Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Comment »
GRAND RAPIDS - It is said "love is universal." As Valentine's Day is celebrated today we thought it would be appropriate to share "I love you" in dozens of Native languages.
Is Your Tribe Represented?
Gathering the various ways to say "I love you" in our Native languages was fun and challenging. Calling tribal offices across Indian Country, we quickly discovered our languages are not commonly known or spoken. In some cases, we were transferred to the language department. In one case, we were given the telephone number of the tribal police department and told to ask for a specific person who "will probably know how to say it." She did, but this cupid asked to remain anonymous.
We know this list is by no means complete. We apologize if your tribe is not listed. Please feel free to let us know how to say "I love you" in your tribal language in our comment section.
We apologize if your tribe's translation is not how you think is correct. We endeavor to be accurate. Please contact us with your translation.
I Love YouEnglish
Hamma Tenshai KumchaBlackfoot
Chi hullo liChoctaw
U kamakutu nuComanche
Aloha wau ia oeHawaiian
Nu' umi unangwa'taHopi
Aim go-doe bee-el-doeKiowa
Moo ams ni stintaKlamath
Ne-stl' i NexwLummi
Kana misk hitjupOhlone
Tu uste yoomPaiute
KetebaneneSac & Fox
Neh ume chasuequandaShoshone
Enyi sum'oh hoytTohono O'Odham
'Enk'ay sihYinka Dene
Tom ho' ichemaZuni
We send our gratitude to tribal officials who talked to us or emailed their tribe's translation.
Special thanks to Monica Whitepigeon in Illinois and Arthur Jacobs in California who assisted in the process.
Editors note: First published on Valentine's Day 2012 in support of Miranda Washinawatok, the student suspended from her school sports team for saying "I Love You" in her native Menominee language, returns today.
updated February 14, 2013 6:40 am est; posted February 14, 2012 12:59 pm est
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