OJS language name and minor details


OJS language name and minor details

Matt W, Tue, 2018-12-11 11:27
Alternate Names
ISO 639-3: 

The standard autonym for this language in English is Oji-Cree (popularized in the last thirty years or so), and the autonym in the language is anihshininiimowin, sometimes anihshinaabemowin ("Ojibwe"). I'm wondering if Oji-Cree could as least be the first alternate name, if not the listed name of the language. When it comes to navigating SIL resources like Keyman, no speaker of Oji-Cree is familiar with the term "Severn Ojibwe." Scripture resources could be clarified and updated too. CBS published the Gospels in Oji-Cree in a limited number in 2014: Lang Development: NT Portions 1988, published as part of NW Ojibwe NT; Gospels 2014 And aside from Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics, the Northern Ojibwe roman orthography used in some books and educational settings Thanks!

Editorial Action

We will change the name for this language from Severn Ojibwa to Oji-Cree [ojs] in the Ethnologue database.  This change will appear in the 23rd edition.


Chuck Fennig, Fri, 2018-12-14 15:02

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your feedback on Severn Ojibway (Oji-Cree) [ojs] in Canada.

In the Ethnologue, alternate names are listed in alphabetical order. So, Oji-Cree would not be listed as the first alternate name. However, another option, since Severn Ojibway is not a name that the people are familiar with, we could change the primary name of the language in the Ethnologue to Oji-Cree.

Regarding Scripture resources in the language, Ethnologue only publishes the "largest", in this case the New Testament in 1988. We have Scripture portions in our database for 1974-1986, but do not publish these details.

I hope this is helpful to you.


Chuck Fennig
Managing Editor, Ethnologue

Matt W, Fri, 2018-12-14 15:49

Thanks! I know it's nice to keep language names the same as much as possible, but I think it would be appropriate to change in this case. Academics, cultural organizations, government documentation, etc. are using the term Oji-Cree more in their publications too.

Regarding scripture, the 1988 NT referred to is the same one listed for Northwestern Ojibwe/Saulteaux. The first edition had James and Mark drafted in Oji-Cree for whatever reason, so those would just be portions. I only bring it up because I'm advising on a new Bible translation for Oji-Cree. Thanks!

Chuck Fennig, Wed, 2018-12-19 11:13

Dear Matt,

We are approaching the publication of the next edition of the Ethnologue on February 21st, 2019, so we will not be making this name change until after that date. We will plan on changing the name in the Ethnologue for the following edition (23rd), to be published in 2020.

Also, you can submit a Change Request form to the ISO 639-3 Registrar (iso639-3@sil.org) to request that the name be officially changed (https://iso639-3.sil.org/code_changes/submitting_change_requests).

Best wishes,

Chuck Fennig
Managing Editor, Ethnologue