Free Resources You Can Use To Learn Lakhota

Lakota Language is something we are passionate about and we want you to know about the free resources we have available! Lakota language is accessible and can be a fun addition to your day. Today we are going to talk about all the ways you can level up your Lakota language skills to either begin your Lakota language journey or assist in your already established efforts.

If you are looking for motivation or trying to figure out where you stand in the greater picture of language reclamation we suggest checking out our YouTube channel “The Language Conservancy” and watching Rising Voices / Hótȟaŋiŋpi – Revitalizing the Lakota Language. This documentary features Lakota speakers and their efforts in their own communities to reclaim their language. Featured in this documentary are incredible language warriors who speak out about the opportunities the language gave them to connect back to themselves as Lakota people. One of the many positive things about this documentary is that we get to hear from elder speakers as well as young learners and find the similarities and differences in their journeys. 

After motivation comes to action and with technology coming as far as it has, there is now access to Lakota language within your pocket on your phone! In the app stores, there are a couple of our apps that are free to download and use titled: Owóksape, Lakota Vocab Builder, Lakota Media Player, and the Mobile Lakota Keyboard

First, the Lakota phone app is called Owóksape and it uses various methods for practice from listening, spelling, visual, and memorization. For 7 minutes a day, you have the option of working through several units highlighting things like colors, questions, animals, basic vocab, and so on. One of the things we want to highlight about the Owóksape app is that it is fun, simple, and can have you feeling accomplished with only 7 minutes of your time. If you happen to have a few minutes to spare while waiting in line or something pop it open and practice some Lakota! It also tells you when time is up after the 7 minutes but if you’re feeling extra motivated you have the opportunity to continue on. Save your progress and come back tomorrow! (And the day after!)

  • The Lakota Media Player is used to pair with already existing LLC textbooks and children’s books. This app gives the reader the opportunity to hear the audio read to them by Lakota speakers, the ability to see the English translation, and the use of augmented reality which places the audio player right on the page. The free beginning book is Prairie Dog Goes To School and you can play the audio for yourself or the children in your life! 
  • Our Lakota Vocab Builder has 10 free units each with 4 practices from Lakota to English, from English to Lakota, listening, and spelling. It tracks how well you are grasping the concepts but also the layout is aesthetically pleasing with great color schemes and pictures of the animals, foods, colors, etc that we’re studying. On top of all that, it is a lot of fun! You build a sense of pride seeing the meter reach 100% and the message saying you are ready to move on to the next level! 
  • The Mobile Lakota Keyboard can be a great addition to your learning experience too! This free keyboard can assist with learning the spelling and sounds of Lakota words which will increase your memorization of the Lakota language. The Lakota keyboard itself is very simple to install as well as easy to use.
  • The New Lakota Dictionary Online is another wonderful tool with 25 free Lakota word lookups per day. If you are curious about a word or some vocabulary give it a visit!

While this is a blog post on free resources, I also wanted to mention that if you are looking for a more in-depth view of some of the Lakota words and want to see the sample sentences, and hear male and female pronunciation by two Lakota speakers well you can download the new Lakota Dictionary Pro for an entire month for free! A great pair for the Lakota Dictionary is the Lakota Desktop keyboard for your computer. Available for Mac and PC’s the keyboard can be found in the LLC bookstore along with instructions on how to install it. 

Lastly, there is the Lakota Berenstain Bears Project available to watch on for free on our YouTube channel or by visiting This project included 20 episodes that are free to watch yourself or with your children! This project was one of the first of its kind and gives Lakota children something entertaining to watch in Lakota with the same great lessons the original provides. This is an amazing tool for Lakota children to hear conversations in Lakota! 

As you can see the Lakota language is accessible to all that want to learn and reclamation is possible. We are thankful for your passion for the language and we are glad you stopped by!

About The Author: Hello! I am Shania Black Bear-Searby, I am a 24-year-old Lakota woman from Rosebud, SD. This summer for 4 weeks I am interning at The Language Conservancy as 1 of their 3 native interns. My grandpa is Ben Black Bear Jr. aka the male voice on the Lakota dictionary app. Seeing my grandpa work with LLC and TLC for so many years I am excited to become a part of the team for a while and see what goes on behind the scenes.