The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while. The About page says:

The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary was established by faculty and students in the Department of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. For many years, Professor John Nichols digitally recorded Ojibwe elders as part of a research grant for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Endangered Languages Program. His goal was to expand A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe, which he co-authored with Professor Earl Nyholm (Nichols, Nyholm, 1995). … In time, Nichols anticipated the need for a talking dictionary where digital audio would be embedded within the dictionary entry. Nichols and his departmental colleague, historian Brenda Child, along with curator Marcia Anderson from the Minnesota History Society, began to envision a new dictionary with a broader Ojibwe cultural context. This dictionary would draw on the superb collections of the Minnesota Historical Society to create a virtual museum. As a result, instead of the simple line drawings typical of a print dictionary, the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary features beautiful illustrations of Ojibwe material culture and activities, to narrate the rich cultural heritage and present-day lives of Ojibwe people from the Great Lakes.
Recent technology made it possible to design this innovative, illustrated, talking dictionary, with photographs both old and new, and allowing insight into an Ojibwe way of life that is difficult to comprehend without a visual aid. … Best of all, it allows users to search using the Ojibwe language.

It’s really splendidly done, and listening to the audio clips (not just word forms, but sample sentences) makes me want to learn the language. Thanks for the link, Mik!


  1. I love this dictionary. You should also check out http://weshki.atwebpages.com/index.html, another Anishinaabemowin site – make sure you click the “Rus” tab on the left.

  2. Very nice! Direct links: English, Russian.

  3. David Marjanović says

    Yay, an open thread!
    I spent all of Thursday reading this paper (PDF with 145 pages!) about the Hattic language!
    From a closed thread:

    *Not a poem, but in a review of one of Stephen J. Gould’s books Richard Dawkins complained that American writers tend to assume that everyone knows all about baseball. To illustrate what he meant he “translated” a passage into cricket-speak.

    Heh. I read Gould’s book Full House. It explains evolution in terms of baseball. Since then I understand evolution – but I still don’t understand baseball.

  4. Yay, an open thread!
    You can always post to hattics. Smaller audience, but interesting/interested folks.

  5. Some additional Ojibwe vocabulary resources:

    * Odawa & Eastern Ojibwe online dictionary
    * Ojibwe Vocabulary Project (results of a meeting of Ojibwe speakers to come up with Ojibwe equivalents of science/math/etc. terms.)

  6. Thanks!

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