East Cree (ᐄᔨᔫ ᐊᔨᒨᓐ / Îyiyû Ayimûn)

East Cree is a Cree language spoken by about 13,000 people in northern Quebec in Canada. In particular, it is spoken in the James Bay region and on the east coast of Hudson Bay. It is the language of the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, the Cree Nation of Wemindji and la Première nation de Whapmagoostui.

East Cree is also known as Eastern James Bay Cree, East Main Cree, Eastern James Bay Cree Northern Dialect, James Bay Cree, James Bay Cree Northern.

There are two groups of dialects: northern dialects and southern dialects. Northern dialects (ᐄᔨᔫ ᐊᔨᒨᓐ / Îyiyû Ayimûn) are spoken in Wemindji, Chisasibi and Whapmagoostui. Southern dialects (ᐄᓅ ᐊᔨᒨᓐ / Înû Ayimûn) are spoken in Nemaska, Waskaganish, Eastmain, Mistissini, Oujé-Bougoumou, Waswanipi and Nemaska.

They are all more or less mutually intelligible, although the greater the distance between communities, the more difficult they find it to understand each other.

Eastern Cree Syllabics are used to write East Cree. The Latin alphabet is also used. It is taught in primary schools, used on the radio, and there is a dictionary, grammar and a translation of the New Testament in East Cree.

Latin alphabet for East Cree

Latin alphabet for East Cree

Notes

East Cree syllabics

East Cree syllabics

Download script charts for East Cree (Excel)

Details provided by Wolfram Siegel

Sample text (Northern dialect)

ᓈᐹᐤ ᐃᔅᑭᓂᑎᐱᔅᑳᐤᐦ ᑳ ᐱᐹᓈᓂᓯᓂᐧᐋᑦ ᐊᑎᐦᒄᐦ᙮ ᑳ ᐅᒋᐦᐱᑖᑦ ᒫᒃ ᐊᓂᑖᐦ ᒫᐧᑳᒡ ᐋ ᐃᐧᐋᔑᔨᐦᒡ᙮ ᑳ ᐧᑳᒋᒫᑦ ᐊᓐ ᓈᐹᐤ; ᒑᐧᑳᓐ ᐧᐋᐦᒋ ᐃᔨᑎᐱᔮᒄ? ᓃᔨ ᐧᐄ ᐋᔥᒄ ᓂᐱᐦ ᐱᐹᒥᐱᐦᑖᓐ᙮

Translation

A man chasing the caribou all night long and made them tired. As he arrived to the area where the caribou were resting from running the man talks to the caribou and asks them `Why are you doing sitting down? If I were you I would still be running.

Source: https://www.eastcree.org/cree/en/stories/

Sample text (Southern dialect)

ᓈᐯᔥ ᑳ ᐅᑎᓂᑯᑦ ᑳᑰᔥ ᒣᐧᑳᒡ ᐁ ᓂᑖᒥᓱᔨᒡ ᐅᑳᐧᐄ ᐊᓂᑌᐦ ᐧᐄᐧᐄᑕᒥᐦᒡ᙮ ᐁ ᒌ ᒣᒣᐱᑖᑦ ᒥᔥᑎᑯᒡ ᐯᔓᒡ ᐊᓂᑦᐦ ᐁ ᓂᑕᒥᓲᑦ ᐁᑯᑦᐦ ᑳ ᐅᐦᒋ ᐧᐃᓂᐦᐋᑦ, ᐁᑯᐦ ᑳ ᐧᐄᒋᒫᑦ ᐊᓂᔫᐦ ᒋᔐᔮᒄᐦ᙮

Translation

A baby boy who was taken by a bear while his mom was blueberry picking. She had put the baby in a hammock near where she was picking berries and lost her baby boy from there. The boy lived with the bears.

Source: https://www.eastcree.org/cree/en/stories/

Sample video about East Cree

Links

Information about East Cree
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Cree
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/crl
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/crj
https://carleton.ca/anako/2018/east-cree-language-resources/
https://www.mun.ca/cclas/east-cree/

Eastern James Bay Cree Dictionary
https://dictionary.eastcree.org/

Algonquian languages

Abenaki, Algonquin, Arapaho, Atikamekw, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Cree (East), Cree (Moose), Cree (Plains), Cree (Swampy), Cree (Woods), Innu (Montagnais), Kickapoo, Malecite-Passamaquoddy, Fox, Loup, Massachusett (Wampanoag), Menominee, Miami, Míkmaq, Mohegan, Mohican, Munsee, Narragansett, Naskapi, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree, Ottawa, Penobscot, Powhatan, Potawatomi, Quiripi, Shawnee, Unami (Lenape)

Languages written with Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics

Blackfoot, Carrier, Chipewyan, Cree (East), Cree (Moose), Cree (Plains), Cree (Woods), Inuktitut, Naskapi, Ojibwe, Oji-Cree

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page created: 30.11.22. Last modified: 30.11.22

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