TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KFOR) – Cherokee language lessons are now available for download on two applications.

According to the Cherokee Nation, the tribe’s Language Department is making use of two apps to offer Cherokee language lessons, Cherokee hymnals and a copy of the New Testament written in the Cherokee language.

The Cherokee Nation says it partnered with an app is called “Memrise” to add 20 language lessons that can be downloaded to both iOS and Android devices. The app is free and features a user-friendly interface and useful videos with the spoken dialects to help with real-world scenarios.

Cherokee language now available on Memrise app. Image courtesy Cherokee Nation.
Cherokee language now available on Memrise app. Image courtesy Cherokee Nation.

Officials say the Cherokee Nation Language Department has added around 1,000 Cherokee words and phrases and even more lessons are in the works for future updates.

“Memrise is among the most popular language apps with just over 60 million people using it as an easy and convenient way to learn almost any language they choose,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said.

“When the folks in our language department were made aware of this educational app, they made it a priority to have the Cherokee language added with the help of our translators. Like Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I have said countless times before, the preservation and perpetuation of Cherokee language and culture is very important to us and a project we continue to prioritize.”

The Cherokee Nation Language Department is also releasing the Cherokee Book of Praise app, which includes the Cherokee New Testament and a collection of more than 100 Cherokee hymns in Cherokee syllabary and phonetics. It is currently only available for iOS but is expected to be in the Google Play Store in the future.

Currently, the Cherokee Book of Praise is text-only content, but will soon have audio recordings of the entire New Testament read in Cherokee by Cherokee speaker Russell Feeling. As soon as the recordings are edited and uploaded to the app, users will be able to read along with Feeling as he reads the New Testament in Cherokee, according to the tribe.

The hymn portion of the app will be similar and will soon provide recordings of Cherokee singers. Updates to the app include a search function and highlightable text for read- and sing-alongs.

“We have an amazing team of Cherokee speakers who are committed heart and soul to providing Cherokee language lessons and translations, including hymns and the New Testament,” said Howard Paden, Cherokee Nation Language Department executive director.

“The Cherokee language is intertwined with our identity as a people and I’ve said before that the revitalization of the Cherokee language must come from among the Cherokee people. Both of these projects – the Memrise app and the Cherokee Book of Praise – are even more ways we are perpetuating our beautiful language.”

For more information about the Cherokee Language Department, visit language.cherokee.org.