Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Novel to be translated into Cherokee

The News & Observer | Novel to be translated into Cherokee

A section of Charles Frazier's new book is being translated into Cherokee, with the intention of publishing it separately as the first novel ever in that language.

Frazier hopes the project, for which he'll write a foreword, will pave the way for children's books and other literature that could be used to help keep the language alive. Any profits from sales of the book would go into further translations, he said.

Immersion programs are teaching the language to children, but there is little written in Cherokee. Fears are it could disappear in 20 to 30 years. A few hundred adults are fluent in Cherokee County, N.C., and a few thousand on the Oklahoma reservation, Frazier said.
Myrtle Driver, clerk to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee's tribal council, began translating the text this summer. Barbara Duncan, education director of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, also is working on the project.
"He captured a little piece of how the Cherokee people look at the world and their relationship with each other," Duncan said. "It's hard to write that down in an anthropology text book. A novel can capture those things. In that sense, he got it very much right."...

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