Online Lakota Dictionary

Ryan Dube
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If you have an interest in the Lakota Native American language, an online Lakota Dictionary is an excellent resource to learn even more.

About the Lakota Tribe

Within the area known today as North Dakota and South Dakota, there was an ancient tribe of natives known as the Sioux. The tribe is known as either the Lakota or the Dakota, depending upon which dialect is used. There are thirteen Sioux "subdivisions" and seven tribes, with all groups falling under the common cultural tribe known as the Sioux.

About the Lakota Language

Here are some additional facts about the Lakota and their unique language.

  • The name for the chief in the Lakota language is "itancan".
  • The Lakota people almost all speak English, but thousands can speak both English as well as their native tongue.
  • Like most other Native American tribes, storytelling is a central part of the Lakota cultural heritage. You can learn a great deal about the history of the Sioux through their stories that are handed down from generation to generation.
  • Unlike English, the Lakota language doesn't just have the five vowels, but also three additional nasal vowels that add a little bit to the complexity of learning the language.
  • In 1840, missionaries worked to transcribe the Lakota language into written form. Today, the accepted written form of the language is approved by tribal leadership and used in various schools on the reservation to teach children how to write in their tribal language.

How to Choose an Online Lakota Dictionary

Since the Lakota language is fully available in written form, it's possible to access translation tools online. The following websites offer some of the most accurate translations for the Lakota language. Each online Lakota dictionary listed below can help you better understand how to translate the English language into the native tongue of the Sioux people.

  • LakotaDictionary.org is a definitive resource for learning the Lakota language. It lets you type in any English word for a Lakota translation, or you can use the field to the right to translate in the other direction.
  • Barefoot's World offers an impressive listing of Lakota words, their pronunciation, and the English translation, all on a very long web page. The page is titled "Lakota Lexicon" and the entire listing is grouped and sorted alphabetically.
  • Native-Languages.org offers a wide range of language resources that you can use to learn more about the Sioux languages. One of those is a picture reference where you can see pictures of animals and their translation to Sioux words.
  • One Wolf created this dictionary as a helpful online tool for people to learn the language.

Dive In and Learn Lakota

Learning a new language is never easy, but when you dive into a language like Lakota that is rich with Sioux culture and such a fascinating history, learning the language becomes more of an adventure than a chore.

Online Lakota Dictionary