AniWayan: Phrasebook

Jace's idea, collect common phrases and words here! :D

All words are Cherokee as far as I (Marit) can verify this. They are fetched from Cherokee Nation's website wordlist, and I use this site and soon also a formal dictionary (once it arrives in the mail!) to supplement the information. Entries marked with * are from the second site entirely. Words are listed roughly alphabetically (sorry for any flaws). Words with more than one meaning or use appear in more than one word class category and potentially in common phrases, with the translation relevant only to that context.

Common single words


Agree/consent/satisfy - Osi ayelvdi
Alert - Gvnigalisdi
Ambush - Adahaludi
Babble - Utsati gawonisgi
Back - Gasohi
Change - Tsunasdi
Feel - Asvnasdi
Image - Nasgiyai
Like - Nasgiyai
Please - Howatsu
Say - Kanegv
Saying - Kanegvi
War - Danuwa
Welcome - Ulihelisdi

Prepositions & other

Actually/certainly/positively - Udohiyuhiya
And/or - Ale
Definitely - Udohiyu
Greetings - Unalihelitseti
He/him - Nasgi asgaya
Her/she - Nasgi ageyv
Never - Vtla
It - Nasgi
I/me - Ayv
No - Tla
Those - Nasgi
Yes - Vv
You - Nihi
Please - Howatsu


Acquaintance - Didolisdi
Academy - Igvi utana tsunadeloquasdi
Ambush - Adahaludi
Babble - Utsati gawonisgi
Babies - Tsunasdii
Baby - Usdi
Back - Gasohi
Bumper - Ulosvstanvhi
Change - Tsunasdi
Council - Dinilawigi
Councilwoman/councilman - Anasgayv
Dawn/daybreak/mornings - Ugitsisgv
Day - Iga
Defect - Kali nigesvna
Gladness - Ulihelisdi
Greetings - Unalihelitseti
He/him - Nasgi asgaya
Her/she - Nasgi ageyv
Image - Nasgiyai
I/me - Ayv
Joy - Ulihelisdi
Name - Dudov
Rod - Ganvhida talugisgi
Spark - Adawelagisgv
Saying - Kanegvi
Thing - Iyusdi
Today - Gohi iga
War - Danuwa
Warrior - Danuwa analihi
Welcome - Ulihelisdi
You - Nihi


Ablaze/afire - Adawelagisgv
Abnormal/defect - Kali nigesvna
Absolute - Udohiyuhiya
Adapted - Yeli didolagi igvnelv
Afraid - Asgaihv
Ajar - Usdi asduida
Alert/furious/wholesome/jolly - Gvnigalisdi
Ample/lasting - Yeliquu igai
Awful/excessive/extraordinary/harsh - Ulosvstanv
Certain - Udohiyu
Enjoyable - Ulihelisdi
Like (as in alike) - Nasgiyai
Little/tiny - Usdi
Long - Ganvhida
Named - Dagovgi
Positive - Udohiyu
Severe - Ulosvstanvhi
True - Udohiyu
Vulgar - Unegiladi gawonihisdi
Yours - Nihi tsatseli


Actually/certainly/positively - Udohiyuhiya
Back - Gasohi
Day/daytime/noon/midday - Iga
Definitely - Udohiyu
How - Hilago
Literally - Nasgiya gowelv
Many - Ugodidi
Sufficiently - Yeliquu igai
Terribly - Ulosvstanvhi
Today - Gohi iga
Tomorrow ("Day after day") - Tsugitsvnvda
Upon - Nasgi
Very - Udohiyu
When - Hilago iyu
Wholly - Nigadv kalii

Common phrases

Apparently, a lot of phrases begin with "And" or "As". -shrugs-

Phrase puzzle pieces

And above all - Nigadv kaliwohi
And forward - Ale anigisdodi
And have taken - Ale agigisv
And hope you have recieved - Aquohiyu tsagisv
And I am pleased - Ale degadanilvga
And I am pleased to say - Ayv galieliga tsinitsiwea
And return - Ale nidayutsvda
And shall be - Ale nidagalistani
And which certainly - Ale tsinudohiyu
As far as - Winigatsihihv
As far as it lies - Winigatsihihv aselv
As far as possible - Winigatsihihv iyv
As far as that - Winigatsihihv yadvhna
As good as - Nasgiya iyosda
As I have said before - Tsunagi wesvgi
As large as - Nasgiya igidv
As long as possible - Nasgiya igohidv
As low as - Nasgiya iyeladi
As low as possible - Weladiyvi
As much as possible - Winigatsihihv iga
As near as I can judge - Navnige degugodisgv
As near as I can remember - Navnige ganvdadisgv
As the case may be - Nasgiya yinulistanv
As there were - Nusdv nahiyu
Did you make - Tsotlvnesgo
Did you have anything - Gohusdisgo tsei
Do you mean to say - Hiasgo hidoga niwesgv
Can not say - Tla gvquadodi yigi
(And) I am - Ale ayv
(And) I was - Ale ayv gesv
Is not - Yinusdi
I am - a-ya

Complete phrases

And you? - Nina?
As it is -- Tsinusdi
Blessing of God - Unelanvhi udadolisdi
Gedoha - I am walking around now
Greetings - Unalihelitseti
Goodbye (single person) - Donadagovi
Goodbye (group) - Didayolihv dvgalenisgv (literally "until we see each other (meet) again")
Hello - Osiyo
*How are you? - Dohitsu?
*I'm fine - Tosigwu
I am talking now - Tsiwoniha
I am forgetting myself now - Gadadvkewsga
I am working (hard) now- (Sty) digilowistaniha
I'm building a fire now - Godvsga
I'm reading now - Tsigoliye'a
I'm singing now - Detsonigi'a
I'm standing now - Tsidoga
*I don't know - Thlahtlayagwanta
*I don't understand - Tlaigoliga
*Is this where you live? - Hi yasdi ste nvsv? Likewise - Nasgiyaigedodi
May I? - Anasgayv ayv?
(My name is) / (And) I am named ___ - Ale ayv dagovgi ___
Please - Howatsu
Thank you - Wado
Welcome - Ulihelisdi
What are you doing? - Dohadvne
*What is your name? - Gadodetsa do?
*What is this? - Doisdihina?
*You're welcome - Gvlieliga

Examples of use

I think it's fair to assume we're not all learning proper Cherokee for the purpose of playing at 'Souls. Thus, we can combine sentences with the phrases provided and found in the word list linked above into somewhat coherent sentences. No doubt the syntax is way different in proper Cherokee (partly because it's syllabic), but for tidiness' sake we'll just stick with English syntax and translate word for word. Don't worry about plurals, person or time, either. Just ignore a lot of grammar to make your life a little easier.

"is" and "to [verb]", gets no hits in the dictionary, and I assume by the phonology I can see superficially, that "is" and "to [verb]" are not individual words, but added as endings or the like onto existing words depending on syntax rules. Since that's grammar, and we're not bothered with grammar, just skip those words!

  • Did you make babies? -- Tsotlvnesgo tsunasdii?
  • Actually, as there were many warrior(s), I felt (feel) very little. -- Udohiyuhiya, nusdv nahiyu ugodidi danuwa analihi, ayv asvnasdi udohiyu usdi.
  • (And) I am certain. -- Ale ayv udohiyu.
  • Did you have anything (to) say? -- Gohusdisgo tsei kanegv?
  • I can not say. -- Ayv tla gvquadodi yigi.
  • (And) I am afraid -- Ale ayv asgaihv
  • (And) I am yours -- Ale ayv nihi tsatseli
  • As near as I can remember, she (is) very vulgar! -- Navnige ganvdadisgv, nasgi ageyv udohiyu unegiladi gawonihisdi!
  • (My name is) / (And) I am named Marit. -- Ale ayv dagovgi Marit.
  • (The) rod? How long? As long as possible! -- Ganvhida talugisgi? Hilago ganvhida? Nasgiya igohidv!
  • Hello - how are you? -- Osiyo, dohitsu?
  • I'm fine, thank you. And you? -- Tosigwu, wado. Nina?

Further reading & sources

1 Cherokee Nation's Word List
2 - combination source with huge word database
3 Youtube channel for learning Cherokee
4 Wiktionary -- Cherokee slang NB -- MATURE

Language nerd fun

Note: I've recently purchased a Cherokee dictionary and hope to update this page soonish, however it's very complex and I don't understand half of it. Below is more like brainstorming than actual information. If you know something, log in and help out!

I have yet to find a translation for "is" or "to [verb]", and since I cannot find it I assume this is present in Cherokee through inflection (endings, prefixes or alteration to vowels).

When it comes to negatives (esp "is not"), I believe the use of the word "Vtla" is the key. It means "Never". I conclude this way because the following phrases use it, and all sentences have negative meanings.

Note that "not" translates to Nasgi nigesvna in the cherokee dictionary. However, since we know that "nasgi" is it/those, we can't know whether nigesvna is "not" or not, because it gets no hits in the dictionary.

Formula: Cherokee -- word for word translation -- cherokee dictionary's translation
Vtla yalisgolvdi -- Never ?? -- Does not allow ("allow" = alisgolvdodi <-- clear similarity to yalisgolvdi)
Vtla yikaneisdi -- Never ?? -- Does not suggest ("suggest" = kaneisdodi <-- clear similarity to yikaneisdi)
Vtla nasgi yinusdi -- Never it/those ?? -- But this is not so (There is no word named "yinusdi" or "inusdi" in the dictionary, however "as it is" is translated to tsinusdi, which is clearly comparable to yinusdi)
Vtla gidigadanilvga -- Never ?? -- Cannot accept ("accept" = didanilvisdi <-- no clear similarity to gidigadanilvga. Clearly, the rules vary phonologically.)
Vtla iyusdi -- Never thing -- Neither
Vtla gohusdi -- Never something -- Nothing

Noteworthy in the above sentences is especially Vtla yikaneisdi and Vtla yalisgolvdi, which seems to be a "negative" inflection of the plain forms of the nouns. It works by adding Vtla in front, and the prefix of y-, as well omitting a phoneme (do) near the end of the noun:
Allow = alisgolvdodi whereas Does not allow = Vtla yalisgolvdi
Suggest= kaneisdodi whereas Does not suggest = Vtla yikaneisdi

Also compare the two sentences:
Vtla nasgi yinusdidana -- Never it/those ?? - But this is not the case
Hianusdidana -- ?? -- But this is a case.
Both sentences contain "nusdi" and "dana" with different prefixes. "dana" appears in multiple words and seems to be a phoneme not necessarily carrying grammatical information. "nusdi" appears a lot in phrases stating that things "are" (negatively or not - also as seen in the above sentences). I think we could say that the combination of "Vtla" and some form of "nusdi" can be used as an equivalent of "is not", while "nusdi" can be used as "is". While we cannot see how the prefixes y-, yi-, i- or tsi- work or what they mean but the sentences share some common traits which we can use!

-coughs- Excuse the nerdedness. And if my analysis is wrong and you're interested: let's totally look at this together!

Last updated on Sat, 05 Jul 2014 at 02:42 PM by Marit