Klallam is a member of the Salishan or Salish family of languages and is once spoken on the north shore of Washington's Olympic Peninsula in the USA, and also at Becher Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The last known native speaker of Klallam, Hazel Sampson, died in 2014 at the age of 103. However, efforts are being made to revive the language, and increasing numbers of people are learning Klallam as a second language.
A spelling system for Klallam was devised by linguist Timothy Montler of the University of North Texas during the 1990s. He also documented the language and helped the remaining speakers of Klallam to produce teaching materials. A dictionary of Klallam was published in 1992, a grammar in 2015, and in 2020, classes in Klallam started at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.
The language is also known as Clallam, S'Klallam or Na'Klallam. It is related to the Northern Straits Salish dialects of Sooke, Lekwungen, Saanich, Lummi and Samish.
Download an alphabet chart for Klallam
hiyáʔ č̕ə ƛ̕ácu cə čáʔsəʔ sq̕ʷiyiʔáʔən̕ suʔwə́y̕qəʔ. níɬ č̕ə suʔčəm̕əsnə́kʷis. suʔkʷčáŋəts cə náʔc̕uʔ, "tx̣ʷéyn cxʷ ʔuč? hiyáʔ u cxʷ? hiyáʔ u cxʷ ƛ̕ácu?" suʔqʷáys cə náʔc̕uʔ ʔaʔ "ʔə́wə. hiyáʔ cən ƛ̕ácu." suʔƛ̕áys qʷáy cə náʔc̕uʔ, "o, nəx̣čŋín tə či n̕shiyáʔ ƛ̕ácu"
It seems two deaf men were going fishing. They met. Then one hollered, "Where are you going? Are you going? Are you going fishing?" The other one said, "No. I'm going fishing." Again the other one spoke, "Oh, I thought you were going fishing."
Information about Klallam
Coeur d'Alene, Comox, Halkomelem, Klallam, Lushootseed, Lillooet, Nuxalk, Okanagan, Saanich, Salish, Shuswap, Squamish, Thompson / Nlaka'pamux
Languages written with the Latin alphabet
Page last modified: 28.11.22
Why not share this page:
Learn languages for free on Duolingo
If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.
Note: all links on this site to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.fr are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.