Han Kola! (Lakota) Oki Napi! (Blackfeet) Rockste! Friends (Iroquois) Pave-eseeva! — Good morning! (Cheyenne) Ka-hee hii-la! (hello young lady) (Crow)
Now, please bear with me. I’m not an expert on this subject, but in writing books about the above tribes, I have collected together a bit of their language. How one pronounces some of these words is best learned by going amongst the various tribes and listening and paying attention when they are speaking their own language.
But I thought it might be fun to have a look at some catch phrases from the various tribes.
While I won’t be able to say the same thing in all languages, here’s a few phrases:
Lakota: Hello! Women (Han) Men (Hau — pronounced how)
How are you? I am fine.
Toniktuka hwo? Ma tanyan yelo.
Crow: It rained yesterday.
Did you know that for the Crow and the Navajo, English is a second language?
Blackfeet: I said it. It is good.
Nitanistoo pa. Soak piiwa.
Here’s another one: Cheyenne: Let’s talk Cheyenne!
Iroquois: When will you come again?
Okay, now I’m going to teach you one that I use alot. It’s phrase in English is simly “Good.” Its use is to acknowledge something someone else has said or to simply say something is good.
The sign language is: This is from the online dictionary by William Tomkins (picture of the book cover below): “GOOD (meaning: level with the heart). Hold the flat right hand, back up, in front of and close to left breast, pointing to left; move hand briskly well out to front and to right, keeping it in a horizontal plane.”
As you do the above directions, one then says at the same time (depending on what tribe you are talking to):
E-peva e (Cheyenne)
Waste’ (Lakota or Sioux)
I truly hope I have intrigued you. One of the most fun things I’ve learned is a bit of sign language (this picture off to the side by the way is of myself and Patricia Running Crane Devereaux at Glacier Nat’l Park — right next to the Blackfeet rez). If you are intrigued by language or sign language, here are some books you might think of purchasing:
I have both of these books and they are terrific — great for learning, great for obtaining a little bit of first hand history and great for research. And of course, if you’re considering buying books at all, let’s not forget this one: 🙂
I will be on the road this day of posting, but do stop by and leave a message. Other fillies will be checking in and will really enjoy talking to you.
Have a super and magical day! Nitanistoo pa. Soak piiwa.