Oʼodham (Oʼodham ñiok)

Oʼodham is an Uto-Aztecan language spoken in southern Arizona in the USA and in northern Sonora in Mexico. In 2007 there were about 15,000 speakers of Oʼodham, which is also known as Papago-Pima. There are two main Oʼodham dialects: Tohono Oʼodham (Papago), and Akimel Oʼodham (Pima), which are largely mutually intelligilble. Each has a number of sub-dialects. There is also a Hia C-ed Oʼodham dialect.

Oʼodham is officially recognised as a national language in Mexico.

Written Oʼodham

There are two main ways to write Oʼodham: the Alvarez-Hale orthography and the Saxton orthography, both were developed in the 1960s and 1970s. The former is used officially by the Tohono Oʼodham Nation and the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community. The latter is used officially by the Gila River Indian Community.

Alvarez-Hale orthography

Oʼodham alphabet and pronunciation - Alvarez-Hale orthography


Saxton orthography

Oʼodham alphabet and pronunciation - Saxton orthography


Download an alphabet chart for Oʼodham (Excel)

Sample text in Oʼodham

Ce:daghim 'o 'ab wu:sañhim.
To:tahim 'o 'ab wu:sañhim.
Cuckuhim 'o 'ab him.
Wepeghim 'o 'abai him.


Greenly they emerge.
In colors of blue they emerge
Whitely they emerge.
In colors of black they are coming.
Reddening, they are right here.

Na:nko Ma:s Cewagi/Cloud Song, by Ofelia Zepeda
Source: http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/pubs/stabilize/iii-families/zepeda.htm

Sample videos in Oʼodham

Information about O'odham | Numbers


Information about the Oʼodham people and language

The Tohono Oʼodham Creation Story

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, Timbisha, Tongva, Yaqui

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

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