Salish (Séliš)

Salish is a member of the Salishan language family spoken by 64 people in the Flathead Nation in north-central Montana and by 50 people in the Kalispel Indian Reservation in northeast Washington State in the USA. It is or was spoken by the Spokane (Npoqínišcn), Kalispel (Qalispé), Pend d'Oreilles and Bitterroot Salish (Séliš) people, each of which have or had their own dialect.

Salish is also known as Séliš, Kalispel-Pend d'oreille, Kalispel-Spokane-Flathead or Montana Salish. It is written with the Latin alphabet.

Salish is classified as "critically endangered" by UNESCO and all the speakers are elderly. However efforts are being made to revive it. It is taught and used as a language of instruction at a number of schools in Montana, as well as at the Salish Kootenai College, where students can train to teach the language.

A dictionary, children books and various language learning material are available in Salish. There are also some broadcoast in Salish on the Salish Kootenai College TV station.

Salish alphabet and pronunciation

Salish alphabet and pronunciation

Download a chart of the Salish alphabet (PDF, in German)

Information about Salish pronunciation complied by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text

Yetłxʷasq̓t qe y̓amncut u qe es wičstm łu nxʷlxʷiltn ta es hoy qe cxʷic̓łlt łu qeqł nxʷlxʷiltn iqs šiʔmnwexʷ l es yaʔ łu l es xʷlxʷilt put u yetłxʷasq̓t łu qe nk̓ʷłaxmintn nk̓ʷuʔ wilš łu ne qe es lmntmnwexʷ u qe es cuti lemlmtš č̓ es yaʔ sqlqelixʷ x̣ʷl̓ qe sqelixʷ.


Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People.


Sample videos in and about Salish

Information about Salish | Numbers


Information about Salish'Oreilles

Salishan languages

Coeur d'Alene, Comox, Halkomelem, Klallam, Lushootseed, Lillooet, Nooksack, Nuxalk, Okanagan, Saanich, Salish, she shashishalhem, Shuswap, Squamish, Nlaka’pamux (Thompson)

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.11.23


Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:

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)