Lingít Yoo Xʼatángi

Lingít language

Ax̲ x̲ʼagáaxʼi áwé yéi kg̲watée:
chʼu tleix̲
k̲ug̲aag̲astee,
Lingít.
— K̲aalk̲áawu

My prayer will be this:

forever,

let it exist,

Tlingit.

— Cyril George, K̲akʼweidí​

- from tlingitlanguage.com

About Lingít

 

Lingít is spoken in Southeast Alaska from Yakutat to Ketchikan and by Inland Lingít speakers in Canada. There are less than 200 first-language speakers today. There are five major dialects: Northern Lingít, Transitional Lingít (spoken in Petersburg, Wrangell and Kake), Southern Lingít , Inland Lingít (spoken in Canada), and a sleeping Tongass dialect (formerly spoken south of Ketchikan).

 

Lingít has a very rich phonological system with many ejective consonants. There are four sounds unique to Lingít not shared with any other documented language on earth. Verbs, like many Na-Dene languages, can be extremely variant, while nouns are more predictable, often being derived from verbs. Lingít courses are taught at the University of Alaska Southeast and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Sealaska Heritage Institute has also produced Lingít language curriculum and educational resources for learning the language.

Phrases

Gunalchéesh.

Wáa sá si yatee?

Ax̱ toowu yak'éi.

Yak'éi i x̱wsateení.

Ix̱six̱án.

Aaá.

Tléik'.

Haagú.

K'idéin natá.

Eesháan.

Gunalchéesh haat yigoodí.

Chúk.

Thank you.

How are you.

I feel fine.

It's good to see you.

I love you.

Yes.

No.

Come!

Sleep well.

Poor thing.

Thank you for coming.

Scram.

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Updated March 2021. 

All images and maps are courtesy of the Alaska Native Language Archive and the Alaska Native Language Center

Original funding for this site provided by Alaska Humanities Forum with in-kind support from the Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council. Quyana to the volunteers who assist in keeping this website running. 

This website acknowledges the traditional territories of the many Indigenous Alaskan Nations that have lived in and taken care of the lands of Alax̂sxax̂ (Alaska) since time immemorial.