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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Southeast Languages Focus Of Books
by Mike Dunham - Anchorage (AK) Daily News

NATIVE: Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian words, phrases are included.

Sealaska Heritage Institute has published a new series of learners' dictionaries for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages and the first-ever Alaska Haida phrasebook.

"We've been working on language restoration for nearly 10 to 12 years, and I would say for a greater part of this we've been working on these dictionaries," institute president Rosita Worl said in a press release.

The new books incorporate some important innovations.

The "Dictionary of Tlingit," for instance, is the first to include nouns and verbs and all minor word categories in a single resource. The vast majority of the verb forms have never before been documented or published. It also includes example sentences for most of the entries, which illustrate the words in a context.

All of the dictionaries include sections translating Native words to English and English words to the Native languages. Complementary searchable, online dictionaries with audio of words and phrases are also being developed and will be made publicly available in the future.

The "Alaskan Haida Phrasebook" was written by Erma Lawrence, one of the few remaining fluent speakers of Alaska Haida. It includes more than 4,000 sentences covering food, family, weather, health, traveling and more and is said to be the most comprehensive phrasebook to date for any Alaska Native language.

The books, which range from $15 to $25, can be ordered by calling 1-907-463-4844 or online at

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