Crayfish Cribbles: Chapter One
The traditional way to learn Mingo is to start with animal and bird names.
Nowadays, it is mostly animals and birds who speak Mingo anyway. So it is a
good place to start.
This chapter will give a somewhat lay English equivalent for the
pronunciation of each name. Crayfish knows absolutely nothing about
linguistics, and its indications on pronunciation are merely its cribble
notes. Notice how the words are written and pronounced. Work through them
carefully. The pronunciation is very important, despite Crayfish's ineptitude
and incompetence. This will hopefully give you a good foundation for
pronouncing the new words in Chapter Two and later.
Once you know the names of the spirits where you live, you can begin to
commune with nature. Learn the words first, then practice addressing them
to the birds and animals you meet.
Tsúwís is the Robin's name. The ts at
the beginning is pronounced like the ds in "suds". It may be hard at
first to put it at the beginning of a word. The marks over the ú and
í make them long. The word is pronounced Dsow-weese and rhymes
with "slow peace".
Tsistáa is the Grasshopper's name. The áa
at the end is pronounced like the a in "father", and of course is very long
drawn out. The word is pronounced Jee-stah.
Tsinutaka' is the Muskrat's name. It is
pronounced Jee-NO-dah-gah'. There is a so-called "glottal stop" on the
end, marked with an apostrophe -'-. The word is cut off short with a
catch in the throat.
Tsuhkwe'eani' is the Partridge's name. There
are two important things to watch in this word. The first is to be sure to
pronounce the h very strongly. The second thing is the glottal stop,
which is marked with an apostrophe -'-. This is a clear stop, a sort
of catch in the throat, like in the expression "uh-oh". There is one in the
middle of the word, and one at the end. The second vowel is stressed, spoken
higher and more strongly. Dsoh-GWAY'-ay-ah-ni'.
Tsuæshæ' in the name of the Heron, especially
the Great Blue Heron. The letter æ is pronounced as the
a in "hat". The s and h have to be pronounced separately,
as in "grass-hut". Remember the glottal stop at the end. Pronounce the end
like "hat", but without the t. DSOH-ass-ha'.
Tsúnyöta is the Eagle's name. The ú is
long, and the ö with dots is nasal, spoken through the nose, like the
on in "gong". DSOH-nyon-dah.
Tsunöë'ta' is the Elk's name. It has both
nasal vowels, one following the other. The first, ö, is like the
on in "gong". The second, ë, is like the an in "and" or
"Ann" without completely pronouncing the final n. To make things even
more difficult, there is a glottal stop both in the middle of the word and
at the end. Dsoh-NON(G)-a(n)'-dah'. Do not pronounce the letters in
parentheses. They are there to make you pronounce the letters before them
correctly. Always pronounce two vowels together without a break, otherwise
a glottal stop will come through, and that is a sound with meaning in
Tsi'nô is the name of the Louse. Watch the
glottal stop in the middle and the long vowel at the end. Jee'-non(g).
Tsi'tëöökwë' is the Swallow's name. Watch the
nasal vowels and the glottal stops. Jee'DA(n)-ong-gwa(n)'.
Tsiu'táka' is the Mink's name. The main
difficulty in this word is the glottal stops in the middle and at the end.
The first á is long. JEE-oh'-dah-gah'.
Tsiktsö'khwê' is the Chickadee's name. It has
both glottal stops and nasal vowels. The last one, ê, is just a long
Tsihu'kwaes is the Chipmunk's name. Watch out
for the glottal stop in the middle. Jee-HO'-gwice.
Tsíyæ is the Dog's name. It is pronounced
Jee-ya, with the æ like the a in hat.
Tsi'të'öö means Bird. The ö is a nasal,
pronounced like the on in "gong". Watch for the
glottal stops. Jee'-DA(n)'-on(g).
You might not find an eagle or heron, and you probably hope you will not
find a louse, but it is always possible to talk to dogs and birds, sometimes
Go on to Crayfish's Next Cribble
Go to the Index of Crayfish's Cribbles