Cherokee language | allnurses

Cherokee language

  1. 0 I am living in the Cherokee Nation and hopefully will be working with IHS soon. I have been thinking of learning the Cherokee language, does anyone know how difficult of a language it is to learn.
  2. Visit  ertravelrn profile page

    About ertravelrn

    ertravelrn has '14' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'icu,ccu, er, corrections'. From 'in the middle of nowhere'; Joined Feb '07; Posts: 365; Likes: 32.

    13 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  sirI profile page
    5
    Quote from ertravelrn
    I am living in the Cherokee Nation and hopefully will be working with IHS soon. I have been thinking of learning the Cherokee language, does anyone know how difficult of a language it is to learn.
    Hello, ertravelrn,

    Good to read that you will be working with IHS.

    The language is extremely difficult. Tsalagi, pronounced, Ja-la-gee (Cherokee) has 6 vowels and 11 consonants and is driven soley by verbs. And, inflection is extremely important as pitch and tone can change the meaning of what the speaker intends. There are literally thousands of ways the speaker can inflect and change the meaning of any one word, sentence, or thought. Most individuals find the language almost impossible.

    It is a dying language and I even find myself unable to communicate as I did as a child. Almost no one communicates in the language anymore. Those who do are the elders. I am not certain of the actual numbers, but it is less than 20,000 who speak Cherokee fluently.....

    There are several language CD programs available, but I suggest you actually take language classes if available. You stand a far better chance of learning to speak the language. I suggest you seek out a program using the Otali dialect as this is specific for Oklahoma. Here is one link you might consider:

    http://www.lulu.com/cherokeelanguage

    And, this is quite interesting (not to overwhelm you, but just find interesting):

    Cherokee New Testament

    Word Lesson


    Good luck.
    Last edit by sirI on Mar 13, '08
    zephyr9, HM2VikingRN, mom and nurse, and 2 others like this.
  4. Visit  SuesquatchRN profile page
    5
    Quote from sirI
    It is a dying language and I even find myself unable to communicate as I did as a child. Almost no one communicates in the language anymore. Those who do are the elders. I am not certain of the actual numbers, but it is less than 20,000 who speak Cherokee fluently.....
    What a shame.

    As we become more and more interconnected we lose so many other things of value.
    Last edit by sirI on Mar 13, '08 : Reason: quoted my poor grammar
    zephyr9, HM2VikingRN, ertravelrn, and 2 others like this.
  5. Visit  Ado Annie profile page
    1
    Quote from ertravelrn
    I am living in the Cherokee Nation and hopefully will be working with IHS soon. I have been thinking of learning the Cherokee language, does anyone know how difficult of a language it is to learn.
    That is so cool. DO keep us updated on the job situation. I'm an Oklahoma native, and when I finish school would be very interested in the IHS.

    At one point when I was deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up I was really interested in linguistics, and the preservation of the Indian languages and oral history is fascinating and very important. Unfortunately, I don't think skill with languages is one of my gifts. I will stubbornly keep trying to learn to communicate in Spanish, though.
    zephyr9 likes this.
  6. Visit  TheBrainMusher profile page
    1
    Just a note, if you're living in the Cherokee Nation, look for classes. I lived at Tulsa at one point and the local community college (even OSU campuses) had classes on the language. Best of luck!
    ertravelrn likes this.
  7. Visit  ertravelrn profile page
    0
    Siri, when I try the links it closes my computer down.....not sure whats up with that.
    I will try to find a class to learn the Cherokee language. I had a patient the other night talking to me in Cherokee, he thought it was funny since he knew I had no idea what he was saying. He would tell me in Cherokee then say it in english, wish I could have spent more time with him.
    Thanks everyone for your input.
  8. Visit  HM2VikingRN profile page
    2
    Mandan/Hidatsa is even more endangered. (Ithink there are less than 30 native speakers left :<<). Ojibwa is hardly spoken in MN anymore with the possible exception of Red Lake which is a closed reservation. Indigenous language worldwide are vanishing at a frightening rate. Loss of the language is the loss of the soul of the peoples.
    gonzo1 and sirI like this.
  9. Visit  sirI profile page
    0
    Quote from ertravelrn
    Siri, when I try the links it closes my computer down.....not sure whats up with that.
    I will try to find a class to learn the Cherokee language. I had a patient the other night talking to me in Cherokee, he thought it was funny since he knew I had no idea what he was saying. He would tell me in Cherokee then say it in english, wish I could have spent more time with him.
    Thanks everyone for your input.
    Hmmm, which link, ertravelrn??

    I highly suggest a class as you said.



    Yes, HM2Viking, our native tongue(s) are vanishing.
  10. Visit  AmericanRN profile page
    0
    Quote from ertravelrn
    I am living in the Cherokee Nation and hopefully will be working with IHS soon. I have been thinking of learning the Cherokee language, does anyone know how difficult of a language it is to learn.
    It is pretty hard but maybe you got a knack for languages too ya know?

    Cherokee is trying to make a come back at least out in OK. The little ones out there who are in Head Start programs are taught in English & Cherokee. I have some footage of a tiny girl singing in Cherokee at tribal meeting out there. (it was like web pod thing from last year or the year before) It's really sweet, anyways she sang this song and talked a little bit and she was basically proof on what the kids are getting taught at the daycare.

    Here's a link to an article about the program. That being said maybe you can contact one of those teachers and find out where the adult classes are. Who knows maybe one of the head start teachers would teach you when they aren't at work. Or some of them already have an adult class and maybe it's just not public info. I would ask one of those teachers.

    http://www.headstartinfo.org/publica...8/hsb78_19.htm
  11. Visit  S.C.R.U.B.S. profile page
    1
    Quote from ertravelrn
    I am living in the Cherokee Nation and hopefully will be working with IHS soon. I have been thinking of learning the Cherokee language, does anyone know how difficult of a language it is to learn.
    Hi my name is Cherokee, and my heritage is Cherokee Indian. I am just learning the language from my heritage, and it is very difficult. I am adopted by a Caucassian family, so they wouldnt speak the language. My birth parents died when I was a baby, but many years ago, my father was one of the Indian cheifs, as there are sevral different Cherokee tribes.
    my parents dont let me beleive in Cherokee religion, as they want me to be like them, but they let me wear Native American prints on my scrubs. I do research my heritage, so I can learn about it and also when Im older, beleive in what they beleive in. In otherwords practice their religion. My parents want me to beleive in their Chritian beleifs, which I don't beleive that I should have to beleive in what they beleive in. After all the f1st Amendment to the US Constitution is freedom of speech, RELIGION, and the press. When Im ready to live on my own, I will move to a Cherokee Nation, so I can live wmong other CHerokee Indians, as I want to live like a Cherokee, with the exception of wearing scrubs 24/7 and nothing else.
    zephyr9 likes this.
  12. Visit  digadayosdi profile page
    3
    Osiyo - Hello,

    Saw this post, and I just had to reply even though it's a year late. Just wanted to offer up some resources on Cherokee language available in terms of both self-reference material and classes so those interested can have an idea of where to start when it comes to Cherokee.

    Materials:
    Unfortunately, there aren't many pedagogical materials available, and from what's available, only one that I know of is still in print. What is out there is of the "self reference" category (dictionaries, word lists, grammar materials, etc.). On the pedagogical end, there's basically BEGINNING CHEROKEE by Ruth Holmes and Betty Smith which is a textbook that offers lessons on vocabulary, verbs, phrases/concepts, and the Syllabary. It has the added bonus of having an audio tape/cd that can be purchased with it so you can actually hear the words. A few other materials in this category have popped up recently, but I've not looked at them personally so I can't offer any thoughts about them other than that they are there. These are mostly "topic" based materials such as "Parenting Phrases in Cherokee" and "How to Talk Trash in Cherokee." Various Indian People's Publishing sells these, and they may even be the makes/copyright holders. I'm not sure.

    In terms of the Self-Reference materials, there's a lot more out there. The best resource I'd recommend is the CHEROKEE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY by Durbin Feeling in collaboration with William Pulte. First published in the mid-1970s, this works is still, for me, the gold standard. Although it lacks audio, it does provide an extensive list of verbs (many of which one can't find given anywhere else) that are conjugated in a specific range of forms. These forms are provided with tonal markings as well so one can at least "ballpark" the pronunciation on all of them. It also has a brief grammatical sketch on some very important aspects related to the language. The difficult of the Dictionary is that it doesn't quite explain how you can manipulate the given forms to create the meaning one wants. The catch is that the forms they identified ARE the forms you can use to conjugate the given verbs into ANY of the tenses you'd ever need or want to say.

    Cherokee Nation owns the rights to the dictionary, and I think it'd be good if they released a second edition that had that kind of outline.

    Durbin has lots of other materials that are useful, if somewhat limited, and worse, almost all of these are out of print. He has a "A Structured Approach to Learning the Basic Inflections of the Cherokee Verb" (good for learning those tricky classification verbs), "A Preliminary Handbook on the Cherokee Verb" which has about a thousand co-authors (this one may still be in print, and I've seen it offered at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah.

    Prentice Robinson is another name most are probably familiar with as well. He's been publishing Cherokee language materials for decades now. He has a pretty good EASY TO USE CHEROKEE DICTIONARY that's in print (the issue being that it does not provide any kind of guidance on how to actually use any of the listed forms, an important component when working in Cherokee or any language). Rather than list all of this stuff, it'd be just as easy to search him on the web. I'm sure there'd be lots of places that offered what he' published for sale. Most of his newer stuff also has audio with it as well which makes them even more useful.

    Maybe the best resource in terms of new stuff would be the Cherokee Nation. They started an Immersion School for children a few years back, and as part of that process, they established a Curriculum Department that has been steadily producing language materials for a few years now. They have curriculum for Kindergarten through Second Grade (note that all of this stuff is in the Syllabary, and it's intended for the students at the school, and there's no audio that goes with it). Of more interest are the various DVD's I've seen that they've put out - They have animated story books, a short animated story ("The Beginning They Told"), and probably some other stuff I don't even know about.

    For Grammar Geeks, there's lots of linguistic stuff out there, but most of those materials are unpublished dissertations. A new and really good one, though, is "A Reference Grammar of Cherokee" by Brad Montgomery-Anderson which he just did last year. Janine Scancarelli did a wonderful dissertation as well back in the 1980s (or it may have been in the 1990s, can't quite remember) called "Grammatical Relations and Verb Agreement in Cherokee." Pamela Munro edited a series of student linguist papers out of UCLA (gah, can't remember the title offhand, something like "Cherokee Papers from UCLA" or the like).

    As for classes, I know that Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band both offer Community Classes on a regular basis. I don't know, though, what's going on right now nor what's on schedule for the coming year. But I'm sure if you contacted them, they'd have that info. Cherokee Nation also offers an online course as well.

    Tulsa Community College, Rogers State College, and if I heard correctly, Bacone will be offering Cherokee language courses in the Fall and Spring Semesters. Northeastern State University has actually started a Cherokee Education Degree that features a wide range of Cherokee language classes. And in North Carolina, Western Carolina University has a Cherokee Language Program as well (though they apparently don't offer many language classes at this point since the program is still being developed).

    Anyway, I know there's lots more out there that I'm just not able to think of at this point. Good luck, and if there's more info someone's looking for, I may not know it, but I probably know those who do. Just ask, I'd be happy to provide what information I can.

    FYI: I've been working on relearning Cherokee now for about seven years so I can appreciate, and am very supportive of, anyone willing to take the time to learn Cherokee.
    zephyr9, sirI, and Thunderwolf like this.
  13. Visit  sirI profile page
    2
    Osiyo, digadayosdi, ale ulihelisdi allnurses.com!!

    (Hello, digadayosdi and Welcome to allnurses.com!!)

    It is great having you with us.

    Wado (thank you) for your very informational post. We greatly appreciate you.

    We hope you enjoy allnurses.com!!!

    Nvwadohiyadv (Peace)


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  14. Visit  zephyr9 profile page
    0
    In another life when I was a hippie kid living on the streets of Santa Cruz, a couple helped me out by adopting from me my dog which I couldn't take care of. The man was Indian and his wife was white. She spoke and sang in his native language, the most beautiful thing you could imagine.
    They took excellent care of my dog.


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