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Tlingit Conversation #91
Speakers are Kaach Ḵúleixʼ Mabel Jack (Raven, Deisheetaan, Deishú Hít, Daḵlʼaweidí Yádi, Aangoon Ḵwáan), Shkanyadaká Elizabeth McCluskey (Aandax̱ʼaak Hít), Kaséix̱ Selina Everson (Raven, Deisheetaan, Raven House, Angoon, child of the Kaagwaantaan, grandaughter of the bear clan Teiḵweidí, Raven/beaver), and Shx̱'oosaxws Verna Johnson. Recorded May 17, 2013, at Admiralty Suites, Angoon, AK, by LjáaḵkʼAlice Taff, Caroline Andrews, and Liana Wallace.
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 and English translation by X̱ʼaagi Sháawu Keri Eggleston and by Naawéiya Austin Tagaban. Edited by X̱ʼaagi Sháawu Keri Eggleston.
SYMBOLS: Brackets = {false start}. [translator/transcriber's note]. (added for clarity). ??? = canʼt understand. «quotation marks for Tlingit text» [Time-aligned text for this video was accomplished using ELAN ((Versions 6.0 (2020), 6.1 (2021), and 6.3 (2022) [Computer software]. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Language Archive. Retrieved from]
tsu {haat has} yáaxʼ haat has ḵuwatín yá {l t}
they traveled here again, these
ḵoon shkalneegí.
{áa yat}
X̱aan yéi s akaneegín wé Salvation Army chʼul áa dulyeix̱jí wé
They used to tell me the Salvation Army, before it was built there, that
building, one of my ancestors
{aawa} aawajóon
said, «Dikée Aanḵáawu áa akg̱walséix̱ yé áyá.»
(s/he) said, “this is the place God will name.”
Yóo at gajóon ??? wéit {e}
That dream ??? there,
Salvation Army áa wdudliyex̱i yé.
the place where the Salvation Army was built.
So some of them I know some words, you know and, and itʼs where they built the Salvation Army church and. And thereʼs some songs that I know in, in uh, Tlingit, Christian songs, Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art. Not the whole thing but some, and,
They do any say, "Gunalchéesh,
“Thank you,
Dikée Aanḵáawu."
Do you have anything?
Yáaxʼ kéi x̱at uwawát
I grew up here
in Angoon.
At wooné
haa ée wdudlitóow
they taught us
yéi haa gusgeiyí.
when we were small.
Yeedádi ḵwáan hél has du, yáa at wulkʼé.
People nowadays donʼt respect them.
We had to show respsect for people that were in sorrow. We, the whole town was in sorrow, and they taught us to respect those that are in sorrow, respect people that are grieving, and everythingʼs changed now and, I thank the Lord.
Sh tóog̱aa x̱at ditee
I am thankful
aadéi kéi haa wdudziwadi yé.
for the way that we were raised.
At wooné
haa ée wdudlitóow.
they taught us.
Dikée Aanḵáawu
ḵúnáx̱ has awsix̱án, chʼáagu ḵáawu.
they really loved him, the old timers.
Sándi káxʼ hél aadé yéi jinax̱tuwaneiyi yé.
Thereʼs no way we worked on Sundays.
Chʼas tsú kʼé
{ax̱} ax̱ toowú sigóo
Iʼm happy
aadéi kéi haa wdudziwadi yé.
about the way we were raised.
At wooné
yeedádi ḵwáan
people nowadays
hél has du
they donʼt
een utí.
have it.
Aadéi yaa ḵukanashein yé.
How they are searching for it.
{chʼas} Chʼas wé at daná ḵa wé drugs.
The drinking and the drugs.
We pray about this problem in our village. We pray that something will be done about the problem. Itʼs our future, our future that are getting into stuff that we donʼt like. Itʼs hard on old people like us to see whatʼs happening. And I, I praise the Lord for the way we were taught to respect one another and to show love for one another. As we grew up we were taught to help the elderly. We had to pack water; we had to pack wood; and we, we were told, if you see someone packing water you help them. If you see them packing wood you help them. Donʼt let anybody go without your help, so Iʼm thankful that we were taught this and itʼs gotten away from our people and. It started with people with the tvs, I blame the tvs ʼcause we were taught to work. We had to work. Even when we were small, we were taught to learn how to housekeep. We had to work on wood, packing water. Washing by hand. I still have my washboard. And I, I taught my children, you have to work for a living. You canʼt depend on anybody. So, my family is out, all working. I lost one son. And itʼs really hard. Iʼm thankful for the people of Angoon.
Sh tóog̱aa x̱at ditee aadéix
Iʼm grateful for the way
ax̱ x̱ánt has uwanag̱i yé {ax̱}
they stand with me,
ax̱ x̱oonxʼí.
my relatives.
Dáanaa een
With money
ḵa x̱ʼagáaxʼ.
and prayer.
X̱'agáaxʼ x̱aan yan has ashawlihík.
Praying with me, they finished it.
Aangóon, {hél aadéixʼ}
hél aadéi a yáanáx̱ yax̱tudlig̱ini yé,
we canʼt look beyond it,
haa x̱oonxʼí.
our relatives.
I donʼt know what else.
Shg̱enyadaḵá yoo x̱át duwasáakw
My name is Shg̱enyadaḵá
Aandax̱ʼaak Hítdáx̱.
from In-the-Middle-of-Town House.
Ax̱ éesh Teiḵweidí.
My father is of the Teiḵweidí clan.
Ax̱ Tláa
My mother
is of the Lʼeeneidí clan.
Ḵa ax̱ léelkʼu hás
And my grandparents
are of the Daḵlʼaweidí clan.
[Recording break] (Kaach Ḵúleix') yóo x̱at duwasáakw.
(Kaach Ḵúleix') is my name.
Ax̱ tláa Sakaanda.aat.
My motherʼs name is Sakaanda.aat.
Ax̱ éesh Daḵlʼaweidí shá.aan???
My father was the Daḵlʼaweidí leader.
Deishú Hítdáx̱.
From End-of-the-Trail House.
Shax̱wdanoogúdáx̱ áyá
It was after I got up,
át kaawaxíx yá
it hit
Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱ {ya} x̱ʼagax̱tula.aadí,
that weʼre going to speak Tlingit
ax̱ tóot wooxeex.
I worried about it.
Hél kʼidéin yoo x̱ʼatánk wutusakú.
We donʼt know how to speak it well.
Ax̱ tóoch ḵú yeewháanch áwé haa ée gax̱yilatóow!
I thought though that it was you guys that were going to teach us!
{chʼa x̱at wus} Dikée Aanḵáawuch x̱at wusneix̱ídáx̱
After God saved me
ḵushtuyáx̱ wáa sá yatee yá
it didnʼt matter how the [weather]
if itʼs
g̱ag̱aan ḵa chʼu wé séew.
sun or rain.
Itʼs really something to me, itʼs beautiful. I canʼt even say it in Tlingit. But itʼs
yakʼéiyi yakyee.
itʼs a good day.
I like that you
wé haat ḵuyeeyteení yá {t}
you all traveled here
haa Lingít yóo x̱ʼatángi
for our Tlingit language
a káx̱ yéi jeenayné.
to work on it.
So itʼs, others can learn it. Itʼs good to say them (words and sentences) the right way though. But itʼs important because some words sound like, uh, same language in our language but a different meaning but you have to say it a different tone. Um, I was trying to think of a word that sounds the same.
Sháade háni.
Sháade háni.
Sháade háni.
Ḵaa sháade háni.
Leader of the people.
Sháa is uh, woman?
And you say, the mountain,
Shaa shakée.
Top of the mountain.
On top of the mountain. And it almost sound like, uh, almost sound like the same like, you know, the
sháa is women in our language and
shaa shakée is on top of the mountain.
So itʼs some words sound like, uh, same thing. And, some words sound like the English like
itʼs a dime in our language. And, what was the other word?
is, in our language is wood. And
is a house in our language. So some words sound like English words but itʼs got a different meaning. And thereʼs some other words too and I canʼt even think now.
Sometimes I used to call her and try to talk Tlingit to her and we would laugh about it because we didnʼt say it right.
I would call her and say, «Wáa sás iyatee?»
I would call her and say, “How are you?”
And she would laugh, «Wáa sá sháa,» say, «Hél wáa sá.»
And she would laugh, “Okay, woman” say, “Okay.”
And a lot of times I would say,
«Wáa sá ḵukg̱eenóok yeedát?»
“What are you going to do now?”
She always laugh about it and she always say,
«Hél x̱wasakú.»
“I donʼt know.”
So we try. We try to um, hang onto our language but we grew away from it. And itʼs hard. We try to get back into it. Some words I try to teach my children. Like my son, when he comes around I tell him, uh,
«Aasgutú is the forest.»
And, «Diyáanáx̱.á, across the bay.»
across the bay
And Iʼll tell him some of the things that, like um,
king salmon. And sometimes Iʼll say,
«Háakʼw déi.»
“Come here.”
«Náḵdéi nagú." Go.
Go away.
And sometimes I would say, uh, {my} my grandson, my granddaughter married a Korean and heʼs really anxious to learn how to talk Tlingit. He would say, "Grandma, what do I say when Iʼm gonna go fishing?" "Well, before you throw your fishline in the water, you throw it in the water and you say,
«Wéidei yéi jikandagút a káa yishíx. Hél kadlaxátl.»
[Traditionally said while setting halibut hooks]
And heʼs catching and so, so they say that a lot and, my other grandson, Steven, would sing it
«Wéidei yéi jikandagút a káa yishíx,» dux, dux, dux, thatʼs the drum.
[Chant traditionally said while setting halibut hooks]
So they, they really have a lot of fun trying to, trying to learn the language. But I have a hard time because I donʼt know very much now. But um, my mother let me go to my aunt, in Ketchikan, Saxman. She let me, she let my aunt Ida have me. My Aunt Ida lost her son. And I stayed with her for a while and every time I spoke Tlingit they would laugh because the way they, thet talk they like they were start gonna sing, you know. Itʼs um, some of their words were different. And every time I spoke they would just laugh so I kind of quit talking. And, and I canʼt understand why thereʼs such a difference in the way we speak with people in Ketchikan and Klawock, so. But we try to learn. We, we talk back and forth sometimes and we just laugh because it, we, we mispronounce a lot of words I think. But we try.
You did fine.
I understand it. I can understand it real good but itʼs so hard to speak it now.
I noticed our language is uh, itʼs comical when you talk in Tlingit. You just laugh and laugh about, when you learn our language you. Sometimes itʼs not even funny too when you explain it in English but in our language, for some reason, itʼs really comical. And, we always laugh about it. Thereʼs something there but I forgot what somebody was telling and uh, they said when they explain it in English it wasnʼt even funny but when you say it in our language it, you just laugh. So if, and I used to listen to my husbandʼs grandfather, Billy Jones, uh,
[Billy Jonesʼ name]
He was uh, in our native I think we used to say, chief or big shot. Heʼd say, he used to really talk about everything.
About our land, haa aaní.
our land
He used to to tell about everything. And I used to listen to him. It was interesting. But uh, and thereʼs some words in our language, I, he used to mention. I never hear it anymore but itʼs, itʼs uh, some words that he used. But I never hear it anymore. Itʼs kind of uh, like the English I guess thereʼs some big words. And, but it was interesting. And what was I gonna say too?
Can you sing some church songs in your language? Church songs
in your language, Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱.
in your language, Tlingit language.
Our language?
Haa Ling̱ít yoo x̱ʼatángi.
Our Tlingit language.
Itʼs important to learn it. Yáade.aat. Thereʼs a lot of words that come too, even our Tlingit names. Some are not pronounced the right way. And our, because I, I noticed that long time ago thereʼs the names were, there was lot of names and I can say some of them and I canʼt say most of them. I forgot some of them. But thereʼs um... My husband met Billy Johnson.
He said «Ḵúnáx̱ awsikóo Lingít yoo x̱ʼatángi,» and
He said, “He (Billy Johnson?) really knows the Tlingit language,” and
«Ldakát ḵáa saayí awsikóo.»
“He knows everybodyʼs names.
And that
ḵa yá aan
and this place
the bays and everything
a saayí
{aw} ldakát awsikóo.»
he knows it all.
Like, like uh, some of the names and like Sitka.
Itʼs, in our language is Sheetʼká.
And Ketchikan, Kichx̱áan.
And Kake, Ḵéex̱ʼ. And Hoonah?
Angoon, Aangóon.
Yakutat, Yaakwdáat.
Yakutat, Yaakwdáat.
Hoonah, Xoonyá. [Or Xúnaa]
Oh, yeah.
Xoonyá, um, Hoonah.
And thereʼs some other names I canʼt even remember. But, even the months of the, the month, each month, I always forget some.
Uh táakw is winter.
Ḵutaan, summer.
Taakw eetí, spring.
Taakw eetí.
Taakw eetí.
Taakw eetí.
Thatʼs uh, falltime?
No, Spring. After the winter.
And uh, June I remember. They called it
Dax̱at Dísi.
June. (birth moon, when animals give birth.)
Um, and, which one is that too, I canʼt, I canʼt even think. Like uh, the basket {we u} they use for picking berries,
ḵákw. And
Héen is water. And
Aan shú is the end of the road.
the end of the road
Or end of the island or something.
Áakʼw is a small lake. And
Is there another?
Iʼm tryin to think. Our people used to, our people used to chart the months by the activities. They used to call, refer to the months, instead of winter or spring or summer, it used to be by the activities. What are some of the words?
What was that?
They used to keep track of the season by the activity of what they were doing for subsistence. They didnʼt say springtime, summertime, wintertime.
Oh, yeah.
They even used to be able to tell the weather, our people.
(Ha)s awsikóowut.
So that they will know.
So, how you say ʼstormʼ?
Has awsikóowu, North wind is xóon.
They knew that, North wind is north wind.
kʼeeljáa yei ḵukg̱wasteeyí ḵa
there would be a storm and
they used to look at the clouds and know what the weather is gonna be like.
They were natural meteorologists. My dad still, I used to hear him predict what tomorrow or next week by the formation of clouds.
My Aunt Mary, Mary Willis, while itʼs real foggy out,
she used to say, «Xóon xʼóow át aawax̱óotʼ.
She used to say, “North wind pulled a blanket there.
Kei kagux̱sa.áatʼ.»
Itʼs going to get cold.”
Oh! I never heard that expression. That sounds.
Xóon is uh, wind?
Is that it? North wind?
I used to hear them say, «Sáanáx̱ {wu} wuduwanúk.»
I used to hear them say, “South wind is blowing.”
South wind? From the southern, southern wind. North wind is,
North wind they just referred to as xóon.
{hél} chʼáagu ḵáawu hél daa sá s awuskóowun.
The old timers (acted as if they) never know anything.
Yeedádi ḵáawu yáx̱ ldakát át has awsikóo.
People nowadays though, they know everything.
Chʼa aan ḵú ldakát át yan has awsinéi
Even so, they did everything
yá áanxʼ.
in town here.
ANB hall áa s awliyéx̱ yá {éeḵ}
ANB hall they built there
on the waterside.
Ḵa ldakát át wóoch teen yéi s adaadunéiyin.
And they worked on everything together.
meeting-t has woo.aadí
when they got to a meeting,
wooch x̱ʼayát has {al.áat t}
they disagree with each other
{s} they used to talk to each other
áa ḵux̱ has woo.aadí kát tsu woojín has dashée noojín.
as soon as theyʼd get back, they used to help each other.
Itʼs, wooch jín has aldléigu nuch.
Itʼs, they always shake hands with each other.
{il hél}
hél woojín aadéi s akawus.átch wáa sáwé chʼas daayaduḵáayi
??? what was said
yá meeting-xʼ.
at this meeting.
yeedádi ḵáawu ḵú tle wooch
people nowadays though
yinaadéi s akoos.háaych.
they always blame each other.
Chʼa wáa sá ḵuyawdus.xáa {tle} tle xʼáa(n) has alyéx̱ nuch.
Whatever is ??? on people, they always just get angry.
But, I really admire the old peoples.
Aadéi s ḵoowdziteeyi yé.
The way they lived.
They, I always think back to how they carried themself, and, thereʼs some songs that I wanted to interpret. That uh, that, "Amazing Grace" I think I should
Itʼs amazing
x̱á du sé x̱waa.áx̱
his voice I heard
eeshandéin ax̱ daa tuwatee.
he cares about a wretch like me.
I think it [laughter]
Aag̱áa x̱at wusineix̱.
Then he saved me.
Likoodzí x̱á
Itʼs amazing
du sé x̱waa.áx̱
his voice I heard
eeshandéin ax̱ daa
a wretch like me
he cares about
ḵut x̱á x̱wagoodí
when I got lost
aag̱áa x̱at wusineix̱
then he saved me
ax̱ ḵutéeni ax̱ jeet
my sight
he gave me.
And, uh, "How Great Thou Art" is,
How, how do, Ax̱ Aanḵáawu ax̱ sʼaatí.
My God is my master.
I just knew the chorus part, I think it was
At gashee ax̱ yakg̱wahéiyagu
Then sings my soul
ax̱ g̱aneix̱í Dikée
my saviour
Likoodzée aax̱ isitee,
How amazing you are
likoodzée aax̱ isitee.
how amazing you are
At gashee ax̱ yakg̱wahéiyagu,
then sings my soul
ax̱ g̱aneix̱í Dikée
my saviour [above]
God [land person]
likoodzée aax̱ isitee
how amazing you are
likoodzée aax̱ isitee
how amazing you are
Praise God. Thereʼs some words I can say, but I just, sometimes when thereʼs people around I always forget what the words are. But, and.
Weʼre at the age where we forget.
Yeah. Just like um,
Another one is "Héen Yík Yáx̱ Gug̱adáa," is
Another one is “It will Flow Like a River,” is
séew yáx̱ daak gux̱satáan.
it will come down like rain.
The only way I can is,
Héen yík yáx̱ gug̱adáa
It will flow like a river
séew yáx̱ daak gux̱satáan
it will come down like rain
kei yax̱ yei kg̱waxéex
du kasheex̱ʼ yá tlʼátgi káxʼ
his praise on this land
haa Aanḵáawu gax̱duskóo
our God will be known
yá lingitʼaaní káxʼ
on this world
du yakg̱wahéiyagu
his spirit
haa x̱ooxʼ yei kg̱waxéex.
will come down among us.
Du yakg̱wahéiyagu means ʼhis spiritʼ. And,
his spirit
what was it too?
I always forget.
[Recoding break] And so, that one day he went a long run, and it was getting dark and it was getting real foggy where you couldnʼt even see anywhere. I got so worried I asked the Lord to cover him. I kept asking the Lord to cover him, and, I was waiting, waiting. I cooked for him and everything and all of a sudden he dashed into the house.
He says, «Atskanée!»
He says, “Scary!”
I couldnʼt stop laughing. I was so relieved, but he brought home a deer. I didnʼt know that he knew could say,
I didnʼt know he could say «Atskanée».
he doesnʼt ??? [At shooḵ]
Tlingit. Atskanée means kind of, something kind of scary.
Something startled you and scare you.
In our language, uh
Dleit is, uh, white. And uh,
dleit ḵáa is, uh, white man.
They gave a name to one of the white, the Tlingit
He said x̱ʼawduwóosʼ, «Wáa sá iduwasáakw?»
He said, he was asked, “What is your name?”
He said, «Dleit ḵáa.»
He said, “White man.”
"How do you interpret it?" "Snow Man"
['dleit' is also Tlingit for 'snow'.
[At shooḵ]
Thereʼs some other things that always happen, itʼs crazy things. One time the ladies were excercising and theyʼre all heavy. Theyʼre all laying on the floor, and one of the ladies said,
Taan áx̱ anali.átgi yáx̱ áwé yóo tʼáa ká.
Itʼs like a bunch of sea lions lying there on the floor.
Taan is uh those big, Those big sea lions.
Sea Lion.
Laying on the rock.
She said it looked like sea lions down on the floor. Those heavy Ladies. So they,
We saw sea lions going, we went to Taku Inlet, Motherʼs Day. Douglas Indian Association. And we saw all the sea lions. Boy, those big guys, theyʼre the kings. You could tell. Barking at the little ones trying to get out and climb up and get out. Theyʼd go back down. They were keeping them, their harem; they were guarding their harem. And, I looked, the other, way down the other side looked like a great brown thing sitting there. It was one sea lion all by itself! And I told, I told my niece, Vickie, "He was caught fooling around with one of the wives. Heʼs expelled." He was banished. He was banished. Sitting all by itself and I hear sometimes you see that, in the sea lions. All by itself.
Haa yawduwax̱áa.
They took us by boat.
Douglas Indian Association yóo duwasáakw.
Douglas Indian Association, itʼs called.
Ḵaa Tláa {ka} Yagiyee kayís
for Motherʼs Day
Taku Inlet-dé
to Taku Inlet
yaa haa yandux̱éin, .é!
they were taking us by boat, wow!
Cameras {pic} shaa yahaayí- cameras {k k}
Cameras, pictures of mountains, cameras
taking pictures.
.É! Ayawtuwaḵúx̱,
Wow! We came up to it,
Taan ḵúnáx̱ {yéi has koo}
Sea lions, really
yéi has yakoogéi ḵúnáx̱.
there were a lot of them.
Jéi s, yéi koogéiyi aa tlénxʼ
Geez, the big ones like this.
Ḵaa sháadehánxʼi
The dominant males
{du du}
du shátxʼiyán een
with their females
wé yéi ksigéiyi aa kei has naltlé ??? ḵwa tle yóo x̱ʼayasanaaḵ
the smaller ones ??? they chase them off
tsu héen táakdei.
back into the water.
Wáa sáwé yú tsú aa tá?
What was it, this one was sleeping?
Tléináx̱ áwé at tá,
Heʼs sleeping all alone,
tléináx̱ hú at tá.
heʼs asleep all alone.
Wáa sáwé wudzigeet?
What happened?
The female
{wé} wé {ḵaa ḵaa sha} ḵaa shakéde ḵaa sháadeháni
the dominant maleʼs
shát een áwé {át shwul} át wudlixʼóot
(the other sea lion) was with his female
yóo yawdudzináḵ
he was chased off.
He was an outcast. He was caught fooling around with the wife. Cause those big sea lions were barking. Gosh, they were huge, two of them.
Ah, ax̱ tláa
Uh, my mother
du káak haa yagax̱daḵéi??? awéi s
her maternal uncle ??? us
Ax̱ een haat ḵuwatín ax̱ x̱úx̱
my husband traveled here with me.
chʼa yeisú
chʼa yeisú áwé
yéesx̱ haa sitee, married.
we were young, married.
É! Tlax̱ yéi at tooshooḵ.
Wow! How we laugh.
Hó! Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱ wéit yóo x̱ʼadudli.átk,
Whoa! We speak Tlingit,
at tooshooḵ. Ásíwégí chʼa yeisú
we laugh. Maybe still
chʼa yeisú
laaḵʼásk du lakáayi aawa.oowú
he had seaweed in his mouth
{hél} hél awuskú
he didnʼt know
yóo shakdinoogu yáx̱ yoo yaneik.
how it swells up.
Ax̱ x̱úx̱
My husband
seaweed áwé ax̱á
is eating seaweed
tsú du x̱ʼéináx̱
coming back out of his mouth
{ḵútx̱ x̱á} ḵútx̱ food du lakáa yéi aawa.oo tle yaa shakaw̃danúk.
he put too much food in his mouth, then it started swelling up.
Chʼas tle aag̱áa áwé tsá ḵúnáx̱ kéi at wutuwashúḵ.
Then after that we really started to laugh.
Geez, daa sáwé shooḵ.
Geez, what we laughed about.
Ḵúnáx̱ at tooshug̱ún.
We really used to laugh.
«Haaw, x̱aan kananeek,» yóo x̱at yawsiḵaa,
“Well, tell me,” he said to me,
«Ax̱ een kananeek
“Tell me
dleit ḵaa x̱ʼéináx̱ daa sá tlax̱ yéi yishooḵ.»
in English what you all are laughing about.”
Du een kax̱waaneek.
I told him.
Tlél tsu dushúḵ.
Nobody laughed.
"That was it? Thatʼs what youʼre laughing at?" I said, "Yeah, in Tlingit itʼs funny!" Thatʼs when he said, "Tlingits have a different sense of humor." And in, little things that can make you laugh, and you interpret it, itʼs flat. Thereʼs no humor. Thatʼs what my husband said to me.
[Recording break] Yá record-x̱ yoo wdudliyéx̱ a x̱oo aa yóo x̱ʼatánk a kát iseiwaxʼáḵw gwá.
This recording being made, some of the words youʼre forgetting maybe.
Ách áwé
Thatʼs why
yoo wtuwashee
we sing
Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱ {tsu} tsu
in Tlingit,
hél a kát yee sawuxʼaaḵw.
so you didnʼt forget again.
Ldakát tlákw Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱ yóo x̱ʼatánk
All of our Tlingit language, always
haa yátxʼi chʼas ang̱a.áx̱ch
our children can hear it
ḵúnáx̱ ḵa haa dachx̱ánxʼiyán.
really and our grandchildren.
Chʼas du.áx̱ji áwé tle a káa yee sakg̱waháa.
Just hearing it, then youʼll remember it.
Ách áwé
Thatʼs why
you can say,
{kʼidéin} kʼidéin kax̱waa.aaḵw
I really try
yá Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱, haa yóo x̱ʼatángi.
(with) this Tlingit language, our language.
Aadéi yaa haa nanéin yé yeedát,
Whatʼs happening with us now,
a kaadéi yaa haa sanaxʼáḵw haa yóo x̱ʼatángi.
weʼre starting to forget our language.
Ách áwé gunalchéesh haat ḵuyeeyteení
So thank you for traveling here
record-x̱ {haa-haa yeela}
to record
{haa yeelayéix̱i} haa x̱ʼaylayeix̱í.
our voices.
X̱áach tsú ḵúnáx̱ ax̱ x̱ʼéi kei natʼéexʼ.
For me too, itʼs really getting difficult to speak.
Yóo x̱ʼatánk
a káx̱ x̱at saxʼaaḵw.
I forget regularly.
Ách áwé yeedát ḵu.aa
Thatʼs why now though
yaa nax̱sakwéin tsú Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱ akshaxeet.
Iʼm learning too how to write in Tlingit.
Yéi áwé.
Thatʼs it.
Closing remarks, how you feel about being recorded.
Haa jee yatʼéexʼ, hél ḵutula.áx̱ch.
Itʼs hard for us, we canʼt really hear people.
Dáx̱náx̱ uháan
The two of us
hél kʼidéin ḵux̱a.áx̱ch.
I donʼt hear well.
Ḵut kei ntoog̱íxʼ {haa}
Weʼre losing
haa yóo x̱ʼatángi.
our language.
Haa jee yatʼéexʼ.
Itʼs hard for us.
{chʼa} Chʼa uháan ḵú
But we just
tlákw wóoch een yóo x̱ʼatula.átgi nooch.
talk with each other all the time.
{at} at ???
Hél kʼidéin yóo x̱ʼatánk yéi daatoonéi.
We donʼt make good speeches.
Chʼa aadéi yéi haa nay.oo.
Please forgive us.
Ḵut kei x̱waag̱íxʼ ldakát ax̱ yóo x̱ʼatángi Lingít x̱ʼéináx̱.
Iʼve lost all of my Tlingit words.
Ax̱ jee yatʼéexʼ a x̱oo.aa.
Some of them are hard for me.
I can understand a lot but,
ax̱ jee yatʼéexʼ.
itʼs hard for me.
Wé kʼidéin yoo x̱ʼatánk.
The words, really well.
Iʼm sorry I donʼt know much.
Aadéi yéi haa nanéin yéi áwé.
Thatʼs how itʼs happening to us too.
Ḵut kei ntoog̱íxʼ a káx̱ has saxʼaaḵw haa yóo x̱ʼatángi.
Weʼre losing it, theyʼre forgetting our language.
Ách áwé
gunalchéesh Wudasheeyi Tláa
thank you Wudasheeyi Tláa (Alice Taff)
ḵa yáat has ḵín aa
and those who are sitting here
ḵa yá yeedát
and now
yá yées yadákʼw yaa anaskwéin du yóo x̱ʼatángi.
this young man is learning his language.
Akshaxeet tsú.
He writes it too.
X̱át tsú chʼa
Me too,
Mabel yáx̱ áwé sh tux̱dinook.
I feel the same as Mabel.
Yá haa {x̱ʼatá} yoo x̱ʼatángi ḵut kei ntoog̱íxʼ.
Weʼre losing our language.
Ax̱ tuwáa sigóo
I want
yá yées ḵáaxʼw {yáa}
these young people
haa Lingít yoo x̱ʼatángi aax̱ has awuteeyí.
to take up our Tlingit language.
Ḵa yá
chush káx̱
for themselves
g̱unéi s gux̱da.áat
theyʼre going to set out.
X̱wasikóo s ayakg̱wadláaḵ. {yá}
I know they will make it.
Há Lingítx̱ sateeyí, they were
Being Tlingit, theyʼ were
they were warriors. They were, they went after things.
They, has,
has du atx̱aayí káx̱ yéi s jeewanei ḵa
they worked on their food and
even though things were hard, {yá s} wootʼéexʼ has du ḵusteeyí but they kept on.
their way of life was hard
I always say they were warriors. But now, they can be warriors for the Lord too. And, I know
Dikée Aanḵáawu haa eenx̱ sitee tlákw yagiyee.
God is with us every day.
Du saayí aax̱ wuduteeyí, {hél}
When his name is taken up,
{hél hél}
heʼs not gonna turn you away. Heʼs uh,
tlákw haa eenx̱ sitee.
heʼs always with us.
And uh, gunalchéesh.
{hél hél tsu}
Hél tsu aadóo sá gáannáx̱ áxʼ yéi utí.
Nobody is left outside.
Ldakát áwé wooch yéi haa kawdiháa. And,
We all meet together.
Ax̱ yítxʼ yéi s daayax̱aḵáa nooch, «Hél aadóo sá wáa sá daayeeḵáaḵ.
I always say to my sons, “Donʼt say anything about anyone.
Haa x̱oonxʼí áwé ldakát haa x̱oonxʼí ldakát áwé
Thatʼs our relatives, all of them, all our relatives
wooch yéi ḵukawdiháa yáaxʼ.
come together here.
Haa léelkʼu hás,
Our grandparents,
tóonáx̱ ḵa haa
through them and our
éesh hás.»
Long ago
yéi s haa daayaḵáa noojín,
they always used to say to us,
«Ḵaa éeshx̱ siteeyi ḵáa
“A personʼs father
ah, ldakát át yáanáx̱
uh, above all else
value him.”
Itʼs, your father is more valuable in our Tlingit language they say, your father is valuable.
«X̱ʼalitseen i éesh ldakát át yáanáx̱,
“Your father is more vauable than anything else,
ḵaa éeshx̱ siteeyi ḵáa.»
a personʼs father.”
And, thatʼs what I know and thereʼs some other things but I canʼt think of it now.
At that point where you honor your father, where they sing «goosú» where are you, child of Kaagwaantaan? We have to stand up and honor our father. That is so beautiful; people wonder, "How come they say,
«Goosú wa.é,
“Where are you,
Coho yátxʼi, Deisheetaan yátxʼi,
children of the Coho, children of the Deisheetaan,
Teiḵweidí yátxʼi.» They go through all the different clans and when they come to you as a child of Kaagwaantaan, I have to honor my father by standing up and dancing. Or you can just stand. So to, in our language thatʼs a beautiful way of honoring your father, that youʼre a child of.
children of the Teiḵweidí clan.”
Ax̱ toowú yanéekw
Iʼm sad
haa yoo x̱ʼatángi ḵut kéi ntoog̱íxʼ.
weʼre losing our language.
X̱wasikóowu aa ax̱ yátxʼi een
The (words) I know
kax̱aaneek nooch.
I always tell my kids.
Chʼa aan áyá {kʼ} kʼidéin ḵut kéi nx̱ag̱íxʼ x̱áach tsú.
Even so, I too am really losing it.
Chʼa aadéi yéi haa kg̱ee.oo.
You ought to forgive us.