By Justin Neely, CPN Language Department Director
Bgéji ksenyamget shode odew jo pi ngom (It’s a little cold here today). Lots going on in the Language Department. We are finishing up our children’s book grant. We have already shipped about 400 books but have more to go. Please be patient if you are waiting on your books. They should be there soon.
If you haven’t checked out Woolaroo (cpn.news/woolaroo) by Google, make it a priority to do so. This program is pretty awesome. We were one of the only tribal groups in North America who were part of this project. To use Woolaroo, you go to the site with your phone and choose Potawatomi as the language. Then use your phone to take pictures of objects like a door, table or chair, and it will give you the word in Potawatomi along with an audio file. In order to make this happen, we had to translate the 3,500 most Googled terms and then create an audio file. It’s a pretty cool tool.
Also, we have a number of learning tools out there for folks who wish to learn the language. We have a dictionary at potawatomidictionary.com with over 10,000 words with more than 70 percent having audio files attached to them. We have two YouTube channels with more than 400 videos on each site. There are learning videos, songs, stories, cultural teachings, cartoons and even full-length movies in the language. There are versions of most content with one captioned in English, one captioned in Potawatomi and one with no captions. We have a Facebook group with over 6,200 folks (cpn.news/langfbv).
We are currently finishing up a beginner course for our newest online platform Tovuti. We hope to have this out before the first of the year. We still have two courses on memrise.com. One is called A Day in the Life in Potawatomi and one is called Conversational Potawatomi. We also have an online Moodle course, which is phasing out, soon to be replaced with the new Tovuti course.
We have been doing a lot more with QR codes recently. We have put them in all our children’s books so you can hear the story read to you in Potawatomi. Here is a short prayer you can learn and use at family functions over the holidays. We are putting a QR code here so you can hear the prayer read.
(Thank you Creator/God)
Jak she gégo ga gishtoyen
(For everything you have created)
Mine mno gishget
(And this beautiful day.)
Kowabem gi kekyajek, yaknogejek
(Watch over the elders, those who are sick)
Penojeyek mine shemagneshik
(Children and the soldiers.)
Ewi dodaskeygo mteno mno bmadzewen
(We ask only for good health)