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Munsee Delaware Language [archive]

This article has been archived from Newsday for educational purposes. Contents are the property of Newsday; the article was written in 1997 and is no longer available on their website. Please visit our Article Archive Index for further information. If you are the author of this article and would like to make changes to it, or if you are the author of another article you would like us to add to our archives, please contact us.

The article in its original form included audio files pronounced by Diane Snake, one of a few surviving descendants still speaking the language fluently. Unfortunately, we have not been able to contact the speaker for permission to reprint these audio files. If Mrs. Snake or her family would like us to include these files on the page, please contact us and we will be glad to include them.

Munsee Delaware Language

Here are 10 phrases in Munsee Delaware, an Algonquian language spoken by Indians who lived in the New York / Long Island area for thousands of years. The transcription is by John O'Meara, a Canadian linguist who studied the language, made extensive recordings, and wrote a dictionary (available from the University of Toronto Press).

How are you today?
Tha ktulamalsi kway kiishkwihk?

What is your name?
Kweek ha ktushiinzi?

It is a nice day today.
Wulahkameew.

You are my friend.
Nii njoosum.

Hello (literally, I'm glad to see you)
Kuwiingu-neewul.

Goodbye.
Laap-uch kuneewul

Will you have lunch with me?
Kata-wiihpoomi laawahkweeke?

This is my father and mother.
Wan ha nooxw waak nguk.

This is my dog.
Wan ha nii ndalumoonz.

This is my cat.
Wan ha nii mbooshiishum.

Additional Reading

 American Indian Tribes
 Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe
 Munsee Culture
 Delaware Indian Tribe
 Wisconsin Indians

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