Unangam Tunuu

Voices and Sounds of Unangan
Speak, Listen, Teach Lessons

Unangan Tunuu is a set of tools and resources for Unangan speakers and learners, including: dictionary, survival phrases, books & songs, flashcards and SLT Rides.

Unangam Adaan Maqam Malganangin

Ways of Life: Tools, Beliefs, Practices of Unangan

Unangam Adaan Maqam Malganangin is an online repository of Unangan cultural and historical information and documents, including: Genealogy and Census, Timeline, Sounds and Stories from the Perspective of Unangan.

Unangam Online

Unangan Language Community
on Facebook

TanamAwaa.com is working to create a Facebook community where Unangan speakers and learners can create and share Unangan language resources, tools and lessons.


Speak, Listen, Teach Lessons Explained

Speak, Listen, Teach   Lessons Explained     Techniques (TQs) Explained

First, an explanation on the parts of a lesson:

Lesson # – Lessons are numbered in the order the St. Paul Island SLT Team learned them – 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. And some lessons having a, b, c, d, and so on added to the number.  The ‘a, b, c…’ happened as we went further along and improve our knowledge.  We go back to a lesson and try to improve upon the order of the lessons for you by inputting additional lessons.  You may go back and add your own lessons as you go on your own Unangam Tunuu journey.  So don’t be alarmed don’t mean anything to you.  Along the way we decided to get the TQs in Unangam Tunuu from our fluent speakers.  We learned the TQs through ride so we stuck them into the list of lessons.  The lessons for the TQs are numbered Lesson TQ1, TQ2, and so on.

Title – the title of the lesson is written in the English form that fits as-closely-as-possible to the lesson’s Unangam Tunuu word or phrase.  Languages don’t always translate word-for-word between one another, so we use what we feel is the closest English form.

Read – This is the Unanga{ word or phrase you are to learn in the lesson.  Say it out loud and proud!  Use these to build your familiarity with seeing written Unangam Tunuu.  Practice your pronunciation and spelling.

Listen – Here it is the beautiful sound for you to hear, speak, and build your comprehension of Unangam Tunuu. Isn’t it wonderful?  Listen to it and “monkey” it…say it over and over again like you would a favorite song.  When you speak it, you will begin to taste its goodness and this can serve to motivate you in your journey to keep Unangam Tunuu alive!  Like all good things you must taste it more than once.  Establish a daily speaking exercise routine.  Try to speak at least one word or phrase all day today; Say it three times!  But this is not the way you’ll learn to use Unangam Tunuu.  And that, my friends, is why you must teach it.  Teaching it will make you speak it to others and speak it many times giving you added opportunity to firm your Unangam Tunuu journey.  This is important! I remind you – ‘The only time you are speaking a language wrong is if you are not speaking it at all!’

Hand Sign – Here is either a photo of the hand sign or a suggested website address for you to acquire the hand sign for the Unanga{ word/phrase.  Signed language is beautiful in so many ways.  It is pretty awesome to look at.  And it is helpful to us.  It helps with learning Unangam Tunuu by giving a physical prompt to speak Unangam Tunuu.  So, add this to your routine-sign the word as you say its Unangam Tunuu version.  And Bam! you are learning two languages at once.

Ride –This is where you learn-to-teach and teach-to-learn Unangam Tunuu.  Remember speaking combined with participatory teaching is key to keeping Unangam Tunuu alive.  You are ready to ride when you know the TQs enough to teach them and can say the word(s) or phrase(s) in sign and Unangam Tunuu in a lesson.  Then you’re ready to teach it.  The document will be referred to as the ride card.

Look at Lesson 1 and let’s use it to become familiar with parts of a ride card and how to use them to ride.

  1. The ride card contains various pieces of information sectioned out in two parts.
    1. The top half of ‘the card’ has the Ride Title, which is the word/phrase(s) to be learned, the Unit, the Lesson #, Target Grammar, if it was Verified with a fluent speakerand if so when, by who, and where.  It also has a recommended Number of players, Prerequisite Grammar and Vocabulary words, and the Set Up as in props and information about them as needed. Some of the fields are blank.  We may have more specific information in our on island records.
    2. The bottom half is ‘the ride’ and it starts with ‘Craig’s List’-words or word groups that somehow go together with the word in this lesson, Techniques in general, Lesson-Specific Techniques if any, Special notes to streamline the lesson or the learning, and then it has the TQS to use in this ride which in the case of Lesson 1 are-All of you, monkey me, Three times; and My turn/your turn, Monkey me, Three times.  At the very bottom of the card is the ‘dialogue’ that happens between two players-Achigana{ speaks and Achigaqa{ responds. This is it folks-the magic of speaking to one and other in Unangam Tunuu!
    3. There are at least three different types of ride card templates.  The template type is identified in the top right corner of a ride card.  The three types of templates are- 1) New Bite, the template used for Lesson 1, which is used for a new word or phrase in the order of lessons.  A New Bite lesson will typically most always start with the following TQs-all of you, monkey me, three times; so everyone gets introduced to the word/phrase and gets the opportunity to speak it all together.  2) The My Turn Your Turn template is used to provide the opportunity for a small conversation of sorts.  This template will have the TQs-all of you, monkey me, one time; so all riders get the whole of the dialogue before they go into a dialogue with one other player; hence My turn/your turn. 3) The ‘Wild Ride!’ template is where riders get to strut their Unangam Tunuu.  It consists of all the words and phrases learned from all the previous lessons.
  2. Print out the ride card.  You can fold it half if you wish.
  3. Set up the ride with props, if any, following the ‘Set Up’ section on the top half of the card. TV trays are a handy sized space over which to ride with others.  Have props, if any, ready on the TV tray before going on the ride. Remove all objects that do not pertain to the ride.  If you have a series of rides, set up other TV trays with the props and the ride cards and move to those TV trays sequentially.  For some reason, moving to another tray adds to the ambience of this whole method.  Think Las Vegas.  Cha-ching! 

The Ride

  1. The first player should check if there are any lesson-specific techniques or special notes on the bottom half of the card.  If any follow them as is necessary.
  2. The first player should know how to sign and say the word in Unangam Tunuu in this lesson and know, at the very least, the Instructional TQs. Remember, once you put it out there others can remind you if you forget.  That’s the beauty of this.  So, don’t wait to be perfect at it.  Just do it!
  3. She/he starts the ride by stating the ‘Ride Title’, which is the first piece of information on the card. So for Lesson 1 the first player says, “The title of this ride is This.”  From here on avoid English! Use Signs and Unangam Tunuu.
  4. First player then signs (and if known, say in Unangam Tunuu) to the group.  ‘All of you, monkey me, three times,’ then says, “waya,” while signing ‘this’ towards the rock, “waya,” while signing ‘this’ towards the cup, and “waya,” while signing ‘this’ at the pen.   All together other players repeat the sign and the word towards the three props.
  5. Then the first player (now Achigana{) turns to the person on his/her left (now Achigaqa{) and signs my turn/your turn, monkey me, three times and says, “waya,” while pointing at rock, “waya,” while pointing at cup, and “waya,” while pointing at pen.  Achigaqa{ repeats what Achigana{ said. This happens three times.  Then Achigana{ signs: Again? Enough? And Achigana{ signs a response.  If Achigaqa{ signs ‘enough’ then Achigana{ passes the ride by signing: your turn, and the position of Achigana{ is now passed to Achigaqa{.  This goes around until all riders have learned this lesson.
  6. Remember this lesson had “Special notes” that said Doing Lessons 1, 2, and 3 together is best for comprehension.  Go right to Lesson 2, then 3…follow instructions as stated above in 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  7. To see how a ride works, visit www.whereareyourkeys.org.  There you will find videos of a variety of rides in a variety of languages.