And you thought translating German was hard!
According to this article, the title of this post is a single Oneida word that means, “the two of them went around to the other side of the altar again.”
The word is formed, according to linguist Cliff Abbot, by “add[ing] nine prefixes to the simple root verb “-tase-“, which means “to go around” — all without forgetting that the final sounds might need to be whispered.”
And so I ask you this: “Chahta imanumpa ish anumpola hinla ho?”
For most people in the world, the answer to that question is “No.” For me, the answer is, “A teensy, weensy bit. Hardly enough, really, to count for much.” For some people I know, it is, “Yep. Fluently.”
Read the article I’ve linked to above in order to see why it’s unfortunate that more people I know don’t answer the last way. Refer to my previous posts on Indian Boarding Schools to see some of the causes of native language endangerment. And, finally, click here to translate the question I’ve asked.