What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Huron Language?

What Are Some Interesting Facts About the Huron Language?

One interesting fact about Wyandot, the Huron language, is that the last fluent speakers died in the 1960s. Because of this, many of the known words come from early 19th-century sources, and their pronunciation is unclear.

As of 2015, members of the Wyandotte Nation, headquartered in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, are promoting the study of Wyandot as a second language among their people, who now speak English.

In Wendake, Quebec, the French-speaking First Nations people are also working on a revival. Wyandot is being introduced in adult classes as well as the village primary school. In Huron reserve areas near Wendake, one common Wyandot word is still seen on road signs: "seten," meaning "stop."

Canada's first Christmas carol was written in the Huron language. "Twas in the Moon of Wintertime," written in the early 1640s by Jean de Brébeuf, a Jesuit missionary living among the Huron of Quebec, was first composed in Wyandot instead of his native French. Le Brébeuf also introduced elements to the story that adapted the Christmas tale to Huron culture, such as wrapping the baby Jesus in rabbit skin instead of swaddling cloth.

A few other simple Wyandot words include "kweh," a friendly greeting, and "tizameh," which means "thank you." Known numbers in Wyandot include "skat" for one, "tindee" for two and "shenk" for three.