Malecite-Passamaquoddy is an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by the Maliseet (Wolastoqiyik) people in New Brunswick in Canada, and by the Passamaquoddy (Pestəmohkat) people in eastern Maine in the USA. In 2016 there were about 310 speakers of Malecite-Passamaquoddy in Canada, and in 2007 there were about 100 speakers in the USA. The majority of speakers are older adults, and most fluent speakers are over 60 years old. Few children speak the language and it is no longer passed on in families.

The language is also known as Maliseet-Passamaquoddy, and there are two dialects: Malecite and Passamaquoddy. The former is spoken in Tobique, Woodstock, Kingsclear, St. Mary's and Oromocto along the Saint John River in New Brunswick. The latter is spoken in Indian Township and Pleasant Point along the St. Croix River in eastern Maine. The dialects differ mainly in pronunciation.

Parts of the Bible were translated into Malecite-Passamaquoddy in the 1870s. Other publications, such as a grammar and dictionary, have been produced since then. The language is taught in some schools, and in community classes for adults. The Language Keepers project, which was started in 2006, involves filming conversations and traditional cultural activities with native speakers of the language. These are made into DVDs with English subtitles.

Malecite-Passamaquoddy alphabet and pronunciation

Malecite-Passamaquoddy alphabet and pronunciation


c, p, t, k, q and s are voiced when next to vowels or a final n.

Download an alphabet chart for Malecite-Passamaquoddy (Excel)

Sample text (The Lord's Prayer)

Me-tox-sen'a spum-keek ay-e-en sa-ga-mow-ee tel-mox-se'en tel-e-wee-so-teek. Cheep-tooke wee-chey-u-leek spum-keek taun e-too-chee-sauk-too-leek spum-a-kay-e'en. Too-eep-nauk-na-meen kes-e-kees-skah-keel wek-a-yeu-leek el-me-kees-kaak keel-mets-min a-woo-lee. Ma-hate-moo-in ka-tee a-le-wa-nay-ool-te'ek el-mas we-chee-a-keel me-koke-may-keel ne-ma-hate-hum-too-moo-in.

Source: Language Museum

Sample video in and about Malecite-Passamaquoddy

Information about Malecite-Passamaquoddy | Numbers


Information about Malecite-Passamaquoddy

Algonquian languages

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

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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