Luiseño (Cham'teela)

Luiseño is an Uto-Aztecan language that was spoken in southern Los Angeles County and northern San Diego County in southern California in the USA. The name Luiseño comes from the Mission of San Luis Rey de Francia.

The last native speaker of Luiseño, Villiana Calac Hyde, died in 1994. However, efforts are being made to revive the language. Classes in Luiseño for children are run on the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Riverside County in California. It is also possible to study the language at the University of California, San Bernardino.

The first orthography for Luiseño was developed by Pablo Tac (1822-1841) and was based on Spanish. Since then a number of other orthographies have been developed.

Recordings of Luiseño native speakers were made in the 1930s by John Peabody Harrington (1884-1961), a linguist and ethnologist who specialized in the native languages of California. They are available online from the Smithsonian Institution.

Luiseño alphabet and pronunciation

Luiseño alphabet and alphabet

Sample text (Lord's Prayer)

Cham-na’ tuupaña aaukat cham-cha oi ohó’vanma. Toshño om chaami. Loví’i om hish mimchapun ivá’ ooxñ tuupaña axáninuk. Ovi om chaamik cham-naachaxoni choun teméti. Maaxaxan-up om chaamik hish aláxwichi chaam-lo’xai ivianáninuk chaam-cha maaxaxma pomóomi chaami hish pom-lo’xai aláxwichi. Tuusho kamíí’i chaami chaam-lo’xai hish hichakati. Kwavcho om chaami.

Hear a recording of the Lord's Prayer in Luiseño (A different version to the one above)

Recording provided by Mark Levinson

Sample video in Luiseño


Information about the Luiseño languageño_language

Uto-Aztecan languages

Comanche, Cora, Hopi, Huarijio, Huichol, Ivilyuat / Cahuilla, Kawaiisu, Luiseño, Mayo, Mono, O'odham, Nahuatl, Northern Paiute, Pipil, Serrano, Shoshone, Southern Paiute, Tarahumara, Tepehuán (Northern), Tepehuán (Southeastern), Tepehuán (Southwestern), Timbisha, Tongva, Yaqui

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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