Ona (Selk'nam)

Ona is a Chonan language that was spoken in Tierra del Fuego, part of the Patagonia region of Argentina. The last speakers of Ona died in the 1970s or 1980s. However, Rojas Berscia, a linguist at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in The Netherlands, claims that two Ona speakers surived until 2014. Ona ia also known as Aona, Choon, Selknam or Shelknam.

A dictionary of Ona was pubished by José María Beavoir, a missionary, in 1915. Further documentation of the language, including recordings, was made in the 1970s and 80s by Anne Chapman, an anthropologist.

Efforts are being made to try to revive the language. A number of Chileans have learnt or are learning the language, and are teaching it to others.

Ona alphabet and pronunciation

Ona alphabet and pronunciation

Tones are marked as follows: á = high tone, à low tone, a = middle tone.

Download an alphabet chart for Ona (Excel)

Sample text (The Lord's Prayer)

Shìon haspen,
Kìawnen mat yon.
Vuenen ikùá mak kaw.
Wikam mak warren
arwen has mèrènèn shìon.
Karten ikùakar keren makes
karpaint ikùamá anákenek.
Ikùakar hachkom kayíkùama',
mèrènèns ikùá yopenso ikùokar kayen.
Kuairen's íkarkaim son,
wauske ishìon.
Newe ayen.

Source: Los Shelknam, Indígenas de la Tierra del Fuego, J.M Beauvoir, 1915.

Contributed by Wolfgang Kuhl

Video in and about Ona

Information about Ona | Numbers


Information about Ona
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idioma_selk'nam https://www.ethnologue.com/language/ona/22

Chonan languages

Ona, Tehuelche

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 25.10.21


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