Cherokee syllabary   ᏣᎳᎩ (Tsalagi)

The Cherokee syllabary was invented by George Guess/Gist, a.k.a. Chief Sequoyah, of the Cherokee, and was developed between 1809 and 1824. At first Sequoyah experimented with a writing system based on logograms, but found this cumbersome and unsuitable for Cherokee. He later developed a syllabary which was originally cursive and hand-written, but it was too difficult and expensive to produce a printed version, so he devised a new version with some symbols based on letters from the Latin alphabet and on Western numerals.

Sequoyah's descendants claim that he was the last surviving member of his tribe's scribe clan and the Cherokee syllabary was invented by persons unknown at a much earlier date. No archaeological evidience has been found to verify this claim.

By 1820 thousands of Cherokees had learnt the syllabary, and by 1830, 90% were literate in their own language. Books, religious texts, almanacs and newspapers were all published using the syllabary, which was widely used for over 100 years.

Today the syllabary is still used; efforts are being made to revive both the Cherokee language and the Cherokee syllabary, and Cherokee courses are offered at a number of schools, colleges and universities.

Notable features

Hand-written Cherokee syllabary

Original Cherokee syllabary

Printed Cherokee syllabary

Cherokee syllabary

Cherokee pronunciation

Cherokee pronunciation

Notes

You can hear the sounds of Cherokee at:
http://www.cherokee.org/Extras/Downloads/syllabary.html

Sample text in Cherokee

Sample text in Cherokee

Transliteration

Nigada aniyvwi nigeguda'lvna ale unihloyi unadehna duyukdv gesv'i. Gejinela unadanvtehdi ale unohlisdi ale sagwu gesv junilvwisdanedi anahldinvdlv adanvdo gvhdi.

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Information about Cherokee | Cherokee phrases | Cherokee learning materials

Links

Information about the Cherokee language and syllabary
http://www.native-languages.org/cherokee.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_language
http://sheikhjahbooty.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/the-mystery-of-why-the-cherokee-syllabary-sucks/

Online Cherokee lessons
http://www.youtube.com/user/tsasuyeda
http://tsasuyed.blogspot.com
http://www.angelfire.com/nj/nativecrafts/language.html
http://www.thepeoplespaths.net/Cherokee/CherokeeRecordings/language/Taylor-CherokeeLanguage.html
http://www.nativenashville.com/language/tutor_tsalagi.php
http://www.cherokee.org/AboutTheNation/Culture/Language/31863/Information.aspx

Online Cherokee dictionaries
http://www.wehali.com/tsalagi/
http://www.manataka.org/page122.html

Phrases in Cherokee
http://public.csusm.edu/public/raven/cherokee.dir/cherlexi.html
http://mypeoplepc.com/members/cherlyn/onefeather/id7.html
http://www.ctc.volant.org/cherokee/Mirror/cherokeewords.html
http://www.manataka.org/page122.html

Cherokee fonts
http://www.cherokee.org/Culture/CherokeeFont/Downloads.aspx http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Cherokee.html
http://www.gnu.org/software/freefont/

Cherokee transliteration system
http://www.translitteration.com/transliteration/en/cherokee/sequoyah/

Information about Chief Sequoyah and the Cherokee Syllabary, written by his descendants: http://www.enformy.com/dma-ls05.htm

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum
http://www.sequoyahmuseum.org

Echota Tsalagi Language Revitalization Project
http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/dl/echota/

Cherokee Observer - online Cherokee newspaper
http://www.cherokeeobserver.org

Cherokee Publications - Native American books, tapes, etc.
http://www.nativecollections.com/LanguageCourses.html

Place names of Cherokee origin
http://chenocetah.wordpress.com

Iroquoian languages

Cayuga, Cherokee, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Tuscarora, Wynadot

Syllabaries

Bamum, Blackfoot, Caroline Island Script, Carrier, Celtiberian, Cherokee, Cree, Cypriot, Eskayan, Hiragana, Iberian, Inuktitut, Katakana, Kpelle, Loma, Mende, Mwangwego, Ndjuká, Nüshu, Ojibwe, Vai, Yi


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