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Dene Language (Chipewyan)

Dene Suline is an Athabaskan language of Northern Canada. Formerly known as "Chipewyan," most community members prefer the name Dene, which simply means "people." or Dene Suline, which means "original people." These names can be seen spelled in several different ways including Dënë, Dené, Denesuline, Dene Soline, Denésoliné, Dënësųłı̨në, or Dënesųłı̨né. The reason for all the different spellings is that Dene was not traditionally a written language, and different orthographies have been developed over time.

Though many Dene people are bilingual in Chippewa or Cree, the Dene language is actually not related to those languages at all, but rather to further-flung languages such as Navajo and Gwich'in. Dene Suline is spoken by around 4000 Native people in Northern Canada today.

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Dene Language
Dene Suline language samples and resources.

Dene Tribe Culture and History
Information and links about the Dene Nation past and present.

Dene Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to common questions about the lifestyle of Dene people.

Dene Legends
Introduction to the mythology of the Denes.

Dene Language Resources

Our Dene Language Materials

Dene Vocabulary:
    Our list of vocabulary words in the Dene language, with comparison to words in other Athabaskan languages.
Dene Animal Words:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Dene language.

Dene Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

    Dene orthography and text example.
Dene Language Description:
    Overview of the Dene Suline language.
Native Languages of Saskatchewan:
    Language courses in Cree, Saulteaux, Nakota, Dakota, and Dene
Chipewyan Language * Chipewyan Description * Chipewyan Grammar * Chipewyan Orthography * Chipewyan Text * Cold Lake Chipewyan:
    Scanned-in Dene language materials from the Rosetta Project.
Dene Elders Speak:
    Stories in Cree and Dene, with English translation.
Dene Place Names of the Northwest Territories:
    Map of the Great Slave Lake region labeled with traditional Dene names and their meanings.
Chipewyan Dene Prayers * Language Museum: Chipewyan:
    Dene translations of the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary.
Chipewyan Language Plaque:
    Canadian human rights tribute written in Dene Suline.
Chipewyan Language Tree:
    Theories about Dene Suline's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Dene Language Structures:
    Dene linguistic profile and academic bibliography.

Dene Language Community and Tools

Dene Font Homepage:
    Dene fonts for free download. Available for Windows and Mac.

Dene Language Preservation and Usage

Project to Save Dying Chipewyan Language:
    Article on language loss and revitalization among the Dene Indians.
House of Languages: Chipewyan:
     Information about Dene language usage.
Ethnologue: Chipewyan:
    Demographic information about the Dene Indian language.
*Chipewyan Vocabulary:
    Early 20th-century wordlists of the Dene langauge.

Dene Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
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Dene (Chipewyan) Dictionary:
    A Dene-English-Dene dictionary for sale.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Wikipedia: Dene Language:
Encyclopedia articles on the Dene Suline language.
La Lengua Chippewyan:
Information about the Dene language in Spanish.
Dene link pages.

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