I am only learning the Shawnee language and I am not an expert or a native speaker. I simply wanted to learn the language of my ancestors but found few resources for a beginner like myself. Those, I found, seemed just too complex. I was not a linguist and the explanations were way over my head. Perhaps the Shawnee language was just too hard for me to learn. Still, I knew that Shawnee children and captives learned this language. I needed to find an easier way,
I turned to those who wrote down the Shawnee words as they heard them long ago. All the words in these books originated from these sources:
Major Denny in 1786 was collected from the Grenadier’s Squaw for George Washington.
Albert Gatschet collected most of his work in 1880’s in three
Voegelin in the 1930’s.”Shawnee Stems and Jacob P. Dunn and
Miami Dictionary Chrisley, Ronald L. "Introduction the Shawnee Language 1992. He collected his words from the those above a few others.
I began collecting words and phrases for myself in a database on my computer and over time, I began to develope an understanding of the language.
Because Shawnee is not a written language, those who recorded the language wrote it down with different phonetic spellings. I changed some of the spellings to a more uniform spelling. I did not use linguistic symbols in an attempt to simplify the language to the common person.
I needed to find a way to use the words in every day conversation. I wanted words and phrases that I could use with my family on a daily basis. Languages are learned when they are spoken.
I began to group words and phrases in general categories of daily living. I selected words and phrases that allowed my family to speak Shawnee in meaningful sentences that could easily be incorporated into our daily lives.
From this, I wrote these booklets….
It is my hope that this booklet and others to come will assist you in keeping this language alive by learning the Shawnee language.
Kietakthutha giving a Shawnee History presentation
This is the Council house that my husband and I built on our acreage. Turtletown is our property combined with our neighbor and friend. We are often joined here with friends and family
We enjoy camping, drumming and singing.
Pesalo! (Take Care) Nikanaki (my friends)