Some Tips

  • Start and stop continuous playback with the media player's controls.

  • Play a single line by clicking on that line's number.

  • Use Command+F on a Mac, Control+F on windows, to search for words in the conversation.

  • For video conversations, picture-in-picture can be useful. This puts the video in a separate window, after which you can shrink the originating window in your web browser, allowing more text to be seen on-screen.

  • Safari on a Mac laptop, iPhone or iPad sometimes produces odd results in single line mode.
Video Size
Tlingit Conversation #37
Speakers are Jigéi (also Yaakʼw Góosʼ) Jackie Williams, Sháayi Éesh Smith Katzeek, Kaséix̱ Selina Everson, Seidayaa Mary Anderson, Naakil.aan Mark Hans Chester, and Ḵeixwnéi Nora Marks Dauenhauer. Recorded August 11, 2010 at Surprise Lake, Atlin, YT, by Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff.
This material is based on work supported by National Science Foundation grant BCS-0853788 to the University of Alaska Southeast with Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff as Principal Investigator and by National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship 266286-19 to Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or National Endowment for the Humanities.
Tlingit transcription by Keetyaanaayi Paul Marks II. English translation by Ḵaaḵal.aat Florence Marks Sheakley with Ljáaḵkʼ Alice Taff. Edited by Ḵeixwnéi Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Keetyaanaayi Paul Marks II.
SYMBOLS: {false start}. (added for clarity). [translator/transcriber's note]. ??? = can’t understand. «Lingít quotation marks». Time-aligned text entry was accomplished using the software, ELAN (Versions 6.0 (2020) and 6.1 (2021)). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Language Archive. Retrieved from
It is,
hél átk' has ooheen yá yées ḵáa.
the young people don't believe this.
Wóosh teen yéi daaduneiyí litseen yóo
When you work together it's strong
yóo kduneegín x̱á.
is what they used to say/talk about you know.
Áyá ḵut kei ntoog̱íx'.
And we are losing it.
wóosh een, wóosh een,
together, together,
yéi jitudaneiyí ḵúx̱de yagax̱toodláaḵ.
working together we will bring it back.
Kéi haa gux̱latseen.
We will be strong.
Ách áyá yáax' x̱át,
This is why here I,
x̱át am, haat ḵux̱waatín.
I um, came here.
Has x̱at x̱'eiwawóos', «Haa een gé
They asked me, “With us
kg̱eeḵóox̱ yá dáḵkaadé?»
are you going to drive to the interior?”
«Góok,» yéi yax̱waaḵaa.
“OK,” I said.
Ax̱ toowú,
My feelings,
ax̱ toowú áyá yéi yatee.
my feelings are like this.
Ḵasakóot ch'a x̱áach,
So I could know, just me,
aag̱áa ax̱ yátx'i
and then my children
ḵa ax̱ dachx̱ánx'i yán,
and my grandchildren,
has du een kakḵwanéek
I will tell them
wáa sá at teeyí yáa
how things are here
yee aaní ká.
in your country.
{Has tlax hél} um,
Wooch yáx̱ haa ditee.
We're alike.
Lingít ldakát uháan áwé Lingítx̱ haa sitee.
Every one of us are Tlingit.
Ch'u l dleit ḵáa haat ugootjí áyá
Before the white man came here
haa aaníx̱ wusitee.
this was our land.
This is,
a kaax̱ yaa haa kandulshít' kagéináx̱.
they're slowly pushing us off it.
Ch'a goo sá aax̱ ḵeek'éet'
Wherever you pick
tléiḵw g̱aa yigoodí,
when you go for berries,
«Hél aadéi yáax' {yaa} tléiḵw {yi} »
“You can't pick here.”
"No picking here."
Yéi áyá yatee haa aaní káx'.
This is how it is in our country.
Gunalchéesh x̱á ax̱ een keeneegí.
Thank you for telling me.
Yan kawut'áayi x̱á yáx̱ yatee, yaax̱ kg̱wagóot.
When it's ripe like that s/he will go.
Xéel'i tlein yóode tle át shayandaheich.
There are always lots of big mossberries over there.
Wusteeyí katoonéegi,
When we tell each other
tle wooch teen áyá
just together
uh {yóo} katoonéegí.
we tell each other.
Ax̱ tuwáa sigóo tle yáa
I would like
camera káx' yéi teeyí x̱'ayax̱aḵá
for it to be on the camera Iʼʼm saying
haa yoo x̱'atángi ch'a yóo
our language
yóode, yéi teeyí.
for it to be brought here.
Tlax̱, tlax̱ k'idéin yáx̱ áyá ax̱ tuwáa sigóo
I really like
aadé yoo x̱'ayeeli.átgi yé.
the way you people speak.
Tle k'idéin yáx̱ ágé
Is it really like
yéi wooch teen yéi {x̱ax̱ oojine} dujiné.
we work ??? together.
Yá yagiyeedáx̱
From this day
k'e k'idéin yáx̱.
really good.
Haa ḵusteeyí,
Our way of life,
ch'a k'idéin woosh tín kadunéegi áyá litseen.
to tell each other really good, this is strong.
Yisikóo yá haa ḵusteeyí
You know our way of life
hél Lingítnáx̱
not from Tlingit
dleit ḵáanáx̱ they call it
in white man's words they call it
yéi utí yá haa ḵusteeyí.
our way of life is not like that.
Yá, yá aadé yaa wutuli.áat a wooch tín áyá.
The way we are talking with each other.
Tle yéi áwé.
And really it will be
The true come out for the young people to understand weʼre going on our Tlingit ways in a strong way. And we
Lingítdáx̱ ḵusteeyí ax̱ léelk'u hás.
My grandparents used to live our way of life.
Tle yóo héen,
The water,
k'e yáa héen aadé yateeyí yé ax̱ tuwáa sigóo (áa) áa has wux̱ooteeyí.
I want to remember/commemorate how the water used to be.
Yéi áyá {ḵu} yéi ḵukg̱wastée.
That's the way it will be.
{goosá} Goodáx̱ sáyá awsikóo yaa daa awuneiyí?
Where does he know from what happened?
Wé Naakʼina.áa I told you guys about it Naakʼina.áa.
The Nakina (River)
Tle héen yáx̱,
Like water,
You call it ḵaa ???
You call it person ???
Ḵa yáat'aa {l'óogu} l'ook héeni you call it.
And this one they used to call it Coho River (Silver Salmon River).
L'ook héeni come in and they go together.
The Coho River comes in and they go together.
Dleit ḵáanáx̱ áyá wooch tín,
In English, together,
ax̱ léelk'u.
my grandparent
So, the way it, it seem to me, I want to get it to the white people that we are supposed to work together on this land.
Lingít tl'átgi.
Tlingit land.
And Tlingit
Naakina come in like this.
Héen tlein yóo áwé at kat uwadáa.
Big water is flowing
And then what other river go into it? What other river go into the Taku River?
Oh, thereʼs a lots of rivers this, a, Naakinaa, goes one, Then a,
Héen Tlein another one.
Up, up thataway thereʼs um Silver.,Silver Salmon,another little creek comes down but not a very big one. ??? Bottom Creek is another one.
Look I know from the Hinson down, the Naakinaa gets into it from in there, what you call that, Tulsequah.
Taaltsux̱éi yóo áwé duwasáakw.
They call it Talsequah River.
Yóo at a kát kaawadáa.
It flows into it.
Aadáx̱ tle héen tlein tle eeḵ ??? aadé
From there it goes into the big water.
Tle yóo
like this
In here, we used to live in here where they used to go fishing. But all that, like thereʼs lot of frogs above the, the Tulsequah, heh? But all the frogs down below, they all died because of that thing thatʼs going into that river? It kill all the fish and all the other things because of the mine. Above that, lot of frogs and fish. But that thing from the mine kill all the fish down below. It killed all the fish thatʼs coming up down there. So then that, the Taku River is made of glaciers. Thereʼs rivers coming in different places. And then with the Taku River right, what they call that camp, right by the, by the uh, glacier? Across from the glacier?
I forget what they call it. I used to know it tsú Lingít x̱'eináx̱.
in Tlingit language, too.
Polaris Taku.
Oh, in Lingítnáx̱?
In Tlingit language? [through Tlingit]
In the Tlingit language? [through Tlingit]
Oh, um, Wéi
Tulsequah River
Thatʼs the way they call it long time ago, yóo ágé?
in Tlingit. [through Tlingit]
The glacier was there.
Dei yagéi dé.
There were lots there.
And thereʼs a lot of roots there. Roots, roots you know.
Akaa yéi wuna,
in Tlingit [through Tlingit]
teish, teish, teish táayi. [tsáats]
bear roots, bear roots, bear roots garden.
Táay is a garden, táay.
Táay is a garden, táay.
Teish Táayi they called that place.
Bear roots garden they called that place.
And thatʼs where they used to pick all those roots, for the winter. And uh, thatʼs where it got the name. And when the white man came, they asked the Indians, "What you call your village?"
And they said, «Tsáats Taayí.»
And they said “Tsáats Taayí.”
So the white man called it Tulsequah where that river comes in. Just like this side.
Yéil áayi yax̱.
LIke Raven's lake.
Áa tlein.
Lake big (Atlin).
Áa tlein.
Lake big (Atlin).
Thatʼs, in our language they call aa, Big Lake. This is Áatlein. Same thing. All these got Tlingit names. The land. Itʼs everything connects to the land. And thatʼs why {yéi x̱at yaa}
Yá hít yóo x̱'ax̱akaawóos'i, tlél ax̱ tuwáa sigóo
This house I asked, I don't want
ch'ás x̱át yéi x̱'ayaḵá yáa {ya} hít.
just me, he says [name] this house.
I want someone to identify it. Itʼs good we did identify that.
Wáa sá iyasáa Tulsequah?
What did you call Tulsequah?
Wáa sá iyasáa Tulsequah?
What did you call Tulsequah?
Tsáats teiyí in Indian they call it.
Tsáats teiyí in Indian they call it.
Tsáats teiyí.
Tsáats teiyí.
Yeah. The white man call it Tulsequah.
I know. [At shooḵ]
Thatʼs a
Tsáats teiyí.
Kusawux'aa, kusawu.áa.
Narrow lake, or skinny lake.
Kusawu.áa, itʼs narrow lake.
Narrow Lake.
Trudeau Mountain yóo gax̱dusáa yóo has x̱'ayaḵá.
They're going to name it Trudeau Mountain, they're saying.
That, a,
Aag̱áa wé wáa sá duwasáakw, that chief?
What is the name of that chief?
Was in Whitehorse, that head guy.
You mean Elijah Smith?
No. Ed. Ed something.
{du shaa, du kee} Du séet xání yéi téeyin.
He used to live by his daughter.
I go find him and I told him
"Why youʼre going to let that guy call it Trudeau Mountain?"
|«Tlél gé saayí ḵoostée,» yóo daayax̱aḵá?
“Doesn't it have a name,” I asked him?
«A saayí áa yéi yatee,» yóo x̱'ayaḵá.
“There is a name for it,” he said.
And I tell him, "How you, how they going to change that name to it? You should have respect for our culture. Thatʼs, thatʼs, thatʼs, thatʼs in, the names should stay on there.
Tle yóo aadé woogoot.
Then he went there,
Tle a yéidé ayawsiḵáa they put Trudeau Mountain on it.
So he said they put Trudeau Mountain on it.
Daa sáwé taas?
What is “taas”?
Daa sáwé taas?
What is “taas”?
The roots, taas.
The roots. Taas. [Tsáats]
Thatʼs what they call it, isnʼt it? Taas.
I never heard it.
X̱aat yéi áwé tuwasáakw uháanch.
“X̱aat” is what we call it.
But here taas is roots. The sweet roots. And where the glacier melts away like this, thatʼs where they grow.
Uháanch ḵu.aa x̱aat áwé yéi áwé tuwasáa.
Us though, we call it “x̱aat”.
Yóo tuwasáakw.
We call it.
Yóo tuwasáakw.
We call it.
Uháanch ḵu.aas,
Us though,
bear roots.
Tsáats yóo tuwasáakw wé roots.
Bear roots we call it, the roots.
Aasdáx̱ áwé?
It's from trees.
Aas aayí ákwé?
Is it from a tree?
Ch'a g̱óot káx'.
There's nothing on it.
Du kídi dáx̱ ka.áa
Nothing above it.
Kayaaní gé?
From plants?
Yáa ḵ'eikaxwéin itʼs really pretty.
The flowers are really pretty.
yáat'aa yáx̱ kanli ??? color-x̱ sitee.
it's a fancy ??? color like this. [Lavender, like her jacket?]
K'eikaxwéin tsaatsí ákwé?
Is it the flower's roots?
A tsaatsí?
The bear roots?
Kíndé dax̱ katusahaa yéi nax̱áat jeeyís
We pull them out of the (ground) to eat
ax̱ léelk'w Láan.aat, du jeeyís.
my grandparent, Láan.aat, for her. [Laanaatk?]
Ḵ'eikaxwéin aayí áwé.
It belongs to the flowers.
Gwál hóoch'.
Maybe that's all.
Daat daa k'idéin a daax̱ daa haa yawli.ú ???
What was really good about/around ???
wé wás'i.
the branches.
Oh, haadé wtuwa.át ch'u tle dáx̱ kawtoodli ádi s'él' toowa ???
We went there and we pulled the roots. ???
ch'as káx̱i kax̱.
just for the sap. [Leer, edible thick liquid on the surface of the wood under the inner bark]
Ax̱ léelk'w x̱áande át uwagút wé ḵáa.
That man came to my grandparent.
«Wé at yátx'i ch'i tlákw, aax̱ aasí tle {daaḵ aa} daaḵw.aax̱ áa sá kawlis'él' wé.
“The children always tore the branches off.
Wé at ḵáx̱i kaax̱,» yóo has x̱'ayaḵá.
For the sap,” they say.
«What do you want kḵwasanée sáwé seeyahéi. Tlél aadé naḵwasineiyi yé,» yóo adaayaḵá.
“What do you want me to do. I can't fix it,” s/he said to him/her.
Wéit'aa áwé,
That place,
tlél a yáanáx̱ yawtuwaḵúx̱ dei.
we already passed it.
Áwé yéi daatooné.
That's where we did it.
Ch'a dleit yáx̱ x̱oo yatee ch'a ldakát wé a t'aayí.
The whole place was white, white underneath it.
S'áx' yóo aa tuwasáakw, uháanch.
Sáx' we call it, us. [S'áx' is the cambium layer of hemlock tree.]
S'áx' yóo aa tuwasáakw uháanch.
Sáx' we call it.
Wé, a
yán loonéegí wé, tlél x̱wasakú
hemlock, from the inner bark, I donʼt know
dleit ḵáa x̱'éináx̱.
in white man's language.
A daatx̱ natooteech.
We usually take the bark off the tree.
Ax̱ léelk'w áwé ch'a áwé yéi daanéiyin.
My grandmother used to do it.
Wé um,
That um,
a káx̱i káx̱
for the sap
off of it.
Yéi adaanéi nooch lít'aa teen.
She used to do it with a knife.
A lítaayi a.óowun.
She used a knife.
Yéi á daa ákwé?
Is that what it is?
Oh, my.
{yéi yéiy} Yéi á ḵuwootee áyá yéi daatooné.
It's this time of the year that we make it.
Wé, wé, um.
That, that, um,
Sometimes eex̱ x̱oo yéi du.úx̱x'.
Sometimes they put it in grease.
A tú linúkts.
It's sweet in it.
Aaá, ḵúnáx̱ linúkts.
Yes, it's really sweet.
You donʼt have to sugar it.
{a kak, aa kaak}
Shákdé áwé tlél intestinal cancer haa jee yéi ootéex̱in.
Maybe it's because of that that we never had intestinal cancer.
We quit that and now we have intestinal cancer.
Ḵa yeedát tsú wé gé, tsú yéi daadunéiyin.
Maybe now they still make it.
Á ch'a yeisú yéi daatooné uháanch.
We still make it.
Ḵa kaháakw.
And fish eggs.
Kaháakw kas'eex.
Fermented fish eggs.
Haa aayí
Taku héendáx̱ uháan déi.
from the Taku River too.
Wéin kin haandé dusla.aat wéi x̱áat.
They bring the salmon from there.
Tle wáa sá koodáal tle,
How much does it weigh,
you pay by the pound.
Tlax̱ ḵudáx̱ x̱'alitseen, ach áwé tlél {aa haat} aa háat kḵwadudli.aa.
It's real expensive, that's why they couldn't buy any.
Oh. Yeah.
Last summer gé haat iyagút wé Teslin?
Did you come to Teslin last summer?
Tliyaadé xáat aadé kawduwajeex'.
They took the salmon over there.
??? áwé wé
??? the
Áwé ḵóok yéi dáx̱ kudigéi.
The boxes are this big.
[when they bring boxes ??? ]
Ch'u tle daat yax̱ sáwé yakoogéi.
When there were so many.
Haa yát awdigán.
The sun is shining in our face.
Food fish yóo duwasáakw wáa sá haax̱ dul.aadín.
Food fish, it's called, they used to bring it.
Yá yeedát ḵu.aa jigax̱dunáaḵ yú á.
Now they're going to quit, they say.
Yá daḵla.é yóo duwasáagu aa aas gé yee x̱ánu?
The tree that is called birch, is it here by you?
Daḵla.é. Mhm.
Itʼs a tree. Itʼs a type of a tree.
[Several times on this trip, ḴNMD asked in English about “black spruce” trees, wanting to know about medicinal properties, perhaps the balsam fir or subalpine fir (sci. “Abies lasiocarpa”), «lkʼóox̱ʼeit|».]
Daḵla.é gé at daayí yatee?
Is daḵla.é birch?
Ch'u tle yóo litleiyee.
It's this big around.
The marbles yóo yáx̱ aa, litleiyee nateech.
Marbles are that big around.
Yéi dáx̱ kawdigéi.
They're this big.
Ax̱ tláakwch áwé haa een kaneek,
Our little mother [aunt on the mother's side] used to tell us,
daḵla.é k'óox̱'u yak'éi.
birch pitch is good.
Bubble gum yáx̱ yatee tleiyée. Yeah.
It's like bubble gum, the size of it. Yeah.
X̱'adutáax' tsú yóo kaneek.
They used to chew it also, they said.
You chew it like gum.
Ax̱ léelk'w sáanich yéi haa daayaḵáayin
My grandparent used to tell us
ch'al dleit ḵaa k'óox̱'u yáx̱ yoo táax'u,
when we used to chew white man's gum,
«Yoo toogéit yax̱ sitee, tlél yeetáax'i,» yú á.
“It's wrong for us, don't chew it,” they said.
«S'él' áwé yéi yatee,» yóo adaayaḵá.
“It's like rubber,” she says.
Wéi aasdaak'óox̱'u yak'éi.
The tree pitch is good.
Aag̱áa áwé x̱wasiteen tle a daat óos'k'i akawduwas'ixw dei yéi yatee wé,
And that's when I saw that it looked like somebody stomped on it,
yéi dáx̱ kakwdigéi.
they're this big.
{aa toox} Tle a tóonáx̱, gí,
Inside of it, right?,
tle pink yáx̱ nateech wé
It's pink
yoo tutáax'i.
when we chew it.
You chew that a, pitch like gum.
Ayawdateeyí áwé tlax̱ áyá ḵusi.áat'.
When it's windy it's really cold.
OK. [At shooḵ]
Yá yagiyee yá ḵusáa
Today, this
tle yá,
and this,
áaa, haa Sháade Háni Dikéeyi ḵáa du yinḵa aan ḵáa wé haa yáx̱ kéi jiwsitán
yes, our Lord above has blessed us today
yá yagiyee tle {ge} yak'éi.
and today is good.
góos' tle yaa héen yáx̱ áwé yatee.
the clouds are just like water.
Daak gux̱satáan.
It's going to rain.
Yá yagee ḵuyak'éi.
The weather's good today.
{ya} Áwés yá haa
haa Sháade Háni, {ge}
our leader,
Dikée Sanḵáawu ágé awsiteen áyá haa yáx̱ kei awsitán.
our heavenly Father saw it and he blessed it (the land).
Yak'éi yáx̱
Like it's good
woosh teen yéi jitudaneiyí. Gunalchéesh.
for us to work together. Thank you.