Comanche is an Uto-Aztecan language spoken in south west Oklahoma and New Mexico by
about 854 mainly elderly speakers, out of a total Comanche population of 12,000.
In the early years of the 19th century many Comanche children were taken from their
homes and educated in boarding schools where the language of instruction was English.
They were punished for speaking Comanche and as a result, soon spoke only English. By
the middle of the century only the elders could still speak the language.
In 1989 the Comanche Tribe began a project to preserve the language and the history
of their ancestors. The end result was 15 two-hour tapes featuring 40 tribal elders
telling stories and family history in their native tongue. During the following two
years a number of language classes were organized by individual tribal members, all
In 1993 the Comanche Language and Cultural Preservation Committee was formed with the
vision of reviving Comanche as a living language. The Committee wants to provide the
opportunity for Comanche people of all ages to be able to speak, write and understand
their language in order that it and their culture might live on.
In 1994 the Comanche Tribe adopted a Comanche alphabet and spelling system developed
by Dr. Alice Anderton, a linguistic anthropologist at the University of Oklahoma, Norman.
Since then a number of Comanche books, dictionaries, and other materials have been published.
stress normally falls on the first syllable of a word.
If it falls elsewhere, an acute accent is used to indicate this.
Some useful Comanche words
Comanche language = nʉmʉ tekwapʉ̱
English Language = taibo tekwapʉ̱
Do you speak Comanche? = ʉnha nʉmʉ tekwaʔeyu?
Hello! = marúawe (to 1 person),
marúawebukwu (to 2 people),
marúaweeka/marúaweka (to a group),
haa marúawe (hi), marúawekwai (tell me all about it)
How are you? = ʉnha hakai nuusuka?
Fine, and you? = tsaatʉ̱, ʉntse?
I'll see you tomorrow! = noo nʉ pʉetsʉ̱ku ʉ punine!
My name is .... = nʉ nahnia tsa ....
What's your name? = ʉnha hakai nahniaka?
What's the Comanche word for ...? = hakai ... nʉmʉ nahniaka?
Do you understand me? = ʉnha nʉ nakisupanaʔinʉ̱?
I understand you = ʉ nakisupanaʔitʉ nʉ
I don't understand you = ke nʉ ʉ nakisupanaʔitʉ
Kiowa Tribe = kaiwa
Please = haamee
Thank you = ʉra
How old are you? = ʉnha huu tomopʉ̱?
Yes = haa
No = kee
Spanish Language = yuhu taibo tekwapʉ̱
Fry bread = yuhu nookopʉ̱
1 = sʉmʉ
2 = wahaatʉ̱
3 = pahiitʉ̱
4 = hayarokweetʉ
5 = moʔobetʉ̱
6 = naabaitʉ̱
7 = taatsʉkwitʉ̱
8 = namewatsʉkwitʉ̱
9 = wʉmhinatʉ̱
10 = suumarʉ
Comanche pronunciation and useful words supplied by Benjamin Bruce