August 29th-31st, 2014
Abenaki Language Weekend
September 20th-21th, 2014
Saratoga Native Festival

Search English only English and Western Abenaki

New Words Western Abenaki Dictionary and Radio: Western Abenaki Language Resource, lessons, music, traditional stories of the Abenaki Indians.

   Nitona! Welcome to home of the only online lessons, a keyword searchable dictionary of the Western Abenaki Language and Western Abenaki Radio a radio program produced entirely in the Western Abenaki language. This is a work in progress and one that's only in the very first stages of development. Additional resources are added on a regular basis to help maintain Western Abenaki as a spoken language, which is our primary goal. For those interested in learning to speak, please add our site to your bookmarks and stop back often to learn much more. We thank you for your support and patience in this endeavor!

5/23/2014: NEW INTERVIEW MAKES HIGH QUALITY VERSIONS AVAILABLE!! After hearing some complaints about the sound quality of the mp3s posted a few days ago, we were lucky enough to get fluent Abenaki speaker and son of the late Cecile Wawanolete, Joseph Elie Joubert into our studio for an interview! In this interview, we asked him how he would say many of the phrases we've all set out to memorize in Abenaki this year. The sound quality is fantastic and should enable you to pick up on all the details and pronunciations. It is even more fantastic and exciting to hear just how similar his answers were to those given by Ambrose Obomsawin in his interview conducted by Gordon Day almost 70 years earlier. Download these brand new recordings of Joseph Elie Joubert here: Greeting and Health (download mp3, view transcript) and the second is called Speaking Indian (download mp3, view transcript). We have also pulled back on our initial goal, realizing it may be a bit too lofty. We ask that for this year students focus primarily of the 50 or so sentences contained in the lessons entitled Greetings and Health and Speaking Indian. We assure you if you take the time to listen to them regularly they will sink in and give us all a wonderful shared foundation to build on!! For those who want more, please don't hesitate to listen on!

5/16/2014: ATTENTION ABENAKI LANGUAGE STUDENTS!!! This year our goal is to all memorize the SAME 100 phrases. Please start learning them now so we can begin to communicate. While learning from these speakers, remember there is never just one way to say anything. You will here some variations in word order and choice, but do not be concerned. Just listen as much as you can! As often as you can! In as many places as you can! This is the trick to memorization. There is also time after every phrase to repeat it aloud it at least 3 times! All the mp3's provided can be downloaded to your digital devices to you can take them with you everywhere!

The first 50 phrases are spoken by Ambrose, Malian and Elvine Obomsawin. These are also broken into two lessons, the first is called Greeting and Health (download mp3, view transcript) and the second is called Speaking Indian (download mp3, view transcript).

The second set of 50 phrases are found in Lesson 3 (download mp3, view transcript) and Lesson 5 (download mp3, view transcript) by Cecile Wawanolete.

Download this years lessons and start studying NOW! We will be reviewing them together at all language gatherings in 2014.

Note: Transcripts of lessons will pop up in a new window, so you can listen to the lessons and read along when on your computer or portable device.
Note: RIGHT-CLICK on MOUSE to download MP3S to your computer.

Online Dictionary
   Along with the fully keyword searchable database of words which our site is built around, we have developed basic conjugation charts which will soon be linked to all words in their verb, noun, adjective and adverb forms. In truth, the language has no specific parts of speech, but is instead made up of word roots. We are working to offer a complete catalog of these word roots within our dictionary. They are the fundamental building blocks of the language. We are also uploading established vocabulary from many sources and from our own research in the field.

  • Learn about the Western Abenaki Language

    Online Radio
       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!

    Online Lessons
        Basic conversational Western Abenaki Lessons created and dictated by fluent speaker Cecile Wawanolett, 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!

  • 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

  • With so much material on the language available, it can be confusing and overwhelming. In addition, we need to have a common set of vocabulary in order to most quickly be able to communicate with one another. For these reasons we suggest starting with Joseph Laurent's NEW FAMILIAR ABENAKIS AND ENGLISH DIALOGUES. Within this wonderful little book is everything needed to become conversationally fluent. We are attempting to make it more accessible by adding video clips to aid in pronunciation and interactive flashcards for review. (A full copy of the original book is also available online here).


    Recommended Links:
  • YOUTUBE: Western Abenaki Channel
  • FACEBOOK: Western Abenaki - Abénaquis de l'Ouest
  • Abenaki Language Preservation
  • Joseph Alfed Elie Joubert
  • Wijokadoak
  • Penobscot Nation
  • Lenape Talking Dictionary

    Honor Songs: Gwsintow8ganal
    Featuring songs which have been on Western Abenaki Radio!
  • Contact Us:
    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.

  • Click Here to contact us now!

  • Donations are greatly appreciated and help this site grow! Copyright 2012