Liqʼwala (Liq̓ʷala)

Liq’wala is a Northern Wakashan language spoken by the Laich-kwil-tach (Ligwilda'xw) people in British Columbia in Canada, in particular in Campbell River, a city of the east coast of Vancouver Island, and on the nearby Quadra Island. In 2017 there were 12 native speakers of Liq’wala, all of whom were over 70 years old.

Efforts are being made to revitalize the language through a mentor-apprentice program and an immersion program. The mentor-apprentice program involves fluent speakers and learners spending 10 hours per week together over three years speaking the language. The learners' progress is regularly monitored and support is provided. After completing the program, the learners are fluent in the language and start teaching it to others.

Liq’wala is also known as Liq̓ʷala or Liḵʼwala. It is classified as a dialect of Kwak̓wala by some, and as a separate language by others.

Liq’wala can be written with a version of the Latin alphabet based on Americanist phonetic notation. It differs significantly from the orthography used for Kwak̓wala.

Liq’wala alphabet and pronunciation

Liq’wala alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Liq’wala (Excel)

Information about the Liq’wala alphabet compiled by Wolfram Siegel

Sample videos in and about Liq’wala


Information about the Liq’wala Language’wala

Wakashan languages

Ditidaht, Haisla, Heiltsuk, Kwak̓wala, Liq’wala, Makah, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, Oowekyala

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 16.09.23


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