Multilingual Animal Names

Welcome to our celebration of a few of the many languages of Alaska. Here we will share different ways to honor the same creature in the words used by Alaska's diverse linguistic heritage.

Languages referenced include Lingít (also know as Tlingit), Xaad Kíl (also know as Haida), Sm’algyax (also know as Tsimshian) and Alutiiq.


Click these links to go directly to the different translations.

Mammals     Birds     Fish

 

Map Showing Indigenous Peoples and Languages of AlaskaMap showing Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska

Map credits go to Krauss, Michael, Gary Holton, Jim Kerr, and Colin T. West. 2011. Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska. Fairbanks and Anchorage: Alaska Native Language Center and UAA Institute of Social and Economic Research. 

 

 

Mammals

Black bear (Ursus americanus)
Photo courtesy of Milo Burcham

English - bear-black bear

Lingít - s'eek

Sm’algyax - 'tu'utsgm ol

Xaad Kíl -  táan

Alutiiq - tańeŕliq


Brown bear (Ursus arctos)
Photo courtesy of Milo Burcham

English - bear-grizzly bear, brown bear

Lingít - xóots, s'uḵkasdúk

Sm’algyax - madeeg, mashgm'ol, mish'ol

Xaad Kíl - xúuj

Alutiiq - laq'laq


Beaver chewing on a tree.
Photo courtesy of Pete Schneider

English - beaver

Lingít - s'igeidí

Sm’algyax - sh'dsoal

Xaad Kíl - ts'áng

Alutiiq - shniq


Baby Porcupine.
Photo courtesy of DeAnna Perry

English - Porcupine

Lingít - xalak'ách'

Sm’algyax - awta

Xaad Kíl - xahlk'ats'

Alutiiq - qangataaq


Stellers sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus).
Photo courtesy of Milo Burcham

English - sea lion

Lingít - taan

Sm’algyax - deebn

Xaad Kíl - kíid

Alutiiq - wiinaq


Squirrel eating a spruce cone.
Photo courtesy of Alannah Johnson

English - squirrel

Lingít - kanals'áak

Sm’algyax - dushck

Xaad Kíl - dasĝaa, gahlts'áagw

Alutiiq


Orca breaching completely out of the water.
Photo courtesy of Jessica Warmbrodt

English - Whale - Orca, Killer Whale

Lingít - kéet

Sm’algyax - 'naackhl

Xaad Kíl - sGáan

Alutiiq - arlluk


Gray Wolf (Canis lupus).
Photo courtesy of Milo Burcham

English - wolf

Lingít - Gooch

Sm’algyax - gibaaw

Xaad Kíl - Gúuj

Alutiiq


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Birds

Two bald eagles preparing to land.
Photo courtesy of Michele Parker

English - bald eagle

Lingít - ch'áak'

Sm’algya- ckshgeeg

Xaad Kíl - ts'áak'

Alutiiq - kuckalaq


Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens).
Photo courtesy of Milo Burcham

English - gull, seagull

Lingít - kéidladi

Sm’algya- ggagoom

Xaad Kíl - sk'ín

Alutiiq - nanhqwaq


Rufous hummingbird at a feeder.
Photo courtesy of Diane Wiese

English - hummingbird

Lingít - digitgiyáa; dagatgiyáa

Sm’algyax - ahlyeeggawsh

Xaad Kíl - dagdagdiyáa, hldánts'iid

Alutiiq - mekktarrpak


Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon).
Photo courtesy of Milo Burcham

English - kingfisher

Lingít - tlaxaneis'

Sm’algya- tsiyol'g

Xaad Kíl - k'ut'ún

Alutiiq


Common Raven (Corvus corax) calling.
Photo courtesy of Milo Burcham

 English - raven

Lingít - yéil

Sm’algya- ggaagg

Xaad Kíl - yáahl

Alutiiq - abalanaq


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Fish

Sockeye salmon guarding nest at Steep Creek.
Photo courtesy of Pete Schneider

English - sockeye salmon; red salmon

LingítGaat

Sm’algya- mishoa

Xaad Kíl - sGwáagaan

Alutiiq - niklliq


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