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Grammar Pro

Understanding the Ojibwe language is not an easy task. Some languages have a simple translation word-for-word, not the case here.  In Ojibwe words have meaning that when combined with other prefixes or suffixes, change the meaning.  Blueberry Pie is notoriously the longest word in the language (66 letters in this version):

miinibaashkiminasiganibiitoosijiganibadagwiingweshiganibakwezhigan

The word translates as "blueberry cooked to jellied preserve that lies in layers in which the face is covered in bread". 

  •  miin = blueberry
  •  baashkiminisigan = jam, preserves
  •  biitoosijigan = layered
  •  badagwiingweshigan = lie with face covered
  •  bakwezhigan = bread

"blueberry pie"


This information details on understanding Anishinaabemowin grammar in an English fashion is credited to Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia (GIM). Who have worked with the MN Ojibwe Language Revitalization group. The computer software GIM uses has become a valuable tool for anyone who wants to learn Anishinaabemowin.

GIM credits Dr. John Nichols for the contents of their Grammar Pro.  The alphabet, pronunciation, sounds, and orthographry are from A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe by Dr. Nichols and Earl Nyholm and published by the University of Minnesota Press, 1995. 

Anishinaabe Alphabet

Adverbs

Nouns

Preverbs

Inflection

Particles

Pronouns

Verbs

Noun Phrases

Word Stem Formation

Word Parts

Noun Stems

Derivation

Pronunciation

Verb Stems

Double Vowel System