One thing we noticed at last year’s Lakota Summer Institute was how well some of the newcomers were speaking Lakota. Paulette R. High Elk commented, “When we had the opening ceremony, all of the new people introduced themselves in Lakota. I was very impressed!” We asked some participants what their secret was, and many responded…the Lakota Language Forum!
If you are not part of the forum yet, make yourself an account (it’s FREE). The forum currently hosts over 10,000 members and 60,000 posts, and it’s growing! It’s a great place to get introduced to the language, practice listening, reading, writing, and to connect with fellow learners.
Don’t get us wrong, Facebook is great, but it’s more of a news source. Posting a language-related question on Facebook will surely get you many fast replies, but how reliable will those responses be? In the Lakota Language Forum, you can be sure that experienced people with Lakota language background will join the discussion and answer your question.
Still need more reasons to join? Here’s a list of pros:
1. All discussion is moderated. This means the atmosphere is friendly and respectful.
- Nervous to join the forum? Well, don’t be! Everyone is learning Lakota at their own pace and makes mistakes. Rest easy knowing that the privacy of the forum is much better than Facebook!
2. Need to search a word or phrase? No problem! Finding older questions and answer is much easier than on Facebook. Instead of endlessly scrolling through a newsfeed, you can simply use the search function. You can also search your own posts for the question you asked, say, 4 years ago!
3. Additionally, you can double click any word in the forum to see its entry from the dictionary, right in the same window!
4. The “Sentence of the Week” forum page is a great method for beginners to get a sense for Lakota sentence structure, and to learn new vocabulary all the while doing this.
- You can also learn from sentences other learners wrote and from mistakes other learners have made. The forum is made for discussion and collaboration, so all sentences are easily accessible in one place.
- For advanced learners and contributors, reading material is available—a great way to develop language skills. This material is read and translated together. Here are some examples:
- The Turtle http://www.lakotadictionary.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3242#p38621
- Iktomi Takes his Mother-in-Law on the Warpath http://www.lakotadictionary.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1819#p18469
5. Audio files are also easily accessible, so you can better familiarize yourself with Lakota pronunciation and speech!