This morning I worked Ojibwe. Aside from numbers and some greetings, I am an absolute beginner with Ojibwe
Words from the first unit in the Michipicoten First Nation Ojibwe Memrise course:
Because of how the Memrise course is laid out, I may do the units in a different order as fitting my studies rather than doing the Memrise course linearly.
The word boozhoo seems to have some misunderstanding surrounding it. From its pronunciation and similar usage, it is understandable than some people might liken it to the French bonjour, but it seems that has led to people misappropriating boozhoo as a derivation of bonjour. From this blog post, the word boozhoo predated any contact with French settlers, as it derives from an old word for the main character found in the Ojibwe creation stories.
A man from Nigigoonsiminikaaning and a woman from Naotkamegwanning share that the central character (and original spirit) in all our oldest stories is Nanaboozhoo (or “Waynaboozhoo”).
In the stories told, it is said that after he helped name the animals and plants, he left – but because he was also a trickster, he said he would come back and return to the People – but he would not say what he would look like.
No one would know. Is going to look like you? Like Me? Like a bird? He said we wouldn’t know what he was going to look like. Also, certain people have certain gifts that other may acknowledge, but because humility is important, they don’t talk about them.
Is He/She with these gifts Nanaboozhoo returned? So that story stayed with the people for generations upon generations and it took shape was a question and greeting early-on, “Giin inna Nanaboozhoo?” or “Giin inna Waynaboozhoo?” (Are you Nanaboozhoo? Are you Waynaboozhoo?).
It became a greeting over time and during the Westward migration – and over time “Giin inna Nanaboozhoo?” was shortened to “Boozhoo.”
According to this second video in the Let's Start Ojibwe series, the shortening of nanaboozhoo may have been partly due to French settlers misunderstanding it as bonjour.
From this video:
Common greeting: Aaniin/Aanii - understood as "Hello" but lit. I see your light
Traditional greeting: Nanaboozhoo or just boozhoo - used traditionally that served as a way to recognize others who shared the Anishinaabeg culture
______ ndizhnikaas - _____ I am called
______ doden niinda'aw - _____ clan I belong
______ n'doonjibaa - _____ community I belong
Baamaapii miinwass kaawaabmin
Baamaapii - later, after a while
miinwaas - again
kaawaabmin - I see you
Obviously this is similar to the form taught in the Memrise course, baamaa pii giga-waabamia (will see you later).