aaniin, waabigwaniin!

That means “hello, flowers” in Ojibwemowin, the Ojibwe language, and it’s how I start all my little plant pronunciation videos on Instagram. It’s the equivalent of “hey, guys” at the beginning of every video on YouTube, or my version of “hey, all you cool cats and kittens” if you will. It’s also the hashtag you can use to find all these videos on Instagram – or just click right here!

I started making these videos after several people asked about pronunciation for the plant names I was sharing. They should really be taken with a grain of salt, because I’m a language learner, and my pronunciation isn’t perfect by any stretch. There can also be regional variation in how we say words and even in what we call plants, because Anishinaabe-aki (Ojibwe country) stretches hundreds of miles away from me in different directions. Even though I’m not qualified to teach the language or anything, I figured I can at least post videos of how I learned to say these plant names. Some plant names are simple and widely known, like giizhik for cedar, but some are a little more intimidating! So even if I don’t get it perfect, it’s a start.

Since each video focuses on just one plant, they are really short. You could binge all of them in just 10-15 minutes.

One other hashtag for all these videos is #ojibweplantnames which also pulls up all my plant pics with text overlaid, showing the names (and their literal translations) along with the flowers, berries, leaves, or other plant material. I’ve made about 150 of those images so far.

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