Dena’ina (Dena’ina Qenaga / Dena’inaq’)

Dena’ina is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken around Cook Inlet and on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska in the USA. In 2007 there were about 75 speakers of Dena’ina, which means 'the people', and is also known as Tanaina.

Dena’ina has four dialects: Upper Inlet, Outer Inlet, Iliamna and Inland.

A number of linguists have researched and documented the Dena’ina language since the 1970s, including James Kari, Alan Borass, Peter Kalifornsky and Joan M. Tenebaum. Much of this material is stored in the Alaska Native Language Archive in Fairbanks, Alaska, and is available online. An orthography for Dena’ina was developed in the 1970s.

Efforts are being made to revitalize the language, with classes available at Kenai Peninsula College and at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Dena’ina alphabet and pronunciation

Dena’ina alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Dena’ina (Excel)

Sample videos in and about Dena’ina


Information about Dena’ina’ina_language

Na-Dené languages

Ahtna, Apache (Western), Babine-Witsuwit'en, Chilcotin, Chipewyan, Deg Xinag, Dena’ina, Dane-zaa (Beaver), Eyak, Gwich'in, Hän, Hupa, Jicarilla, Kaska, Koyukon, Lipan Apache, Lower Tanana, Mescalero-Chiricahua, Navajo, North Slavey, Sekani, South Slavey, Tahltan, Tanacross, Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib), Tolowa, Tsuut'ina (Sarcee), Tutchone, Upper Kuskokwim, Upper Tanana

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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