Sequim has been mistranslated for a century

Sequim, Washington (AP) August 2010

A tribal linguist says the translation used for the past century for the town of Sequim (skwim) is wrong.

Sequim doesn’t mean “quiet waters” after all. Timothy Montler says the correct translation would be a “place for going to shoot.” That’s a reference to the Sequim-Dungeness Valley’s once great elk and waterfowl hunting.

Montler is an expert in the study of dying languages. Since 1992, he has been studying the Klallam language and has been interviewing elders in the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.

The tribe announced the new, more accurate translation last week. When asked where the “quiet waters” translation came from, Montler says “that’s something that somebody made up.”