https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones

Cherokee Resources

underwood.jones
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ᎣᏏᏲ! (Osiyo! ...which means, hello!) I have seen just a few posts that mention the Cherokee language and Duolingo potentially using it's stellar ability to provide tools to help preserve our rich and endangered language. I wanted to just share a little about our language and provide some tools for those of you with Cherokee ancestry or who have any other motivation to study the language and help keep it alive!

Some potential issues Duolingo would have in offering Cherokee include:

  1. Our very limited speaker base (I myself do not speak our language well at all. Sadly I feel very confident in being a Gothic contributor, even though Gothic is extinct, and yet not comfortable at all contributing to a Cherokee course). Most speakers are older and would have a hard time using the technology required to create a course without a lot of help.

  2. Our language has it's own awesome writing system! Sequoyah invented a syllabary in the early 1800's making us the only North American native tribe to invent its own writing system! It does have 85 letters currently in use, though, and would be hard to type for a beginner.

  3. Unlike all of Duo's current languages, Cherokee is polysynthetic...a single verb in Cherokee can have 21,262 possible forms! This would make adding vocabulary difficult and require some creative solutions.

Fear not, however. While I am sure Duolingo will someday add Cherokee and other Native American languages, I wanted to provide some resources so that those of you who are interested in honouring your ancestors and helping us preserve our rich language can get a head start! Here are some resources that I have found helpful:

First off, a helpful overview of the language is found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_language

An incredible resource and FREE eBook (as well as links to amazing android/iOS apps) can be found here: http://www.cherokeelessons.com/Cherokee-Language-Lessons-Introductory-Edition/ (Please consider buying the print book or e-book from Amazon if you find this resource helpful, or at least buy the Syllabary or Animals app on your device to support Michael Joyner, he has done a lot to further the cause of Cherokee language instruction.)

A great book for beginning-through-intermediate education (while a bit dated) is: http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Cherokee-Ruth-Bradley-Holmes/dp/0806114630/ref=sr_1_2?s=books=UTF8=1395458115=1-2=cherokee+language

A fun, visual collection of resources fit for a classroom: http://cherokee-land.blogspot.com/

An academic, advanced, in depth work by a Kansas University linguistics student, "A Reference Grammar of Oklahoma Cherokee": https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/bitstream/1808/4212/1/umi-ku-2613_1.pdf

And, lastly, the tribe's own online classes: https://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/Language/OnlineLanguageClasses/LessonArchives.aspx

The link above is to recorded sessions of the classes which can be accessed anytime, though you can sign up during open enrollment and attend classes at specific sessions which are taught in a Skype-like environment by a fluent elder. Students use a chat environment to communicate with the elder.
These classes are slow paced and go from basics to intermediate/advanced grammar, though the recorded sessions I have used are hard to get through if you are not patient...our lovable teacher is easily distracted by students who get way off track at times ;)

I hope you will find these resources helpful. You may also be interested to know that the tribe has worked with Apple, Microsoft, and Google in modernising the language. You can use G-Mail in Cherokee, you can Google in Cherokee, use Windows 8 in Cherokee or buy an Apple laptop with a Cherokee keyboard!

We've made great strides, but no amount of technology will replace a population of speakers. Please consider adding Cherokee to your language "bucket list." After all, we believe one drop of Cherokee blood makes you a part of the tribe (even if not an enrolled member, you still belong to the community)! Even if you have no Cherokee ancestry, you can still help preserve our heritage and the cause of endangered languages everywhere by studying Cherokee!

Dodadagohvi!! :)

4 years ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Capri0987

Your efforts to preserve the Cherokee language are to be commended. The information you provided concerning the Cherokee language about Sequoyah added a human touch, showing that one person can make a difference.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones
underwood.jones
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Thank you so much! What kind words! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones
underwood.jones
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Attention everyone! Classes are now enrolling if you are interested in signing up for the live, online language classes taught by elder Ed Fields. Classes are 10 weeks long and are held twice a week (each session lasting one hour). If you are interested please visit the tribe's website. Class sizes are limited, so sign up soon! :D

http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/Language/OnlineLanguageClasses.aspx

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MusingThoughts

Awesome post! Has @AlexisLinguist seen this?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones
underwood.jones
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Thank you! I'm not sure, is she interested in Cherokee as well?

Another resource that has come out since I posted this is an AWESOME course by Michael Joyner that closely follows his latest (and greatest!) book, you can find it here:

https://jalagigawoni.gnomio.com/

You do not have to purchase the book to take the online course, but naturally it is appreciated if you do so as Joyner has spent an unfathomable amount of time pouring himself into developing quality Cherokee resources--which are greatly needed if we intend to pass this language on to future generations!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MusingThoughts

I'll check it out!

Oh and @AlexisLinguist has mentioned several times in the forums that she is part Cherokee and is interested in the language, that's why :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I'm surprised you remember that!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MusingThoughts

I am frequently told that I have a good memory :)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Erven.R

Are you the one who also knows Gothic??

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones
underwood.jones
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Yes, I am ashamed to say that I know much more Gothic than Cherokee...and Gothic is not even my ancestral language! It is also silly of me as Cherokee stands a better chance of surviving than Gothic does of being raised from the dead, but I am fascinated with Gothic and it is much easier to learn as it is an Indo-European language, unlike Cherokee which is an Iroquoian language. :) Hopefully as the Incubator develops our application for a Gothic course will be approved...I am really looking forward to working on it with my future teammates, Fredrik and David! ;)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SteveLando
SteveLando
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I do hope both Cherokee and Gothic will be incubated

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones
underwood.jones
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Thank you! Me too! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Obelloe
Obelloe
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i would love to see a munsee language course!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DanielLay
DanielLay
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I am also hoping for a mvskoke course! Mvto!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BraxtonM96

What about some Gothic resources? :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/underwood.jones
underwood.jones
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Ask and you shall receive! :) Here you go:

A funny series of videos by linguist Benjamin P. Johnson that use phrases like, "Where is my chupacabra?" can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PirZKJgcr98&

A series of helpful lessons for beginners by linguist David Salo (who worked on Lord of the Rings) can be found here: http://web.archive.org/web/20100717130509/http://members.terracom.net/~dorothea/david/gothic/index.html (*Note that he does not use the accent marks that many beginners find helpful)

This Neogothic course and web portal (by one of our contributors) is currently under construction but has a few lessons (with pictures!) on it. You may need to install a Gothic font to see all of the text on the page as he uses Wulfila's writing system, but he also provides the Romanisation below the traditional Gothic script: http://gutrazda.wordpress.com/

A free e-Book of the definitive work of the Gothic language for English speakers, "Grammar of the Gothic Language" by Joseph Wright: http://books.google.com/books?id=PjlcAAAAMAAJ;oe=UTF-8 (*Note that this is an older resource, but it was the first of its kind for Gothic!)

A fairly challenging series of lessons for students with prior exposure to linguistics can be found here: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/eieol/gotol-0-X.html

...And here are some links to the Gothic community portals which I provided in a comment on my original post about a Gothic Duolingo course:

Facebook Gothic Language Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GothicL/

Yahoo! Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/gothic-l/info

Gothic Language Wikipedia: http://got.wikipedia.org/

There are also great print books available for purchase on Amazon.com. I have used "An Introduction to the Gothic Language" by William H. Bennett and have found it to be helpful. Another good resource, also called, "An Introduction to the Gothic Language" by Thomas Lambdin is said to be a good resource. Both are more modern than Wright's resource.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BraxtonM96

Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mormonmutt
mormonmutt
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@Underwood.Jones ᎣᏍᏓ! ᏃᏉᏍᏊ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎩᏚᏩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎦᏕᎶᏆᎠ. "Good! I am also learning the Cherokee (Kituhwa) language right now."

ᎣᏂ ᏕᎾᏓᎪᎯᏳ! (Let's talk later!)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/duffysmom

thank you for the links to other resources!

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/zemonkey
zemonkey
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There is also an app for the Cherokee Syllabary -- see https://itunes.apple.com/app/cherokee-syllabary-now/id1304661799

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bethany281730

I think that this is a great idea and should definitely be added to the incubator.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jenn616526

Wado for the great resources!!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KennyHockenberry

I cannot thank you enough. My family is Cherokee but live very far from our tribe which is in Alabama so I haven't had much of an opportunity to get in touch with our culture. I'm hoping that learning the language and history of our people will be a start

8 months ago
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