)
I want to sleep. (Ni-wii-nibaa.)

Aaniin - Hello, Lesson 1
boozhoo (interjection particle) - hello, Lesson 2
miigwech - thank you (discourse particle), Lesson 2
ahaaw - OK; alright [male usage], Lesson 7
daga - please; by all means, Lesson 9

other particles
na - question marker, Lesson 1
dash (contrastive particle) - used after words ending in a vowel or n, Lesson 2
igo - express assertiveness, express affirmation after words ending in a consonant, Lesson 6

Basic phrases learned in Lessons 1 through 10:

Lesson 1
Anishinaabe na gidaaw?
Anishinaabe indaaw.
Gidoojibwem na?
Bangii eta go.
Giga-waabamin, miinawaa.

Lesson 2

Giin dash?
Aaniish ezhi-ayaayan?

Lesson 3


Lesson 4

Ginisidotam/Ginisidotam na?
Zhaaganaashi aawi.
Anishinaabe-inini na a'aw?
Anishinaabe-inini aawisii.
Zhaaganaashi-inini a'aw.
Zhaaganaashiikwe na a'aw?
Zhaaganaashiikwe aawisii.
Anishinaabe aawi.
Zhaaganaashi na gidaaw?

Lesson 5

Mii omaa.
Iwidi/Iwidi na?
Omaa na?
Niimi'idiwag iwidi./Niimi'idiwag (mii) omaa.

Lesson 6

Gigikendaan./Gigikendaan na?
Giwii-wiisin na giin?
Niwii-wiisin igo.

Lesson 7

Aaniish ezhi-ayaayan giin?
Nimino-ayaa/Nimino-ayaa niin.
Gaye niin.
Gegoo na giwii-minikwen?
Gegoo niwii-minikwen.
Niwii-minikwe eta go.
Miigwech niibowa.

Lesson 8

Aaniish apii wii-wiisiniyan?
Baanimaa apii.

Lesson 9

Giwii-wiisin na endaayaan?
Daga wiisinidaa iwidi/onaa endaayan.
Wegonen waa-miijiyan?
Aaniindi wii-wiisiniyan?

Lesson 10

Niwii-wiisin iwidi Chi-waakaa'igan.
Wegonen waa-minikweyan?
Nibi niwii-minikwen.
Nibi na giwii-minikwen?
Aniibiishaaboo na giwii-minikwen?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 10

This lesson is a short one, as far as new vocabulary goes. Just a couple new words and no new verbs. The audio lesson features a lot of review of past lessons and vocabulary, though. In my next post, I'll put together a review of my own for the first third of the course. We're a third of the way through it!

Dialog - 

F: Niwii-wiisin iwidi Chi-waakaa'igan.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Wegonen waa-minikweyan?
M: Nibi niwii-minikwen.
F: Nibi na giwii-minikwen?
M: Aniibiishaaboo na giwii-minikwen?

Breaking itt down line by line:

F: Niwii-wiisin iwidi Chi-waakaa'igan.

  • This new word, "waakaa-igan", means house or building. The "Chi-" preceding it is actually a shortened version of  "gichi", meaning great, large or big. "Chi-waakaa-igan" is the name of a restaurant. So she's saying "I want to eat there at "Chi-waakaa-igan".
* * * * * * * * * * * *

F: Wegonen waa-minikweyan?

  • As we learned in lesson 9, the "waa-[...]yan" form of the verb is the conjunct form, and has an object, in this case "wegonen" (what). So she is asking "What do you want to drink?
M: Nibi niwii-minikwen.
  • We have another new word - "nibi", meaning water. So he replies "I want to drink water. Note here, that the verb conjugation is in A-form. Minikwe is an example of a type of verb that can either take an object or not, and can use either verb form. This will be covered further in a later lesson and in my notes.
F: Nibi na giwii-minikwen?
  • "Do you want to drink water?"
M: Aniibiishaaboo na giwii-minikwen?
  • "Aniibiishaaboo" is another new word, meaning "tea". He's asking "Do you want to drink tea?

New words learning this lesson:

  • gichi- - large; big; much; very
  • waakaa'igan - building; house; cabin; fort
  • Chi-waakaa'igan - Big House;
  • nibi - water
  • aniibiishaaboo - tea

Friday, January 18, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 9

This lesson is all about the way verbs are conjugated in the so-called "conjunct form". I sort of touched on this, although not explicitly, in my notes on forming basic questions, We're also introduced to the question word for "What" and an exclamation function word for "please" and "Come on!".

Dialog - 

F: Giwii-wiisin na endaayaan?
M: Henh. Miigwech niibowa.
F: Daga wiisinidaa iwidi endaayan.
F: Henyanh, daga wiisinidaa omaa endaayaan.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
M: Wegonen waa-miijiyan?
F: Daga, wiisinidaa iwidi endaayan.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Aaniindi wii-wiisiniyan?
M: Daga, wiisinidaa omaa endaayaan.
F: Giwii-wiisin na omaa endaayaan?
M: Henh. Miigwech niibowa.

Breaking itt down line by line:

F: Giwii-wiisin na endaayaan?
  • "Endaayaan" is a new word, meaning "my house", so she is asking "Do you want to eat at my house?" The "yaan" ending means it refers to the first person singlur (mine).
M: Henh. Miigwech niibowa.
  • "Yes, thanks a lot", covered in Lesson 7.
F: Daga wiisinidaa iwidi endaayan.
  • Here is another new word - "Daga", which means "Please" or more emphatically, "Come on!" We also see that "wiisini" is conjugated differently. Here, it functions as "Let's go". Also notice that "endaayan" has and ending of "yan". This "yan" refers to the second person singular (yours). So he is saying "Come on!, let's eat there at your house."
F: Henyanh, daga wiisinidaa omaa endaayaan.
  • Here, she is saying "Yes, come on (or please), let's eat here at my house. Again, notice the "yaan" first person singular ending, meaning "mine".
* * * * * * * * * * * *

M: Wegonen waa-miijiyan?
  • The new word "What" is introduced here. Also notice that we have another new word for "eat" - miijin. The difference with this verb and wiisini, is that miijin can take an object, either explicitly, or as in this case, the question word "wegonen" (what). We also attach the "waa" to the beginning to denote that it is "want to/would like to". So  The sentence would be translated as "What would you like/do you want to eat?"
F: Daga, wiisinidaa iwidi endaayan.
  • Again, "Come on/Please, let's eat there at your house."
* * * * * * * * * * * *

F: Aaniindi wii-wiisiniyan?

  • Since "Aaniindi" (Where) is also a question word, "wiisini" is conjugated as a conjunct verb. So she is asking "Where do you want to eat?"
M: Daga, wiisinidaa omaa endaayaan.
  • Again, "Come on/Please, let's eat at my house" (yaan ending for "mine").
F: Giwii-wiisin na omaa endaayaan?
  • "Do you want/Would you like to eat here at my house?"
M: Henh. Miigwech niibowa.
  • "Yes, thanks a lot."

This lesson is actually a good extension of my last post regarding question words, and gives us a bit more exposure and practice with this new "conjunct" verb conjugation.

New words learned in this lesson:
  • wegonen - what?; why?; how?; what [THING(S)]?
  • daga - please; by all means
  • daa - reside; live at; home; stay
  • miijin - eat [SOMETHING]

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ojibwe - forming basic questions, Part 1

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to write separately about questions and how they are formed in Ojibwe.

So far, we've hit upon two different types of questions: the first type being simple yes/no questions, such as
  • "Giwii-wiisin na?" (Do you want to eat?)
  • "Gegoo na giwii-minikwen?" (Do you want to drink something?)

These examples all use "na" as a question marker, either at the end of the sentence or to emphasize either the subject or object, such as "that man" or "something".

Noticing the new vocabulary notes at the end of each lesson, we see that in these cases the verb used is marked with a (vai):
  • wiisini (vai) == eat
  • minikwe (vai) == drink

This means the verb is an animate intransitive verb. What that in turn means is that the verb has an animate subject.. So the verb can be conjugated simply by adding the subject, "gi" (you) in front of the verb in simple form. The "wii" that follows the subject in both these examples tells us that it is "want to" or "would like to" (it's actually a future tense marker, but we'll get into that in a later lesson).

The second type of question we've encountered so far is one that uses a question word, or interrogative, such as:
  • "aaniish" (how)
  • "aaniish apii" (when)
  • "aaniindi" (where)

When using these question words, the verb is conjugated differently.

Let's look at the word "onjibaa" (to come from somewhere). It's also an animate intransitive verb, but we change "onjibaa" to "wenjibaa" and add the second person singular (you) ending of "yan". So the sentence would be "Aaiindi wenjibaayan". So far, all our interrogative word sentences are formed this way. Back in lesson 4 in the notes, there are examples of off the different persons (1st, 2nd, 3rd persons, both single and plural).

So, another example with a verb we've already learned with the 3rd person plural "waad" (they): "Aaniindi niimi'idiwaad?" (Where are they dancing?) The verb base is "niimi'idi" , also (vai), and we simply add "waad" to it with the question word "aaniindi" to start the sentence.

In the next Pimsleur lesson, we'll learn another question word: "Wegonen" (What), but it's used the same way as the other question words listed here, so there's no harm in trying out examples with it.

There are other ways to form a question, some with confusing grammatical terminology. We'll cover them in detail as they come up in the lessons, but armed with a good dictionary, we can already form loads of questions. I recommend The Ojibwe People's Dictionary because it also gives great examples and has audio samples too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 8

Lesson eight doesn't contain any new verbs, but it does introduce several new adverbs and a new question word. I want to further document how questions are formed, particularly with question words such as "How", "Where", "When", "Who" and "What". We've already seen a few of these, but I think further explanation is needed, so I think my next post will deal specifically with that topic.

On to the lesson:

Dialog -

M: Giwii-wiisin na?
F: Miigwech. Gaawiin. Niwii-minikwe eta go.
F: Aaniish apii wii-wiisiniyan?
M: Baanimaa.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
M: Baanimaa apii.
F: Aaniish apii?
M: Noongom.
F: Giwii-wiisin na omaa?
M: Gaawiin!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
M= Giniw
F= Waabiwan
F: Giniw, boozhoo!
M: Waabigwan, boozhoo!
F: Aaniish ezhi-ayaayan giin?
M: Miigwech. Nimino-ayaa niin. Giin dash?

Breaking it down line by line:

M: Giwii-wiisin na?
  • We learned in lesson 6 that this is "Do you want to eat?
F: Miigwech. Gaawiin. Niwii-minikwe eta go.
  • Back in lesson 2 we learned that "eta go" means "just" or "only", so she is saying "No, thank you. I just want to drink."
F: Aaniish apii wii-wiisiniyan?
  • Here is our new question word "Aaniish apii", which means "When". So she is saying "When do you want to eat?"
M: Baanimaa.
  • Another new word, an adverb. It means "Later".
* * * * * * * * * * * *

M: Baanimaa apii.
  • When "apii" is added to "baanimaa" , it means "later on", or "after a while:".
F: Aaniish apii?
  • "When?"
M: Noongom.
  • This means "Now" in this instance. It can also mean "today". 
F: Giwii-wiisin na omaa?
  • Back in lesson 5 we learned that "omaa" means "here", so she is asking "Do you want to eat here?"
M: Gaawiin!
  • No! (In the Pimsleur dialog, he looks around at his school cafeteria before uttering "No! - some humor :-)) 
* * * * * * * * * * * *

M= Giniw

  • This is a proper name, and it actually means "Golden eagle".
F= Waabigwan
  • This is a proper name for a girl and means "Flower".
F: Giniw, boozhoo!
  • Hello, Giniw!
M: Waabigwan, boozhoo!
  • Hello, Waabigwan!
F: Aaniish ezhi-ayaayan giin?
  • "How are you?", learned in lesson 2.
M: Miigwech. Nimino-ayaa niin. Giin dash?
  • "Thanks. I'm fine. And you?", also learned in lessons 2.

New words learned this lesson:
  • apii - then; while; at that time
  • aaniish apii - when?
  • baanimaa - later; afterwards
  • baanimaa apii - after a while; later on
  • noongom - now; present; today
  • giniw - golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos); war eagle
  • waabigwan - flower

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 7

It's been a year and a half since I last updated this blog - way too long. Things got in the way, other priorities took precedence. But my interest in the language hasn't faded. So, I'm restarting this blog, and the first thing on the list is to complete the Pimsleur course. Since the break, I've purchased the course, so I now have the audio to go with the notes I've been using. The notes make so much more sense now, and I'll try to inject my own thoughts in as well.

So, let's continue on with Lesson 7.

Dialog -

F: Boozhoo.
M: Aaniin. Aaniish ezhi-ayaayan giin?
F: Miigwech. Nimino-ayaa niin. Giin dash?
M: Miigwech. Nimino-ayaa.
F: Niwii-wiisin igo. Giin dash?
M: Henh. Gaye niin.
F: Aaniindi niimi'idiwaad.
M: Gaawiin. ingikendanziin.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Gegoo na giwii-minikwen?
F: Gegoo niwii-minikwen.
M: Giwii-wiisin na?
M: Miigwech. Gaawiin. Niwii-minkwe eta go.
F: Henyanh. Miigwech niibowa.
M: Ahaaw.

Breaking it down, line by line:

F: Boozhoo.
  • We learned back in lesson 2 that this was one of two ways we've learned to say "Hello" or Greetings".
M: Aaniin. Aaniish ezhi-ayaayan giin?
  • Aaniin, learned in lesson 1 is the other way to greet someone.
  • We also learned that "Aaniish ezhi-ayaayan" is "How are your?" and in lesson 6, adding "giin" emphasizes "you".
F: Miigwech. Nimino-ayaa niin. Giin dash?
  • Here, we're adding "niin" to "Nimino-ayaa" (I'm fine) to emphasize "I" or "me". "Giin dash" is "and you?"
M: Miigwech. Nimino-ayaa.
  • Same as above, without the emphasis.
F: Niwii-wiisin igo. Giin dash?
  • In lesson 6 we learned that this means "I would like to eat", with "igo" emphasizing "I" or "me". 
M: Henh. Gaye niin.
  • Here we have a new word: "Gaye". It means also, too, as well. So adding "niin" to it makes it "Me too".
F: Aaniindi niimi'idiwaad.
  • In lesson 5 we learned that "niimi-idiwaag" means "they dance"/"they are dancing" and "aaniindi" is "where".
M: Gaawiin. ingikendanziin.
  • In lesson 6 we learned "gikendan" means "to know SOMETHING". Adding "ziin" at the end, as well as using "gaawiin" before the verb turns it into a negative. So it's "I don't know".
* * * * * * * * * * * *

F: Gegoo na giwii-minikwen?
  • Gegoo is a new word this lesson, and it means "something".We also have the new verb "minikwe", meaning "to drink".  So the sentence is "Would you like something to drink?"
F: Gegoo niwii-minikwen.
  • "I'd like something to drink."
M: Giwii-wiisin na?
  • In lesson 6 we learned that this means "Would you like something to eat?"
M: Miigwech. Gaawiin. Niwii-minkwe eta go.
  • "No, thank you. I just want to drink (something is understood)."
 F: Henyanh. Miigwech niibowa.
  • Another new word is "niibowa", meaning "much" or "a lot", so she is saying "Yes. Thanks a lot."
M: Ahaaw.
  • This is the last new word of the lesson, and it means, among many other things "OK". It is used by males. When used to reply to "Miigwech", it can be taken to mean "You're welcome."

New words this lesson:
  • gegoo - something
  • ahaaw - OK; alright [male usage]
  • gaye - also; too; and; as well
  • niibowa - much; a lot
  • minikwe - drink
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