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.
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  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.


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