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Dakoteyah Wogdaka!
Talk Dakota!

Dakoteyah Wogdaka is an interactive audio program that will assist you in learning some basic words and phrases of the Dakota language. The interactive language lessons are brought to you as a project of the Native American Women's Health Education Resource Center (NAWHERC) and our Dakota Language Immersion Program for local children. We are located on the Ihanktowan (Yankton) Sioux Reservation along the Missouri River in the southeastern part of South Dakota.

The languages and cultures of Native People have been suppressed since the start of European colonization. In our own communities, colonizers took children away from their families and put them into Catholic boarding schools where they were beaten for using their own language. White laws that forcibly outlawed the use of Native languages meant the decline of fluency as well as a loss in cultural coherency and identity. Dakoteyah Wogdaka counteracts that suppression and means to preserve the language and lifeways of the Ihanktonwan tribe. Ihanktonwan means “endwellers” and defines our place of security in the Council Fires. The revival of our tongue makes a vital contribution towards cultural security for us now.

Pronunciation Guide:
The following guide will help you with the pronunciation of Dakota vowel sounds.

A has the sound of AH like the a in “father”
E has the sound of EH or EY like the e in “led” or the a in “fate”
I has the sound of EE like the i in “machine”
O has the sound of OH like the o in “rote”
U has the sound of OO like the oo in “moon”

Click on the following links for Dakota lessons:
Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 5 Lesson 6 Lesson 7
Lesson 8 Lesson 9 Lesson 10 Lesson 11 Lesson 12 Lesson 13  

Lessons 1-3: Special thanks to native speaker and language immersion teacher LaVena Cook for lending her voice to this project. Technical assistance provided by Sandy Wade and Mark Derby. Design by Sara Yant.

Lessons 4-12: Special thanks to Dakota Language Immersion teacher Gail Hubbeling for compiling and voicing Lessons 4 onwards. Technical assistance provided by Rolene Provost and Lindsay Grace Weber.

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