The Mohawk language, or Kanien’keha language, is an Iroquoian language spoken mainly in Ontario, Quebec and New York. Mohawk is a polysynthetic language, meaning that words are composed of many small parts to create meaning. Instead of sentences like in English the Mohawk language often portrays messages through single long words.
There are six Mohawk communities in Canada, many of which now have language immersion schools and classes in place to work towards the revitalization of the Mohawk language.
The following are some resources to help you learn Mohawk or improve your skills:
Mohawk Language Custodian Association: This resource, provided by the Ka’nehsata:ke community, contains vocabulary lessons, audio examples of words to understand a base vocabulary of the language, and tests to see how well you’ve grasped the language. This site offers lesson approaches from both English and French.
FirstVoices: FirstVoices includes a Mohawk dictionary, book of phrases, as well as stories and songs to practice the language. Resources and descriptions on this website are available in both English and French.
The Endangered Languages Project: This resource site contains audio tracks and videos so you can listen to Mohawk words and phrases spoken by language speakers.
Native Languages: This website contains a variety of resources. Most importantly, a pronunciation guide for the Mohawk alphabet. Once you have a basic grasp on the pronunciation of letters and letter combinations, reading through online resources will be much easier.
The Quinte Mohawk School offers language drill videos with different components of the Mohawk language. This resource also offers skill tests, word games and listening exercises.
Six Nations Polytechnic created this handy guide called Mohawk Language in the Workplace that takes a step-by-step approach to the language and works through phrase structure for everyday usage.
Mohawk community language and immersion programs and resources:
University and college courses:
IAmMohawk 1 (iOS): This app uses games to teach the user Mohawk. The experience allows for short periods of daily review to make sure you remember the lessons. Users compete against other Mohawk speakers on daily lessons.
And for extra practice you can watch this amazing interpretation of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in Mohawk:
Do you know of other Mohawk language resources?