Anishinaabemowin Language resources from Helen Roy Anishinaabemowin - Helen Roy
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I have been teaching the Anishinaabe language for many years.

Over the years, I developed a working method for new learners. 

It is called the Sound Based Method of Understanding Anishinaabemowin.  It is not just a method, it is the way the language was originally understood before any English was known by Anishinaabeg. 

The book defines what each sound in a word means. This is Anishinaabe thinking.  The language is very accurate in describing actions.  Every time a certain sound is heard, the same certain type of action is referred to.  It is that simple.  

It is an amazing breakthrough for new language learners and long-time bilingual speakers as well.  Yes, there is a more accurate understanding of Anishinaabemowin than that which English synonyms from translating dictionaries can provide.  

You will love this book and you will use this knowledge for the rest of your life.

It is full of examples shown in full color photographs. There are several example words for each letter sound, explaining the idea spoken about with that letter sound. Yes, each individual letter is an idea spoken.

I have already taught using this method at Michigan State University for a year now. The students are overwhelmingly amazed at how it makes so much more sense than studying having to learn the rules of grammar.

“The grammar rules makes sense now”, they say.  "Now that I know what zoowookipo really means, I can't wait for it to snow!"

They have learned to see what is spoken about without being told the English translations.

We have to get back to that Anishinaabe-based thinking so that the new learners will understand the language the way it was meant to be understood.

Caroline Helen Roy Fuhst.


Have you ever wondered what is really said in Anishinaabemowin?  

Has an elder ever told you that the English cannot translate what the fluent speaker and listener are really thinking when they speak their native language?

The Anishinaabemowin words are not just replacement words for English thoughts.

The words are made of many ideas.  I have defined the ideas within the words.

Now you can learn what is really said.  

This method can guide you to Anishinaabe-like understanding. Training is necessary!

​Contact me for scheduling training in the use of this method!


We will travel to your location for training workshops or you can come to us.  


Why Do We Do Popular Songs in Ojibwe?
That's the way the cookie crumbles?  
In that direction? Southeasterly?
Why Do We Do Popular Songs in Ojibwe?
This is called a "biscuit" in Britian, or a "tray bake".
A cookie is a plain bun in Scotland. In South Africa a "cookie" is what we call a cupcake.
Check out our "Retailer in Canada" page for the location of the Manitoulin Trading Post.
This falling apple is symbolic of the way
that a fluent person hears a literal translation.  Something is terribly amiss.
Here is an apple for the teacher.


Especially having been a linguistic major for about a year, I found the idea of breaking down a language to that elemental of a level seemingly impossible. If it was, how come I hadn’t heard of this in any of my linguistics courses, or in any of the classes of the four languages I had studied? The answer was simple. Helen works way harder than that.

Having spent a year learning the grammatical method of learning Anishinaabemowin followed by running through the trial period of the Sound-based method, I initially had some trouble really believing this was as specific and universal as it is. A moment of clarity hit me about three to four months into my first year that caused me to be unable to utilize any English to explain the thoughts and images I was trying to convey in the language. I understood!

Since then I have been far more able to understand what I hear and read, and have found that it is not just English thinking that needs to be eliminated, but also any type of critical analysis needs to be eliminated in favor of just opening my eyes and ears and really absorbing what Helen is saying and doing. She has often alluded to how an infant learns; first to listen, then ‘test’ words by stringing sounds together, and eventually being able to speak and understand instinctually, knowing by intuition how and where certain sounds, sounds groups, and words are used and why.

Essentially this is how we are learning through this sound-based method. We are learning not to translate, but to see and feel and hear and react in an entirely different worldview. Helen is training her students to be fluent listeners first, and speakers second, not translators like traditional western language teaching has been doing for countless generations.

Through first learning these sounds, we can now look at a word like “agimiwan” and really see everything that occurs to make “rain” what it is. To test this, we looked up the English definition of “rain” in a dictionary and found nearly the exact same definition as the full phonetic definition of ‘agimiwan’. And that essentially, is how this works. We are learning how to speak about and describe things fully, missing no details, in Anishinaabemowin and why they are spoken that way.

We are given multiple examples from all the “dialects” throughout the Anishinaabe language family and we can now see that not only are they saying the same thing (albeit in a different way), but also what specific aspects of what is described are being stressed through phonetic changes and why.

While I can’t yet speak as well as I did when I was “translating” (which I could remedy simply by studying more), my overall comprehension and especially my ability to understand rapid speech has skyrocketed.

I love every minute of it.

Sean Patrick
5th Year, MSU Senior.
A Whole New Worldview Awaits You!
This is what an MSU student says about learning the Anishinaabe based way:
Check out the Students Testimonials Page for more student comments.  Click here:
Anishinaabe spirituality is based on the Earth, so you really need to know the roots of the language in order to understand the Anishinaabe worldview. In today's world, only Natural Scientists study nature as closely as all Anishinaabeg once did. This video introduction to the Sound Based Method of Understanding Anishinaabemowin shows that all Anishinaabeg were once so close to nature that they based Anishinaabemowin on natural actions. This is the Anishinaabe Based Method of thinking that is missing from all the wordlists you can find. Come explore the Anishinaabe mind and worldview. 
This is a whole new way of thinking about language. Each sound speaks of a concept, the same concept wherever it is heard throughout the language. Action is what it is all about. It is truly a verb-based worldview.  

Do not settle for superficial culture. Culture resides in the mind, not in the symbols and artifacts. Learn this worldview and you will honor the ancestors. You will begin to THINK in the Anishinaabe way.


4160 Kimberly Drive, Canton, MI 48188 USA
(517) 282-2337  
or write to Helen Roy on FaceBook
or e-mail:  helenroysongs@hotmail.com  
This song is from my collection of over 130 songs we have produced.  

The photographs are from our trip to Arizona in March 2014.  Enjoy listening.
I sing a "Language Anthem" on almost every CD describing what is happening to our Anishinaabemowin.  
This one is quite sad, but true.
About The Anishinaabe Natural Scientists:
Students should keep the information in this video in mind while studying Anishinaabemowin.  Return and watch this again as you learn more.  What seems hard to understand will be easier as you learn the true meaning of the sounds spoken.
First, enjoy a little entertainment to welcome you to my site.