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Song for Aki: Translation

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Agawa Canyon, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

As I wrote “Song for Aki”, it gave me the opportunity to use the Ojibway words that I have been taught as well as challenging myself to some new vocabulary, based on online resources. For those who might be interested, I have included the original version of my last post as well as the English translation. The Ojibway (Ojibwe) language has varied dialects depending on regions throughout Canada and the U.S.   The native language is beautiful.  Translated to simple English, the poem definitely loses it’s charm.

Song for Aki

Standing atop of Chi Wajiwan
Anishinaabe eyes see what I cannot
Gi za gin, Aki
Gi za gin

From the gigoon in the sea
To the migizi, majestic ruler of the sky
Gi za gin, Aki
Gi za gin

Zhooniyaa is not sacred
Like the giizis and the anangoons
Gi za gin, Aki
Gi za gin

The daywaygan beats
To the rhythm of my deh
Gi za gin, Aki
Gi za gin

Noodin gently rocks
The wiigwaasi-mitigoog
Gi za gin, Aki
Gi za gin

I may be Zhaagnaash
Still the bugwayji calls my name
Gi zi gin, Aki
Gi zi gin

~

Translation:

Song for the Earth

Standing atop of Big Mountains
Native eyes see what I cannot
I love you, Earth
I love you

From the fish in the sea
To the eagle, majestic ruler of the sky
I love you, Earth
I love you

Money is not sacred
Like the sun and the stars
I love you, Earth
I love you

The drum beats
To the rhythm of my heart
I love you, Earth
I love you

The wind gently rocks
The white birch trees
I love you, Earth
I love you

I may be “white people”
But nature’s places call my name
I love you, Earth
I love you

Related Articles:

http://www.nativetech.org/shinob/ojibwelanguage.html

http://www.ojibwe.org/home/pdf/ojibwe_beginner_dictionary.pdf

http://ojibwe.lib.umn.edu/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ojibwe_language

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4 responses »

  1. Both are equally as beautiful, it’s so well done. I love how the original looks, it’s a pretty language.

    Reply
  2. Very moving. Indigenous cultures contain the breath of life which we have cast off.

    Reply
  3. Thank you Gretchen. You have a subtle yet beautiful way of capturing it in your artwork. There is great wisdom in their teachings. 🙂

    Reply

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