Cherokee/Printable version

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Cherokee

The current, editable version of this book is available in Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection, at
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cherokee

Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.


Syllabary

Before you continue with learning the Cherokee language, it is important to be able to read and write in Cherokee. That is what this lesson will help you with.

The Cherokee language does not use a alphabet, but a syllabary. That means each Cherokee symbol represents a syllable, not just a consonant or a vowel. Because of this, Cherokee symbols are arranged in a chart, with a column for each Cherokee vowel and a row for each Cherokee consonant.

Below is a chart of the Cherokee Syllabary:

Cherokee Syllabary.svg

Sounds Represented by Vowels

IPA-sound-representations in [].

a (as in father, or short as in rival)[a~ɑ]
e (as in hate, or short as in met)[ɛ~e]
i (as in pique, or short as in pit)[i~ɪ]
o (as in law, or short as in not)[ɔ~o]
u (as in fool, or short as in pull)[ʊ~u]
v (as in but, nasalized)[ʌ̃]

Exercises[edit | edit source]

/Yet to come: A good exercise would be to have a whole bunch of words in Cherokee syllabary, and the student can transliterate them, and then check the answer's--and vice versa./

  • Example: o-si-yo (hello). First write the syllable for o then si then yo.
  • Example 2: ᎠᎹ(a-ma') (water). First write the syllable for Ꭰ(a) and then for Ꮉ(ma).

Learning the Cherokee Syllabary is a important part of learning the Cherokee language. Hopefully after these exercises you have gotten familiar with them. You'll continue to get more and more familiar with constant use, and all the next lessons will be in the Syllabary. Don't get discouraged though, if you don't completely know the Syllabary yet. The next few lessons will have the Latin transcription side by side with the syllabary to help you. But pay attention to the syllabary, as the transliteration will slowly be phased out.

One of the better ways to learn the Syllabary is by writing the letters out individually by dictation.

One source of Cherokee Syllabary dictation is: http://www.cherokeelessons.com/Super-Cherokee-Syllabary-Dictation-Practice/



Lesson 1

Note: You must be using Cherokee Unicode Supported Fonts to view this site. Information on obtaining and installing Cherokee Unicode Fonts for Windows 2000 and Windows XP is available on the Cherokee Unicode page. Mac OS X from version 10.3 (Panther), Windows Vista and some Linux Operating System's include default support for displaying the Cherokee Language in syllabary.


Lesson 1: Basic Greeting[edit | edit source]

Perhaps this lesson should be expanded.

Dialogue[edit | edit source]

Jane: ᎣᏏᏲ, ᏙᎯᏧ? o-si-yo, to-hi-tsu? (English:hello, how are you?)
John: ᎣᏍᏓ, ᏂᎯᎾ? o-s-da, ni-hi-na? (English:good, and you?)
Jane: ᎣᏍᏓᏛ o-s-da-dv (English:good)
John: ᎰᏩ! ho-wa! (English:alright!)
Jane: ᎦᏙ ᏕᏣᏙᏩ? Gado detsadowa? (English: What is your name?)
John: ᏣᏂ ᏓᏩᏙᎠ tsa-ni da-gwa-do-a (English: I am called John)
Jane: ᎭᏢ ᎯᏁᎳ? hatlv hinela? (English:Where do you live?)
John: ᏓᎵᏩ ᏥᏁᎳ. daliwa tsinela (English:I live in Tahlequa --lit. Tahlequa live I)

Exercise[edit | edit source]

Unless you have printed this out, get a clean piece of paper. Without looking at the top, fill in the Cherokee words. (In syllabary as far as you remember, and in Latin)

Jane: (1)_______________ (hello, how are you?)
John: (2)_________________ (good, and you?)
Jane: (3)________ (fine) (in reply to the second person)
John: (4)_______ (alright!)

Answers: Here are the answers for questions 1-4: (1) ᎣᏏᏲ, ᏙᎯᏧ? o-si-yo, to-hi-tsu (2)ᎣᏍᏓ, ᏂᎯᎾ? o-s-da, ni-hi-na? (3)ᎣᏍᏓᏛ o-s-da-dv (4)ᎰᏩ! ho-wa!

Notes for those who correct the book[edit | edit source]

  • ᎣᏏᏧ (O-si-tsu) mean "I am fine"
  • ᏂᎾ (ni-na) or ᏂᎯᎾ (ni-hi-na) for And You?
  • ᏓᏩᏙᎠ da-wa-to-a or ᏓᏩᏙ 'da-wa-do



Lesson 2

Note: You must be using Cherokee Unicode Supported Fonts to view this site. Information on obtaining and installing Cherokee Unicode Fonts for Windows 2000 and Windows XP is available on the Cherokee Unicode page. Mac OS X from version 10.3 (Panther), Windows Vista and some Linux Operating System's include default support for displaying the Cherokee Language in syllabary.

Numbers[edit | edit source]

1 ᏌᏊᎢ saquui
2 ᏔᎵ tali
3 ᏦᎢ tsoi
4 ᏅᎩ nvgi
5 ᎯᏍᎩ hisgi
6 ᏑᏓᎵ sudali
7 ᎦᎵᏉᎩ galiquogi
8 ᏧᏁᎳ tsunela
9 ᏐᏁᎳ sonela
10 ᏍᎪᎯ sgohi
11 ᏌᏚᎢ sadui
12 ᏔᎵᏚᎢ talidui

Days of the week[edit | edit source]

Monday ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏉᏅᎢ unadodaquonvi
Tuesday ᏔᎵᏁᎢᎦ talineiga
Wednesday ᏦᎢᏁᎢᎦ tsoineiga
Thursday ᏅᎩᏁᎢᎦ nvgineiga
Friday ᏧᏅᎩᎶᏍᏗ tsunvgilosdi
Saturday ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ unadodaquidena
Sunday ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᎬᎢ unadodaquasgvi



Notebook

Here are a whole bunch of phrases we could incorporate into lessons:

Simple Phrases[edit | edit source]

Gado hadvne (what are you doing?)
dagilawisdane (I am working)
tsayosihas (are you hungry?)
v v agiyosi (yes I am hungry)
tsadulis hawiya? do you want meat?
v v hawiya aquaduli yes meat I want
kawi tsadulis? Do you want coffee? (lit: coffee you want it?)
v v kawi aquaduli yes coffee I want it
ugodidas agasga ahnai?----alot it is raining there?
tla tlayagasga-- --no it is not raining
Okay Ho wa
Thank you Wa do
Yes vv ii
No Thla
I don't know Thla ya gwan ta