How Indian Country Says I Love You
In early February, the United Nations proclaimed 2019 to the year of Indigenous Languages.
Since February is also the month of romance, we thought we’d query our members, partners and friends to see how they’ll be expressing their affection this season.
Artwork used with permission by the artist,
TJ Young (Sgwaayaans), of the Kaigani Haida Nation.
With 573 federally recognized tribes, Native Hawaiians and even more state-recognized tribes throughout the country–each with their own distinctive cultures and languages – it’s no surprise that there are endless ways to say “I love you!”
Here are just a few:
Alutiiq Language, Alaska
|Qunukamken||I love you|
|Ixsixán||I love you|
|I daat axajóon||I’m dreaming of you|
|Ax x’éit yees.á||Kiss me|
‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Language), Hawaii
|Aloha au iā ‘oe||I love you|
|k? hin x?menc?||I love you|
|Moo ‘ams ni stinta||I love you very much|
Nimiipuutimpt (Nez Perce language), Idaho
|In ‘ee hetewise||I love you|
Mohawk, New York
|Konnorónhkwa||I love you|
Seneca Tribe, New York
|gönóöhgwa’||I love you|
|Nu Soopeda U||I love you|
Ojibwa/Bad River Ojibwe, Wisconsin
|Gizaagiin||I love you|
Oneida Tribe, Wisconsin
|Kunoluhkwa||I love you|
|Chiholloli||I love you|
Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico (Laguna Keres dictionary)
|Amuu-thro-maa||I love you|
|Guuts’imi||He/she loves him/her|
Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico (Acoma Keres dictionary)
|Thro sii muu||You are dear to me|
Pueblo of San Felipe, New Mexico (San Felipe Keres)
|Shro- tse-mah||I love you|
Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico
|Eee-peinoom||I love you|
|Ayóó’áníínísh’ní||I love you|
Pueblo of Zuni, New Mexico
|‘Ho’doh’ee’cheht’mah||I love you|
According to UNESCO, approximately 600 languages have disappeared in the last century.
More alarmingly, they continue to disappear at a rate of one language every two weeks. If this pace continues, up to 90 percent of the world’s languages are likely to disappear before the end of this century.
Note: The words and phrases in this post were provided by members of the various tribes listed. Spellings and translations may vary. Some words may be missing accents or symbols due to limited characters on a keyboard. We’re happy to add your language and/or hear corrections and suggestions on spellings and translations, so please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.