Cherokee anybody?

This is by no means a plea for the Cherokee language to be added to the incubator since there are plenty of other languages I'd like to see first but I rarely hear people talk about this language or it's fascinating history so I figured I'd get the ball rolling.

Like all North American Amerindian languages, Cherokee lacked a writing system with which to record or transmit ideas. That is until a man named Sequoyah recognized the advantage that white people had with their writing system and decided to create one for the Cherokee language. Sequoyah could neither speak nor read English so he had to make up the whole thing from scratch using completely original symbols (and a few borrowed from Latin with completely different meaning). His syllabary was so logical and easy to learn that within a few years, almost all Cherokee speakers became literate and publishers began to print books and newspapers using it. It's the script still in use in today's Cherokee communities and the language is one of the most healthy indigenous languages in North America.

Here is what the syllabary looks like:

Most of the information in this post came from Jared Diamond's seminal book: Guns, Germs and Steel.

October 3, 2014


I would be interested in cherokee or navajo or pueblo.

May 10, 2016

They have Navajo.

July 15, 2019

They do now...

August 19, 2019

I would love it. Dying languages deserve a chance.

July 9, 2016

I actually work for the Cherokee Nation and could probably get duolingo in touch with some of the native speakers who teach the language. It would be great to see this dying language revived.

February 10, 2018

Did you ever follow up on this?

July 15, 2019

That would be amazing! I and many others would be so pleased if you would do this.

July 15, 2019

I actually found out a while ago that I'm part Cherokee! and it would be interesting to see what the language is all about!

August 6, 2016

I already knew I had much Cherokee blood on my father's side, but I recently learned that there is much on my Mother's side as well.

July 15, 2019

Until very recently, I lived about an hour from Cherokee, NC. I grew up hearing about the Cherokee language, and wanting to learn it, but I could never really find a way to actually be able to learn it. I have VERY distant Cherokee ancestors, and I would LOVE to see Duolingo offering a Cherokee course. Actually, I would love to see Duolingo offer any/all Native American languages that it can!

October 13, 2016

They offer Navajo.

July 15, 2019

Gotta take this chance to plug and old post of mine, hopefully there are some resources in it that are new to some of our Cherokee fans:

Wado! ;)

October 3, 2014

It would be so cool....... they absolutely need to add this

May 5, 2016

I agree, this is a part of my blood that I want to learn more about.

July 15, 2019

I am part Cherokee and I would LOVE to learn the language. AWESOME!

October 14, 2016


July 15, 2019

I'm part Cherokee so I'd be interested in learning the language.

October 19, 2016

Me too.

July 15, 2019

May I also add to the resource list this forum, and these lessons. Heck, this whole site.

*My people, woop woop. ;)

October 3, 2014

Thank you. This is so helpful.

July 15, 2019

A Duolingo Cherokee course would be REALLY cool.

May 8, 2015

I agree. I hope this happens.

November 7, 2016

Me too.

July 15, 2019

Yea they really should add Cherokee to the database :)

February 6, 2017

I agree.

July 15, 2019

Yes it would.

July 15, 2019

I would love such a course. I've tried learning tsalagi (Cherokee) in other ways but have struggled with learning on my own.

July 8, 2016

I’ve been learning Cherokee with some other online resources, but one thing I found interesting is the people no longer use the original name. The original name in Cherokee was Aniyunwiya, which simply meant the people. Sorry if you already knew that, I just like to share things when I learn them haha

February 9, 2019

How've you been learning it? I'm in a server on Discord if you want to join with other people there learning it.

But yep. ᎠᏂᏳᏫᏯ (the Principal People).

February 9, 2019

Me too.

July 15, 2019

I would love it too.

July 15, 2019

We have languages from all over the world on Duolingo. EXCEPT Oceania and the Americas (excusing Antartica XD)! We even have fictional and constructed languages! Oceanian and American languages are a must have, especially sense Cherokee is wanted so badly. So many people would learn this language!

EDIT: I'm pretty sure Haitian Creole is in the incubator. Yay! We ARE getting an American language! But Cherokee is amazing so I'll be waiting for that!

September 11, 2017

Me too.

July 15, 2019

I would love to see this language added to the incubator.

July 15, 2016

Mee too.

July 15, 2019

I would also be interested in this language

July 18, 2016

Me as well.

July 15, 2019

I think it would be AMAZING to learn Cherokee! Any of the Native American languages would be fascinating to learn...

August 8, 2016

I would love to have Cherokee on Duolingo

September 13, 2016

I would love to learn Cherokee!

October 15, 2016

I may not want to learn the language right now, but someday, it'd be really cool and I know lots of friends who would die over this from excitement. Duolingo should approve this!

November 25, 2016

Yes! I want this language to be added to Duolingo as there are no Native American languages on here yet. This would be a big deal.

March 9, 2017

They have the Guarani course but it's only for Spanish speakers.

April 2, 2017

Yeah, I agree as well. I think native languages would be awesome. cough cough Algonquian. I'm Potawatomi and I'd love to learn my language

May 30, 2017

Please do this one duolingo

June 1, 2016

I would LOVE a Duolingo Cherokee course! :D Mango Languages has one for free along with a few other dying languages, but it's only 2 lessons and doesn't teach much. Still, it's a start.

June 14, 2016

Yes, this would be amazing to have, as I have Cherokee parents, and I live in Oklahoma which is probably the best place to learn Native American languages. I'll find a few friends to volunteer soon.

June 29, 2016

That is amazing! Please do!

March 29, 2017

Yes. Please, please, someone do this. I don't know enough to contribute, but I wish I did. I don't live in OK or anywhere near, so I have to make do with bits and pieces of scrounged up grammar and words o_O

January 19, 2017

Duolingo is such a wonderful platform for promoting and preserving rarer languages. I would love to see Cherokee here.

July 17, 2017

As a person who has Cherokee ancestry, I would really love to see this course added to duolingo. No only Cherokee, but other Native languages so they won't go extinct, keeping their memory alive.

July 18, 2017

that is a wonderful idea maybe all native american languages should be used before they forget how to use them and they are lost forever and that would indeed make all natives very proud and share their heritage at the same time

October 3, 2014

Yes, that's how Irish and Welsh came into the incubator. We need to keep languages alive.

June 29, 2016

This sounds AWESOME!!!!

September 18, 2016


September 22, 2016

Has my vote!

October 9, 2016

I would definitely do this. I would love to learn the language of my ancestors

April 2, 2017

Yes, I have always wanted to learn a Native American language. Cherokee would be simply amazing to add. :)

June 7, 2017

I really want to learn Cherokee

June 8, 2017

As an American, I would freaking LOVE to learn the language of natives, plus it sounds fascinating

June 13, 2017

I am 1/16 Cherokee, it would be really awesome to see an ancestral language of mine in this!

June 15, 2017

Adding my vote

June 25, 2017

I would love to be able to learn this language. I'm 110% for adding it.

July 2, 2017

I had a Tsalagi course on cassettes back in the day. Duolingo version would be MUCH easier! Please, please, please add this!!!!!

July 6, 2017

I think this is one of the most important courses that Duolingo could offer.

July 21, 2017

I would really love this language added! My grandmother has always told me that we had Cherokee blood, and that we were lucky to be apart of such a wonderful culture. I've always wanted to learn this language to be apart of my family's culture on a deeper level. Hope they add this fascinating language soon!

August 27, 2017

This is a great idea to bring Native American languages into Duolingo, especially because many Native American languages are in danger of dying out. There are a lot of people that I know who would love to learn languages such as this one but aren't able to because they cannot find a reliable source that could teach them it.

December 15, 2017

This is another vote for Cherokee.

December 26, 2017

I'd love to see Cherokee come to Duolingo! I'm very interested in endangered languages and I think that this would be a great way for Cherokee to make a comeback. Please make a Cherokee course, Duolingo!

May 27, 2018

Absolutely. I have been wanting to learn Cherokee, but haven't found any good options.

July 4, 2018

I'm Western Cherokee (from Oklahoma) and I'd love to have my language available.

The problem is that there's a LOT of dialectal variation. There are three main dialect groups: Eastern, Western, and Kituwah, and those three groups have huge variation within themselves. So which dialect is taught would probably just have to depend on which one the contributor(s) speak.

August 1, 2018

That Happens a lot when we look at more colloquially-centered languages.

August 20, 2018

This would be an incredible addition. I love how duolingo is simple and makes learning easy. I am currently trying to learn Cherokee, but the information out there is not as direct. I spend so much time just searching and researching. In the end, there is so much leg work and so little learning happening. I would be exceedingly grateful. I also know a few other people trying to learn this language just like me that would definitely benefit from this service. P.S. This is a plea for it to be added to the incubator because I would very much like to start working on this.

September 29, 2018

There are now several sites/projects online that have made big strides in making learning Cherokee (tsalagi) more accessible and efficient. I have so enjoyed the Duolingo techniques of teaching and would be overjoyed if Duolingo were to offer a course in tsalagi. My Cherokee bloodline highly motivates me. P.S. I'm glad that Diné (Navajo) and Hawaiian cultures are the bellwethers of promoting native languages on Duolingo.

October 11, 2018

I really hope Cherokee gets added to DuoLingo. My grandfather was of Cherokee descent, but not much culture got passed down, especially the language. Hopefully now that Navajo has been added Cherokee will have more of a chance. ᏩᏙ!

January 10, 2019

That would be sooooooooooo cool if there was a Cherokee course!!!

November 3, 2016

This would be so great to preserve a language that is quickly dying.

May 21, 2017

vehmid you all the way

July 18, 2018

Yes would love to learn Cherokee tsalagi

August 28, 2018

my grandma always told me stories about the Cherokee people; her people, but she never spoke the language. I would love to be able to understand more about my ancestors by understanding the way they expressed themselves through speech.

October 3, 2018

Having Cherokee is a great idea! I would love to learn Cherokee!

December 3, 2018

Hugh !

January 9, 2019

Yes. I really want to learn. I hope it's added soon.

January 17, 2019

I would be very interested in learning Cherokee, as it is a beautiful language as well as being a language not spoken by many, and I feel that by having it on Duolingo, more people would be able to learn it :)

February 2, 2019

You wanna try putting together a group?

February 2, 2019

Yes! Duolingo, please add Cherokee.

June 4, 2019

I would also like to learn Cherokee in this format as well. I have a few books and have checked out the resources on the nation's website, but I have had little luck retaining the language so far.

June 10, 2019

I have always been fascinated with Sequoya's syllabary, as well as with the Cherokee language itself. I definitely agree that they should start a course.

June 11, 2019

A lot of Americans are Cherokee, therefore we need this course to help connect us with our past. Such a good course to add because of the living Native Americans you could have conversations with.

June 13, 2019

I also would love to see Cherokee added to Duolingo because I have Cherokee heritage, and want to learn the language.

July 15, 2019

Which Tribal Nation are you in?

July 15, 2019

I would have to ask my uncle about that, but he lives in a different state. Could you explain to me what tribal nations are?

July 15, 2019

We are Sovereign Nations. There are 3 legitimate Cherokee Tribal Nations: Cherokee Nation in OK, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in OK, and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in NC.

What ancestors if yours are Cherokee?

July 15, 2019

Osiyo, I am a Citizen and Tribal Member of the Cherokee Nation based in Talequah, Oklahoma. I get it from my mom’s side, which is usually how that is traced. Not sure that makes a huge difference to this discussion, but anything to get people motivated on this again.

July 15, 2019

I would love to see this added as a course!

August 2, 2019

I would like a Cherokee course. Please apply to contribute to one if you speak Cherokee and English.

August 19, 2019

Yes, please add Cherokee!

August 24, 2019

Cherokee would be awesome !

September 11, 2019

Do lingots count in the voting process?

June 17, 2017

I WANT CHEROKEE!!! I am descended from a cherokee princess, so . . .

February 10, 2018
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