Ten points if you didn't have to google it.

* Originally posted by Slache.

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  • Hi Slache,

    Thanks for reaching out! We don't have any concrete plans for Tsalagi right now. But I will add your suggestion to our list of language suggestions.

    Thank you for the idea!

    Best wishes,

    Fluent Forever Team

    * Originally posted by Hillary Jackson.
  • Oh, I didn't imagine the team would, but I thought the community might. I did find a few resources, Beginning Cherokee being the most popular. Unfortunately it's a dying language and a second language even on the reservations in most cases if it's spoken at all. I also found an ANKI syllabary deck.

    * Originally posted by Slache.
  • Unfortunately it’s a dying language...

    OUCH! Way to spare our feelings, dude[/ette].

    Anyway, what kind of resources are you looking for? Grammatical explanations, vocabulary, audio, reading materials, speaking practice, ...? And what level? Absolute beginner, only know set phrases, know how to make simple sentences, know how to converse, ...?

    In the meantime, there are relatively few that make me think "every person learning Cherokee should have this", and you're probably familiar with most of them already since you mentioned Beginning Cherokee. But just in case, please make sure to check out the Cherokee Nation's resources online. Click around the Downloads section and the Links page at http://www.cherokee.org/languagetech/ᏕᎬᏔᏛ-links. Some particularly useful ones:

    * Audio files at http://www.cherokee.org/languagetech/.
    * Audio wordlist here at http://www.cherokee.org/About-The-Nation/Cherokee-Language/Dikaneisdi-Word-List, if you do decide to go the Fluent Forever route with this language. (The English translations are a bit iffy for some words that have multiple versions.)
    * Free online classes at http://www.cherokee.org/About-The-Nation/Cherokee-Language/Online-Language-Classes. The classes are taught by community members who may not have pedagogical training per se, so it may or may not be for you - please don't judge too harshly! But it could be a nice way to meet other people interested in the language that you could practice with.
    * How to write the Cherokee syllabary, linked from http://www.cherokee.org/About-The-Nation/Cherokee-Language/Downloads. If you have only seen it printed, it may not be obvious to you what features you can and can't leave out when writing by hand. If your Anki deck does not have "stroke order" diagrams, consider cropping them out of this image adding them.

    Also, if you're a beginner, please read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_language a few times to find out about language features you may not already be familiar with, like the basic verbs and their special conjugations.

    * Originally posted by Arkaaito.
  • I'm sorry! It was Cherokees in Tennessee that told me that a few years back. They said that no one speaks it on the reservation. :(

    Thanks for the links! I want all the things. I just want to deepen my children's appreciation for their heritage and a basic understanding of the language seemed like something they should have. I plan to cover much more than that but while I'm here I figured I'd see what's out there.

    * Originally posted by Slache.
  • Heh, don't worry - I was 90% joking. Most all the points you make about how rare it is (specially that no one speaks it as their only language, and most speak it only as a second) are true. The language is also changing and simplifying over time. I'm just resisting (perhaps futilely) the idea that it's doomed. :-)

    If it's for your children, I should probably change my suggestions a bit. I feel that the best thing for young (?) children is to teach them the songs and the stories. (Most of what I think of as "the songs", BTW, are spirituals that the Cherokee of the 19th century "culturally appropriated" from the whites of the expanding America. To me, this is an important part of our history and so an important part of our culture. But depending on how you feel about culture and what it is, you may quite justifiably think differently.) I don't just mean the standard story about the buzzard, either, but things like the life of George Gist (Sequoyah) and biographies of modern Cherokee.

    If they're a little older (like smartphone age), there are iPhone/Android apps and they can add the Cherokee keyboard to their iPhone/Android.

    A lot of the things you will find published about Cherokee history and culture are incorrect, whether because complete information is not available or because of romanticization of pre-colonial cultures. It's good to be honest about this with your kids, and to tell them that it's natural to not be sure about how something happened, or how things were in a time before they were born. It's also good to read them anyway. Some works (e.g. Mooney's) contain inaccuracies but also much more good than bad. Tell them which parts you wonder about, and why.  Learning to ask themselves whether a specific claim they read is consistent with other sources, and whether they believe it, is an invaluable skill for any child, Cherokee or not!

    Good luck! What you're doing for your kids is a great thing. I feel glad that my Mom made that effort, when I was very young, to ensure that the door to my heritage would always be open to me. (She doesn't speak the language [much] herself, but I grew up with the songs and ended up choosing to learn it as a teenager - go figure.)

    * Originally posted by Arkaaito.

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