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Ottawa Language

Spoken by the Ottawa Tribe
Thanks to Christopher Harvey for helping me with this language.

Boozhoo! or Aanii!

[boːʒoː, ɑːniː]          (bo-zho!, aah-nee!)

Note: There is no word for "Oklahoma" in Ottawa.


©2005 Benjamin Bruce. Some Rights Reserved.


Ottawa is very similar to Chippewa (Ojibwa), and is often considered a dialect of that language. Here are some links to websites about the Chippewa language in general.


Gii-pagdosed iidig gaa-dbikak. Mkoon iidig gaa-zhi-nkweshkwaad. "Aanpii-sh ezhaayin?" wdigoon-sh ge. "Ann Arbor," wdinaan ge. "Ka-ni-waawiidsemi," kido giiwenh wa mko.

So after it got dark he had to set out on foot. That's how he came to meet the bear. "Where are you going?" the bear asked. "Ann Arbor." "Why don't we walk together?" the bear suggested.

Source: Mithun, Marianne. 1999. The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Accessed at the Rosetta Project.

Ottawa alphabet (Nichols-Fiero orthography)


a aa e i ii o oo
[ʌ] [ɑː] [ɛː] [ɪ] [iː] [ʊ] [oː]


b ch d g h j
[b] [ʧ] [d] [g] [ʔ] [ʤ]
k m n (ng) p s
[kʰ] [m] [n, ˜] [ŋ] [pʰ] [s]
sh t w y z zh
[ʃ] [tʰ] [w] [j] [z] [ʒ]


  • enh is pronounced [ɛ̃ː].
  • n before some consonants indicates nasality; for example eny [ɛ̃ːj], ens [ɛ̃ːs]. The same is true with sh, z, and zh.


Contributed by Christopher Harvey.

Web Design by Benjamin Bruce