Commonly Requested Translations

The following words and phrases contain translations for all 8 Yukon First Nation languages, unless specified as a specific language such as Greetings:

Names and Songs are Private Property

The YNLC does not distribute names or songs as these are privately owned.

Generally speaking, in the Yukon, personal names in First Nations languages are private property. They are greatly valued and have profound cultural importance. Great care is given in the way names are preserved and passed down. Often, a new born will receive the name of an ancestor. The name may be conferred in a ceremony by a family elder. No one has a right to give away a name except the family which owns it.

The Yukon Native Language Centre frequently receives requests for aboriginal names for pets. The centre does not have the right to pass on names in this way and does not do so. It is possible to provide a word from a First Nations language, which is not used as a name in the culture, but which may be attractive to non-natives as a name for a pet. For instance, since no native person would be called “Snowflake”, YNLC can provide the word “Snowflake” to be used as a name without violating any traditional rules, practices or values. The list below offers some words like this.

The Centre works constantly with elders and speakers of First Nations Languages. Often, on request from the elders, personal names may be collected and transcribed in the modern alphabet. Sometimes these names will appear in the proceedings from literacy workshops. Such names only appear by permission of their owners. The intention is to honour the names by preserving them. These names may not be used by any other person in any way, without permission of their owners.

First Nations songs are also private property. No one may perform or record them without permission of their owner. In a sense, Yukon First Nations names and songs are copyrighted.

Suggested Pet Names

If you wish to give your pet a name from a Yukon language, try one of these.

The words below are from Yukon First Nations languages. They are not the names of people. They are words or phrases which the centre is often asked to provide for use in the naming of a non-native pet. Use of these words as names does not reflect traditional First Nations practice. But as the use does promote awareness of the languages and the cultures it may be regarded as a positive thing.

 Southern TutchoneGwich’inTlingit
She/He is braveUyinjí NàtsätYeenjit Jiintl’oh 
The Watchful OneK’anétaKhà’oodaa’in 
The Helpful OneTs’änànjiGwits’at tr’iinjii 
The Quiet OneTsèn nliVizhik Kwaa 
She/He is fastDädzatHan Nahdaghal 
My FriendÄlayaShijàa 
Little StarThènaSan’ Tsal 
CoyoteTlilet “useless dog”Zhòh TsalKayûdi
Charcoal, BlackJänàch’ärDhazraihT’úch’
Little Lynx/CatNot permissible.Niinjii Tsal 

Translation Requests

YNLC is not providing translation services at this time.