Cherokee Language

The Cherokee language (ᏣᎳᎩ) was traditionally spoken in the present day southern Appalachian region of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama. The Eastern and Western dialects of Cherokee compose the southern branch of the Iroquoian language family. Related languages include the Northern Iroquoian languages Nottoway and Tuscarora, the Proto-Lake Iroquoian languages Huron-Wyandot and Laurentian, the Iroquois Proper—or Five Nation Iroquois—languages Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk.

Selected Language Information

Feeling, Durbin. 1975. Cherokee-English Dictionary: Tsalagi-Yonega Didehlogwasdohdi. Tahlequah, Oklahoma: Cherokee Nation.

Holmes, Ruth Bradley, and Betty Sharp Smith. 1976. Beginning Cherokee: Talisgo Galiquogi Dideliquasdodi Tsalagi Digohweli. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Montgomery-Anderson, Brad. 2008. A Reference Grammar of Oklahoma Cherokee. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas dissertation.

Scancarelli, Janine. 2005. Cherokee. In Native Languages of the Southeastern United States. Hardy, Heather K. and Janine Scancarelli. (eds.) 351-384. Lincoln: University Press.

Sample Archival Materials in the Native American Languages Collection


Cherokee Nation Online language class

Cherokee Grammar

Cherokee Nation Immersion School

Cherokee Syllabary - Omniglot

Cherokee in Native Languages of the Southeastern United States

Catalogue of Endangered Languages