How to use the online Innu Dictionary


This document aims to explain and demonstrate how to use the new Innu Dictionary found at

Understanding the Entry

  • head word: This is the innu spelling of the word entry.
  • parts of speech and grammatical information: This line indicates the part of speech as well as other grammatical information relevant to the entry.
  • definition: This section provides the English and French definitions of the entry.
  • example: Some entries may contain examples. Each example is displayed in syllabic and roman and contains translations of the text in English and French.
  • keyword/glosses: This section provides the English and French keyword(s) for the entry.
  • Topics / Themes (Thematic Dictionary): This section provides the topics or theme of the entry.

Understanding the Interface

Interface Language

First, make sure the interface language currently selected is the one you want. The interface language will determine the language on the various buttons throughout the site, as well as the language of the search results.

For example,
if you choose the English interface, this is how the screen will appear:

If you choose the French interface, it will appear like this:


The first row is where you select what language you will be typing in to conduct your search. If you select:

  • innu, the dictionary will search all of the innu fields in the database (i.e., it will not search for any words written in English/French).
  • English/French, the dictionary will search all of the English/French transliterations in the database.

You will notice that the language/form of writing you select now has a dark blue background, while the others will have a light blue background. This is a visual cue to let you quickly see which language you’re searching in.


This section allows you to refine your search parameters. You can either expand or narrow your search to generate the results you want.
The first row, in conjunction with the language you selected, will tell the dictionary which fields it must search in.

  • keywords: if you selected English or French as the search language, selecting keyword will run a search on all the keywords and glosses in the database.
    If you selected Innu, the search by keyword will be performed on the headword of dictionary entries.

  • examples: the dictionary will search through the examples or example translations of the entries for the word(s) you typed in the search field.
  • definitions: the dictionary will search all English and French definitions for the word(s) you typed in the search field.

The second row holds options for where to search within the word itself. There are four options:

  • beginning with: when this option is chosen, the search will return XYZ, where X is the beginning of the word, Y is the middle, and Z is the ending of a word.
  • containing: when this option is chosen, the search will return XYZ,
  • ending with: when this option is chosen, the search will return XYZ
  • whole word: when this option is chosen the search will return XYZ. The spelling must be exact to use this option, otherwise you will get no results.

Sample English Search

If you want to find the Innu word for "goose" in our dictionary, you have few options. Below, you will see how the search works in combination with the various options to provide different results.

Note how Options 1a, 1b, and 1c use beginning / containing / whole word, respectively, to produce different results.

Option 1a: Searching for English keywords beginning with goose

Will result in

Option 1b: Searching for English keywords containing goose

Will result in

Option 1c: Searching for English keywords whole word goose

Will result in

Option 2: Searching for English definition containing goose

Will result in

Option 3: Searching for English example containing goose

Will result in

Example of an Innu Search

Searching for nishk will result in

Example of the Relaxed search

Our dictionary has a built-in Innu spellchecker which allows you to control the precision of the returned suggestions.
The more precision you choose, the less results you get.

For example, if you are looking for the word "nishk" but you type "niish
our spellchecker (the relaxed search engine) automatically gets activated. By default, it is set to be as precise as possible to return the fewest results to match your search query.

If you reduce the precision, you will get more results. This is useful when your margin of possible spelling errors is large.

Last Updated: 2018-08-17 17:37:28

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