Monday, September 9, 2013

Native American Language Classes in Denver?

Q: Hello - thanks for this site. I am having a difficult time finding someone in the Denver, Colorado metro area to help me learn a Native language. My family is Cherokee but I am interested in any language. I do not do well with self-learning, and would really love to have someone who can teach me a language. Can you help? Any thing that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

A: Unfortunately it's really hard to find Native American language classes, especially off-reservation. The reason why most Native American language learning lessons are self-learning is that there are so few speakers of each language remaining compared to the general population of the US. The only Native American language course I was able to find in Colorado is a Navajo language class at Fort Lewis College. That's a heck of a commute from Denver.

Have you tried the Denver Indian Center? There are no language classes or language materials mentioned on their website, but they may have more things happening on an occasional basis than they publicize. Or they may have a member who's a fluent speaker of a Native American language, and could be persuaded to give some beginner's language lessons if you and a few other people were interested.

Anyone who knows any other language learning resources in the Denver area, please chime in with a comment!

There do exist some very good Cherokee audio courses. If language learning books and websites have not been working for you but you haven't yet tried an audio lesson, you could check out one of these two Cherokee language sets, each of which contains a book and accompanying CD set recorded by native speakers: Introduction to Cherokee and Beginning Cherokee.

Hope that helps, have a good day!
Native Languages of the Americas

Further reading:
Cherokee language learning
Native Americans in Colorado
Native American dictionaries

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