NSU offers Cherokee Language Technology class

BY TESINA JACKSON
Former Reporter
09/14/2011 06:52 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Co-instructor Joseph Erb teaches the font history of the Cherokee language in Northeastern State University’s new Cherokee Language Technology course. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Co-instructor Joseph Erb teaches the font history of the Cherokee language in Northeastern State University’s new Cherokee Language Technology course. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Co-instructor Joseph Erb explains how the Cherokee writing system has changed in style and font over the years in the new Cherokee Language Technology course. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Northeastern State University students have an opportunity to learn about the evolution of the Cherokee language from its inception in handwritten syllabary to today’s technology by taking the new Cherokee Language Technology course.

“It’s a class where we’re introducing the history of the syllabary,” said co-instructor Joseph Erb. “To the handwritten, to the typeface, to how you can use it in social media; wiki’s, blogs, Google searches and the different writing styles and abilities to be able to do internet usage of the syllabary. Most of the other classes focus on how to learn a language; we focus on where you can use it online, so, text messaging and such.”

The course is also instructed by Cherokee citizen Roy Boney Jr.

Erb and Boney both work for Cherokee Nation Education Services where they focus on language technology.

The elective course started this summer and counts for language elective credit and technology elective credit.

The idea for the class was born after Boney, Erb and Dr. Leslie Hannah, director of the Cherokee studies and language programs at NSU, were discussing Boney and Erb’s latest project, which was putting Google maps in Cherokee.

“…They said ‘wouldn’t it be great if we could teach students how to do this.’ And from that seemingly innocent little comment right there this class was born,” Hannah said.

Students in the Cherokee Language Technology class begin the semester by discussing how the Cherokee writing system has changed in style and font over the years. The class then learns what social media applications support the Cherokee language, such as Facebook and Google.

“We haven’t gotten to that point yet but we’ll go over how to do Google searches, change languages, deal with the idea of localization, which means turning your computer operating systems into Cherokee,” Erb said.

The promotion of the course has been word of mouth throughout the NSU community since its still considered a new class. It currently has seven students for the fall semester.

“I saw this class as an opportunity to learn more about the language, and I’m interested in becoming literate in reading the syllabary without looking at the phonetics, and I thought this would help with that,” said Brooke Hudson, NSU junior and former Miss Cherokee. “I know it’s not only going to help with that but I know it’s going to help with getting that out to more people where they don’t have to go take a class; they can do it in the comfort of their own home.

“I also want to make other people more aware of the Cherokee language and about the syllabary and how often it can be used.”

The class is taught at the NSU Seminary Hall, which was built in 1890 as the Cherokee Female Seminary, and the location is more than just a class site, Hannah said.

“I’ve sat in on a few classes myself listening to how the technology has developed from the pen or quill, and we can see that as we look back at the history of this building right here – Seminary Hall,” Hannah said. “It was 160 years ago when it was cutting edge technology with the quill, or the pen, and now we’re teaching the cutting edge technology of the 21st century in the same building.”

Hannah said the class has gained a lot of interest not only from NSU students but from students in different countries such as Wales, the United Kingdom, and China.

“Word is spreading, not just here in town, not just here in Cherokee county, in Cherokee country, but worldwide,” he said. “We’re getting on the world stage by using this technology, showing the world that our language is alive and well and prospering and its thriving right here in Seminary Hall. This is ground zero for Cherokee language preservation and we are spreading it to the world.”

tesina-jackson@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000, ext. 6139

ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ.-- ᎤᏴᏢᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎧᎸᎬᎢ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎭ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᎵᏍᏓᏅᏒ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎣᏬᏰᏂ ᎬᏗ ᎪᏪᎳᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏃᏴᎬᎢ ᎪᎯᎦ ᎢᏤ ᎠᏂᎦᏙᎲᏍᎦ ᎾᎿ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏱᏚᎾᏕᎶᏆᎢ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎾᏅᏁ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎦᏙᎩ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ Joseph Erb. “ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏬᏰᏂ ᎬᏔᏅ ᎪᏪᎳᏅ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏗᏐᏅᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎧᏛ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎦᎬᏙᏗ ᏭᏂᎪᏛ ᎤᏂᎪᎵᏰᏗ; ᏫᎩᎢ, ᏆᎩ, ᎫᎦᎵ ᎠᏯᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏓᎴᎾᎥ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎬᏩᏅᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ. ᎤᎪᏛᏃ ᏗᏐᎢ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎠᎾᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ; ᎠᏯᏃ ᎣᏣᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎦᎬᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏏᎳᏕᏫᏒᎢ, ᏖᎦᏏ ᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎠᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ.”

ᎯᎢᏃ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎨᎳ Roy Boney Jr.
Erb ᎠᎴ Boney ᎢᏧᎳ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎢᏤ ᎠᎦᏙᎯᎲᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.

ᎯᎢᎾ ᎠᏑᏰᏍᏗ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲ ᎯᎠ ᎪᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏎᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᎦᏪᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏑᏰᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏓᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏤ ᎠᎦᏙᎲᏍᏗ ᎠᏑᏰᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᏗ.

ᎯᎢᎾ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏅ ᎾᎿ Boney, Erb. ᎠᎴ Dr. Leslie Hannah, ᎧᏁᏥᏙ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏣᏣᎳᎩ ᏓᎾᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᎢᏒ ᎾᎿ NSU, ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎬ Boney ᎠᎴ Erb’s ᎣᏂ ᎠᏎᎸ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏓᏃᏢᏍᎬ ᎫᎦᎵ ᏓᏟᎶᏍᏛ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩᎢ.


“…. ᎤᎾᏛᏅ ‘ᏙᎯᏳᎧ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎩ ᏗᎬᏲᏗ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏳᎾᏛᏗᎢ.’ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᏪᏓ ᎨᏒ ᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ ᎯᎠ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Hannah.

ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎢᏤ ᎠᎦᏙᎢᎲᏍᏗ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᏙᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎤᏓᏁᏟᏴᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎩᎶᏒᎢ ᎠᏃᏪᎵᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᏅᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᏊ. ᎾᎿᏃ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪ ᏃᏊ ᎤᏅᏔᏅᏙᏗ ᏓᏃᏪᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏓᏂ ᎤᎧᏛ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎫᎦᎵ.

“ᏝᏃ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎾᎿᏴ ᏬᎩᏱᎶᏢ ᏱᎩ ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᏓᏲᏍᏗᎪᎵᏰ ᎢᏯᏛᏗ ᎠᏯᏍᏗ ᎫᎦᎵ, ᎦᏁᏟᏴᏍᏗ ᏗᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, ᎢᎬᏁᏗ ᎥᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎠᏩᏛᏗ ᎾᎿᎾ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎯᎢᏃ ᎦᏓᎦ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎦᏙᎲᏍᏗ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᎬᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Erb.

ᎾᎠᎩ ᏙᎩᏃᏣᎳᏅ ᎯᎠ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏥᏁᎬᏮ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ NSU ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᏤ ᎠᎴᏅᏓ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᏃᏊ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏯ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎳᎪᎲᏍᏗ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᎠᎩᎪᎲ ᎯᎠ ᎢᏤ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᏍᏚᎢᏒ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎤᎵᏍᏚᎢᏒ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏯ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᎪᎵᏰᏗ ᏗᏣᎳᎩ ᏕᎪᏪᎸ Ꮎ ᏲᏁᎦ ᏕᎪᏪᎸ ᏫᏂᏗᎦᎦᏂᎲᎾ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎯᎠ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᎩᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Brooke Hudson, NSU ᎢᎬᏱ ᎦᏙᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏔᏄᏥ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ. “ᏝᏃ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎢᎦ ᏱᏓᏳᏍᏕᎸ ᎾᏍᎩᏍᎩᏂ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᏂᎪᏗ ᏚᏁᏅᏒ ᎠᏂᏅ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎦᏙᎲᏍᏗ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᏍᎩ ᏱᏚᏂᎭ.

“ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᎤᎾᏅᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏗᎦᎬᏙᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.”

ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎯᎠ ᏓᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎦ NSU ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏁᏍᎨᎲ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪᎯ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏣᏓᏁᎳ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎾᏃ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎤᏛᏅ Hannah.

“ᎠᎩᏴᏟ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᏆᏛᏓᏍᏔᏂ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎾ ᎢᏤ ᎠᎦᏙᎲᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᎥ ᎤᏁᏉᏨᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ Ꮟ ᎠᎪᎯᎸ ᎾᎿ ink ᏥᏛᏗᏍᎬ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᏗᎪᏩᏘᏍᎪ ᏗᎩᎶᏒ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᏥᏗᏯᎠ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Hannah. “ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎪᏪᎶᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎩᏓᏟ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᏃᏊ ᏥᎩ ᏕᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᏊ ᎢᏤ ᎦᎾᏄᎪᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏌᏊ ᎢᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ.”

Hannah ᎤᏛᏅ ᎯᎠ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎤᏁᏉᏣ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎨᏒ ᏝᏙ ᎠᎭᏂᏊ ᏗᎾᏓᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎾᏍᎩᏍᎩ ᎤᏣᏘᎾ ᏍᏆᏂᏯ ᎬᏗᏍᎩ ᏯᏛᎾ Wales, the United Kingdom, ᎠᎴ China.

“ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ, ᏝᏙ ᎠᎭᎾᏆ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᏩᏌ, Ꮭ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏩᏌ, ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎬᏩᎾᏛᎪᏗ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎢᏤ ᎦᎾᏄᎪᎬ ᎢᏤ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ, ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏫᏂᎬᏁ ᎡᎶᎯ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎩᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎧᏁᏉᎬ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᏂᎨᏳᏣ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ. ᎯᎢᎾ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛ ᎢᏓᏗᎦᎴᏯᎢ ᏃᏊ.”

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