Cherokee Phoenix


Published August, 20, 1828

Page 2 Column 1b




Question 6. 'Are there not several dialects of the language yet spoken, or is the uniformity complete? what is become of the Ayrati dialect which changed L into R, and called the Mountain Cherokis Otari instead of Otali, and the whole nation Chiroki whence your English name of Cherokees? Are they all gone to Arkansas?'

Answer: There are two principal dialects in the nation, each of which is denominated by those who speak the opposite (Cherokee symbols)(U-nv-sta.). Between these two there are various shades of approximation to one or the other.- There has also been a dialect called (Cherokee symbols)(gi-du-wa,) but I know not whether it is now distinguished. Those of the one dialect give the sound of R, where the other give that of L; and the difference in other respects is considerable. The name of the nation is not pronounced by them Chiroki, but Tsa-ra-gi. No dialect has, or probably ever had the sound of Ch. The name of the dialect Ayrati is not recognized. It was probably given by some white man, and seems to have come from the word (three Cherokee symbols), signifying low, pronounced in one dialect E-la-ti, and in the other E-ra-ti. Very few of those who speak the latter dialect were among the emigrants to Arkansas.

Question 7. 'What is the meaning of the following historical names and words in Tsalagi, translated into English?

Otali, Cherokee symbols Tsalagi,

Alati, Cherokee symbols Teomi

Olata, Cherokee symbols Melilo

Teliquo, Tanassi, Amana

Talasi Cusa Matika

Alega Satula Olaimi

Atsala Talomeco Utina

Awalatsi Timuaca, Mayla

Hitanatsi Yamasi Atsora

Quowatsi, Aquowaka Hemanlini.

Ans. Among this list I find only the following recognized by those to whom I have immediate access as Cherokee names or words; viz, Otali (Cherokee symbols) a mountain; Alati, probably Elati, (Cherokee symbols) low, below; Olata, (Cherokee symbols,) an ancient word signifying fireless, a place destitute of fire; Teliquo (Da-li-qua,) (Cherokee symbols), the name of a place in the state of Tennessee, now called by the whites Tellico; Talasi (Cherokee symbols) The name of a place; Tanassi (Cherokee symbols), the name of the Tennessee River; Cusa (Cherokee symbols), the Cherokee name of the Creek Indians; and Tsalagi, the name of the Cherokee Nation. These names, if they were ever significant, have lost their significancy, and are known only as proper names. Perhaps some others in the list may have sprung from Cherokee origin, but the attempts of Englishmen to write Cherokee names have been so extremely awkward, that it is often impossible to recognize them.

Question 8. 'Try to give literal translations of the Lord's prayer and some other fragments, word for word in opposition to each other, so as to offer at once a view of words and syntax; but the words must each be separated and distinguished either in two perpendicular lines or double lines, one word Tsalagi and one word English annexed to each other and separated from all others!'

Answer. Literal translations, word for word, from English into Cherokee, are beyond the limits of possibility.- The following of the Lord's Prayer is perhaps as great an approximation as can conveniently be made. The translation ' retranslation are substantially the same as in No. 1 of the Phoenix, but here arranged in parallel columns, and the retranslation still more literal.

Cherokee symbols Our Father

Cherokee symbols above

Cherokee symbols who dwellest,

Cherokee symbols honored

Cherokee symbols be

Cherokee symbols thy name.

Cherokee symbols *Thou king

Cherokee symbols the being so

Cherokee symbols spring to light.

Cherokee symbols Let happen

Cherokee symbols what thou wilt

Cherokee symbols on earth,

Cherokee symbols above

Cherokee symbols as does happen.

Cherokee symbols Our food

Cherokee symbols day by day

Cherokee symbols bestow upon us.

Cherokee symbols In that we have transgressed against thee

Cherokee symbols pity us

Cherokee symbols those who transgress against us.

Cherokee symbols and

Cherokee symbols do not

Cherokee symbols place of straying

Cherokee symbols lead us into

Cherokee symbols restrain us from

+Cherokee symbols (on the other hand)

Cherokee symbols transgression.

Cherokee symbols For thine [is]

++Cherokee symbols ++ thou king

Cherokee symbols the being

Cherokee symbols and

Cherokee symbols thou strong

Cherokee symbols the being

Cherokee symbols and

Cherokee symbols thou honored

Cherokee symbols the being

Cherokee symbols forever.

Cherokee symbols This

Cherokee symbols let be.

It will be observed that a single word in Cherokee requires often several English words to translate it.- Fewer words are required in Cherokee than in English to express the same ideas, for the reason, that what we express by pronouns, adverbs, and prepositions is, in Cherokee, expressed chiefly by variations of the verb.



*Thou king the being so, thy being king, thy dominion.

+ (Cherokee symbols) and (Cherokee symbols) are particles, inseparable from the word to which they are attached, and signifying variously according to the connection. (Cherokee symbols) two lines below, is also an inseparable conjunction.

++ Thou king-thou strong-thou honored. The Cherokee word in each of these instances must necessarily have person for want of abstract terms.- The words (Cherokee symbols) however, when united, convey the same idea as in English. Thine is the dominion, empire, or, to coin a word, kingship.