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.Continue Reading
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 Br��beuf, a Jesuit missionary living among the Huron of Quebec, was first composed in Wyandot instead of his native French. Le Br��beuf 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.Learn more about Education