Cheyenne elders speak about their language
"We are really glad we still have our Cheyenne language. It has been used by our people for a long, long time. It is soft-spoken and good, with no harsh words. It is one of the good things that has held the Cheyennes together as a people. So today we say, 'Hahoo, Ma'heo'o (Thank you, God).'" --John Woodenlegs, 1976, now deceased, former President of the Northern Cheyennes.
"Cheyenne is a hard language, but it's a strong language, a beautiful language....I feel I'm just as smart in the Cheyenne language as I am in English, maybe I'm a little more deeper in Cheyenne thinking." --another elder, who recently died
"Naa nánéehove nátsêhéstahe, oha náohkêhéne'enátanó'ta Tsêhésenêstsestôtse tséxhomá'xe'ovóetsêhésenêstséto, tsésto'sêsáavonetanó'tôhémo tséhe'enêstséto. Naa momóxemâhehéne'enomévôtse tséheêtsêhéstâhévôse. Éme'sáavona'óháne tséhe'enêstsétse naa éme'hetôxe'ohe éme'heêhoeme Tsêhésenêstsestôtse nonohpa hétsetseha tsémóneéeese éme'tapévêhéne'enánóvo Tsêhésenêstsestôtse. Náohkenôhtsêstovoo'o ka'êkóneho, éohkêhoháepévátsêstánóvo. 'Hénová'éto náhko'ééhe naa ného'ééhe tsésáahésemé'êstomóéhétse Tsêhésenêstsestôtse?' éohkêhevoone. Naa ma'tamôxe'ôhetse ma'tanôhtóvoéstomévôtse tsetataomêhéne'enánóvo tsetataomenôhtóvetsêhésenêstseo'o hó'sáanêevéstâhémaehévôse hekevóho naa héhevóho. Oha éto'sêsáano'kevé'ho'énêstséstovêhane. Hámó'ôhtse nánéehove náohkenôhtóvevé'ho'énestse naa náohkenôhtóvevého'évoéstóne naa oha náto'sêsáavonetanóhe tséhe'enêstséto tséxhomáxetsêhéstâhéto." // "But for myself, I am a Cheyenne, I always want to know Cheyenne because that is the first language I knew, (and because) I don't want to forget my language. And I wish they would all realize that they are Cheyennes. Our language should not be lost, and how it should be written, how Cheyenne should be read so that now the young ones would know Cheyenne well. I always ask children, it pleases them (when I ask them). 'Why don't my mother and father explain to us Cheyenne?' they say. And when it is written, when they learn to read it they will know it by themselves, they will learn by themselves how to talk Cheyenne even if they are not helped by their mothers and fathers. There is not going to be talking English only. For example, for myself, I know how to talk English and I can also read English but I am not going to forget my language because I am a Cheyenne." --Elaine Strangeowl (Vo'omene'e), January 12, 1978. Elaine passed away in late 1996. She was a very patient Cheyenne language teacher who taught linguist Wayne Leman a great deal.
"I love to speak Cheyenne because that's the first language that I grew up with." --Joe Walksalong, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Councilman and Pastor, April 27, 1997
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