Archive for the ‘Cree (cre)’ Category

Romanizing Cree

16 June 2011

Cree (cre) is a macrolanguage or language family spoken in Canada and the US. As noted in the Wikipedia article, Cree is one of the most widely spoken languages in those countries, but has little institutional support.

Some of the dialects of Cree are traditionally written not with the Latin alphabet, but with the Canadian Aboriginal syllabics. A “syllabic” is a single character combining a consonant and a vowel, such as found in Cherokee (chr) and the Japanese hiragana.

The Canadian Aboriginal syllabics are of a writing type known as an abugida, where you write the consonant and then somehow modify it to indicate the vowel. For example, drawing a line to the right over an “n” character makes the “n” into ᓂ or “ni” and a line that goes to the left makes ᓀ or “ne.” See Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics on the ScriptsSource website for good examples of how this works.

Learning the writing system requires a major investment of time, however, and as some dialects are conventionally written with the Latin alphabet anyway, there is a movement to exclusively use the Latin alphabet. The Cree Literacy Network provides resources for Romanized Cree, including a list of Cree books written with the Latin alphabet.

For a Romanized Cree dictionary, see Online Cree Dictionary. Also, for a blog on Plains Cree, see That Môniyâw Linguist.

First Nations Language Speaking Circle in Saskatchewan

5 June 2011

Dene speaker Allan Adam and Woodlands Cree Cathy Wheaton started the First Nations Language Speaking Circle in April 2009 and continue coordinating it to this day.

The group meets Tuesday nights from 7 to 8:30 at the Albert Branch of the Regina library system in Saskatchewan.

According to the First Nation Language Speaking Project page on Facebook, lessons are provided free of charge in the following languages:

Among the spectacular features of this group is the lessons that Adam has stockpiled on his website. They include video and audio learning, glossaries, links and more. In addition to the languages mentioned above, the page lists Michif (crg), with the hope of adding lessons at some point.

Another great product of this group is the flash cards provided by Cathy Wheaton on the Quizlet website. She has created 82 sets of cards with up to 35 cards in a set. Like Adam’s lessons, the flash cards are offered free on the Internet.

The contact person for the group is Natalie Owl and the lessons are on a drop-in basis. Refreshments are also provided. See the Regina Library calendar for more details.

Canadian Conservative government pro-language

3 May 2011

Yesterday, the Conservative Party of Canada won a majority government for the first time in its eight years of existence.

James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, announced today that funding for the CBC will be maintained at the current level or increased. He said, “[The CBC] is essential for respect for all of our official languages and all of the regions of the country — broadcasting in aboriginal languages in the North.”

The CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a public television and radio broadcaster. Among its services is CBC North, which operates in the Canadian Arctic. Their programs include broadcasts in:

CBC Radio 3 provides free music, with a category for Aboriginal artists, though a casual glance at a few pages revealed only music in English. The CBC also has a bilingual program titled “Legends,” recording traditional oral stories.

Job Call for Translators and Interpreters – First Nations Languages

23 March 2011

All Languages (perhaps this company) has a listing on Workopolis for translators and interpreters of Canadian aboriginal languages. A translator is a person who works on written documents, and an interpreter does oral or signed work.

The posting says translators and interpreters working in all aboriginal languages are welcome although Cree (cre), Kanata (intended language unknown), Mohawk (moh), OjiCree (ojs) and Ojibway (oji) are mentioned by name.

The areas mentioned are Ottawa, Toronto, Whitehorse, and Yellowknife.

The requirements are a post-secondary degree and at least one year in the language industry.

Workopolis charges for employers to advertise jobs. Responding is free. Read more at Wikipedia.