The Mohawk-Oneida language, also known as Kanien’kéha, is an Iroquoian language spoken by the Mohawk and Oneida people in parts of Canada and the United States.

Language Tree:

The Mohawk-Oneida language belongs to the Iroquoian language family, which includes languages such as Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Tuscarora, and Cherokee.

Where Mohawk-Oneida was spoken in the past:

The Mohawk-Oneida language was traditionally spoken in what is now New York State and parts of southeastern Canada.

Where Mohawk-Oneida is spoken today:

Today, the Mohawk-Oneida language is spoken by approximately 3,000 people, primarily in Ontario, Quebec, and New York State.

Written Alphabet:

The Mohawk-Oneida language has a written alphabet, which consists of 12 consonant sounds and 6 vowel sounds.

The written alphabet uses Roman letters with diacritical marks to indicate pronunciation. Here are examples of each consonant sound and vowel sound:

Consonant sounds:

k, t, s, h, j, y, ew, n, l, mm, r, and ‘ (a glottal stop)

Vowel sounds:

a, e, i, o, u, and ę (nasalized e)

Number of Fluent Speakers Today:

There are approximately 3,000 fluent speakers of the Mohawk-Oneida language today. Some of these speakers reside on the Akwesasne and Six Nations reserves.

Words in this language:

Here are some words in the Mohawk-Oneida language and their English translations:

  • Kwe – Hello
  • Onen – Thank you
  • Nia:wen – Thank you
  • Skennen – Peace
  • Nia:ra – Goodbye
  • Kaianerenhsera – Love
  • Ratihontsi – Friend
  • Otsdawen:ni – Family
  • Tehawennih – Woman
  • Tehonie:wako – Man

Online Dictionary:

Here are two online dictionaries for the Mohawk-Oneida language: Mohawk Dictionary and Tyendinaga Dictionary

Famous Oneida Indians