Interested in Oji-Cree?
The chart shows the sounds. For example, usually ᐁ is transliterated as ‘e’, but it sounds like ‘ay’.
Triangles by themselves are vowels. Usually, however, vowels are included as part of a syllabic.
|ᐃ bit i ᐄ bee ee||ᐁ way ay not dotted||ᐅ top aw ᐆ go oh||ᐊ bat a ᐋ ahbs|
Syllabics are not letters. ᓂ is not ‘n’, it is ni. A dot above a syllabic makes it long. ᓃ is nee.
|ᐎ wit ᐐ weep
Dot before makes W
|ᐒ wot ᐔ woke||ᐗ wack
|o w small raised syllabic ends word|
|ᑭ kit or giddy ki
ᑮ keen or geek kee
|ᑫ kake or gay
always ‘ay’. Not dotted.
|ᑯ kof or got gaw
ᑰ koat or goat go
|ᑲ kat or gap ka
ᑳ kahbbage gahllop
|ᑲ k / g final letter of word|
|ᑎ tick or dip ti
ᑏ tea or deep tee
|ᑌ take or day
|ᑐ top or dot taw
ᑑ toe or donut
|ᑕ tap or dash
ᑖ tahmp dahmp
|ᑕ t / d
ᑎ th anywhere
|ᒋ chip chi
ᒌ cheek chee
|ᒉ chaynge||ᒍ chop chaw
|ᒐ chat cha
|ᒥ mit mi ᒦ meek mee||ᒣ may||ᒧ mop maw ᒨ mope||ᒪ mat ma ᒫ mahm||ᒪ m|
|ᓂ nip ni ᓃ neat nee||ᓀ neigh||ᓄ not naw ᓅ no||ᓇ nap na ᓈ nahtter||ᓇ n|
|ᐱ pit or bib pi
ᐲ pee or bee
|ᐯ pay or bay||ᐳ pop or bot paw
ᐴ poet or boat poe
|ᐸ pat or bat ba
ᐹ pahlette bah
|ᐸ p / b
ᐱ f / ph anywhere
|ᕆ rib ri ᕇ reap ree||ᕃ raid ray||ᕈ rot raw ᕉ rope roe||ᕋ rat ra ᕌ rahbbit||ᕋ r|
|ᓯ sip si ᓰ see||ᓭ say||ᓱ sop saw ᓲ soap so||ᓴ sat ᓵ sahlute||ᓴ s ᔉ sk|
|ᔑ zhi ᔒzhee||ᔐ zhay||ᔓ zho ᔔ zhoe||ᔕ zha ᔖ zhah||ᔕ zh|
|ᓕ lip li ᓖ leap lee||ᓓ lake lay||ᓗ lot ᓘ low||ᓚ lap ᓛ lahtte||ᓚ l|
|ᔨ yip yi ᔩyeast yee||ᔦ yale||ᔪ yob ᔫ yoyo||ᔭ yap ᔮ yeah||o y over final syllabic, like ᔧy, ᐰ py, ᑍ ty, ᒊ ly, ᑬ ky, ᒤ my|
ᑕᔒᑫ o ᐆᑕ gets spelled tašihkew, but it sounds tazhikaywh. The final ‘wh’ (or ‘ew’) can sound like o.
Tazhikayo ota. Somebody lives here. Cree uses no ‘she’ or ‘he’. Bodies are ‘someone’ or ‘something’, and the possessive prefix – o – translates to English as her/his but means a living being’s. Living beings include not only animals and some plants, but also bread, soap, sun, spoon, kettle, dock, and so on.
A fun way to make syllabics familiar is to write English words in syllabics. ᓯᓚᕋ cellar, ᐸᓇᓇ banana, ᑲᕋ car, ᑏᐱᐄ TV, ᕉᑕ road, ᑐᑲ dog, etc. Or your name: ᓖᐊᒪ Liam, ᐃᒥᓖ Emily.
Junker, M.-O., MacKenzie, M., Bobbish-Salt, L., Duff, A., Salt, R., Blacksmith, A., Diamond, P., & Weistche, P. (Eds.). (2012). The Eastern James Bay Cree Dictionary on the Web: English-Cree and Cree-English, French-Cree and Cree-French (Northern and Southern dialects). Retrieved from http://dictionary.eastcree.org/
(Oji-Cree blends (Ojibwa [Anishinaabe] and ᐄᓅᐊᔨᒧᐧᐃᓐ iinuuayimuwin [Cree], the two being so similar.)