New River Catawba
Tla Wilano Oli’ichi O’dah (Our Language)

Tla Wilano Oli’ichi O’dah (Our Language)

Tla Wilano is our language. It is currently being studied by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. It is a beautiful language that rises and falls like musical melodies. Here are some fun and common words in Tla Wilano with some easy phonetic guides to pronunciation.



Bujusha (bu as in bucket–jew—like in Jew—sha…like in shawl) Bujusha is used much like Aloha is used in Hawaiian.

Abalibala (ab as in abdomen, lee as in Lee, ba as in Barney, la as in Lollipop)  Abalibala is a way of asking how one is doing or to wish someone to take care of himself or herself.

Nanishate (Na as in not, ee as in see, sha as in shop, tay as in stay) Nanishate is like when in English we say something like, “what’s happening?” It literally means, “Who’s winning?”

Common Animals:

Cat–gliututli (glee oo toot lee)

Dog–bwow (b–like you’re blowing out a small candle wow)

Horse–zhakapuit (shock uh poo eet)

Pig–sobiachintl (s oh bee ah cheen tl)

Cow–nanakapuit (nanna kah poo eet)

Chicken–hichatl (hee chah tl)

Bear–akoh (ah followed by a clicking sound)

Snake–kholaki (kho lah kee)

Squirrel–somblinki (sohm bleenk ee)

Rabbit–goinkni (goh eenk nee)

Flea–chititl’i (chee teetl ee)

Mosquito–zhli (zhlee)