English/Cherokee Dictionary

Yonega/Tsalagi Dictionary

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I don't get many emails from my web site, around a couple a week. But 90% of those seem to be requests from people asking me for translations. Some are polite about it, some are quite rude. But I worry that all of them think I know more Cherokee than they do.

Chances are, I don't. My family stopped speaking Cherokee when my grandparents were young. The government was said to kidnap children and put them in boarding schools for speaking an American language. So my family, like many, stopped.

For me, this whole Cherokee language thing started back in 1992 when i created some paper flashcards (followed by a DOS flashcard program followed by a Windows flashcard program followed by an Internet version of the flash cards, all of which have been lost over the years) because, like many in my mother's generation, I wanted to learn the language. But I am not a native speaker.

Which means that many of the people who have emailed me have been disappointed. I am too busy to reply to most in a timely manner (it can take me a month or longer), and I normally have to look up the answer.

If you are looking for a certain Cherokee word, your best bet is probably the Internet newsgroups like soc.culture.native.

Another option is a Cherokee dictionary, but I haven't found a very comprehensive one, and besides, most book stores don't carry them, making them hard to find.

So, for all those people who would normally email me for help, I am building an English/Cherokee dictionary. Chances are, if it's not on this list, I don't know the answer.

Now, on with the list...

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About gvwaduwidv
Across diganadiwissvi
After ulosonv
Again asiquo
Against digatelegi
All nigadv
Alligator tsulasgi
Almost navnigesdi
Among nunadvnv
And ale
Animals ehnai
Ant dosvdali
Any inusdi
At nanahi


Bat tlameha
Bear, Bears yonva
Beaver, Beavers doya
Because igvnisisgi
Bed Bug galuisdi
Bee wadulisi
Before udalulv
Belief uwohiyusv
Between ayeli
Bird, Birds tsisqua
Blacksnake (climber) galegi
Bluebird tsaquolade
Bluejay tlaiga
Bobcat, Bobcats gvhe
Book goweli
Bull tsukanvsdena
But aseno
Butterfly kamama
Buzzard suli
By navi


Centipede tsuganotsi
Chickadee tsigalili
Chicken, Chickens tsitaga
Come lvla
Cow, Cattle waga
Crawfish tsisdvna


Deer (singular and plural) vsgiyi
Do nahdvga
Dog, Dogs gitli
Donkey (long-eared) digalinvhidv
Donkeys dinigalinvhidv
Dove woya
Down eladi
Dragonfly wadaduga
Duck kawoni


Eagle wohali
Earthworm utsiya or unitsiya or
East kalvgv
Eighth tsunelinei
Elephant (or Butterfly) kamama
Enough eliquv
Even itsulaha
Ever iyuquo
Every nagavi


Far invhiyu
Female ageyv
Fish atsadi
Forward igvyiditlv
Fox, Foxes tsutla
Friend unalii
Frog walosi
From anigisdi nidvlenvda


Get higi
Give adanedi
Go hanigi
Goat ukasotsanedv
Goodbye (one to one) donadagohvi
Goodbye (one to several) dodadagohvi
Goose sasa
Groundhog ogana
Grubs sgoyi or tsvsgoyi or


Happy alihelisdi
Have uha
He atsvyai
Hello osiyo
Help alisdelvdi
Here ahani
Hornet kanatsisdetsi
Horse, Horses soquili
Horsefly damaga
How are you? dohitsu
Hummingbird waleli


I aya
I am a Cherokee tetsalagi
I am fine osda
I am going home diquenvsvi gega
I am going now gega
Iron Pot tsulasgi
It's all right osda


Journey visvi


Katydid sigigi
Keep ihesdi


Laugh uyetsasgv
Learning anade loquosgv
Let ulisgo lvtanv
Little usti
Lizard tiyohali
Locust lolo
Louse, Lice tina
Love gvgeyui


Medicine Man didanvwisgi
Mink etli
Mosquito dosa
Mouse tsisdetsi


Ninth sonelinei
No vtla


Old Man udvsanvhi
Old Woman agayvligei
Owl wahuhi
Oyster dagvna


Panther, Panthers (also means Large Wildcat) tlvdatsi
Perch (the Fish, Not The Verb) agoli or anigoli or
Pig, Pigs siqua
Pleasure alihelitsidosdi


Quail guque


Rabbit, Rabbits tsisadu
Raccoon, Raccoons gvli
Rat tsisdetsi
Rooster atsvya
Roosters anitsvya


Sapsucker gvquoha
Scorpion tsisdvna adatsvisgi
Seventh galiquoginei
Sheep (plural) uninodena
Sheep (woolly) unodena
Skunk, Skunks dili
Snake inadv
Snapping Turtle saligugi
Spider kananesgi
Spiders anikananesgi
Squirrel saloli
Summer gogeyi
Sun nvdoigaehi


Tadpole tega
Teaching dadeyohvsgv
Tenth sgohinei
Thank You wado
Tick gugai
Toad tega
Turkey gvna




Wasp kanatsisdetsi
Whippoorwill tsaqualequala
Wise agatahnai
Witch atsasgili
Wizard advnelisgi
Wolf, Wolves waya
Woman ageyv
Worms sgoyi or tsvsgoyi or
Wren tsitsi



Yellow Mockingbird huhu
Yellowjacket tsasgaya
Yes vv
You are going home sudali



I ripped off these words from the following sources:
Raven's site
Cherokee Words with Pictures, Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey
Cherokee Dictionary, E.L. Gilmore
Beginning Cheroke, Holmes and Smith

You can trust some guys. Really, I've read about them.
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