This week I have decided to learn colour terms in the Cree Language. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well, it’s actually more complex than it sounds. I ended up doing a lot more research and learning a lot more than I thought I would this week!
So far, I feel that videos and audio clips are helping me the best to learn the language and use proper pronunciation. I began this week by looking for videos on YouTube. I came across two that I felt were very effective in helping me learn the colour terms.
They are listed here:
When I came across the Colours in Cree audio clip, I noticed two columns…”Inanimate” and “Animate”. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!?! I felt very confused and unsure of what to do. I needed to find out some background information to get things figured out.
I ended up coming across a Cree Literacy website. This website had all the answers to my problems!
Some things I learnt from this website are:
- In English, we learn to name our colours just as we name shapes and animals. Cree works differently. WHO KNEW!
- In Cree, colour terms are actually verbs, therefore we need to know both animate and inanimate forms for each colour.
This chart shows the differences for each colour term based on if its in prefix form, animate verb form or inanimate verb form.
Once I gained an understanding about the way colour terms worked in Cree, I decided to learn the terms in inanimate verb form. I did a short recording to demonstrate my learning.
Along with the videos I shared above, I also came across a few children’s books in which teach colours in Cree if anyone is interested in bringing this learning into their classroom.
Overall, I think this has been the most challenging week. It was frustrating and confusing at times but in the end its an exciting process of learning something new.
One thing that inspired me to continue on and to not give up was the quote posted on the Cree Literacy website…
“miywâsin, kîspin ta-kakwê-nisitohtamêk êkwa mîna ta-kakwê-mitoni-wîcihisoyêk anima, ôma nêhiyawêwin kîspin kinôhtê-kiskêyihtênâwâw”
“There is value indeed in trying to understand the Cree language and also in trying to study it in earnest if you want to learn it”
I feel more motivated than even to continue on with my language learning and look forward to sharing it with all of my future students!