Answer Key: Reclaiming our Languages

Eloise Kadlecek and Shoshana Promer

This sample answer key corresponds to the Reclaiming our Languages chapter. Keep in mind, in most cases, there may be more than one way to answer a question.


Exercise 2.1

In several communities in the Tlacolula Valley, the word chan or chana is used in greetings. If you know this word, try to find its meaning in the colonial corpus. Think of another word that you use every day and try to find its meaning on Ticha. Did you find it? What were the challenges you faced? Did you learn anything interesting in this process?

Are there any words that you remember your grandparents or other older people using, even if you’re not sure of them? Do you know of any historical documents written in your language? Do you know how to access these? (If you don’t remember how to look up a word on Ticha or you haven’t read how to do it, it would be good to review the introductory module on Ticha again.)

Chana is listed in the CVZ dictionary on Ticha as ‘Sir, Lady, or Lord’. Answers will vary.


Exercise 2.2

In your community, are people still using your native language for counting? How high can you count in the language? If counting knowledge is being lost in your community, is there a way to get it back? If possible, how could you recover it? How could you start to use these numbers and encourage others to adopt them in their daily speech?

Answers will vary.


Exercise 3.1

As I mentioned above, the words zutsily, zutya, zutyal, and zutcai still exist in my community. Can you find their equivalents in Colonial Zapotec in Figure 4? Be creative, remember that the written form may be different than today’s!

Current Community Version Figure 4 Version Dictionary Version English
Zutsily coocilla socilia east
Zutya coochee sochi west
Zutyal cootola zotola north
Zutcai coocahoi zocahui south


Exercise 3.2

Have you learned some words in your language that have meanings that you did not know? What resources or people have you consulted to help you understand their meaning?

Answers will vary.


Exercise 3.3

Are there any concepts or ideas that you think do not exist in your language? Have you ever thought “there is no way to say this in my language”? You can look through the Ticha documents for concepts that you would like to learn in a Zapotec language.

Answers will vary.



Caseidyneën Saën - Learning Together Copyright © by Eloise Kadlecek and Shoshana Promer. All Rights Reserved.

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