Lakota Dictionary: Lakota-English/English-Lakota

Front Cover
Eugene Buechel, Paul Manhart
U of Nebraska Press - Foreign Language Study - 530 pages
5 Reviews
The most complete and up-to-date dictionary of Lakota available, this new edition of Eugene Buechel's classic dictionary contains over thirty thousand entries and will serve as°an essential resource for everyone interested in preserving, speaking, and writing the Lakota language today.

This new comprehensive edition has been reorganized to follow a standard dictionary format and offers a range of useful features: both Lakota-to-English and English-to-Lakota sections; the grouping of principal parts of verbs; the translation of all examples of Lakota word usage; the syllabification of each entry word, followed by its pronunciation; and a lucid overview of Lakota grammar.

This monumental new edition celebrates the vitality of the Lakota language today and will be a valuable resource for students and teachers alike.

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Unlike the other reviewers, I give this 5 stars because of its historical significance. Most Lakota friends I have tell me that the words are "all wrong" when I ask them what it means... There are many reasons for this: perhaps academia, regionalism, education of the speakers, and cultural impasses.
that said, if you use this book to try to learn the language, well... good luck. Not only is conjugating a sentence nearly impossible (even with the grammar book that goes along with this one), but most of the words are incomprehensibly long and never broken down for a beginner to learn from.
The Lakota language, not unlike its culture, is not a rosetta stone language. It has gender differences, early language/newer language difference, on and on and on.... the newest dictionary put out by the Lakota Language Consortium (called the New Lakota Dictionary) is the best out there so far, but even still, is not for the faint of heart.
the best way to learn the language is IMMERSION. This is a language of great depth and cultural variation. Family to family things differ.
I don't care if a dictionary EVER DOES get written solving the language! that is part of the joy of the lakota culture.
and lastly, if you are an academician, you may indeed enjoy this old dictionary, and hats off to you. But I don't think even contemporary linguists could possibly learn the language from this book. Again, I think this book has served a cultural purpose of saving a language that may very well have become extinct, and was a very very good, and generous effort by the Jesuit scholar who wrote it.

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Written by Europeans thru the European cultural filter; it is cumbersome at best. Relatively complete, but the pronunciation guide is lousy no matter which edition you have, because the marks are not well explained & there is no phonetic pronunication included. If you're a linguist, with training in all the marks used to denote nuance, it may be OK but if you want to learn to speak & understand Lakhota, this is not for your. The paperback version has many more errors than the hardcover, too, which compounds problems. I much prefer Albert White Hat Sr's effort. Written by a Lakhota Elder, brought up in the culture, with far less 'cultural filtering' than the Buechel-Manhart effort. I speak many languages, including my own (Lakhota). 

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About the author

Eugene Buechel, S.J., (1874?1954) spent much of his life working among the Lakotas and recording their words and stories. He is the author of Lakota Tales and Text in Translation.

Paul Manhart, S.J., is a pastoral assistant at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

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