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Míkmaq language facts for kids

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Native to Canada, United States
Region Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Gaspé Peninsula, the island of Newfoundland, northern Maine, Boston, Massachusetts
Ethnicity 14,200 Mi'kmaq (1998)
Native speakers 8,300  (2010 & 2011 censuses)e18
Language family
Recognised minority language in New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

The Mi'kmaq language (also spelled Míkmaq, Mi'gmaq, Mi'qmac, or priorly Micmac) is an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by nearly 9,000 Míkmaq in Canada, and another 1,200 in United States, out of a total ethnic Míkmaq population of roughly 40,000. The word Míkmaq is a plural word meaning 'my friends' (singular Míkm); the adjectival form is Míkmaw. The language's native name is Míkmawísimk or Míkmwei (in some dialects).

Writing system

Míkmaq is written with letters of the Roman alphabet. This writing system was created by missionaries in the 19th century. Before, the language was written in Míkmaq hieroglyphic writing, a script of partially-native origin.


IPA a a: e e: i i: ə dʒ/tʃ g/k l m n o o: b/p x s d/t u u: w j
Francis-Smith a á e é i í ɨ j k l m n o ó p q s t u ú w y
Listuguj a a' e e' i i' ' j g l m n o o' p q s t u u' w y
Lexicon a a: e e: i i: ɨ j k l m n o o: p q s t u u: w y
Pacifique a e i tj g l m n ô p s t o
Rand ă a â ĕ ā ĭ e ŭ ch c k l m n ŏ o ō b h s d t ŏŏ oo u w y
  • Rand, Silas Tertius. 1888. Dictionary of the language of the Micmac Indians, who reside in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Cape Breton and Newfoundland. Halifax: Nova Scotia Printing Company. Reprinted 1994: New Delhi & Madras: Asian Educational Services, ISBN: 81-206-0954-9

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