Friday, July 31, 2009

WHY Do You Want To Learn Cherokee?

In any struggle, it’s important to keep your “why” in mind.  Nowhere is this more important than in the study of what many consider a dead or dying language.

Cherokee lives! But on a respirator.

Here’s an e-mail I received recently from someone who truly wants to study the language, but can’t access the program because she doesn’t have a computer:

“I have tried to take your course of speak Cherokee but I don’t have any luck. I can’t get the payment part to work.

I would love to buy a calendar I want to learn more than breathe.  I don’t know what to do -- please tell me how to send the money and to get the calendar. Can I send a money order?  A lot of things won’t work because it says ‘too large to display’ on my phone.

I am confused about it. I truly with all my heart want to learn.”

Turns out she was trying to access the course through a cell phone! I explained that I hadn’t designed the course to be accessible by cell phone. Perhaps it can be accessed through something like an iPhone, I don’t know.

“Wado!  You are great teacher.. thank you! I will get a computer, then I will be good learner. I will save the money and I will get to join to learn! Thank you for telling me. I can’t get to where there is a computer. My legs are bad. I’m in wheelchair. 
I will join soon -- thank you for the wonderful gift you have given me! Please keep teaching. I will find a way to get computer to learn in your class.”

And I have no doubt she will; she has a strong heart and a strong determined spirit.  She has her reason: 

“My parents went on their journey (i.e., crossed over) and to honor them, I want more than my breath of air to learn our language.” 

So tell me… what is the real, emotionally wrenching reason YOU want to put out the effort to learn Cherokee?


Brian Wilkes

Friday, July 3, 2009

Your Holiday Gift!

Guyequoni Tsoinei ko'iga
Today is July 3rd


For Memorial Day, I posted a video of the Cherokee version of America The Beautiful. I've posted the song with full lyrics so you can follow along and learn. That's right, a Cherokee Karaoke channel! (Chero-yokee?)

My computer is near the end of its lifespan, and I'm hearing skips in the audio that I don't remember in the original. Can't tell if it's my computer or the video, so if it sounds skippy to you, please let me know.

Also, I had a question this week:

“I have tried to take your course of Speak Cherokee but I don't have any luck. I can't get the payment part to work. I don't have a computer, only a phone. It says "too large" and won't work."

Unfortunately, Speak Cherokee was not designed to be accessed from an iPhone or Smart Phone, only from a computer. Without a computer, there's not a good way to make online payment. Yes, I take checks or money orders for 6 or 12 month enrollments, but without a computer, you still won't be able to access the course.

Lesson Three and Test Three will be completed in July, my target to finish all ten lessons and tests is the end of the year. One of the keys to learning and retention is to USE the language everyday. Sheer repetition, and linkage of the words to the environment you see every day make the difference. Lessons three and four will be keyed to vocabulary you may use around the house and surrounding outdoors.

Have a wonderful, safe Fourth of July!

Brian Wilkes