Stay home: Learn Cree 27. A simple conversation

While we’re all in isolation, we’re going to try to post one video a day from Sol’s existing teaching library, and the teaching libraries of some of his friends. Like Sasquatch himself, Solomon Ratt has experience with self isolation. Who better to help out with online Cree lessons for remote learning?  

Today we offer a brief conversation with audio, borrowed directly from Ken Paupanekis’s Introduction to Cree Language course, which he has taught for years at University College of the North and the University of Manitoba. Ken is an n-dialect speaker from kinosêwi-sîpiy (Norway House, MB). His friend Loretta is from pimicikamâk (Cross Lake, MB). 

In this little conversation, the only words that vary with dialect are the personal pronouns:

nîna > niya > nîtha “I, me”
kîna > kiya > kîtha “you” 

In the text (below), we have followed Ken’s habit of underlining the N sound that changes (to help readers adjust for their own dialect). If you’d like to substitute the name of your own home community, you can look it up here.  

Since Elders teach that saying a real “goodbye” is not part of Cree culture, you might also notice that Ken and Loretta close the conversation with kîhtwâm kika-wâpamitin: “I’ll see you again,” which is often casually shorted to kîhtwâm. 

Ken: tânisi, Ken nîna. awêna kîna? 
Loretta: Loretta nîna.
Ken: kinosêwi-sîpiy ohci nîna. tânitê ohci kîna? 
Loretta: pimicikamâk ohci nîna.
Ken: kîhtwâm kika-wâpamitin.
Loretta: êkosi, kîhtwâm kika-wâpamitin. 

K: How are you, I’m Ken. What’s your name?
L: I’m Loretta.
K: I’m from Norway House. Where are you from?
L: I’m from Cross Lake. 
K: I’ll see you again,
L: That’s good. I’ll see you again. 

When you’re ready for more, you can find more of Ken’s Intro Cree audio files here: (Conversation features in the second recording for each unit). 

(About Sol’s shirt:

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