The Cherokee Nation Language Department is dedicated to the revitalization of the Cherokee language. Like all Indigenous languages in North America, Cherokee is classified as endangered. Fortunately, with the aid of technology, significant works in our language can be easily be shared with Cherokee speakers and learners. The Cherokee Book of Praise is one part of the larger goal of language revitalization, and it includes the entire Cherokee New Testament and over one hundred Cherokee hymns in Cherokee syllabary and phonetics.
The Cherokee New Testament is the largest single volume of text written in Cherokee syllabary. Various translators have worked on the Cherokee New Testament roughly between the years 1824 to 1860 by translating various books of the New Testament piecemeal. In 1860 the American Bible Society compiled all the translations into one single volume. This collection has been passed down for generations since. For many Cherokees, regardless of religious beliefs, the Cherokee New Testament has been one of the most important books published in our language. For generations it has helped literacy in the Cherokee syllabary remain a part of many Cherokee families.
In addition to the Cherokee New Testament, hymns sung in Cherokee have been an integral part of our people's history. It has been documented that from the nineteenth century through the twenty first century, Cherokee hymn books have constantly been in publication. For many Cherokees, singing these hymns is an important method to retain our language.
So it is in the spirit of sharing, learning, and revitalizing our language that the Cherokee Nation Language Department offers this app. Planned updates include a complete audio recording of the New Testament read in Cherokee, a selection of recorded hymns sung in Cherokee, dynamic search functions, and highlightable text to accompany read alongs and sing alongs in the app. We look forward to sharing this with the Cherokee Language Community. Wado