Mango Language App Chapter 7 now available!
The Pokagon Department of Language is pleased to announce that chapter seven of the Bodwéwadmimwen Potawatomi Language Course through the Mango Languages App is available as of Thursday, May 20! Chapter seven provides learners with the language needed to communicate about the calendar and birthdays. The Mango Languages App containing the Bodwéwadmimwen Potawatomi Language Course is available for free download in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store!
Language Department Staff
Rhonda Purcell, Language Manager
(269) 462-4255 office
(269) 783-9027 cell
Carla Collins, Advanced Language Specialist
Kyle Malott, Advanced Language Specialist
Dejonay Morseau, Language Apprentice
Margaret Long, Language Appentice
Language Department Address:
58653 Sink Rd.
Dowagiac MI, 49047
Learning the Language
Want to jump start your language learning?
The Pokagon Band Language Department offers programs, classes, and resources for those interested in learning the Potawatomi language. If you are a beginner or just wanting to learn the basics of Bodwéwadmimwen. Click here for our Language Basic Essentials page.
Check out a few resources we provide or recommend to citizens:
- All Seasons Potawatomi Language Coloring Books on our Language Basic Essentials page.
- Children’s Potawatomi Language Learning DVD’s (call L&C | $10/2-DVD set)
- Children’s Potawatomi Language Storybooks (call L&C | $10/6-book set)
- A Gathering is Happening Today book ($7.08)
- Macy Goes to the Stars book ($12.95 + shipping)
Bodéwadmi language learning resources:
Utilize our first app called Bodwéwadmimwen to label everything in your home!
Utilize our newest Mango Languages app to learn sentence structure and your introduction which is introduced in Chapter 1. We now have 7 chapters!
- Use the link to download the Mango Languages app on your phone.
- Use this link to download the Mango Languages app to your computer.
We also recommend you utilize our amazing online archival program created by our very own talented citizen and L&C Archivist, Blaire Topash-Caldwell. The online archival program is home to many language audio files, historical information and photos from our very own Potawatomi/Pokagon history.
- Click this link to begin exploring.
- If you do not already have an account, sign up is easy!
If you want to hear some old recordings of Martin Wesaw or Julia Wesaw, check out this collection of recordings housed at the University of California, Berkeley online language library.
- Use this link to search the audio file library.
- Enter “Potawatomi: into the search field
- Click “Filter by Language- Potawatomi”
If you have access to Facebook, we have two interactive language pages for you to follow”
- Adult Learners are recommended to follow this page.
- Household with Potawatomi Children are recommended to follow this page.
It is our individual effort that contributes to the whole mission of learning and using our Bodéwadmi sound. Who we are should be at the forefront of everything we do and it is our language that leads us in showing us who we have been, who we are, and who we will always be.
Forest County Potawatomi Dictionary
You can order you very own Potawatomi dictionary! Here's all you need to know:
- The dictionaries are $85.00 a piece, depending on how many you would like to purchase. The Forest County Cultural Library & Museum can calculate shipping costs for you and send you a final invoice.
- The Forest County Cultural Library & Museum accepts all forms of payment. If you are order via check/money order/purchase order, they will mail the dictionaries out after we receive payment.
- The dictionaries are shipped priority mail, and they can provide a tracking number, if needed.
Intro to Bodwéwadmimwen
The Pokagon Band Language Program has made the Intro to Bodwéwadmimwen available as an iBook! It can be downloaded on any Mac device (Mac computer or iPad).
This digital version is complete with video to make learning Potawatomi easier and more accessible. It also includes audio clips from our late elders: Julia Wesaw, Luella Louis and Martin Wesaw. Help revitalize our language and download this book today.
After months of collaboration between our tribe’s Language Program and Mango Languages, a language-training company, the first chapter of our Potawatomi Language Course has launched. This is the first of ten chapters planned for phase one of the course.
The first Bodwéwadmimwen Language App the Language Program launched focuses solely on vocabulary, but this new app course teaches phrases and sentence structure. The Language Program realized that not only as a Band, but as a Potawatomi Nation, there is no set curriculum for teaching Potawatomi to new language learners.
“I knew we needed to head into a direction that was going to utilize technology to help us identify how we structure Potawatomi curriculum that advances learners and asses their progression,” said Rhonda Purcell, language coordinator.
Rhonda tasked citizen Corinne Kasper, a graduate from Dartmouth with a degree in linguistics, with identifying a developer the Language Program could partner with. Rhonda and her team quickly realized that language course app developers did not want to work with a language like Potawatomi that has such a small audience. Duolingo gave no response, but Mango did.
The Language Program entered a contract with Mango Languages after speaking before Tribal Council to request the needed funds. Tribal Council approved their request, and they are now in the final stages of course creation for chapter 1.
The first chapter teaches conversational language that learners can use in real life immediately. Those who complete all ten chapters, Rhonda says, will have a well-rounded grasp of the structure of Potawatomi.
“This is truly something I wish I could’ve had access to when I started learning this language,” Rhonda says about the course.
This first phase of the Potawatomi course will include ten chapters. These chapters will teach “survival language,” as Rhonda puts it, which will include phrases and questions that learners will need for any conversation. The next phases will dive deeper and teach more descriptive language, though Rhonda says learners will not gain fluency through this app.
“Fluency cannot be created through technology,” Rhonda says. “Fluency comes from face to face interactions.”
Emphasis, sounds, tonal fluctuation, and more can only be learned from genuine conversations, Rhonda explained. Otherwise, “you’ll sound exactly like the technology that you’re learning from.”
This course will ensure all citizens, no matter where they live, can learn our Potawatomi language.
“We’re always striving to create meaningful language learning resources that help move us toward our goal as a Potawatomi speaking community and nation,” Rhonda said.
Rhonda says other Potawatomi nations are eager to use the course we’re creating, and she hopes it will inspire other nations to invest in language learning.
“No one Band is going to save this language,” Rhonda says.
The Potawatomi Language course is available for free to everyone. Mango Languages previously partnered with the Cherokee Nation to create a Cherokee language course.
All ten chapters will be published by the end of 2020 on a staggered released. The Language Program plans to continue working with Mango Languages to create many more chapters after the initial ten for our Potawatomi app course.
Migwėtth for all of your commitment that have taken us this far.