As you know, I have been working towards learning Cree. First I will provide an update as to the progress that I am making and where I am at mêkwâc (right now). After that, I will write about the tools that I have used in my learning this week and the progress that I have made.
In terms of my learning, I feel that I have developed a good understanding of the foundations of the language and the technical rules. I am working from this Online Cree Classroom right now and I feel a bit overwhelmed with learning to construct sentences. I am learning that there are different modes such as the Independent Mode and the Conjunct mode. There are prefixes (as discussed in my last post) but there are also pre-verbs and 9 conjunction paradigm modes to memorize. I don’t feel confident enough about this information to blog about it yet but I am working away at developing an understanding about it by reading from the Online Cree Classroom and other online sources.
Apart from that, I am happy with the progress that I am making. I would say that I am a little more realistic about how far I will get with the language than I was in the beginning. Isn’t learning humbling?
When I say that I am more realistic about my learning I mean that I know that I will not come out of this class being able to speak Cree. I will, however, finish this class with a basic understanding of the structure, greetings and with some basic vocabulary. When I look back to my initial reasons for learning Cree, it was because I wanted to develop an understanding of the language and the culture. Furthermore, I wanted to develop an understanding of the languages that are unique to the land that I live on and that I have grown up on. Considering these goals, I know that I am on track. My last post, for example, was an excellent opportunity to learn both cultural practices (kinship/ wâkôhtohwin) in addition to language (family vocabulary). Furthermore, I can now identify syllabics from the Cree syllabics table, which is something that I could not do before I embarked on this learning journey. In addition, I know how to greet people in Cree and I know the necessary prefixes to use depending on who I am talking to. I also know about the different Cree dialects and the regions that they are spoken.
Going forward, I plan to tackle some of the more complex grammar structures (such as those discussed above) because I consider that to be an important first step towards being able to move from basic vocabulary to forming sentences. Apart from that, I would like to make it through the numbers, days of the week, common verbs, and other words that are common to cultural practices. I will be happy if I can form simple sentences by the end of this semester.
Within the Cree FHQTC App, there are different categories such as those you can see here:
When you open up the categories, you can see different phrases in English.
When you click on them you can see the Cree word and hear the pronunciation. It also has categories for games and quizzes. The phrases category, for example, is posted on the left. The english phrase that is highlighted in orange is shown in Cree in the largest grey box at the top. When you click on it you can also hear the Cree word pronounced.
The other App called “Cree Words” was not as helpful, unfortunately. It had a similar categories as the Cree FHQTC but it doesn’t have the word written out in Cree. Having the pronunciation is great but at this point in my learning I need to have the word as a visual in order to see how it is written and understand the prefixes and the formation of the word. These images show the Cree words App:
If the cree words would have been written I would say that I would have used this App a lot more, but I stuck to the Cree FHQTC.
This week I covered the phrases, words and food categories. Next week I plan to continue with numbers, time and distance. Having read ahead I know that there are particular rules surrounding time and distance so I am preparing myself for that.
I encourage everyone to check out the Cree FHQTC App. It is easy to use and it has very practical words. It is also something that kids would love to use if any of you would like to use it in the classroom. I hope it is useful to some of you!
Thanks for following along.