Your Grandmother's Cherokee

Preserving the Cherokee language, one word at a time.

Cherokee Soap Opera

Native American Man and Woman Eating, 1590. By Theodor de Bry. North Carolina Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.

On Monday evening, the Cherokee language class made up this story, each person contributing one line.  We call it: Cherokee Soap Opera (in English).  

Asgaya:                       Sgigeyuhasg?

Gutiha! It is snowing!

Snow on cedar tree, photo by Barbara Duncan

Gutiha It Is Snowing

Nogow sgwisda gutiha = Now it is snowing a lot.

Sgwisda untsi = A lot of snow on the ground.

Gohi sunale uwutodi uwalenvhv’i = This morning it began to snow


Bullet Standingdeer

If you go to a Cherokee person’s house, on any day, they will give you something to eat and drink.  They might not even ask, might just set it in front of you.  And you need to eat something, drink something.  This is what the old people always to

A New Way to Learn Cherokee Language

Sunrise at Waterrock Knob.  Photo by Barbara R. Duncan

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.

A New Way - The Patterns

Roxanne Standingdeer Stamper (1911-2011.) She created the Road to Soco design, pictured here as a pattern on a Pendleton blanket.

In order to find the patterns in the words, you have to look at the full form of the word.  Many speakers and even dictionaries do not give the full syllables of the word.  You need to see these syllables to see the patterns.


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