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Tahltan Language

Task One: Dishes

a.) Eve: Me·da ts’a’ gha·ta·da’os̱i - (Who's gonna wash dishes?)

b.) Mikaela: Ts’a’ gha·ta·dēs’ot·ẕi̱. - (I’m gonna Wash dishes.)

c.) Ets̱en’mā: Soga. - (Good)

Mikaela turns on the hot water and puts her hand in it and then withdraws it quickly.

d.) Mikaela: Ē tū se·zeł - (That water hot.)

e.) Eve: En-zi·ke a·dēs·t’īli. - (I’ll help you.)

Task Two: Wood

Eve noticed that the house cooling down so she tells Adam…

a.) Eve:Tsets ō·da·ka·dīn·le - (Put wood in the fire.)

b.) Adam: Ē - (Okay.)

Upon the completion of dinner Eve asks her mother…

c.) Eve: Ed·lā, kuji an·dīn·da·la - (Mother, are you gonna go home now?)

d.) Ets̱en’mā: Ē, beł a·si·la - (Yes, I’m sleepy.)

e.) Ets̱en’mā: Mē·duh. e bede ti’e duga ku·ji an·dē·sał. - (Thanks, the food was good. Now I’m going home).

f.) Eve: E·ts̱en’ kan·dīn·dał - (Meat, take ir home. As in take some left-overs with you.)

Adam goes to an empty wood box and says to himself…

g.) Adam: Tsets tli·ts’ā·dēs·khitł - (I’m gonna have to split wood!)

h.) Eve: Du·da a·dīn·t’i·li - (What are you gonna do?)

i.) Adam: Tsets tli·ts’ā des·khitł - (I’m gonna split wood)

Task Three: Weather

Weather is something that dictates our daily behavior: when it gets cold we light a fire or we dress accordingly. Therefore, it is only fitting that we learn how to talk about the weather. 

Adam comes back in and says...

a.) Adam: Ah’ene hos̱·dli - (Outside, it’s cold!)

b.) Eve: Na’a·de·ne·du·ha - (Is it snowing buckets full? Like literally comming down in buckets)

c.) Adam: Ē na’a·de·ne·du - (Yes, its’ real comming down!)

d.) Adam: Es-ki·nā’et a·dī·da - (My-coat, where is it?)

e.) Eve: E·ji de·ne·me·kā·ge·da·s̱e·dah gha·di·chush. - (Right there, hanging on chair.) Ghadichush - kinda means that it’s draped, or hanging.

f.) Adam: Es-bā·de a·dīde. - (Where’s my-mitts?)

Task Four: Slang and other terms

The words with no English equivalent are written the same as in Tałtān. 

a.) Eve: I·yah! Eji en-bā·de me·k’eh e·ts’e·ts̱e·dẕi k’e·da·s̱i·la. - (Yuck! your-mitts is on the table!) In Tahltan culture the term e·yah emphasizes the act of being discussed by, food, dirty stuff and people - the discuss can be amplified by dragging the word out slowly.

b.) Adam: Me·duh! - (Thanks! Laughing!)

While Eve gives Adam dah’·ghay’ she says…

c.) Eve: I·yeh! - (Yuck! disapproval and discuss with a person) This can be used to directly signify disapproval with someones arrogance, or lack of acknowledgement of their wrong doing etc..., The discuss can be amplified by dragging out the words slowly and it can be used jokingly or seriously. In this case it’s jokingly!. 

d.) Adam: Ī·yū. - (No English equivalent) This term in the Tałtān culture is used to portray something eerie or scary that’s happened, or is about to happen etc.

Adam stubs his toes on the coffee table on his way to the door. 

e.) Adam: E·ya’. - (Ouch!)

f.) Eve: Se’e - (Se’e - no English equivalent) This term is used to signify the gratification of karma. Say if someone was behaving arogantly, or boastfully and something happens to them as a result of their behavior one would say se’e! It’s like saying: Se'e karma got you! Haha!. 

Adam goes out to split wood when a huge block of wood falls from the pile and lands on the same foot that he previously stubbed, sending an excruciating pain, he yells out…

g.) Adam: E·yā du·we! - (No English equivalent). This term is used to emphasize pain or emotional discomfort. With pain it can be used while rubbing the painful area on your body! 

Hearing her husband scream out in pain Eve runs to the door, looks out with concern and asks…

h.) Eve: Du·da an·ja? - (What happened to you?)

i.) Adam: Es-kesh·chō tā·dā.(I hurt my-big toe) 

j.) Eve: Ā·hah es-cha·me. - (No English equivalent) This term signifies one sympathy over another persons pain. It can also used to signify love for another and it can be used while touching the person’s (receiving the affection) chin. 

Adam starts working after his wife goes back inside. He begins to load the wood in his arms and says to himself…

k.) Rubbing his big-tow Adam says: Ī·yoyh! (No English equivalent) This term is used to exemplify discomfort - here it is used to express that the wood in his arm is too heavy. It can also be used with emotions - like when you are lonely you can also use this term.

Learn these phrases and sentences and then practice the individual parts with a partner. Make arrangements with a fellow student and practice the conversation by switching roles.

Tałtan Language Program
Tahltan Central Government
PO Box 69
Tatl’ah (Dease), BC VOC 1L0
Phone: (250) 771-32274

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