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Lënapei lixsuwakàn - Lenape LanguagePhoto by Benjamin Bruce

Spoken by the Delaware Tribe of Indians and the Western Delaware Nation
Thanks to Jim Rementer, Director of the Lenape Language Project, for helping me with this language.

Hè Oklahoma!

[he əükl̥ahəüma]          (hey oke-lah-ho-mah!)


©2003 Benjamin Bruce. Some Rights Reserved.

Sound recording of "hè"

Source: "Common Words and Phrases in Lenape." Internet: <http://www.delawaretribeofindians.nsn.us/language.html> January 29, 2006.



Wèmi pilët, ahi chitkwe
Kwishkwei piskèke
Sapëlee òkai nèk nisha
Pilsit mimëns ahi tànktitit
Nalai kawiyok
Nalai kawiyok.
All is calm, all is pure
The night is very silent
It is bright around the two
Pure child very small
Calmly they are sleeping
Calmly they are sleeping.

(First verse of "Kwishkwei Piskèke," the Lenape version of "Silent Night")

Source: "Kwishkwei Piskèke." Internet: <http://silentnight.web.za/translate/lenape.htm> January 29, 2006.

Common Words and Phrases

Click the Lenape word to hear pronunciation (WAV format)

Hello! (or) Hi!
Làpìch knewël I will see you again. (Goodbye)
tëmike Come in! (or) Go in!
lëmatahpi Sit down!
wëndaxa Come here!
mitsi Eat! (speaking to one person)
mitsikw You eat! (speaking to two or more)
mitsitàm Let's eat!
tukihëla Wake up!
taktani I don't know
ngatupwi I am hungry
ngatusëmwi I am thirsty
ngatungòm I am sleepy
mili kàpi Give me some coffee
Lënape nàn He (or she) is a Lenape
Lënape hàch nàn Is he a Lenape?
ktalënixsi hàch Do you speak Lenape?
kèxiti a little
kèku hàch lakeyu    What tribe (or nationality) is he?
wëli kishku It is a good day
lëlëwàxën There is a breeze
shëlànde It is a hot day
sukëlan It is raining
kwëti one
nisha two
naxa three
newa four
palenàxk five


Source: "Common Words and Phrases in Lenape - Page 1." Internet: <http://www.delawaretribeofindians.nsn.us/words.html> January 29, 2006.

Lenape alphabet

The Lenape Alphabet includes the following letters: a, ch, e, h, i, k, l, m, n, o, p, s, sh, t, u, w, x, y


a à e è ë i
[a] [ʌ] [e] [ɛ] [ə] [i]
ì o ò u ù
[ɪ] [əü] [o] [u] [ʊ]


ch h k l m n p
[ʧ] [h] [k] [l, l̥] [m] [n] [p]
s sh s'h t w x y
[s] [ʃ] [sh] [t] [w] [x] [j]

Special Consonant Combinations

mp nch nk ns nsh nt
[b, mb, mp] [ʤ, nʤ, nʧ] [g, ŋg, ŋk] [z, ns] [ʒ, nʃ] [d, nd, nt]


  • Stress normally falls on the next to last syllable, as in the words salàpòn (frybread) and tipas (chicken). If the vowel in the next to last syllable is an ë, the stress will often be placed on the preceding syllable.
  • The first pronunciation for the special consonant combinations is word-initial.
  • The second pronunciation for the special consonant combinations is word-final, in the middle of a word before a vowel, or before h or x.
  • The third (or second, if there is no third) pronunciation for the special consonant combinations is in the middle of the word before any consonant except h or x.
  • L is voiced when it occurs at the beginning of a word, or in the middle of a word before another consonant (except h or x).
  • L is voiceless when it occurs word-finally, between vowels, or before h or x.


©2006 Benjamin Bruce. Some Rights Reserved.

Source: "The Sounds of Lenape." Internet: <http://www.talk-lenape.com/lenape-spelling.pdf> January 29, 2006.

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