Nez Perce Tribe - Language Program

Click on any of the following links to listen and learn the Nimipuutimt phrases.

July 2014
Q'oyx̣c'áal - July. q'óyx̣c - blueback salmon.  The start of the sockeye or blueback salmon run season. Upon entering freshwater from the Pacific Ocean, both males and females develop bright red bodies and green heads. Certain groups of sockeye, called kokanee, live their entire lives in freshwater lakes.

halx̣páawit - Sun/th> halx̣páawin’aqit Mon lepítkaa’awn Tue mitáatkaa’awn Wed píileptkaa’awn Thu páax̣atkaa’awn Fri halx̣pawit’áasx Sat

  1 23  Thank you that we are free! 4 Qe’ciyéw’yew’ yox̣ kem haywáanin’ wisíix. 5
’ee hipéenu’ cikáawiso’ ’iceyéeye hiwéeke.                   kawó’ niséeweynuu, ’itúu ’íim wic’éese?” wistitámonm péene”
“You they shall speak of to be feared (accomplished in everything) the Coyote has been.
Now Coyote, what you want to be?” The Sweathouse to him said,
6  78 9 1011 12
kex ’íink’u wéeptes wic’éec,” ’iceyéeye hihíne, “weeke’éyx wéeye.”        
’inéeku’ yú’c ’iceyéeye hiweec’éeyneyike ko wéet’u minma’í weeke’eyke’s.
“I will also eagle be,” Coyote said. “Fly you.”      Although the poor coyote jumped about, but not in any way for him to fly..
1314 15161718

kalá ’ee wée wéet’u” wistitámonm péene. héenek’u hín, “’itúu wic’éese?”      “kax wátax wéete wewúkye,” ’iceyéeye hihíne
“Just you will not do,” Sweathouse said. Again said, “What do you wish to be?”           “I will then be an elk,” Coyote said.

20 21 22 2324   Chief Joseph Days in Wallowa -->> 25  Miyóox̣at Josephnim Léeheyn Wal’wáapa 26
kawó’ ’iceyéeyenm péesepelepskuyeeye wewúkyene quqúke’eykitki, ’inéeku kíimtem. na’kós’ ’íske wewúkye hitqeqqúke’eyke.
“Then the Coyote imitated the elk in its gallop, although a short distance just like an elk he (quickly) galloped”
27 28 293031    
Kíimet miwácpa kaa wáaqo’ kalá hiwepéeke’eyke’       ’Kiwáyl hiwepeke’éyke, taláx̣, q’íiláwn hitkekuséem
Where in a short time when again ran (like a dog or coyote).
A distance he ran (like a dog), he stopped, he turned (his head) and stood (like a coyote).

leputmúusus wax̣ púutimt wax̣ píilept - 2014

Printable Q'oyx̣c'áal - July calendar. 




The Nimiipuutimt Alphabet Book has been developed to aid in the learning of the Nez Perce alphabet, as approved by the Language Program's Advisory Board of Elders in March 1997.

Several different alphabets have been used to represent the Nez Perce Language, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, the Advisory Board of Elders decided to use the writing system that had already been employed by the Bilingual Committee of the Nez Perce Tribe in 1979 (this committee included Mary Carter, Beatrice Miles, Henry Penney, Lota Sublett, and Lucille Raboin among others).  

It is essential that a spelling system show all the important distinctions in the sounds that the learners need to make. This will help them to pronounce the words correctly. It is also important that the spelling system not incorporate unnecessary and confusing complications. Although the alphabet used here introduces a few new letters, the Advisory Board concluded that it has the advantage of representing all of the different sounds and their important differences in the simplest manner. It is a practical writing system that employs principles of education and the science of language.  

The Nez Perce language has a number of sounds that we don't have in English. This can make it hard at first to say the words correctly.  

Improve your Nimipuutimt (keep checking as we expand this list)  

Five Vowels (plus long and short)  

Nimiipuutimt has five vowels that can be short or long in duration: a e i o u or aa ee ii oo uu. The long vowels are written double (in English dictionaries, long vowels are represented with a line over the top ā ē ī ō ū). When you say a long vowel, it takes longer to pronounce than a short vowel.  

Some of these vowels sound just like they do in English and some have a somewhat different sound. Just keep in mind that whether they are long or short, each letter stand for essentially the same sound (unlike English which can use many different ways of representing a sound). 


As we begin with the vowels, let's talk about stress (we are talking about language stress). Each word will have one vowel that has the most stress or emphasis on it. Vowels with stress are pronounced a little stronger and a little higher than other vowels. 

It is important to say words with the stress on the right vowel or the word will sound wrong or funny. For example, try saying potato and tomato with the stress on the first or last vowel. See how funny it sounds? Now consider the two English words cónvict and convíct. The first one is a noun and the second one is a verb.  

The convict might to got jail if, the court will convict him of the crime.  

The only difference between these two words is which vowel has the stress. It is important to put the stress in the right place. 

We indicate stressed vowels by putting a stress mark ' over them: á é í ó ú. For the long vowels, we only put the mark over the first part of the symbol: áa ée íi óo úu. Normally, we don't mark stress on a word with only one vowel because we know that it must have the stress.  


Circle of Elders: Bernice Moffett, Florene Davis, Bessie Scott, Connie Claye, Leroy Seth, Veronica Taylor, Loretta Halfmoon Frances Paisano  

208.843.7325 or 208.843.7402  

 Language Coordinator: Angel Sobotta ex. 4644

Language Coordinator: Thomas Gregory, tátlo ex. 4659 

Language Coordinator: Bessie Walker ex 4645  

Language Technician: Leslie Moses ex. 4643 

Language Technician: Harry Slickpoo Jr. ex. 4741

Language Technician: Gary Greene

Language Coordinator Orofino/Kamiah: Vacant  



All materials produced under the auspices of the Nez Perce Language Program are copyrighted by the Nez Perce Tribe and remain the intellectual property of the Tribe. Any reproduction in full or in part will be prosecuted to the full extend of local and foreign law.