Cherokee (Tsalagi) Native American Language Basic Education App Review (iOS, $9.99)


Languages: English

Seller: Thornton Media, Inc.

Added new category - Kids Phrases (27 entries)

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
25 Ratings
All Versions:
30 Ratings


Osiyo! Cherokee-owned Thornton Media ( presents Cherokee Basic, the first Native American Indian language app available on the iTunes Store. Cherokee Basic, offers 460+ Cherokee words, phrases and syllabary entries by native speakers of the Oklahoma Cherokee tsalagi dialect. Included is a zoom-able syllabary chart! Begin learning the beautiful Cherokee language anywhere, anytime from native speakers of the language!

View demo video on youtube:

• A total of 467 professionally recorded audio entries for language learning
• 18 different categories: Daily Phrases, About Food, Kinship Terms, Pow-Wow, Concepts and Values, Numbers, Months, Days, Time, Colors, Human Body, Animals, Weather, Materials, People, Greetings, Message from your Teacher
• Practice all 84 sounds of the Cherokee Alphabet in separate entries
• Includes a zoom-able syllabary chart viewable horizontally or vertically
• Recordings by fluent speakers of the Oklahoma Cherokee dialect


A Cherokee genius named Sequoyah created the Cherokee alphabet so that Cherokees could learn to read and write their own language as the Europeans did. When he began working on his “talking leaves” many Cherokees thought he had gone crazy and accused him of witchcraft. After recognizing the value of his work, the Cherokee Nation rapidly began to use his syllabary and officially adopted it in 1825. The literacy rate of Cherokees quickly surpassed that of surrounding European-American settlers. Within 3 years the Cherokee Nation began publishing the Cherokee Phoenix Newspaper which is still published today HYPERLINK "". Sequoyah remains the only person in history to create a workable alphabet on his own.

Cherokee is disappearing
There are fewer than 7,000 native speakers of Cherokee in the US and most are over age 60. Existing revitalization efforts such as immersion schools produce a few speakers per year, not nearly fast enough to replace the elder speakers we are losing. Cherokee-owned Thornton Media has worked with over 100 tribes creating custom tools for their language programs. We offer the highest quality language tools available anywhere. We are completely self-funded and create our products without any assistance from anyone, including my tribe the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

We believe that language revitalization is a numbers game. The more Cherokee speakers that can be produced; the more chance the language has to survive. There are many Cherokees in the US, but not many speakers. I produced this language module with family members (mother, grandmother and aunt) and some friends from the Tahlequah area of Oklahoma. I hope this tool will heal save my endangered language.

Your iPod Cherokee Teachers:
Luella Vann Thornton(mom)
Lucinda Robbins(grandmother)
Della Wolfe
Harry Oohsawee
Cora Vann(aunt)

Wado! Thanks to all who helped to create Cherokee Basic. If there are any mistakes on this app they are mine, not those of the speakers, if you see any mistakes please contact me as we will be updating the app with more entries. All speakers were compensated for their work.

Thank you!

Don Thornton, President
Thornton Media, Inc.

Customer Reviews

  • Good app needs to more words and phrases

    by ᏕᏔᏍᎨᎩ

    Great and accurate. I want this app to continue to grow with new words and phrases. PLEASE! 5 stars when this happens

  • Great!!!!!

    by Leanne04

    I love it. I have found a few small errors but nothing big. Great for learning I hope to see more like this.

  • Great App.

    by Sunsearae

    In my family this is a forgotten language. I am grateful to have this app. I have already started teaching my children. And hope to teach others in my family as well. Knowledge is power. I look forward to speaking in the tongue that for generations has been lost to us.

  • This is a great app but some words are wrong

    by jeremyb66

    I have found wrong words one is do hi tsu, should be to hi tsu. You would say it ( too hee jew), how are you? It's the same letter in Cherokee but it has two sounds do/to. I will spend some time with this app and see what words are wrong and tell the app maker.

  • An Amazing Resource

    by mr.igor

    I was really surprised to see a program of such quality for the iPhone, let alone one that deals with a native language. Its really a pity that there aren't more apps like this one, since so many other languages are on the verge of disappearing forever too. I recommend this for anyone interested in learning the Cherokee language or in supporting language preservation. Five stars, and great work!

  • Yes, it was worth the money

    by Galagina Usdi

    The biggest advantage to this product is the range of linguistic samples. From daily expressions to vocabulary lists there is little missing for beginning and intermediate students. I suggest taking full advantage of the audio element of this program as both the syllabary and the romanization of words are often not consistent with the correct pronunciation offered in the recording. The most common example seems to be the use of the "te" character in place of the "da" character which, in Cherokee, very closely resemble one another in writing. There is only one voice recording for each word and if anyone was to update the program a male and female option per each entry would really help to encompass the potential variation in correct pronunciation. Compared to many other language apps available this app has a lot to offer and is invaluable to the serious (and fun for the not so serious) student.

  • Like having a little Tsalagi teacher in your pocket!

    by Dreams Unfolding

    This is the most amazing resource I've ever gotten my hands on. I've wanted to learn Tsalagi for ages, but can find no classes up in my neck of the woods. I'll be here to buy the next version when you expand this one! Wa do!

  • Amazing application

    by FlaSh xHSx

    Great application! Helps with the cherokee language very much and it is clean and very easy to use!!

  • Amazing! That is the best way to describe it.

    by TroubleMakr

    I absolutely love this app! I use it all the time. I am learning the basics VERY quickly, as this app is easy to use and very informative. I went from only knowing three Cherokee words (prior to purchasing the app) to being able to count from one to ten and back, say I love you, and hold a short conversation in Cherokee in only a matter of a few days. I recommend that anybody even remotely interested in indigenous languages and/or cultures should purchase this app at once. I am also looking forward to future products that this company has in the works. I can't wait to see what is next!

  • Cherokee Basic iPod app

    by FamousDave

    Gave it five stars. I can now tell my wife "I love you" and tell my kids "Clean up your room" in Cherokee. This app is good for your brain. I use this while I run or work out and try to learn one phrase a day. The quality of the sound is good and there are a lot of phrases, enough for me to learn Cherokee for a whole year. Thanks for the app!

  • I love the Cherokee app!

    by BigCitySkin

    COOL! A Cherokee language app, about time!!!. It's a pretty large collection with hundreds of words and phrases. Has the syllabary chart that Sequoyah created with pronunciations. Kids phrases, daily phrases, food etc... I grew up in Oklahoma but I now live in stinky Los Angeles. The speakers sound like my family back home. Can you hear my OK accent on this post?

  • A whole new world opened up...

    by MissyMay12

    When I was a little girl, I remembered the sound tsi-s-du but I don't know where it came from or what it meant.... Now I know, it's the word for rabbit. The app has alot of entries for animals. I like the way they put it together, very simple to use. Everyday I opened the app and played with it for a while and I learned 2-3 new things. I am a slow learner. Now when I see things, I would ask myself how to say this, how to say that and I would check the app. It's like a whole new world of knowledge opened up for me. The gift that was past down to me by the creator is now easily attainable. Wado! Do-na-da-gv- ho-i

  • I use it everyday!

    by Gosgli

    I am a cherokee speaker myself and I have to say I use this app everyday. Because I don't have people to speak with that often, some of the words are always forgotten and with this app I can easily access audio sounds files without checking the dictionary. My tsalagi improved alot ever since I downloaded this app. They also updated it with a new category and new words. I really enjoyed this app. Thank you for creating this app. I feel that with more people learning the language, it has more hope of being revived. Please accept my heartfelt THANK YOU! WADO!

  • A good beta version

    by Wohaliugugu

    Very good foundation but there are many very basic words that need to be added. All categories are missing fundamental words and phrases. This is more like the lite version on steroids. Very good program but needs a lot more content

  • Cherokee (Tsalagi) Native American Language Basic full of errors

    by jimmxyz

    This app is loaded with errors. One word is shown but the pronunciation is for a completely different word. Also, the written pronunciation shown is in error and different from the actual spoken pronunciation. There's a lot of work to be done to make this correct.

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