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