KUMEYAAY LANGUAGE
AmericanIndianSource.com ON-LINE WORKBOOK

Sam Brown   Jon Meza Cuero

Learn to Speak Ipai  By Sam Brown
NOTE: If using Internet-Explorer www.kumeyaaylanguage.com

 

Preface to Ipai -Tipai Language Online Workbook
By Roy Cook

Too often, proximity to print medium, may result in a struggle to follow previous educational experiences. We try too hard 'to get it all noted down and "spell" it just right'. Our Native American oral traditional focus needs to be the sound of the word, song, prayer. We must train the ear to hear the sounds. This is the traditional way. Respect your native speakers, they are the final, valid authorities. Let your notes be guided by the sound
of the terms. Associations with printed variations of the spoken word will follow.
Utilize any print reference to supplement the paramount oral traditional way.


I am going to draw upon two basic resources;

  1. Many Ipai/Tipai speakers that have shared their knowledge: Steve and Florence Ponchetti, Anna Sandoval, Florence Barrett, Virginia Christman, Homer Osuna Sr., Jon Meza Cuero.
  2. Let's Speak Ipai AA by Ted Cuero and Margaret Langdon.

This next statement may be curious to the reader but the person I recognize next as bringing the local language into the learning environment is not native to this state. The late John Rouillard, Santee Dakota Sioux tirelessly championed Kumeyaay language courses at San Diego State University. As the Native American Studies Chairperson he organized workshops, symposiums and recruited local native speakers to work with linguistic graduate students and teach the local language. In doing these things and many others he moved beyond the previously utilized avenues of Tribal informant and institution expert. This step validated the authority of the native speaker in the classroom. I feel his example led to a new continuousness and changed Native Language study in Southern California.
Local Tribal language is often referred as; Diegueno. Kumeyaay, Ipai, Tipai, Metipai. There are regional dialect differences; some significant others slight and there are various levels of 'loan' words. The reality of this issue has been a stumbling block to language acquisition. It may be too easy to disregard the effort with a remark, "Oh, that is not the way we say things here." It is definitely past time, and we hope not too late, to move beyond this regional difference issues and work toward the appreciation of local: oral literature, song and the richness of the local conversational oral tradition.
We need to be bold. We need to be ready to make mistakes. Only the Creator is perfect. We need to be willing to be teased when we make the obvious mistake. This too is an important Native American tradition. Each one of us needs to take pride in the phrases we do know. At the same time continue to work toward improving our language skills


Too often one can feel frustration in just making the effort to reference written histories on language studies. I must credit Leanne Hinton and her excellent book of Essays on California languages; FLUTES OF FIRE. She states there are many systems in use but in the main there are two competing phonic writing systems: Americanist and International Phonic Alphabet (IPA). Further, sometimes communities will choose a system to establish their sense of tribal identity. We must accept, it is all-good. If it is noted that, x, stands for, h, or ch or who knows what symbol may be in use, work with it. I doubled checked the following word list with Native speaker Jon Meza Cuero. He said he could understand it and it made sense to him. I was unsure of including these 'different' spellings but with his review, I hope you will find them a start or at least useful. Always, if possible ask your native speaker, they are the final, valid, authority. Double check both aunts, one might remember better or differently, like mine!

See Sam Brown's Kumeyaay language site for sound and more FUN!


Hello

Howka

A Conversation in Kumeyaay:
Come in! Come in!
KwaHup KwaHup

Where are you going?
Mai Ma Me Yo.

Lets go eat.
Anam Asoo

I agree.
Inyage Achpai

One

Sin

Two

HaWaak

Three

HaMook

Four

CheePup

Five

SaRupp

Water

Ha

Up

Ami

Down

Mutt

House

Awaa

Yes

Aha

 

Hello...........................................................Auka.

Where are you going ?...............................M'am maj ?

I'm going to school....................................Wa xkuayawam aj.

What's your name ?...................................Xmath mixi ?

My name is __________............................aapa________ixi.

How old are you ?......................................Math wam xuim muith ?

I'm_________ years old.............................Math wam_______with.

What's your mom's name?..........................Mintelh xuwitch xi ?

My mom's name is_________....................aapa ntelh____witch xi.

What's your dad's name ?..........................Miku xuwitch xi ?

My dad's name is _______........................aapa iku_______witch xi.

See you tomorrow .....................................ia'ay mat uwuwma.

My firend's name is________....................aapa elh ja_____witch xi.

I feel warm.................................................Lhap uwey.

I feel cold..................................................Xukath uwey.

Where do you live ?.................................M'ay mey mu ?

I live here..................................................Pi'yi nkueth.

Have a good night....................................Ti'a kua'jan kajkey.

How are you doing ?.................................Mamuyuth miay ?

Fine, thanks-and you ?.............................Ijan man maath 'a ?

Fine, thanks..............................................Ijan.

I've got a headache.................................Lhumu urrap.

When are you coming to my house ?.......Mayum apua maj ?

I'll go tomorrow..........................................iay aj.

I'll be there in a bit....................................Asukum aj.

I'll go later on............................................Ntaney jan aj.

 

one- xin

two-juak

three-jmok

four-xpap

five-sarap

six-jmjok

seven-pjkay

eight-chpjok

nine-imjumok

ten-xajok

 

I have one pencil...................................iy tauur xin with.

I have two books...................................Umalh awiw juak with.

I have three hens..................................Kajm jmok jath.

I have four toys.....................................Math anap xpap with.

I have five pans.....................................Sukuilmax sarap with.

I have six feathers.................................Chawelh jmjok with.

I have seven rocks...............................Wiy pjkay with.

I have eight cactus flowers...................Jp chpjok with.

I have nine goats..................................Kuak lhoy imjumok jath.

I have ten colors...................................Malh xajok with.

Where are we going ?..............................M'am naj thom ?

We're going to my house..........................aap wa jam nthowj.

We're going to his house..........................wa jam nthowj.

We're going to your house........................Map jam wam nthowj.

Where are you going ?.............................M'am maj ?

I'm going to my house...............................aap wa jam aj.

I'm going to his house...............................wa jam aj.

I'm going to your house.............................Map wam jam aj.

Where are they going ?...........................M'am naj miuth ?

They're going to my house.......................aap wa jam m'nth thowj.

They're going to his house.......................wa jam m'nth thowj.

They're going to your house.....................Map wa jam m'nth thowj.

Where is he going ?.................................M'am muaj thom ?

He's going to my house............................aap wa jam waj.

He's going to his house............................wa jam waj.

He's going to your house.........................Map wam jam waj.

What are you doing ?..............................Mayith mrrarr mua ?

What is he doing ?..................................Mayith urrarr uw ?

What are they doing ?.............................Mayith mrrarr muay ?

What are we doing ?...............................Mayith rrarr uay ?

I'm drinking coffee...................................J kuilh sit'y wa.

We're reading a book.............................Umalh uwi'w uay.

Where're you going Rosa ?......................M'am maj Rosa ?

I'm going to the river to wash....................Kuthap jam aj tusij.

Can I go with you ?...................................ath aej ?

Sure, let's go together to wash..................Ku'em njaka tusith.