Talking About the Weathers

In the July – October, 2018 issues of the GRIN the Akimel O’otham Orthography had been published along with the alphabet, vowels, diphthongs and diacritics.  These should assist our readers in understanding the sound system and how to speak basic Akimel O’otham. 


In the coming articles ahead we publish micro-lessons in putting basic sentences together for our readers.


This is the time of year when we experience huge weather changes as the different weather systems passing through our community. 


The weather is something that we all have in common on a day to day basis as we commute to work, school and in our daily lives. Many community members and other employees work outdoors every day. 


We all dress for the weather and try to keep warm to ensure that we don’t become susceptible to colds and the flu. Before heading outside, it is helpful to ask someone to check what the weather is like before we leave home.


One way to do this in O’otham is by using the phrase “Sha: ‘i chu’ig jek’keḍ?” which translates into English as “What is it like outside?”  Knowing how much the weather changes this time of year, there is a whole list of possible replies including the following:


S-he:pith ‘o (jek’keḍ). 

“It’s cold (outside). 


S-thoñ ‘o (jek’keḍ). 

“It’s hot (outside). 


Ju:k ‘o (jek’keḍ).

“It’s raining (outside).  


Si:bañ ‘o (jek’keḍ). 

“It’s sprinkling (outside). 


Heveḍ ‘o (jek’keḍ). 

“It’s windy (outside).  


S-chev’gig ‘o (jek’keḍ).          

“It’s cloudy (outside). 


But let’s say that we wanted to answer the question by saying the weather is really strong in some aspect (“really cold, really raining, really warm). We can do this in O’otham by using the word i:vo at the beginning of the statement.


The word ‘i:vo’ or ‘hi:vo’  (depending on location where you live) works like the words “very” or “really” in English in that it gives importance to the action verb.


I:vo (‘o) s-he:pith (jek’keḍ).

“It’s really cold (outside). I:vo (‘o) s-thoñ (jek’keḍ). “It’s really hot (outside). I:vo (‘o) ju:k (jek’keḍ). “It’s really raining (outside). 


I:vo (‘o) si:bañ (jek’keḍ). “It’s really sprinkling (outside).

 I:vo (‘o) heveḍ (jek’keḍ). “It’s really windy (outside). I:vo (‘o) chevgig (jek’keḍ). “It’s really cloudy (outside).


Finally, if you wanted to ask a specific question regarding the weather outside, you can ask a simple yes/no question utilizing the original statements from above.


No s-he:pith (jek’keḍ)? 

“Is it cold (outside)? 


No s-thoñ (jek’keḍ)? 

“Is it hot (outside)? 


No ju:k (jek’keḍ)? 

“Is it raining (outside)? 


No si:bañ (jek’keḍ)? 

“Is it sprinkling (outside)? No heveḍ (jek’keḍ)? 


“Is it windy (outside)? 

No s-chev’gig (jek’keḍ)? “Is it cloudy (outside)?


Now you have a number of different ways to talk about the weather with your friends and family. Try using these statements and questions with one another to ask each other “Sha: ‘i chu’ig jek’keḍ?” You can see how much you know now by completing this month’s language puzzle.