historical fiction, history, writer, writing

The Onyota’a:ka Language

The Oneida people play a large role in this book, and as such, I thought it only natural to include their language. I was not unfamiliar with including a language in my writing to which I have little to no knowledge of – The Crash of Hard Water has Japanese.
But, finding Japanese translations and language resources are far easier to find than Oneida. There are, however, a few invaluable resources I have used in my writing. Stylistically, there is a way around writing full blocks of dialogue in a language I do not want to butcher. For example, I will often word dialogue like:
“I like to read,” said so-and-so in Onyota’a:ka.
But, there are words that I make a conscious effort to put in the text since they are important to the emotional impact and tone.

Here is a list of terms I frequently use:

Shekoli = hello
teyakní·tluˀ = spouse, husband, wife
iyʌhwatʌ́ha = my nephew
Onyota’a:ka = Oneida
Haudenosaunee = Six Nations
Kanien’kehá:ka = Mohawk
akitshe:nʌ̲́ = my pet
alaˀse = cousin
Kunolukhwa = I love you
laknulhá = uncle
laksótha = my grandfather
onulhá = aunt/mother
Atʌhnutel = brother
nʌ kiˀ wah = goodbye

The sources I use are:

https://www.uwgb.edu/oneida/EnglishToOneida.aspx This source has been absolutely amazing. Thank you so, so much UWGB!