K'wlipai8! Welcome to WesternAbenaki.com home of the Western Abenaki Dictionary Online, Western Abenaki Radio and Online Lessons.
This website is a work in progress and a project of the Ndakinna Education Center/Greenfield Review Press and the Northeast Indigenous Language Archive (NILA). Additional resources are added on a regular basis with the primary goal being the revitalization of the Western Abenaki language, W8banaki8dwaw8gan (Language Code: Abe). Sustainability of the language is essential as it is one of the last Eastern Algonquian languages to still be spoken. It is listed as "critically endagered" by UNESCO, but with our efforts and those of the many dedicated students of the language we hope to change that! For those interested in learning to speak, please add our site to your bookmarks and stop back often to learn much more, also check the Language Immersion Camps (now with PHOTOS of past camps!). We thank you for your support and patience in this endeavor!
We are currently rebuilding our entire database of words. We appreciate your patience as this will be a long process. However once completed we will offer greatly improved functionality. We will also now show citations directly to all source material for every word in the database, allowing you to see each word in the context from which it was gathered. We are also fine tuning all of our conjugation charts to imporve their accuracy and add new forms. Our goal is that with each word in the database, you will be one click away from all its forms. We are also working to offer a complete catalog of roots, with not only initials, but medials and finals being added. All the material included has been gathered from native speakers and essential documents they have produced. Follow this link to start searching now!
Check out the BETA for our new Conjugation Charts:
Western Abenaki Radio offers fully immersive shows which include basic dialog, traditional and contemporary stories and songs, as well as lessons, news and other information all presented within the language. This is an attempt to offer a chance to hear the language being used, refresh or improve your ability to understand it, and in a small way keep the language alive. Follow this link to start listening now!
Basic conversational Western Abenaki Lessons created and dictated by fluent speaker Cecile Wawanolette, alongside fun games and exercises created by Douglas Julien. This collection was made in an effort to get the language to all who wanted to learn it. We are so grateful for all the work and generosity of our late instructor in her efforts to preserve the Western Abenaki language she loved so much. Follow this link to start learning now!
Adjective Endings, includes variations of suffix endings used in forming adjectives. By Elie Joubert and Jesse Bruchac
A complete index of the lexical sources we have used to build this site. As part of our process with each word we add to our search engine we also include a link to its source. Within our sources you will find not only words, but entire phrases and in some cases even stories, some which have not been read in hundreds of years. We are just beginning the process of adding new materials and their sources, so check back often to see this very unique and useful area of the site grow. Follow this link to review our language resources!
For over 20 years we have been doing our best to revitalize the Abenaki language. A huge part of this is creating a new generation of speakers. We have been gethering together and learning the language together across the Northeast for the last two decades and have made enormous gains, but without eager students the language can not survive. Please do not hesitate to join us at any of our gatherings. You can learn more about them on this page. Scroll down for photos and descriptions of past language immersion camps and activities. We hope to see you learning by our side at the next event! Follow this link to learn more about our Language Classes!
L8wadw8gan wji L8dwaw8gan Significance of Language
"Language is one of the fundamental aspects of a person's worldview and self identity."
"The secret's of our culture lie hidden within our language" - Joseph Elie Joubert
"It is their language that allows them to form a people apart. As long as they preserve their language, they will be impossible to assimilate" - 1895 Annual Report Department of Indian Affairs
"Language shapes thoughts and emotions, determining one’s perception of reality." - Benjamin Whorf
"Language is an item of culture as well as the principal medium for transmitting the other elements of culture, it could be regarded as the most profitable single criterion available." - Gordon Day
"Language is the light of the mind." - John Stuart Mill
"Language is not only a vehicle for the expression of thoughts, perceptions, sentiments, and values characteristic of a community; it also represents a fundamental expression of social identity. A common speech serves as a peculiar potent symbol of the social solidarity of those who speak the language. In short, language retention helps maintain feelings of cultural kinship." - Edward Sapir
"Chacun retient toutefois que la suprême révélation du génie national, la clef magique qui donne accès aux plus hautes richesses de la culture, c’est la langue." - Lionel Groulx
"Language is integrally related to Thought-formation. Some languages are better suited for some thoughts – those thoughts related to the worldview of those who created it."
"Aln8ba chowi aln8ba8dwa - an Indian should speak the Indian language" - Ambrose Obomsawin
"Aln8baian kd'achowi aln8ba8dwa - you being an Indian you should speak the Indian language" - Ambrose Obomsawin
We are very interested in your feedback on our dictionary and radio show.
Corrections: We are far from perfect and appreciate your keen eyes and ears. While nothing will ever sound or look right to everyone, if you notice obvious typos, or misprints within our dictionary or shows, please let us know so we can make the needed corrections.
Suggestions: Our attempt is to offer as much as we can and we greatly appreciate the creative input of those who are utilizing our site. If you have a suggestion to improve on any aspect of the site, whether its topics to be covered or materials to be included, please let us know!
Radio Content: Please don't hesitate from bringing our attention to any songs, stories, poems or other audio based media that you would like included within our shows. We only ask that they be entirely within Abenaki in order to stick with the fully immersive format of the program.