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The Cheyenne Language

The Cheyenne, or "Tsitsistas", or "Tsetsehestehese" are of Algonkian linguistic stock, there are still nearly three thousand speakers of the language living on reservations in Montana and Oklahoma.  Here are some examples of Cheyenne words and phrases.  Notice the grace and simplicity of the words and sentences, the softness of the sounds, and the minimal use of plosives, stops, and fricatives.

English Words Cheyenne Translation
man hetane
woman he'e
child ka'ęškone
warrior notâxeo'o
white man ve'ho'e
dogmen Hotametaneo'o
buffalo hotoa'e
wolf ho'nehe
fox ma'ęhoohe
dog oeškeso
horse mo'ehno'ha
house mâheo'o
arrow maahe
corn mâhaemenôtse
rock ho'honaa'e
water mahpe
smoke he'pohtôtse
English Sentences Cheyenne Translation
What is your name? Netonęševehe?
Welcome! va'ôhtama
I caught it. Nanâha'ena.
He is fighting him. Emeoto.
How many are there? Etonęstôxeo'o?
He is friendly. Emasetsęstahe.
He is dancing. Eho'soo'e.
How are you? Netone'xovomohtahe?
You are right. Nehetome.
He is sick. Ehaomohtahe.
Come here! Nenaasęstse!
He is running fast. Enęševo'âheotse.
There are two of them. Enešeo'o.
He is hunting. Eemôhone.
Where are you going? Tosa'e netao'setsęhe'ohtse?
He is eating. Emesehe.
Stop! Eneoestse!

It is also interesting to note that English sentences which would normally require the use of four or five words translate into one word in Cheyenne; yet another example of the efficiency and fluidity of the language.  how If you are interested in further exploring the Cheyenne language, here are two interesting downloads:

Cheyenne Keyboard Program
Cheyenne Font

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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Last modified: April 12, 2002