1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby admin » December 15th, 2009, 12:31 am

First Anniversary of the Lakota Language Forum


One year ago today the Lakota Language Forum opened its doors for the first time. We did not know what response we might have, what interest it would create, how many people would come. But people came, and kept on coming! One year on, 851 members have registered with the Forum. Not everybody stayed, but those who did have made 10135 posts in 1168 topics, and 175 people have passed the entry test and become full members.

To all of our members, we would like to say thank you for your interest, your contributions, and your support. Without you, this Forum would not have grown in the way it has, indeed it might not have survived. We were not certain that it would prove possible to provide on-line learning activities to attract members at all levels of proficiency, or that our strategies would be successful, but the quality of your posts, your own determination, your own advancements in the Lakota language have shown that our approach can and does work. You have all helped to make the Forum a friendly place by helping each other and sharing your knowledge. You are all making a positive contribution to the revitalization of the Lakota language and to reinforcing literacy and consistency in writing, reading and learning Lakota. What we see now is a community of people who want to go beyond learning words, who are genuine about wanting to increase their proficiency and work on improving all four language skills.

We feel that the Lakota Language Forum has brought a breath of fresh air to learning Lakota on the internet. In the past, we have seen discussion groups and mailing lists that discussed only the most rudimentary basics of the language, who got entangled in disputes over orthographies, or were distracted by obstacles raised by those who used the language and culture only as a means of self-promotion. We feel that the Forum is a place where the Lakota language is taught and learned through effective strategies and methods, where learning is reinforced by reading and writing based on a standardized writing system and where discussions about the language use reliable materials built on native speakers’ knowledge. Today we see many members reading and transcribing texts written by native speakers, listening to and transcribing audio recordings made by native speakers, learning vocabulary and grammar through contextual methods, having chats and conversations in Lakota, holding on-line classes and study groups over Skype and last but not least learning from making mistakes – a necessary part of learning a language. All of these things represent a major contribution to Lakota language revitalization and literacy, to increasing the overall awareness of the importance of quality second language education based on standardized and effective materials and methods that are not only linguistically sound but also culturally appropriate and sensitive. Following our guidelines, culture is not discussed in English on the Forum, but it is ever present here because it is deeply embedded in the texts that we read and in the thought processes expressed through idiomatic usages. Thus Lakota culture and thought are present and learned in a much more natural way than if they are discussed in English. By learning the Lakota language, we are learning the culture and thought from the inside, rather than from the outside.

We are also seeing a growing number of native speakers becoming part of the forum, learning the new writing system and sharing their knowledge with us by writing their own texts in Lakota. We hope that we will see more native people taking part in this process in the future.

We can't send everybody a piece of birthday cake, but we are bringing two birthday presents: we hope you will all enjoy the new warm appearance of your Forum and the New Lakota Dictionary Online (NLDO). These new features are announced separately.

A big thank you goes to all of you who have contributed to the forum in one way or another over the past year. Some of you participated in one of the many volunteer projects, others of you helped moderate the reading topics, some contributed to creating the quizzes and most of you have provided the forum’s substance by being good and friendly members and great learners. Many of you have helped each other by quoting references in the dictionary and within the forum discussions to support your comments. That is one of the very effective methods of helping each other.

And so the Forum enters its second year. We hope that the number of Full Members (Ópȟawičhayapi) and Hard Working Members (Škíŋčiyapi) will continue to grow. We intend to add new features and content, and will continue looking for ways to improve the Forum overall. Each and every one of you can contribute to increasing the quality of the Forum and through it to the Lakota language revitalization by good participation in the forum's activities and by being a good learner of the language. The Forum and the language rely on you.

Ho čha blihíč’iya po, oyáte kiŋ épi na Lakȟól’iya Owáakhiye Othí kiŋ lé wačhíŋniyaŋpe ló.
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby admin » December 15th, 2009, 6:05 am

What are some of the things that you like about the forum? What are the positive things that the forum brought to you? If you can, share it with the other forum members here.
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby John Vander Veer » December 15th, 2009, 7:43 am

Háu Mitákuyepi!

I think the singular most positive aspect of our Forum is that the fear of failure has been removed. At first it was very hard to post a submission knowing that I was wrong, and was that I did not possess the skills to do it right. Even though learning a language is hard and one can't learn it without making every possible mistake; I did not want to embarrass myself. I am truly amazed how our community helps one and another to learn without any negative aspects. This has enabled me to push myself to new levels of understanding without that impediment.

Thank You!

John
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby Jana » December 15th, 2009, 8:07 am

Happy birthday, forum!

I am very glad I found you when you were just about half a year and enjoyed watching you grow since. When I first saw you, I would never have thought that I would be able to fry (and burn) garlic in Lakota just a few months later - virtually, in a skype meeting. :D
I have found many interesting people here, committed to saving a wonderful language, commited to teaching and helping each other. It is always great meeting these people - online, via skype or in person - and learning with and from them. I have learned a lot, especially, how much there is still to learn.
I wish you many happy returns - I will return happily many times, that is for sure. ;)
Beautiful new dress, by the way. :good:

Tókša akhé!
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby Kostya » December 15th, 2009, 8:25 am

admin wrote:What are some of the things that you like about the forum? What are the positive things that the forum brought to you? If you can, share it with the other forum members here.

For me the Forum is invaluable because:
1. it has the highest online density of the fluent and just knowledgeable people, so it is possible to ask and get the answer - or just read and learn
2. it is practically devoid of "holywars" about who, how, where, and when should learn and teach Lakota, the answer is simple: everybody, everywhere can learn it, and any person that has some skill and knowledge, may participate, with esteem and modesty to those who evidently know better.

This forum also acted encouragingly on me, so I could do some funny tricks like quizzes and online dictionary. Although I know "the guts" of these programs, anyhow they are "miracle" to me - I ask some animate "server" and he (she?) answers me, wow!
This gives me great relief and some "raison d'etre".
I helped the Lakota language by donating to the audio dictionary project (Donation #: 841496). Can you help too?
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby NancyD » December 15th, 2009, 11:41 am

Congratulations and Happy Birthday.

I enjoy the quizzes.

NancyD
Tȟuŋkášilayapi tȟawápaha kiŋháŋ owíhaŋkešniyaŋ hé nážiŋ kte kštó.
“I helped the Lakota language by donating to the audio dictionary project. Can you help too?”
Donation Confirmation # is 841269.
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby Colleen » December 15th, 2009, 3:53 pm

Haŋ Mitákuyepi!
What a blessing it is to have this forum available. The interaction is phenominal. I love the fact that I can make a post and almost immediately have input about it. The quizzes are very helpful and fun. The excerises in grammar and the word of the week are very fun to participate in but, I am in agreement with John about the fear of making mistakes being removed. I receive nothing but positive response and encouragement when I make mistakes. The correction that is given is always given in a good way without condemnation and that is very important to me. And when I do actually make good sentences without mistakes, there is always a praise for the good work done! :) That feels good to! I am so appreciative of everyone here and the level of commitment from the people who are seriously wanting to learn and share this wonderful language. I say thankyou to all of you and Happy Anniversary to the forum! I compliment the new dress as well...it looks really great!!!! :D

Tókša akhé,
Colleen
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby Nina » December 16th, 2009, 6:11 pm

admin wrote:What are some of the things that you like about the forum?


Where do I start???? To everything that's already been said, I can only add "míš-eyá". What I like best of all is the feeling of being among friends, and I think that being on first-name terms has a great deal to do with it. We are real people, not just pseudonyms floating in cyberspace.

What are the positive things that the forum brought to you?


The motivation to continue studying Lakota, each and every day! Self-study requires self-discipline, and I don't have much of that, but the Forum is a magnet and thanks to the wonderfully clear explanations here, the activities, the industry of my fellow-members, the help from everyone, I feel I'm finally making some progress.

So thank you everyone,and happy birthday, Lakȟóliya Owáakhiye Othí.

Nina
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I helped the Lakota language by donating to the audio dictionary project. Follow this link to learn how you can help too: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=4005
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby Rolf » December 17th, 2009, 10:12 am

admin wrote:What are some of the things that you like about the forum? What are the positive things that the forum brought to you? If you can, share it with the other forum members here.

Since most of what I appreciate in this forum reference learning has been said by my predecessors already, I'd like to add one thing only:
The politeness, gentleness and warmth with which members treat each other in their posts is unprecedented in the whole world wide web.
Congratulations Lakȟól'iya Owáakhiye Othí! :good:
:-V-: :-V-: :-V-: :-V-: :-V-: :-V-: :-V-: :-V-: :-V-: :-V-:
Let's go for the next year!
Tókša akhé
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby mitchmiye » December 17th, 2009, 12:58 pm

admin wrote:What are some of the things that you like about the forum? What are the positive things that the forum brought to you?



I agree with Nina. Too many good things to mention and its hard to find where to start.

One opinion that I have formed since I started studying - is that the online Lakota language community is only so big, and we all are bound to bump into each other eventually (if we haven't already). I think this forum has done a fascinating job over the past year of bringing a lot of different people together who otherwise have been spread out over the vast online Lakota language landscape. There are several names in here that I have known from (or seen) elsewhere on the net over the years, and its nice to build both new and existing relationships. Language doesn't work without constant interaction and relationships. That's why it exists in the first place.

There is also a "stickiness" to this forum that keeps people coming back every day (or weekly), and I think it has a lot to do not only with the quality of the content & discussions, but with what John, Kostya, and Rolf were referring to above. It's a highly-interactive learning environment with a lot of positive peer support for one another. Gee... imagine that!

Congrats on a very good first year! So when will the iPhone version be available? ;) (just kidding... sorta...) :D

Mitch :)
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby Jane » December 18th, 2009, 5:00 am

Hallo my name is Jane I.m a new member .I would like to congratulate the Lakota Language Forum for their first Anniversary ;May this be the begining of many years of Lakota Language schools .Many Blessings .Jane :) Mitakuye Oyasin
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby jdshearer » December 18th, 2009, 3:46 pm

Congratulations,

This site does a lot to help me, I can even access it at work. Mitch might have been joking somewhat about the iphone application but its not a bad idea. There are many on the reservations that might be able to afford a cell phone but not a computer and internet service at the same time. With that being said, at least on Pine Ridge digital phones work fine, so it might help get people to become a part of this board who normally couldn't. Just a thought

James
čhéya šni yo
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby Brigitte » December 20th, 2009, 12:01 am

Mitákuyepi,

I agree completely to the opinions of the previous writers.
This is such a great place to learn!
It is a special forum, not only because members are discussing the language seriously, but also they treat each other in a very kind and polite way.
A hearfelt thanks to those who gave us the possibility to learn in this online community in creating this forum!
Let's go on to a second year and hopefully many more will follow :-V-: .
On a mule you find two feet behind, two feet you find before. You stand behind before you find, what the two behind be for.
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Re: 1st ANNIVERSARY of the Lakota Language Forum

Postby jerome » December 27th, 2009, 3:40 pm

Happy Birthday to the forum.
What happiness to have invented this forum.

Thank you, thank you, thank you ... :-V-: :good:
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