From English to Algonquian: Early New England Translations

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Current Projects

The Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Mohegan people are now working to reclaim their language. Colonization, assimilation, and the loss of sovereignty caused these once widely spoken native dialects to be lost over time. Today, tribes use the Algonquian Bible, Massachuset Psalter, Indian Grammar, Williams’s Key to the Language of America, and other primary Algonquian language texts to piece together a language that has not been spoken in centuries.

These seventeenth-century publications recorded a spoken language as part of an effort to convert a race of people to Christianity. In so doing, however, the English and Algonquian people responsible for recording native words in print created an “Indian library” that provides the foundation of current language reclamation work.

To learn more about the language reclamation work being performed by these tribes, visit the websites listed below.

Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project

Nipmuc Language

Mohegan Language Project