Sahaptin (Ichishkíin Sɨ́nwit)

Sahaptin is a member of Plateau Penutian language family spoken in southern Washington, northern Oregon and southwestern Idaho in the USA. In some sources Sahaptin is classified as one language, in others it is a collection of mutually intelligible dialects.

According to Ethnologue, the Sahaptin languages are:

According to Wikipedia, Teino and Umatilla are classified as in the southern Sahaptin group of dialects, and Walla Walla and Yakama belong to the northern Sahaptin dialect cluster. Other dialects in the Northern group include Klickitat, Tainapam, Kittitas, Wanapum and Palouse. Other dialects in the southern group include Skin-pah, Tygh, Celilo and John Day.

These languages / dialects are spoken mainly by older adults. Efforts are being made to revive and revitalise them with classes in schools, and at the University of Oregon. There are also radio programs in Yakama.

The name Sahaptin comes from the Columbia Salish name Sħáptənəxw / S-háptinoxw ("stranger in the land"). The native name for the language is Ichishkíin Sɨ́nwit ("this language").

Sahaptin (Umatilla) alphabet and pronunciation

Sahaptin (Umatilla) alphabet and pronunciation

Download an alphabet chart for Sahaptin (Excel)

Hear how to pronounce the Sahaptin alphabet:

Sample text in Yakama

Kuatlak, Mali, im’naua kekom shir, eminik i-uamsh Roemichnik Miauar, im’naua imksa shir tlarpa aietpa, shir mesh ua eminik lsht Sesu. Saint Mali, Roemichnik Miauarnmi Pcha, tanamutemk neemiei chiluitmamiei tinmamiei, ichi ikook, aateshku namak atnata. Ikush iua neemi temna.


Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God. Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Sample videos in and about Sahaptin


Information about the Sahaptin-Modoc language and people

Plateau Penutian languages

Klamath, Nez Perce, Sahaptin, Yakama

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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