Your Grandmother's Cherokee

Preserving the Cherokee language, one word at a time.

Sunrise at Waterrock Knob.  Photo by Barbara R. Duncan

A New Way to Learn Cherokee Language

The Cherokee language had to be simple and easy and logical, if people spoke it as an oral language for thousands of years. They had to have an agreement about the meanings of the words and the parts of words.  Like the water running downhill, the language had to find the best way.  We followed the tracks.  We followed the patterns in the language itself.

Comparing Cherokee to English was not useful.  Comparing Cherokee to the categories of linguists was not useful.  We looked at the patterns in the language, the Cherokee patterns, the inherent indigenous logic, and it became simple and easy.

We talked to fluent speakers, but they could not explain how the language worked.  This method is not for them, because they can already speak. They can speak to each other, they can remember words their parents used, they can pronounce words with the beautiful music—the traditional sounds-- of the Cherokee language.  

This new way is for the people who want a way to learn Cherokee language—to speak with comprehension and listen with understanding.

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