Tongva is an Uto-Aztecan language which was spoken in Southern California, around Los Angeles (Yaanga) and on Santa Catalina Island. The last native speakers are thought to have died in about 1900. However, there are unverified reports of speakers surviving until the 1970s. Tongva is also known as Gabrieleño.

Tongva was extensively documented by John Peabody Harrington (1884-1961), a linguist and ethnologist who specialised in the native languages of California. His work on Tongva was not published, but was collected by the Smithsonian Museum's Bureau of American Ethnology.

Since 2012 efforts have been made by the Tongva tribal council to revive the language. They have set up classes, and the Gabrielino-Tongva Language Committee has created Tongva grammar lessons and songs, and a Tongva Facebook page.

Tongva alphabet and pronunciation

Tongva alphabet and pronunciation

Download Tongva alphabet charts in PDF or Excel

Sample Tongva expressions

Mopuushtenpo xaa mochoova!
May your strength be with you!

I remember you

Totaara'e piik
He is throwing the rock

Paararne xaa
I'm thirsty

'Aweeshkone xaa, 'ekwaa'a xaa!
I'm happy you're here!

Heniike'am mohiin tameevngey?
How old are you?

... nehiin tameevngey
I'm ... years old

Be quiet!

Sample text (The Lord's Prayer)

ʼEyoonak, ʼeyooken tokuupangaʼe xaa;
hoyuuykoy motwaanyan;
moxariin mokiimen tokuupra;
maay moʼwiishme meyii ʼooxor ʼeyaa tokuupar.
Hamaare, ʼeyooneʼ maxaareʼ ʼwee taamet,
koy ʼoovonreʼ ʼeyoomamaayntar momoohaysh, miyii ʼeyaare
'oovonax 'eyoohiino 'eyooyha';
koy xaareʼ maayn ʼiitam momoohaysh,
koy xaa mohuuʼesh.
ʼWee meneeʼ xaaʼe.


Some details provided by Wolfram Siegel and Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample videos in and about Tongva

Information about Tongva | Numbers


Information about the Tongva language

Uto-Aztecan languages

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

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 20.04.24


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