During August, I took a fairly intensive beginner course on the Abenaki language. For the last class, our instructor, Jesse Bruchac, at the urging of some of his TAs, requested that all the students perform a one-minute recitation, in Abenaki, of a poem or story of their own choosing.
I composed a short introduction to an aspect of life in my paddock; the interaction of the horses and turkeys. It’s all in very basic (“baby talk”) language; present tense, singular — which is all we’ve learned so far. I plan to continue my studies; partly because it’s just plain fun, and also because it gives me insight into Native American culture.
Here is what I said, in Abenaki. The pictures shown here were screen-shared in our Zoom session from this file as I told the story. In another file, I have shown the English translation, if you are interested in knowing the meaning of the Abenaki words.
Stewart na, na ases.
Awani nihi wd’asesoma, Stewart?
Stewart nihi nd’asesoma.
Spot na, na ases.
Awani nihi wd’asesoma, Spot?
Alice nihi wd’asesoma, Spot.
Stewart ta Spot wli widôba.
Stewart idam, “Spot, nolidahôzi aian.”
Spot idam, “Wliwni, nolidahôzi aian, achi.”
Nôneweji nahamak miji malomenal.
Awani na namihok?
Nahama nihi w’migwenoma.
Nahama idam wliwni, ta adio.