Your Grandmother's Cherokee

Preserving the Cherokee language, one word at a time.

Cherokee Words--How Many? Part 2

John Standingdeer portrays Ostenaco in council house

Cherokee language has more words than English for some topics, and these may show what was important for thousands of years.  In an earlier blog we talked about all the words for running.  There are also a lot of words about speaking.

Cherokee Words--How Many?

Bullet Standingdeer as Cherokee Emissary at Colonial Williamsburg

Cherokee Words – How Many?  Part 1

A student asked last week “How many different words are there in Cherokee language?  Do they have different words for hungry and starving? Or do they just say really hungry?”


Ancestors--photos of Swimmer and Qweti by James Mooney, Qualla Boundary, 1880s

Why it matters that I try to figure out the language:

It matters that you try…

It is in the trying that you honor the ones that came before you.

They are why you are here. 

Gvgisdi - Watermelon

By Kumon (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Native to Africa, this fruit (Citrullis lanatus) has spread around the world. It was cultivated by ancient Egyptians more than three thousand years ago, and watermelon seeds were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen.

Level 2 Students Master FUTURE tense

Sample questions, Level 2 FUTURE

Level 2 students taking the Your Grandmother's Cherokee course in Cherokee, N.C., have just mastered the FUTURE tense. For example, "I will go to Asheville" = Tokiasdi dagesi. They passed their exam with A's and B's. Way to go!


Red Maples in the Great Smoky Mountains. Photo by Barbara R. Duncan

Gohi iga
This day

Kawoni taline
April 2nd

It’s warm outside

Atse tsogesi
Green fields
(Fields are green)

Flowers are blooming


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