Ts’msyan (Tsimshian) language

About Sm'álgyax


Sm'álgyax is spoken in the community of Metlakatla on Annette Island, south of Ketchikan in Southeast Alaska. The Tsimshian community settled on Annette Island in 1887, led by missionary William Duncan. There are seven first-language speakers of Sm'álgyax in Alaska today.


There are two main dialects: Coastal and Southern Tsimshian; Alaska speakers speak Coast Tsimshian (or Sm’algax).


Sm'álgyax is taught at the University of Alaska Southeast and supported by resources from the Sealaska Heritage Institute.



Ndeeya wila waan?



Si'pn nuut nuun.

Aam di wila waalu.

Aam dsh nuun.

Luk'wil aam wil waalu.

Ama g̲unłaak.

Ama sah gya'wn.

Ama huup'l.

Ndm al dyuk niidzn.

Gilks amaniisgn.

How are you?

Thank you. (said to one person)


I love you.

I am good.

Good, and you?

I am very good.

Good morning.

Good day today.

Good evening.

Until we meet again. (said to one person)

Take care of yourself. (said to one person)

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Updated March 2021. 

All images and maps are courtesy of the Alaska Native Language Archive and the Alaska Native Language Center

Original funding for this site provided by Alaska Humanities Forum with in-kind support from the Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council. Quyana to the volunteers who assist in keeping this website running. 

This website acknowledges the traditional territories of the many Indigenous Alaskan Nations that have lived in and taken care of the lands of Alax̂sxax̂ (Alaska) since time immemorial.