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Comanche (nʉmʉ tekwapʉ̱)

Comanche is an Uto-Aztecan language spoken in south west Oklahoma and New Mexico by about 854 mainly elderly speakers, out of a total Comanche population of 12,000.

In the early years of the 19th century many Comanche children were taken from their homes and educated in boarding schools where the language of instruction was English. They were punished for speaking Comanche and as a result, soon spoke only English. By the middle of the century only the elders could still speak the language.

In 1989 the Comanche Tribe began a project to preserve the language and the history of their ancestors. The end result was 15 two-hour tapes featuring 40 tribal elders telling stories and family history in their native tongue. During the following two years a number of language classes were organized by individual tribal members, all working independently.

In 1993 the Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee was formed with the vision of reviving Comanche as a living language. The Committee wants to provide the opportunity for Comanche people of all ages to be able to speak, write and understand their language in order that it and their culture might live on.

In 1994 the Comanche Tribe adopted a Comanche alphabet and spelling system developed by Dr. Alice Anderton, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Oklahoma, Norman. Since then a number of Comanche books, dictionaries, and other materials have been published.

A a B b E e H h I i K k M m N n O o
P p R r S s T t U u Ʉ ʉ W w Y y ʔ

Comanche pronunciation

Comanche alphabet

Note

stress normally falls on the first syllable of a word. If it falls elsewhere, an acute accent is used to indicate this.

Some useful Comanche words

Comanche language = nʉmʉ tekwapʉ̱
English Language = taibo tekwapʉ̱
Do you speak Comanche? = ʉnha nʉmʉ tekwaʔeyu?
Hello! = marúawe (to 1 person), marúawebukwu (to 2 people), marúaweeka/marúaweka (to a group), haa marúawe (hi), marúawekwai (tell me all about it)
How are you? = ʉnha hakai nuusuka?
Fine, and you? = tsaatʉ̱, ʉntse?
I'll see you tomorrow! = noo nʉ pʉetsʉ̱ku ʉ punine!
My name is .... = nʉ nahnia tsa ....
What's your name? = ʉnha hakai nahniaka?
What's the Comanche word for ...? = hakai ... nʉmʉ nahniaka?
Do you understand me? = ʉnha nʉ nakisupanaʔinʉ̱?
I understand you = ʉ nakisupanaʔitʉ nʉ
I don't understand you = ke nʉ ʉ nakisupanaʔitʉ
Kiowa Tribe = kaiwa
Please = haamee
Thank you = ʉra
How old are you? = ʉnha huu tomopʉ̱?
Yes = haa
No = kee
Spanish Language = yuhu taibo tekwapʉ̱
Fry bread = yuhu nookopʉ̱
1 = sʉmʉ
2 = wahaatʉ̱
3 = pahiitʉ̱
4 = hayarokweetʉ
5 = moʔobetʉ̱
6 = naabaitʉ̱
7 = taatsʉkwitʉ̱
8 = namewatsʉkwitʉ̱
9 = wʉmhinatʉ̱
10 = suumarʉ

Comanche pronunciation and useful words supplied by Benjamin Bruce

Links

Information about the Comanche language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comanche_language

Information about the Comanche people, their history and culture
http://kathleen_burnett.homestead.com/Comanche.html

The Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee
http://www.comanchelanguage.org/

Hello Oklahoma - Benjamin Bruce's site about the native languages of Oklahoma
http://www.hello-oklahoma.com

Uto-Aztecan languages

Comanche, Hopi, O'odham, Nahuatl, Pipil, Shoshone, Tepehuán, Yaqui

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet


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