Updated: 10 Rvfo-Cusē (January), 2003

Before We Begin--A Brief Word to Students and Teachers

Each Creek speaking community maintains its own peculiar accent, vocabulary and conversational idiom. Each thinks it is the best and the rest, always suspect, are not quite so correct. Although it may vary from place to place, the written language is never quite so expressive or accurate as the spoken word in any community.

If improperly used, the written form of a language, devoid of all visual cues such as facial expressions and body movement, localized context, can and often does lead to terrifying and damaging misinformation, misunderstandings and to problems which often never become resolved. The river of ink flowing from a pen seldom flows backwards. Writing a language well is far more important than learning to speak it--paid close heed to what you learn and how you use it. You see, the written word and the spoken word are really two very different things. Whichever you do, do it well.

The written word, at best, is only a shadow of its language. Shadows never do more than outline or define the shape of things. To catch a shadow, catch the thing. In this case, that means learn Creek. These written lessons will aid you immensely. However, from these lessons you cannot actually learn a Muskogee language. Only you can teach yourself a language. And, you can only do that by attempting to communicate in that language at any level, even if it is only knowing and using a few simple words. In addition, you will need to listen carefully and ask questions aplenty! These lessons can serve you as a sturdy support, a quick reference and a ready supply of words, sample sentences and grammar tidbits. As with any language, its native speakers will be proud of your efforts and eager to help at every turn. Of course, you will probably give them startled moments of laughter and may even cause them to think of their own language in a new light as they attempt to answer your inevitable questions of "how and why." As you self-learn and others help, you will both enlarge your own universe and deepen your own understanding of humankind's many and different ways. And, you will discover the joys of Nēnē Mvskokē, The Muskogee Way!

Ocesvlke Pvlvcekolv em Mekko
Pine Arbor Tribal Town, Apalachicola Creek Nation

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