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.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Expressing want or willingness in the past

Recently on a language forum I frequent, a question came up about North American native languages and how they express a want or willingness to do something in the past.

In Ojibwe, expressing a want or willingness to do something is actually done by using the future tense. The example sentence "Niwii-anokii" means both "I want to work" and "I will work" / "I am going to work". If I wanted to say "I was going to work", I would simply replace "wii-" with "gii-", as well as add a consonant buffer between "ni" and "gii-", making the sentence "Ningii-anokii". Since expressing a desire to do something and stating you will do something in the future uses the same preverb, how would you go about expressing a past desire to do something? I was having trouble wrapping my head around exactly how to go about doing this. 

There's actually a very simple answer to this, and it seemed really awkward, until I got confirmation from a couple different sources. The amazingly simple answer is that you can simply chain the preverbs "gii-" (past) and "wii-" (future)! So if I wanted to say "I wanted to work" I would simply say "Ningiiwii-anokii". Why can I do this? Well, there are four types of preverbs. Both "gii-" and "wii-" fall into the first group or preverbs, meaning they represent tense, mode and aspect. Preverbs of the same family can be stacked, to put it succinctly. The negative of that sentence would simply follow the same rules that would be used in any other negative statement: Use "gaawiin", clause, and end the verb stem ("anokii" in this case) with the usual "sii". So if I want to say "I didn't want to work", it would be "Gaawiin ningiiwii-anokiisii". From there, you can take it further by using an adverb, such as "anymore" (zhigwa) or "never" (gaawiin/gaa wiikaa). I mention this because in the forum discussion, the question actually asked for examples of "I stopped wanting to work". The deeper I get into Ojibwe, the more I discover that you just can't translate literally (Ojibwe is far from alone in this). 

Again, there's a really simple way to express the same sentiment. In short, you just don't use "stop", which, by the way, is another preverb, but does not express tense ("booni-"). It's much easier to use an adverb, such as "anymore" or "never" together with the regular negative statement.

So to say "I didn't want to work anymore" would be "Gaawiin ningiiwii-anokiisii zhigwa", while "I didn't ever want to work" would be "Gaawiin wiikaa ningiiwii-anokiisii". Notice that instead of using "gaa wiikaa" at the end of the sentence, it's incorporated into the initial "gaawiin".

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Starting to read in Ojibwe

It's been a while since I've completed the Pimsleur course, although I probably should still write up a final review post for the last ten lessons, and maybe even the last two lessons. Truthfully, the last two Pimsleur lessons don't teach anything new. They just reinforce what's already been learned throughout the course.

A while back I purchased the book "Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales & Oral Histories (Native Voices)" and have started to go through it. It's a great collection of stories, written in Ojibwe with English translation, that, if what I'm seeing now is any indication, will really push my Ojibwe knowledge forward. The book also includes a glossary at the end for vocabulary look-ups.

So with this post I'd like to go over a short passage and include my own comments and observations. The format I think I'd like to use for posts like this is to quote the entire passage, first in Ojibwe, then in English. I'll then follow up with a line-by-line dissection of the text. Keep in mind that a lot of times there's just isn't an elegant way to map translations between the two languages, so these dissections will seem very unnatural at times.

This first passage is relatively simple, as far as Ojibwe goes. But it hits upon a couple of important language points, that are repeated and reinforced throughout. 


Akawe niwii-tibaajim o’ow gaa-izhiwebiziyaan o’ow isa gii-oshki-bimaadiziyaan.
Gaawiin ingikendanziin aandi gaa-tazhi-ondaadiziyaan—gemaa gaye wiigiwaaming gaa-tazhi-ondaadiziwaanen gemaa gaye nisawa’ogaaning gemaa gaye iwidi ingoji megwekob gemaa gaye.
Mii iwidi gaa-tazhi-ondaadiziwaambaanen.
Baanimaa ashi-niiyo-biboonagiziyaan, mii apii waakaa’igaans noosiban gaa-ozhitood. 
Mii apii gii-ayaayaang.
Ishkweyaang, mii apane wiigiwaaming ingii-taamin. 
Mii dash imaa gaa-tazhi-nitaawigiyaan imaa, imaa sa Inaandagokaag ezhinikaadeg.
Mewinzha ingii-tazhi-ondaadiz. 
Ingitiziimag igaye imaa ginwenzh omaa gii-tanakiiwag, nayenzh igo.
Noosiban, iwidi sa Misi-zaaga’iganiing ezhinikaadeg, mii iwidi gaa-tazhi-ondaadizid a’aw noosiban.
Mii dash imaa, midaaswi-ashi-zhaangaso-biboonagizid, mii imaa gii-wiidigemaad nimaamaayibanen. 
Miish omaa gii-ayaad biinish gii-maajaad.
Miinawaa onow oniijaanisan gii-shaangachiwan oniijaanisan, ingitiziimag.

Where We Were Born

First of all, I am going to talk about what happened with me when I was young. 
I don’t know where I was born—in a bark lodge, or maybe I was born in a lodge with a peaked roof, or maybe somewhere in the woods. 
That’s where I must have been born.
Later on, when I was fourteen years old, my father made a house. 
We stayed there at that time. 
Before that we had always lived in bark lodges. 
Then I was born there, there at Balsam Lake as it’s called. 
I was born a long time ago. 
And both of my parents lived here for a long time.
My father, he was born over there at Mille Lacs as it is called. 
Then, when he was nineteen years old, there he married my mother. 
Then he stayed here until he left [for the spirit world]. 
And my parents had nine children.

  • I touched on how to form the basic past tense in my posting titled "Basic past tense (VAI)" before, but didn't talk about vowel changes between "gii-" and "gaa-". This often happens when using the conjunct form of the verb (in this case, ondaadizi). There's also another important consonant change in the second preverb, "tazhi-". The actual preverb is "dazhi-" and means "in a certain place". Finally, the conjugation of "ondaadizi" uses the exclusive "we", so it looks something like this: Past tense preverb [gaa-]-in a certain place (dazhi-[consonant shift])-we (exclusive) were born [ondaadiziyaang] (conjunct).
  • Akawe niwii-tibaajim o’ow gaa-izhiwebiziyaan o’ow isa gii-oshki-bimaadiziyaan.
    • "Tiibajim" is another example of a consonant shift from "d" to "t", so "niwii-tiibajim" is "I will talk about". "Izhiwebizi" means "a certain thing that happened". We also have another vowel change from "gii-" to "gaa-" in the past tense preverb. It might be helpful to equate the vowel change in the past tense preverb when the verb it's affixed to implies a "what", "when", "how", "who", etc. So "gaa-izhiwebiziyaan" would be "*what* happened".  We also have an intensifier "isa" for "o'ow" (this). The "oshki-" preverb means "new" or "young". So the structure of the sentence would be like this:  First I will talk about this what happened when I was young".
  • Gaawiin ingikendanziin aandi gaa-tazhi-ondaadiziyaan—gemaa gaye wiigiwaaming gaa-tazhi-ondaadiziwaanen gemaa gaye nisawa’ogaaning gemaa gaye iwidi ingoji megwekob gemaa gaye.
    • "Gaawiin ingikendanziin" is familiar enough. It was introduced in Pimsleur lesson 6. The next new bit of vocabulary we have here is "gemaa gaye". It's used when listing off possibilities, such as "maybe this... or maybe this... or maybe that". The construction of the sentence would be something like this: I don't know when past tense preverb-in a certain place-I was born (conjunct) - or maybe in a bark lodge, or maybe I was born in a lodge with a peaked roof, or maybe there somewhere/anywhere in the woods (in the brush/thicket), maybe and/also.
  • Mii iwidi gaa-tazhi-ondaadiziwaambaanen.
    • The intensifier "mii" was introduced in Pimsleur lesson 5. The sentence construction would look like this: So there past tense preverb-in that certain place-I must have been born.
  • Baanimaa ashi-niiyo-biboonagiziyaan, mii apii waakaa’igaans noosiban gaa-ozhitood. 
    • When talking about a person's age, the number of years is used as a preverb affixed to the verb "biboonagizi", meaning "is a number of years old". So the construction would be: Later fourteen-at number of years old (conjunct), at that time a house my father built (ozhitoon).
  • Mii apii gii-ayaayaang.
    • This construction is straight forward. "So then we stayed there."  
  • Ishkweyaang, mii apane wiigiwaaming ingii-taamin. 
    • "Ishkweyaang" is another new word, meaning "before that (time)". So the sentence construction is: Before that, always/continually in a bark lodge I did live.
  • Mii dash imaa gaa-tazhi-nitaawigiyaan imaa, imaa sa Inaandagokaag ezhinikaadeg.
    • "Nitaawigi" literally means "grow up", but here it translates as "be born". "Sa", reinforces "imaa" to mean "there." Here is how the sentence is constructed: And then there in that certain place I grew up, there at Balsam Lake as it is called.
  • Mewinzha ingii-tazhi-ondaadiz. 
    • Another new word, "mewingzha", means "A long time ago", and we also have the more usual use of "ondaadiz" for "is born". An easy to decipher sentence, for a change: A long time ago I was born.
  • Ingitiziimag igaye imaa ginwenzh omaa gii-tanakiiwag, nayenzh igo.
    • We have another new word for "parents", "ingitiziimag". Also notice the consonant shift from "danakii" to "tanakii", meaning "live in a certain place". We also have "nayenzh", meaning "both" and reinforced by "igo". Think of "igo" as something along the lines of "of them". So here is the word order of the sentence: My parents also for a long time here lived in this certain place, both.
  • Noosiban, iwidi sa Misi-zaaga’iganiing ezhinikaadeg, mii iwidi gaa-tazhi-ondaadizid a’aw noosiban.
    •   I didn't mention this in the sentence above referencing Balsam lake, but when you see "ezhinikaadeg" after a place name, it often means "so-called", or "as it is called", but literally means "thus" or "so". Here is the sentence order: My father, over there in Mille Lacs as it is called, was born there, my father.
  • Mii dash imaa, miish imaa midaaswi-ashi-zhaangaso-biboonagizid, mii imaa gii-wiidigemaad nimaamaayibanen. 
    • "Miish" means "it was so", or "and then". We also have another new word for "marry" or "is married", "wiidige". "Nimaamaayibanen" is easy enough to figure out that "my mother is involved, but the "yibanen" ending denotes that the action was done to her. And then there, it was such that at nineteen years old, there he married (conjunct) my mother. 
  • Miish omaa gii-ayaad biinish gii-maajaad.
    • "Biinish" means "until". Also, "majaa" means leaves" or "departs", but is used in the sense that a person has died and moved on. Thus: It was such here he was (he stayed/lived) until he departed (he died). 
  • Miinawaa onow oniijaanisan gii-shaangachiwan oniijaanisan, ingitiziimag.
    • "Shaagachiwan" also represents another consonant shift from "zhaagachiwan" after the "gii-" past tense preverb, and the "an" ending denotes plural. So the final sentence structure would be: And/also these children were nine children (born), by my parents.


What's the big takeaway from this reading? Well, for me it's the consonant changes and liberal use of emphatic words. I'm finding the liberal use of emphatic words particularly helpful.

It's impossible for me to decide which vocabulary is new for other people, so I'll only include a list of new vocabulary that's relevant to me. But keep in mind that any vocabulary not referenced in this list has probably already been covered in the Pimsleur lessons or in some of my supplemental material on this blog.

New vocabulary:
  • dibaajim - talk about [something], tell of [something]
  • gemaa gaye - or maybe
  • ishkweyaang - before that time, before then
  • ozhitoon - build
  • nitaawigi - grow up, be born
  • mewingzha - a long time ago
  • ingitiziimag - my parents
  • danakii - live in a certain place
  • miish imaa - it was so, and so
  • wiidige - marry, is married
  • biinish - until

Friday, February 22, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 28

A very short lesson today. Only two new verbs, one of which I've added at the end of the lesson.

Dialog - 

M: Gidanokii na?
F: Gidaa-anokii.
F: Nimaamaa ashange.
F: Maamaanaan ashange.
M: Aaniindi wii-ashanged? (Not part of Pimsleur)
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a line-by-line breakdown:

M: Gidanokii na?
  • Are you going to go to work?
F: Gidaa-anokii.
  • You should go to work.
F: Nimaamaa ashange.
  • The new verb "ashange" means to serve food or to feed. She says " My mother is serving food."
F: Maamaanaan ashange.
  • Grandmother is serving food.
M: Aaniindi wii-ashanged? (I've added this myself as an example of using the verb in a question.)
  • When will she serve food?

New words this lesson:
  • ashange - feed, serve food

Other vocabulary:
  • naboobiike - make soup
  • gichi-oginii-naboob - tomato soup
    • Geyaabi imbakade, - I'm still hungry. 
    • Giwii-naboobiike na? - Will you make some soup?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Forming questions, Part 2 - past and future tenses

Back in "Forming basic questions, Part 1", we learned how to form basic questions, using specific questions words, such as "What", "Where", "How", "When", etc. But we only learned how to form questions using these words in the present tense.

When we form questions in the past or future tense using these questions words, we need to use different tense markers. It's not difficult, just something we need to be aware of.

The basic rules for using past or future tense markers with one of these question words are:
  • The past tense question marker "gii-" changes to "gaa-".
  • The future tense questions marker "ga-" changes to "ge-".
  • The future tense question marker "da-" changes to "ge-".
  • The future desiderative tense marker "wii-" changes to "waa-".

Here are some examples of how these work:
  • Aaniin gaa-ezhiwebag bijiinaago? - How was the weather yesterday?
  • Aaniin ge-ezhiwebag waabang? - How will the weather be tomorrow?
  • Aaniin gaa-ikidoyan? - What did you say (implied: a while ago)?
  • ikido - say
    • Aaniin gaa-ikidod awedi inini? - What did that man over there say?
    • Aaniin waa-ikidoyan? - What are you going to say?
    • Aaniin ge-ikidoyan? - What will you say?
  • izhichige - do [SOMETHING]
    • Aaniin gaa-izhichigeyan bijiinaago? - What did you do yesterday?
All of these examples use "Aaniish", but the same rules apply when we use "Aaniindi",  "Aaniish apii", "Awenen", and "Wegonen".

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 27

This lesson is about introductions. I don't really know why Pimsleur waited until so late in the course to teach them. I personally think they should have been introduced way back when Giniw and Waabigwan met each other.

I've also included vocabulary and examples at the end of the lesson for work, both as a noun and as a verb.

Dialog -

M: Aaniish ezhinikaazoyan?
F: Waabigwan indizhinikaaz.
M: Giniw indizhinikaaz.
F: Awenen gidoodem?
M: Maang nindoodem.
F: Giigoonh nindoodem.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a breakdown, line by line:

M: Aaniish ezhinikaazoyan?

  • The new verb ezhinikaazo, be called is introduced here. He's asking "What is your name? (Literally, it's "What are you named/called?")
F: Waabigwan indizhinikaaz.
  • She answers "My name is/I am called Waabigwan."
M: Giniw indizhinikaaz.
  • He says "My name is/I am called Giniw/"
F: Awenen gidoodem?
  • Here, we use the question word "Who" because our next new word - doodem, meaning "clan", is based on the belief that a human being became a certain other being, or animal. She's asking "What clan do you belong to?" (Literally "Who is your clan?")
M: Maang nindoodem.
  • Maang means "loon", He answers "I am from the Loon clan."
F: Giigoonh nindoodem.
  • Giigoonh means "fish". She says "I am from the Fish clan."

New words this lesson:
  • awenen - who
  • doodem - clan
  • maang - loon
  • giigoonh - fish
  • izhinikaazo - be called, be named
  • bimose- walk

Other vocabulary:
  • anokii - work (verb)
  • Bi-anokiin. - Come and work. (Bi- introduced in Summary, Lessons 1-10)
    • Ningii-anokii dibikong. - I worked last night.
    • Ningii-gichi-anokii. - I worked hard/I worked a lot.
    • Nitaa-anokii. - He/She works frequently/often.
  • anokiiwin - work, job (noun)
  • maajaa - leave, depart (introduced in Lesson 14)
    • Nimaajaa nindanokiiwing. - I'm going to (my) work.
    • Ishkwaa-wiisiniyaan, niwii-majaa nindanokiiwing. - I'll go to work after I eat.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 26

In this lesson we talk about feeling cold, and I also add a couple examples of cold weather at the end, using a new clause-builder, or connector - "because" or "that's why". We also learn how to ask what's happening and how to answer.

Dialog -
M: Aaniish apii wii-piindigewaad?
F: Gigiikaji na?
M: Enh, ingiikaj.
F: Gaawiin, ingiikajisii.
F: Aaniish ezhiwebak?
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a line-by-line breakdown:

M: Aaniish apii wii-piindigewaad?
  • Because "wii-" is affixed to "bindige", the "b" changes to a "p". He says "When are they coming?"
F: Gigiikaji na?
  • Here's a new verb, "giikaji" be or feel cold.  She's asking "Are you cold?"
M: Henh, ingiikaj.
  • Yes, I'm cold. (Notice the way the verb is conjugated.)
F: Gaawiin, ingiikajisii.
  • And the negative response "No, I'm not cold." (Notice that an "i" is inserted before the negative suffix "sii".)
F: Aaniish ezhiwebak?
  • Here's another new verb - izhiwebad, meaning "happens". She's asking "What's happening?/What's new?" (Again, notice that because we're using a question word, we need to conjugate the verb in the conjunct form.)

New words this lesson:
  • gimiwan - be raining
  • giikaji - feel cold, be feeling cold
  • izhiwebad - happen so, be an event

Other vocabulary:
  • gaawiin gegoo - nothing
  • ganage - in the least, at all
  • Aaniish ezhiwebak? Gaawiin ganage gegoo. - What's happening? Nothing at all.
  • wenji- that's why/because **
  • Gisinaa agwajiing wenji-zoogipon. - It's cold out, that's why it's snowing.
  • ondin - wind comes from [A CERTAIN DIRECTION]
  • giwedin - north
  • Giiwedinong ondaanimad wenji-gisinaag. - The wind is from the north, that's why it's cold.

** A note on wenji- :

As far as I can tell, there is no straightforward way to say "because" in Ojibwe. It's translated more as "that's why", so usually we see the clauses reversed from what they would be in English.

So "Gisinaa agwajiing wenji-zoogipon." can mean either "It's cold out, that's why it's snowing." or "It's snowing because it's cold out." and "Giiwedinong ondaanimad wenji-gisinaag." can mean either "The wind is from the north, that's why it's cold." or "It's cold because the wind is from the north."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 25

This really should have been combined with Lesson 24, since Pimsleur only introduces the animate form of the verb "smells good" and an animate noun. I've added a few more vocabulary examples to play with, and how to form the compound noun for [animal-] meat.

Dialog -

F: Minomaate i'iw waawaashkeshiiwi-wiiyaas.
M: Minomaaso a'aw ogaa.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Here's a line-by-line breakdown:

F: Minomaate i'iw waawaashkeshiiwi-wiiyaas.
  • "Waawaashkeshiiwi-wiiyaas" is a combination of "deer" and "meat" (although, see below). She's saying "That deer meat smells good."
M: Minomaaso a'aw ogaa.
  • Here, "ogaa" (walleye) is an animate noun, so we need to use an animate form of the verb "smells good" - "minomaaso". In addition, we need to use the animate version of "that" - "a'aw". He says "That walleye smells good."  

New words this lesson:
  • waawaashkeshiiwi-wiyaas - venison, deer-meat
  • ogaa - walleye, walleyed-pike
  • minomaaso - SOMETHING (animate) smells good


Often, when we want to talk about specific meats, we use the animal name and turn it into a verb, for example: waawaashkeshiiwi-wiyaas is deer+the verb wi (be [SOMETHING])-wiiyaas. So waawaashkeshiiwi then becomes a sort of preverb adjective for wiiyaas. In effect, what we're saying is "the deering meat" and not "deer-meat".

Other vocabulary:
  • bizhiki - cow
  • makwa - bear
  • baaka'aakwenh - chicken
  • gookooshi - pork
  • bizhikiwi-wiiyaas - beef
  • mako-wiiyaas - bear meat
  • baaka'aakwenh-wiiyaas - chicken meat
  • gookooshi-wiiyaas - pork
  • ode'imin - strawberry
Here is another take on "smell":
  • minomaam - enjoy the smell of SOMETHING
    • Niminomaamaa ode'iminan. - I like the smell of strawberries.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 24

In this lesson, we do a little bit more practice with the imperative, and we also get some exposure to a VII verb and how it interacts with an inanimate object. I've included the relevant animate examples also in the vocabulary section, but there will be examples of their use in Lesson 25.

Dialog -

M: Biindigen!
F: Namadabin!
F: Wegonen menomaateg?
M: Minomaate i'iw wiiyaas.
M: Maamaanaan nitaa-jiibaakwe
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here'a breakdown, line by line:

M: Biindigen!
  • This was introduced in Lesson 19: "Enter/Come in!"
F: Namadabin!
  • This was originally introduced in Summary, Lessons 1-10, but came up again in Lesson 19: "Sit!"
F: Wegonen minomaateg?
  • minomaateg is actually a combination of the preverb "mino" and the verb "maate", meaning "smells good". I should note that "maate" one of a group a verbs that cannot be used on its own - it must be used with a preverb. She is asking "What smells so good?" Also notice that since we're using a question word, the verb must be in the conjunct (B-form) conjugation.
M: Minomaate i'iw wiiyaas.
  • The word "i'iw" means "that", when referring to inanimate objects. "wiiyaas" means "meat (that is being cooked". So he's saying "That meat smells good."
M: Maamaanaan nitaa-jiibaakwe.
  • "nitaa-" is a great preverb to know. it means to be good/an expert at [SOMETHING]. He's saying "Grandma is a great cook." Since nitaa- is attached to a verb, we could also think of it as "Grandma is great at cooking."

New words this lesson:
  • nitaa- - skilled-, good at ...
  • i'iw - that (inanimate)
  • a'aw - that (animate)
  • wiiyaas(an) - meat (inanimate)
  • wiiyaas(ag) - flesh (animate)
  • namadabi - sit (introduced in Summary, Lessons 1-10
  • minomaate - SOMETHING smells good
  • jiibaakwe - cook, prepare food (introduced in Summary, Lessons 1-10

Other vocabulary:
  • gagwejichige - practice, try
    • Giishpin gigagwejichige, giwii-nitaa-ojibwem. - If you practice, you'll speak Ojibwe well.

Note on intensifiers:

  • Gichi-minomaate! - It smells really good! (gichi- can be added to VII type verbs as an intensifier.)
otherwise use niibowa following a VAI verb:
  • Imbakade niibowa. - I'm really hungry.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

VTA verbs

It occurred to me after writing yesterday's post that I should probably start to document how verb forms other than VAI are handled and conjugated. We've already seen several VTA verbs in previous lessons. These are verbs that were introduced in Lesson 23:
  • nooji' - seek, hunt, go after
  • nandawaabam - look for, search for, track
  • maakinaw - (shoot and) wound
  • waabam - see
Where VAI verbs generally have no object in a clause, VTA verbs do, specifically animate objects.

Conjugation of VTA verbs is regular, but handled differently. In VTA verbs, the main thing to remember is that the conjugation matches the object as well as the subject.

The list of conjugations I'm including is not complete. It only includes the nouns we've already covered - 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular for the subject and 2nd and 3rd person plural. I am, however, including a new construct - the reflexive pronoun for myself and yourself (-idiz(o)).

I will most likely use the information in this post to create a static page as I've done for VAI verbs.

Let's take the verb see someone - waabaam:

Independent order:

  • i see myself - niwaabamidiz 
  • i see you (singl.) - giwaabamin
  • i see him - niwaabamaa
  • i see you (pl.) - giwaabamininim
  • i see them - niwaabamaag
  • you (singl.) see me - giwaabam 
  • you (singl.) see yourself - giwaabamidiz
  • you (singl.) see him - giwaabamaa
  • you (singl.) see them - giwaabamaag
  • he sees me - niwaabamig
  • he sees you (singl.) - giwaabamig
  • he sees himself - waabamidizo
  • he sees you (pl.) - giwaabamigoowaa 

  • i don't see myself - niwaabamidizosii
  • i don't see you (singl.) - giwaabamisiinon
  • i don't see him - niwaabamaasii
  • i don't see you (pl.) - giwaabamisinoonim 
  • i don't see them - niwaabamaasiig
  • you (singl.) don't see me - giwaabamisii
  • you (singl.) don't see yourself - giwaabamidizosii
  • you (singl.) don't see him - giwaabamaasii
  • you (singl.) don't see them - giwaabamaasiig
  • he doesn't see me - niwaabamigosii
  • he doesn't see you (singl.) - giwaabamigosii
  • he doesn't see himself - waabamidizosii
  • he doesn't see you (pl.) - giwaabamigoosiiwaa

Conjunct order:

  • i see myself - waabamidizoyaan
  • i see you (singl.) - waabaminan
  • i see him - waabamag
  • i see you (pl.) - waabamininagog
  • i see them - waabamagwaa
  • you (singl.) see me - waabamiyan
  • you (singl.) see yourself - waabamidizoyan
  • you (singl.) see him - waabamad
  • you (singl.) see them - waabamadwaa
  • he sees me - waabamid
  • he sees you (singl.) - waabamik
  • he sees himself - waabamidizod
  • he sees you (pl.) - waabamineg
  • he sees them - waabamaad

  • i don't see myself - waabamidizosiwaan
  • i don't see you (singl.) - waabamisinowaan
  • i don't see him - waabamaasiwag 
  • i don't see you (pl.) - waabamisinoonagog
  • i don't see them - waabamaasiwagwaa
  • you (singl.) don't see me - waabamisiwan
  • you (singl.) don't see yourself - waabamidizosiwan
  • you (singl.) don't see him - waabamaasiwad
  • you (singl.) don't see them - waabamaasiwadwaa
  • he doesn't see me - waabamisig
  • he doesn't see you (singl.) - waabamisinog
  • he doesn't see himself - waabamidizosig
  • he doesn't see you (pl.) - waabamisinoweg 
  • he doesn't see them - waabamaasig

And here are some example sentences to put these conjugations to work:
  • Ningikenimaa - I know him/her
  • Gigikenimaa - You know him/her
  • Ogikenimaan - S/he knows him/her
  • Ningikenimaag - I know them
  • Gigikenimaag - You know them
  • Ogikenimaan - S/he knows him/her/them

Tense prefixes are constructed just as they would be in the present tense, that is: personal prefix+tense prefix+verb stem.
  • Gigii-gikenimaag ina? - Did you know them?
  • Henh, nigii-gikenimaag. - Yes, I knew them.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 23

This lesson is all about hunting and fishing. In addition to the regular verb "giwose" (hunt), I've included more specific verbs and examples at the end of the lesson.

Dialog -

F: Ningii-waabamaa waawaashkeshi.
M: Ningii-waabamaag niswi waawaashkeshiwag.
M: Giwii-kiiwose na?
F: Gaawiin, niwii-kiiwosesii.
F: Henyaanh, niwii-kiiwose.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

And here's the line-by-line breakdown:

F: Ningii-waabamaa waawaashkeshi.
  • Two new words, "waabam" (see somebody/something animate) and "waawaashkeshi" (deer). She says "I was a deer."
M: Ningii-waabamaag niswi waawaashkeshiwag.
  • Here's a plural example: "I saw three deer." Notice that the verb "waabam" and  "waawaashkeshi" match in plural.
M: Giwii-kiiwose na?
  • Here, "giiwose" changes to "kiiwose" when the prefix "giwii-" is added to ease pronunciation. He says "Are you going to hunt?"  
F: Gaawiin, niwii-kiiwosesii.
  • "No, I am not going to hunt."
F: Henyaanh, niwii-kiiwose.
  • "Yes, I'm going to hunt."

New words this lesson:
  • waawaashkeshi - deer

Other vocabulary:
  • esiban - raccoon
  • waagosh - fox
    • Giwii-waabamaa esiban maagizhaa waagosh. - You'll see a raccoon or maybe a fox. (see the Animals page for other examples:)

In addition to the generic "giwose" (hunt) verb, there are more specific ways to say you're hunting for something. Here are some examples:

  • nandawaabam - look for, search for, track
  • maakinaw - wound
    • Onandawaabamaan iniw gaa-maakinawaad waawaashkeshiwan. - He's looking for the deer he wounded.

The following incorporate both verb and object into a single word (however, notice the use of "nand" and "nood"):

  • nandawenjige - hunt for fish for food
  • nandawishibe - hunt ducks
  • nandawaaboozwe - hunt rabbits
  • noodamikwe - hunt beaver
  • giniizhe - northern pike
  • agwadaashi - sunfish
  • nooji' - hunt for, go after (this verb is conjugated differently than others we've seen so far. See The Ojibwe People's Dictionary for conjugations.)
    • Mekiskanikewaad onooji'aawaan ginoozhen. - Anglers fish for northern pikes.** Notice that the verb and object (ginoozhe) match as plural.
    • Bijiinaago ingii-nooji'aag agwadaashiwag. - Yesterday I fished for sunfish (plural). ** Notice that the verb and object (agwadaashi) match as plural.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 22

This lesson is very short, concentrating on the "Let's" form of the imperative, and also introduces an important preverb meaning "go and...", as well as another verb.

I'm not adding any extra material to this lesson, because tomorrow's lessons will have plenty to work with.

Dialog -

M: Ambe! Awi-giiwosedaa.
F: Giwii-wewebanaabi na?
M: Ambe! Awi-wewebanaabiidaa!
* * * * * * * * * * * *

And here's the line-by-line breakdown:

M: Ambe! Awi-giiwosedaa.

  • Here we'rre introduced to the preverb "awi-", meaning "go and...". He is saying "Come on, let's go and hunt."
F: Giwii-wewebanaabi na?
  • Another new verb meaning to fish is introduced here. She's asking "Are you going fishing?"
M: Ambe! Awi-wewebanaabiidaa!
  • Here we'll take advantage of both the new preverb and verb in the example. He's saying "Com on! Let's go and fish!"

New words this lesson:
  • awi- - go and ... [DO SOMETHING]
  • wewebanaabii - fish [by hook and line]

Monday, February 11, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 21

Another very short dialog example in this lesson. The Pimsleur opening dialog is actually quite long, but everything in the dialog has been covered in previous lessons. The example that follows are for the most part new words and concepts. At the end of the lesson I also introduce three different ways to ask "Why?" and give examples.

Dialog - 
M: Nishwaaswaabik na gidayaawaa?
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Aaniish apii wii-kiiwoseyan?
M: Ishkwaa wiisiniyaan.
F: Aaniindi wii-kiiwoseyan?
M: Iwidi.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a line-by-line breakdown:

M: Nishwaaswaabik na gidayaawaa?
  • A new word, nishwaaswi, combined with waabik to create "eight dollars". He's asking "Do yo have eight dollars?"
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Aaniish apii wii-kiiwoseyan?

  • Another new word - a verb, giiwose, meaning hunt. She asks "When are you going hunting?"
M: Ishkwaa wiisiniyaan.
  • Afer I eat.
F: Aaniindi wii-kiiwoseyan?
  • As in the previous example, since it's a question word, we need to use the conjunct form of verb conjugation. She asks "Where will you hunt?/Where are you going to hunt?"
M: Iwidi.
  • Over there.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
New words this lesson:
  • nishwaaswi - eight
  • zhaangaswi-  nine (nine dollars is formed the same as eight dollars: zhaangaswaabik)
  • giiwose - hunt

Other vocabulary:
  • mawi - cry
  • ikido - say
  • wegonen pro+onji-(wenji) - why
    • Wegonen wenji-ikidoyan iw? - Why do you say that?
  • aaniin-wenji - why
    • Aaniin wenji-maajaayan? - Why are you leaving?
  • aaniin dash wenji - why
    • Aaniin dash wenji-mino-ayaasiwan? - Why are you not feeling well?
    • Aaniin dash wenji-mawiyan? - Why are you crying?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pimsleur Ojibwe Summary, Lessons 11-20

Just as I've done for Lessons 1-10, I've compiled a short list of all grammatical parts we've learned so far in Lessons 11-20. Again, the brown text is what we've actually learned through the Pimsleur course, noted with the lesson number, and the text in green is new vocabulary and example sentences I've added. Hopefully I'm able to show how easily a Pimelsur course can be augmented, without all that much extra work. Each lesson's supplementary material needed maybe a half hour more of time each day to compile and practice.

Here's what we learned in lessons 11 through 20:

gichi- - great, very, big, a lot, Talk about the weather
oshki- - new, Lesson 15, Supplement
daa- - should; might; would, Lesson 16
gaa- -will; shall; should, Lesson 16

ando- - go and do [something], Lesson 19, Supplement
booni- - stop [doing something], Lesson 19, Supplement

maagizhaa - maybe, perhaps, Lesson 11
zhebaa - this [past] morning, Lesson 13
waabang - tomorrow; dawn; morning, Lesson 13
waabang gigizheb - tomorrow morning, Lesson 13
gigizheb - morning; early morning, Lesson 13
ishkwaa- - after; completed; end of..., Lesson 13
jibwaa- - before, Lesson 13, Supplement
dibikak - dark; tonight, Lesson 14
ishkwaa-dibikak - after dark, Lesson 14, Supplement
jibwaa-dibikak - before dark, Lesson 14, Supplement

giishpin - if, Lesson 14, Supplement
aazha - already, Talk about the weather
megwaa - right now, Talk about the weather

minik - amount, Lesson 16
bijiinango - yeaterday, Basic past tense (VAI)
dibikong - last night, Basic past tense (VAI)

akawe - first; first of all, Lesson 19

gego - don't, Lesson 19, Supplement
ambe - come, come on, Lesson 20

asemaa - tobacco, Lesson 12
maamaanaan - grandmother, Lesson 12

bakwezhigan - bread, Lesson 12, Supplement
doodooshaaboo-bimide - butter, Lesson 12, Supplement
waawan/waawanoon - egg/eggs, Lesson 12, Supplement
gitigaanens/gitigaanensan - vegetable/vegetables, Lesson 12, Supplement

baabaanaan - grandfather (also means father), Lesson 13
niizh - two, Lesson 14
makizin/makizinan - shoe; moccasin, Lesson 15

mazina'igan/mazina'iganan - book, Lesson 15, Supplement
mazinaatesijigan/mazinaatesijiganan - television set, Lesson 15, Supplement
animosh/animoshag - dog, Lesson 15, Supplement
gaazhagens/gaazhagensag - cat, Lesson 15, Supplement
bineshiinh/bineshiinyag - bird, Lesson 15, Supplement

bezhig - one, Lesson 16
nimisenh - my older sister, Lesson 16
waabik - dollar, Lesson 16

gigozis - your son, Lesson 16, Supplement
nindaais - my daughter, Lesson 16, Supplement
obaabaayan - his father, Lesson 16, Supplement

midaaswi - ten, Lesson 17
zhooniyaa - silver; money, Lesson 17
opin/opiniig - potato; tuber, Lesson 18
maamaa - Lesson 18
niswi - three, Lesson 19
niiwin - four, Lesson 19
naanan - five, Lesson 19
ingodwaaswi - six, Lesson 20
niizhwaaswi - seven, Lesson 20

pronouns and demonstratives
wa'aw[e] - this, Lesson 16, Supplement
i'iw[e] - that, Lesson 16, Supplement
ni- - my, Lesson 16, Supplement
gi- - your, Lesson 16, Supplement
o--an - his/hers, Lesson 16, Supplement

naawakwe-wiisini - eat lunch, eat at midday, eat at noon, Lesson 11
naawakwe - be noon, be midday, Lesson 11izhichige - do [SOMETHING], Lesson 12
adaawe - buy, sell, traffic, trade, Lesson 12
niimi'idim - be a pow-wow, Lesson 14
biindige - enter; go in, Lesson 14
miigiwe - present; give, gift, contribute, Lesson 14

maajaa - leave, depart, Lesson 14, Supplement
anwaataa - finish, Lesson 14, Supplement

mino-giizhigad - a good/nice day, Talk about the weather
biiwan - blizzard, Talk about the weather
mizhakwad - clear, Talk about the weather
gisinaa - cold, Talk about the weather
gizhide - hot, Talk about the weather
gimiwan - raining, Talk about the weather
zoogipon - snowing, Talk about the weather
noodin - windy, Talk about the weather
nagamo - sing, Lesson 15, Supplement

biidoon - bring [SOMETHING], Lesson 16
biinaa - bring [SOMEBODY], Lesson 16
biigoshkaa - be broke, Lesson 17
ayaaw - have SOMETHING, Lesson 17
wiijiiw - go with [SOMEBODY], Lesson 19

abi - sit, Lesson 19, Supplement
zaagaam - go outside, Lesson 19, Supplement
giiwe - go home, Lesson 19, Supplement
goshgozi - wake up, Lesson 20, Supplement
gawishimo - lie down, go to bed, Lesson 20, Supplement
zhaaganaashiimo - speak English, Lesson 20, Supplement

Phrases learned in Lessons 11 through 20:

Lesson 11
Giwii-naawakwe-wiisin na?/Niwii-naawakwe-wiisin.
Wegonen waa-minikweyan aniibiishaaboo maagizhaa nibi?

Maagizhaa niwii-babaamose.
Wegonen waa-minikweyan, makade-mashkikiwaaboo maagizhaa doodooshaaboo?

Lesson 12
Niwii-izhichige gegoo.
Aniish waa-izhichigeyan?
Niwii-adaawen gegoo.
Wegonen waa-adaaweyan?
Asemaa niwii-adaawen.

Bakwezhigan niwii-adaawen.
Aaniin ezhichigeyan?

Lesson 13
Aaniish apii wii-niimi'idiwaad?

Oodenaang jibwaa-izhaayaan, niwii-jiibaakwe.
Jibwaa-wiisiniyan, giwii-minikwen gegoo?
Ishkwaa-wiisiniyaan, niwii-nibaa.

Lesson 14
Aaniinidi niimi'iding?
Aaniish apii wii-biindigewaad?
Wii-miigiwewag na?/Wii-miigiwewag.

Ishkwaa-dibikak, aaniish niimi'idiwaad?
Niwii-maajaa jibaa-dibikak.
Jibwaa-waabang, giwii-anwaataa na?
Giishpin giwii-anwataa noongom, aaniish waa-izhichigeyan waabang?

Talk about the weather
Gichi-gisinaa noongom.
Wii-gimiwan dibikak.
Wii-zoogipon waabang.
Gimiwan minawaa.
Geyaabi gimiwan.
Megwaa gimiwan.
Megwaa gichi-zoogipon.
Maagizhaa wii-gizhide waabang.
Aazha zoogipon.
Wii-zoogipon dibikak.

Lesson 15
Niwii-adaawenan makizinan.
Niwii-adaawenan niizh oshkimazinaatesijiganan.
Animoshag nibaawag.
Gaazhagensag bakaded.
Bineshiinyag nagamod.

Lesson 16
Gidaa-biidoonan makizinan.
Gidaa-biinaa gimisenh.
Ingaa-biinaa na nimisenh?
Aaniish minik?

Awenen wa'aw?
Wegonen i'iw?

Lesson 17
Gidayaawaa na zhooniyaa?/Gaawiin. Imbiigoshkaa.
Indayaawaa zhooniyaa.
Midaaswaabik na gidayaawaa?
Midaaswaabik indaaawaa.

Biigoshkaa? Henh. Gaawiin, odayaanziin zhooniyaa.
Gibaabaa na a'aw? Gaawiin, Nibaabaas aawisii.
Bakwezhigan giwii-adaawen na? Gaawiin, niwii-adaawesii.
Giwii-izhaa na iwidi adaawewigamigong? Gaawiin, Adaawewigamigong ni-wii-izhaasii.

Basic past tense
Gii-gisinaa agwajiing?
Awenen gii-minikweyan makade-mashkikiwaaboo?
Gigii-minikwe zhingobaaboo na?
Gigii-izhaa na iwidi niimi'iding bijiinaago?
Oodenaang nigii-izhaa dibikong.
Gaawiin ningii-izhaasii adaawewigamigong.

Lesson 18
Daga, adaawen opiniig.
Gibakade na?/Henyanh. Imbakade.

Gigiipwiisin na dibikong?/Gaawiin, Nigii-wiisin dinikong.
Giwii-adaawen mazina'igan?/Gaawiin. Azhaa ingii-adaawen mazin'igan.

Lesson 19
Akawe, daga, izhaan adaawewigamig.
Giwii-wiijiiw na?
Akawe, daga, wiisinidaa.


Lesson 20
Gidaa-ojibwem gaye giin.
Ambe, ojibwemodaa.

Gego maajaaken noongom!
Ambe goshkozig!
Ambe, maajaadaa!
Gego zhaaganaashiimoken!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 20

Another very short dialog example, continuing on with the imperative and a couple new numbers. I've also included a couple new words and some more imperative practice at the end of the lesson.

Dialog - 
F: Ojibwemon!
M: Gidaa-ojibwem gaye giin.
F: Ambe, ojibwemodaa.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

A line-by-line breakdown:

F: Ojibwemon!
  • Speak Ojibwe!
M: Gidaa-ojibwem gaye giin.
  • Remember that the daa- preverb also means should. He's replying "You should speak Ojibwe too/"
F: Ambe, ojibwemodaa.
  • "Ambe" means "come on", So she says "Come on, let's speak Ojibwe."
* * * * * * * * * * * *

New words this lesson:
  • daa- - should, ought, would (introduced in Lesson 16)
  • ambe - come, come on
  • gaye - also, too (introduced in Lesson 7)
  • ingodwaaswi - six
  • niizhwaaswi - seven

Other new vocabulary:
  • goshgozi - wake up
  • gawishimo - lie down, go to bed
  • zhaaganaashiimo - speak English

More imperative practice:

  • Gego maajaaken noongom! - Don't leave now!
  • Ambe goshkozig! Come on everybody, wake up!
  • Gawishimon! - Go to bed!
  • Ambe, maajaadaa! - Come on, let's leave!
  • Gego zhaaganaashiimoken! - Don't speak English!

We've now completed 2/3 of the course. The next post will be a summary and review of lessons 11-20.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 19

This lesson's dialog examples are really short, but I wanted to concentrate on the imperative, or giving commands, since we've already seen the "Let's" form and in this lesson we're introduced to the imperative for singular you. I've included a section at the end of the lesson with some new vocabulary that will help with imperatives.

Dialog - 
M: Akawe, daga, izhaan adaawewigamig.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Giwii-wiijiiw na?
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Akawe, daga, wiisinidaa.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a line-by-line breakdown:

M: Akawe, daga, izhaan adaawewigamig.
  • "Akawe" is a new word, meaning "first". He's sayng "First, please go to the store."
* * * * * * * * * * * *
F: Giwii-wiijiiw na?
  • Here's a new verb, "wiijiiw", meaning "go with [someone]". So she's asking "Do you want to go with (me)?
* * * * * * * * * * * *

F: Akawe, daga, wiisinidaa.
  • "First, let's eat."
* * * * * * * * * * * *

New words this lesson:
  • akawe - first; first of all
  • niswi - three
  • niiwin - four
  • naanan - five
  • wiijiiw - go with SOMEBODY

Other new vocabulary:
  • biindige - enter, go inside
  • abi - sit
  • zaagaam - go outside
  • maajaa - leave
  • giiwe - go home
  • gego - don't
  • ando- - go and do [something]
  • booni- - stop [doing something]
  • bi- - here, towards the speaker

The imperative is formed as follows:

For you singular, simply add an "n" to the verb stem. Example: Daga, wiisinin. (Please eat.)
For you plural, add a "g" to the verb stem. Example: Daga, wiisinig. (Everybody (all you people) eat.)
To say "Let's [do something]", we simply add "daa" to the verb stem. Example: Wiisinidaa. *Let's eat."

** Note that for verb stems ending in "m", the "m" is replaced with an "n" for you singular and plural before adding these suffixes. Example: Zaagaan, zaagaamog, zaagaandaa. (Go outside (sing), go outside (pl), let's go outside.)

To form the negative imperative, add "gego" (don't) before the verb and:

  • add "ken" to the end of the verb stem for singular you - Gego wiisiniken. (Don't eat.)
  • add "keg" to the end of the verb stem for plural you - Gego wiisinikeg. (Don't all of you eat.)
  • add "sidaa" to the end of the verb stem for we - Gego wiisinisidaa. (Let's not eat.)

There are some preverbs we can also use, such as "go and [do something]", "stop [doing something]" and "come [do something]", too.
Here are some examples of the imperative using these preverbs "ando-", "booni-", and "bi-" (originally introduced in Summary, Lessons 1-10):

  • Ando-abin. (Go sit.) - You singular
  • Ando-abig. (Everybody (all of you) sit) - You plural
  • Booni-wiisinin. (Stop eating.) - You singular
  • Booni-wiisinig. (Everybody (all of you) stop eating.) - You plural
  • Bi-giiwen. (Come home.) - You singular
  • Bi-giiweg. (Everybody (all of you) come home.) - You plural

That's really all there is to the imperative. It'll be covered further in lesson 24, but I wanted to get started with its use earlier.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Stepping through a course - Lesson 18

A very short lesson, today. Just a couple new words, and a review of "are you going to/will you?" and "can I?", and then a supplemental review of the past tense again.

Dialog - 

M: giwii-izhaa na adaawewigamig?
F: niwii-izhaa adaawewigamig.
* * * * * * * * * * *
F: inga-biidoon na gegoo?
M: Daga, adaawen opiniig.
* * * * * * * * * * *
F: Gibakade na?
F: Henyanh. Imbakade.
* * * * * * * * * * *

Here's a breakdown, line by line:

M: giwii-izhaa na adaawewigamig?
  • Are you going to go to the store?
F: niwii-izhaa adaawewigamig.
  • I'm going to go to the store.
* * * * * * * * * * *

F: inga-biidoon na gegoo?
  • Can I bring/get something?
M: Daga, adaawen opiniig.
  • Two new words - daga, meaning "please" and opin, opiniig (pl), meaning "potato". He replies "Please, buy some potatoes."
* * * * * * * * * * *

F: Gibakade na?
  • Are you hungry?
F: Henyanh. Imbakade.
  • Yes, I'm hungry.
* * * * * * * * * * *

New words this lesson:
  • daga - please; OK; well; come on
  • adaawewigamig - store; trading-house (originally in Summary, Lessons 1-10)
  • opin (opiniig, plural) - potato; tuber
  • maamaa - mother (see Family Members reference page for more)
  • adaawe - buy; sell; trade. (originally in Lesson 12)
  • biidoon - fetch SOMETHING; bring SOMETHING. (originally in Lesson 16)
  • bakade - be hungry (in Summary Lessons 1-10)

Other new words:

And some continued practice with the past tense:

  • Gigiipwiisin na dibikong? (Did you eat last night?)
  • Gaawiin, Nigii-wiisin dinikong. (No, I didn't eat last night/)
  • Giwii-adaawen mazina'igan? (Are you going to buy a book?)
  • Gaawiin. Azhaa ingii-adaawen mazin'igan. (No, I already bought a book.)

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.
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