Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Geniuses, and Mighty Hunter Has Only Six Months Til Christmas

As we approach our second year online, has reached a crossroad.
In the past weeks, some really sharp people have enrolled for the course material. Not to say people who enrolled previously haven’t been sharp. But some of the new people are also motivated to learn quickly!

Among the points of Speak Cherokee, it’s self-directed and self-paced. It’s online 24-7, so you study when it best fits your schedule. Over the years some have said the material was too confusing, or too difficult, and I’ve tried to adjust things according to your feedback. That’s one reason all ten lessons and tests aren’t posted yet; I’ve been re-writing and re-evaluating based on your feedback.

One woman signed up, and blasted the first two tests in about two weeks. Another did it in one week. I think we’ve established the material isn’t too hard, if you take a little time and work with it.

Another point of Speak Cherokee is that it’s interactive. I’ve gone so far as to get on the phone with people to help with their pronunciation. It’s the same kind of instruction I’d give in a live classroom setting. This is also why I’ve set an upper limit on the number of students that can be enrolled at any time.


Who are the most efficient hunters of the animal world? As much as I’m a dog person, they’re sloppy hunters, a problem they make up for with teamwork. Big cats are by far more efficient. And yet wildlife experts tell us that even the big cats only take down their prey in 1 out of 10 chases. That’s a 10 per cent success rate. I don’t feel so bad now when I introduce a product that doesn’t find its market. If I get 2 out of 10 into profit, I'm a marketing TIGER!

As some of you know, for three years now I’ve produced a Cherokee calendar each year. Not only does it have the modern months and days shown in their Cherokee names, but it has the old Cherokee day-signs and wind-signs, moon phases, seasonal starts and mid-points, and much more information. Everybody said they wanted it… until it was time to pay. I’ve learned some lessons on market research!

There’s not enough interest to justify publishing the calendar, and yet I feel it is still a valuable tool for those learning the language, history and culture.

So effective July 1, enrolled language students will receive the Calendar and each annual update as a bonus. Learning to give the time and date in Cherokee will help you gain familiarity with the language.

Today is June 25, making it six months until Christmas. So consider this notice of an early Christmas gift! The 2010 Cherokee Calendar is now being researched and compiled. Only my students will have it.!

So if you haven’t enrolled, go here and select the plan that best suits you.

All the best,
Brian Wilkes

COMING: More links to natural health and home-based business information.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday! And Operational Notes for Students

Tsunagilosdi gesv! It’s Friday!

Thank you for the response to the “America the Beautiful” video I posted last Saturday. It’s also raised some questions about Code Talkers, which I’ll address soon. For those of you who haven’t found it yet, there’s a page of sing-along videos. Spending some time with these daily will quickly increase your familiarity with the spoken language.

Today, just a few operational notes.

More people are joining this list every day, and may wonder just what we do here. To get on this mailing list, you’ve signed up at either the page or here on the SpeakCherokee blog page. Some of you no doubt want to poke around a bit before making a commitment to enroll in the course. Some of you may also be financially stressed, especially in the current economy, and trying to see what you can learn first without charge. Hey, nothing wrong with that, I do it all the time, too.

When you are ready to enroll, we’ll be ready.

When you enroll, I get a notification from PayPal, and I set a user name and password for you. I do this manually, because there just aren’t enough of you to justify paying for the automation. So I advise that it will be within 24 hours of the time I get the notification; but even I don’t live in front of the computer. I occasionally take a day off.

However, if you’ve enrolled through PayPal and haven’t heard back from me within 24 hours (if you enroll on a weekend, it could be longer), something could be wrong. If you send me e-mail about this please INCLUDE A PHONE NUMBER! Because so many e-mail systems have filters these days, there’s a chance you won’t receive my e-mail reply. You system may send me to the junk bin. I may need clarification on the problem. Recently, I helped to talk a student through a browser plug-in upgrade to allow her to hear the audios. So if you’re sending a question about access and passwords, please include a phone number.


The teaching approach we use duplicates the way a child learns his or her first language: by imitating the adult hundreds and thousands of times with no real grasp of the rules of grammar. This is an online, audio-based approach. We show the Cherokee syllabary only to provide familiarity; in Level 1 we won’t really be dealing with the written language.


When your renewal is due, PayPal attempts to make the payment, If you haven’t funded your account, or don’t haven't it linked to your bank account or credit card, the payment fails. PayPal makes another attempt within a week. After three failed attempts at payment, your subscription is automatically canceled by PayPal.


Trust me, as President Clinton used to say, “I feel your pain.” I make my living online, and help people do the same. I have a system that will let you start an online business with no money, utilizing free online resources and software. Yes it’s work, but that’s one of those four-letter words: life, work, pain, love. You can learn more over on my business blog, Stimulus Package. You can sign up for the newsletter, or just check the blog from time to time.

Until next time, SpeakCherokee!

Brian Wilkes

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Honoring D-Day Vets: America the Beautiful in Cherokee

I've been backed up this week, but I wanted to get this video out for D-Day, or at least by Flag Day, two holidays the mass media has forgotten. I grew up in a community where everyone's dad was a WW2 veteran, including mine. He piloted a landing craft at Normandy until it was shelled out from under him. It was 30 years before he could speak out loud about what he went through that day.

I mention that because we are surrounded by veterans who keep so much to themselves about what they went through... Vietnam, the Balkans, Desert Storm, and now Iraq and Afghanistan. I live up the road from Ft. Campbell, KY, which ordered a stand-down last week to deal with the epidemic of veteran suicides.

"Support The Troops" is more than just a slogan on a car magnet! It means reaching out to the vets, helping them to find the help they need. In my role as a pastor, I'm dealing more and more with current and former military personnel and contractors who are carrying, as one admitted this week, "more baggage than the Titanic." And we all know what happened to the Titanic.

Four years ago, I was asked to translate America the Beautiful
into Cherokee for a patriotic event. The lyric sheet is posted in both the student and non-student sections of . I'll have a teaching-speed version with lyrics posted soon.

If you start learning and singing today, D-Day, you should have it pretty clear by June 16, Flag Day.

Like our nation, our language will survive only as a result of our work and sacrifice. If the British had won the Revolutionary War, we'd all be speaking English today. (Yes, that's a joke).

Sermon's over. Enjoy the weekend. But please remember our language and remember our veterans.

Brian Wilkes

PS: For those of you who only know the history you see on the screen, it was the battle at the beginning of "Saving Private Ryan."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Corn months, Dreams, and Financial Help


Go’hi iga Unadodaquinvi, igvgai Dehaluyi!
It’s Monday, first day of June!

Monday is considered the start of the week. Cherokees call Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are called Second Day, Third Day, and Fourth Day.
It’s also a Turtle day, beginning the cycle of twenty day-signs again.
First or the week, first of the month, first of the 20-Day cycle. A good day for new beginnings!

Yesterday we ended An’sgvti, the month of “They Plant.” And just what did they plant? Selu, of course! We now start months with Corn names: Green Corn and Ripe Corn.

They development of a corn-based agriculture was a major step for our ancestors. The plant requires human intervention to propogate. Although it provides the ability to produce a surplus of food, there are several drawbacks:

[1] Grains provide poor nourishment compared to wild plants and game animals. You don’t worry so much about starving, but you aren’t as healthy.

[2] Agriculture requires communities to be rooted to the land, to protect the crop.

[3] Agricultural societies are more complex than hunter-gatherer societies, and those socieites develop more complex worldviews and languages to express that worldview.

[4] Farm labor is HARD! Farmers go hunting and fishing for recreation; professional hunters never say “I’m going to take the week off and hoe out a truck farm.”

Corn is so central to Cherokee life that we are said to descend from a woman who developed from an ear of corn. Of the six major public ceremonies, three are linked to the growth cycle of corn.

So, what corn do you grow? This question once meant “What results do you produce?”
Give that one some thought.


I’ve been thinking of specials I can offer to get more of you to try the language course. After my recent posting about the linguistic nature of dreams, I had several requests to explain strange or troubling dreams. So how’s this? The next 50 people who enroll will have my humble analysis of a dream or waking vision. Please allow a few weeks.


Some of you have recently left the program, citing financial hardship. I certainly understand, and I’ve been looking for solutions. Things are tight on my end as well!

For the past year, I’ve been working on a product that teaches people with little or no technical skill how to use their computers to make money online with no cash expenditure required. No hosting fee, no domain fee, no adverstising expenses. I was just wrapping it up when I found a new software (somebody beat me to market) that does everything I had designed, and more… and at a price so low I can’t compete.

So after I kicked myself for not getting my product out faster, I decided to promote the better product. The package is 30 instructional videos, full written instructions, all for $8.
You really can’t beat this deal, I’ve tried:

So grow some corn, work toward results. Make changes. We’re here to help.


Brian Wilkes