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Huckleberries Online

NIC Offers CdA Tribe Language Class

Raymond Brinkman talked about the importance of preserving the Coeur d'Alene language before teaching the class at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

At first, Leo Tanner found the long strings of consonants in the Coeur d’Alene language intimidating, and he had difficulty producing sounds from the back of his throat. The North Idaho College student had studied Spanish and Hindu, but Coeur d’Alene threw him for a loop. “I thought, ‘Gosh, I’ll never be able to learn that,’ ” Tanner recalled. But with a semester of study behind him, Tanner is gaining confidence in speaking the ancestral language of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Earlier this week, he tossed back answers to instructor Raymond Brinkman during the twice-weekly class. And words like “snqwqw’lups,” which means blue jeans, no longer sound or look strange. “It’s artistic when you look at it,” said the 24-year-old anthropology major. “It reminds me of Picasso”/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Do you speak a second language?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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