Cherokee Translators: essays from the Cherokee Phoenix
Yesterday, February 21st, the first Native American newspaper and the first bilingual newspaper in America celebrated its 184th birthday. It is called:
The paper was started by Galagina [The Buck] Watie, who went by the English name Elias Boudinot. He was the editor and the main translator, but he also sought assistance from others, including his bilingual English-Cherokee friend Samuel Worcester. The Cherokee Phoenix was distributed internationally and originally was mostly in English with certain parts in Cherokee. The purpose of the translated parts was not always obvious to the readers of English only, and the Cherokee articles often served as an insider text for bilingual readers of the Cherokee Nation.
Today, the paper continues even in an online digital format. It is still mostly English. However, the editors of the Cherokee Phoenix retain six translators on staff. Recently, the translators respectively have written in English to contribute to a series of articles regarding their work. The purpose of the translation these days seems mostly to invigorate the language and its uses as much as possible. The linked titles of each can be found below.
Jan 31, 2012 – The Cherokee Phoenix is running a six-part series on the Cherokee Nation Translation Specialists.
Jan 31, 2012 – John Ross enjoys being part of the effort to revitalize the Cherokee language.
Feb 2, 2012 – The Cherokee translation specialist is part of an effort to bridge the generation gap that exists for Cherokee speakers.
Feb 9, 2012 – Translation specialist David Crawler says a lot of work is still needed to revitalize the Cherokee language.
Feb 7, 2012 – Translation specialist Anna Sixkiller became dedicated to learning the written Cherokee language after reading the Bible.
Feb 14, 2012 – Translation specialist Durbin Feeling is a self-taught Cherokee reader and writer.
Feb 16, 2012 – Translation specialist Dennis Sixkiller says the language is at a “use it or lose it” point.