Mi'kmaq (Miꞌkmawiꞌsimk)

Mi'kmaq is an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by about 7,140 people in Canada and the USA. In particular, it is spoken in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in Canada, and in Maine, Boston and Massachusetts in the USA.

Mi'kmaq is also known as Micmac, Mi'gmaq, Miigmao or Restigouche. Mi'kmaq speakers call it Miꞌkmawiꞌsimk, Lnuismk or Miꞌkmwei. The word Mi'kmaq means "my friends".

According the UNESCO, Mi'kmaq is classified as a vunerable language. It is spoken by people of all ages, however not in all contexts, and English is becoming increasing dominant among the Mi'kmaq. Efforts are being made to revitalise the language, including immersion education, and the publication of books in Mi'kmaq, particularly in Wagmatcook in Cape Breton, at Cape Breton University's Unamaꞌki College, and in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

Written Mi'kmaq

Mi'kmaq was originally written with the Mi'kmaq hieroglyphic writing system. In 1691 a French missionary named Fater La Clerq noticed Mi'kmaq children using the system as a memory aid and adapted it to write scriptures. In 1894 a method of writing Mi'kmaq with Latin alphabet was devised by Silas T. Rand, who used it to translate religious works, a number of other material and a grammar. A new spelling system, the Francis-Smith orthography, was devised in 1974 by Bernie Francis and Doug Smith. It became the official orthography of the Míkmaq Nation in 1980, and is used in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.

Mi'kmaq alphabet and pronunciation

Mi'kmaq alphabet pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Mi'kmaq (Excel)

Sample text in Mi'kmaq

Msit mimajulnu'k weskwijinu'ltijik alsumsultijik aqq newte' tett wkpimte'tmut aqq koqwajo'taqnn wejkul'aqmititl.
(Article 1, Wtui'katikn wjit Koqwajo'taqann Mimajuinu'k Wejkuaqmi'tij)


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample text in the Mi'kmaq 'hieroglyphic' script

Sample text in Mi'kmaq 'hieroglyphic' script

Sample videos in and about Mi'kmaq

Information about Mi'kmaq | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about the Mi'kmaq

Online Mi'kmaq lessons

Online Mi'kmaq dictionaries

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: 05.04.24


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