Lakes Iroquoian

The Lakes Iroquoian language is a Native American language that was spoken by the Huron-Wendat people in Canada. It is an endangered language with very few fluent speakers today.

Language Tree:

The Lakes Iroquoian language belongs to the Iroquoian language family, which is a group of indigenous languages spoken in North America. The Iroquoian language family is part of the larger Iroquoian and Southern Iroquoian language families, which include languages spoken in both North America and South America.

Where Lakes Iroquoian was spoken in the past:

The Lakes Iroquoian language was historically spoken in the Great Lakes region of North America, primarily in what is now Ontario, Canada. The Huron-Wendat people were a confederation of tribes who lived in the region and spoke the Lakes Iroquoian language.

Alternate Language Families:

There are several alternate language families related to the Iroquoian language family, including the Cherokee, Tuscarora, and Susquehannock language families.

Where it is spoken today:

Today, the Lakes Iroquoian language is primarily spoken by a small number of fluent speakers in Wendake, a Huron-Wendat community in Quebec, Canada.

Written Alphabet:

The Lakes Iroquoian language did not have a written alphabet until the arrival of European settlers. The Jesuits, who were the first to document the language, created a written system using the Latin alphabet.

The Lakes Iroquoian language has 10 vowel sounds and 15 consonant sounds.

There are no standardized orthographies for the extinct Lakes Iroquoian language. However, some scholars have attempted to reconstruct the phonetics of the language based on historical records and comparative linguistics.

Here are the consonant and vowel sounds that have been proposed:


h, k, kw, n, p, s, sh, t, th, w, y, hw, ch, j, ts


a, e, i, o, u, aa, ii, oo, ai, oi

Please note that the letter combinations for these sounds may vary depending on the scholar and the method of reconstruction.

Number of Fluent Speakers Today:

According to UNESCO Atlas of World Languages in Danger, there are less than 100 fluent speakers of the Lakes Iroquoian language today. Most of these speakers reside in Wendake, a Huron-Wendat community in Quebec, Canada.

Words in this language:

Ahihren – House

Onónhkwa – Woman

Tsiyen – Bird

Ohsahrah – Sun

Kanatiio – River

Sóhka – Bear

Shoronhkwáta – Tree

Káhsen – Snow

Tsihohkáta – Dog

Ohtáhko – Fire