Massachusett (Wôpanâôtuwâôk)

Massachusett is an Algonquian language spoken until late 19th century by the Massachusett and Wampanoag nations in the States of Rhode Island and Massachusetts, especially in Boston, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. It was also one of first Native American languages encountered and learned by English settlers when they arrived in North America in the early 17th century.

Massachusett, which is also known as Massachusett-Narragansett, Wampanoag, Natick and Pokanoket, first appeared in writing in 1653 with the publication of a translation of the Catechism. This, and other translations of religious works, including the Bible, were made by John Elliot (1604—1690), a clergyman and missionary who learnt the native languages of Massachusetts in order to preach to and convert the people.

The orthography developed by Elliot helped spread literacy in the Massachusetts nation and was used to produce such documents as wills and deeds. As a result, Massachusett is one of the best documented Native American languages.

Efforts are currently underway to reconstruct and revive the Algonquian languages of New England. The driving force behind this revival of Wampanoag (Wôpanâôtuwâôk) is Jessie "Little Doe" Fermino, a Mashpee Indian from Cape Cod, who launched the Wampanoag Dictionary Project, is working on a Wampanoag grammar, is developing a Wampanoag language curriculum, and is teaching the language to tribal members. She has studied linguistics at MIT, and has been helped and guided by Kenneth Hale (1934-2001), MIT professor of linguistics and philosophy.

Massachusett alphabet and pronunciation

Colonial alphabet

Colonial Massachusett alphabet and pronunciation


Modern alphabet

Modern Massachusett alphabet and pronunciation


The letters B, D, C, F, G, I, J, L, O, R, V, X and Z are also used, but only for proper names and place names.

Download an alphabet chart for Massachusett

Sample texts

The Lord's Prayer (Colonial alphabet 1661)

Nꝏshum keskqut quttianatamanack hꝏwesaouk. Peyaumꝏutch kukkenau-toomoouk ne a nack okkeet neam keskqut. Nem-meet-sougash asekesuhokesu assnauean yedyee kesu-kod. Kah ahquotaneas inneaen nummateheouqasu, neem machenekukequig nutahquoretawmomouag. Ahque sag hompagunaianeem enqutchuasouqauit webe pohquohwaossueau wutch matchitut. Nuwatche huhahteem ketassootamouk hah nuumkessouk, kah sosamꝏuk michene. Amen


Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Sample videos

Information about Massachusett | Tower of Babel


Information about the Massachusett Language

Information about the revival of New England Algonquian languages

Information about John Elliot

Algonquian languages

Abenaki, Algonquin, Arapaho, Atikamekw, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Cree (East), Cree (Moose), Cree (Plains), Cree (Swampy), Cree (Woods), Fox, Innu (Montagnais), Kickapoo, Malecite-Passamaquoddy, Loup, Massachusett (Wampanoag), Menominee, Miami, Míkmaq, Mohegan, Mohican, Munsee, Narragansett, Naskapi, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree, Ottawa, Penobscot, Powhatan, Potawatomi, Quiripi, Sauk, Shawnee, Unami (Lenape)

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 11.05.24


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:


Talk in Arabic - Learn Egyptian, Iraqi, Levantine, Sundanese, Moroccan, Algerian or Saudi Arabic

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.

Get a 30-day Free Trial of Amazon Prime (UK)