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Olympic Peninsula, Wa

The “Original 6” Languages of the Olympic Peninsula

“The Original 6” is a term hockey purists use to differentiate the original NHL teams from the newer teams added throughout the years. Starting in 1942-42, the NHL consisted of these six teams. For twenty-five years, fans of the National Hockey League had just six choices and six regions that made them unique from the others. Each fan base was a little different from the others, and each had a different way of talking with different accents and dialects. Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, Detroit and New York; each city has its own accent, yet is able to be understood by the others. Aside from Montreal, of course.

 

Now that you are thinking about languages and the number six, we can get to the point of this post. While hockey has next to nothing to do with the Olympic Peninsula, the number six plays an important role in the makeup of the region. Before the European settlement/occupation, the Olympic Peninsula had six distinct regions, separated by a language variation that was distinguishable enough to be classified as six separate language dialects. The dialects were part of three larger language families, each unique to the Pacific Northwest. While we could go into detail about the cultural and linguistic differences, for the sake of awesomeness and brevity, we give you the quick facts about the languages of the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park.

 

The Languages of the Pacific Northwest

The Languages of the Pacific Northwest

The Salish Impact

 

Dialect: Klallam

Lake Crescent, an important part of the Klallam History

Lake Crescent, an important part of the Klallam History

 

Location: Port Angeles/Sequim Region

Status of the Language: This is nearly extinct: http://bit.ly/1gRm37m

Who is learning it: Basic Language for Heritage usage taught in K-12 Schools

AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/18FLNjm

More info: http://www.ethnologue.com/language/clm

 

Dialect:Twana

Staircase Rapids in the Twana Region of the Olympic Peninsula

Staircase Rapids in the Twana Region of the Olympic Peninsula

 

Location: Hood Canal

Status of the Language: Only used for heritage and pride, but no one has more than a base knowledge.

Who is learning it: No Official Educational Use

Last Fluent Speaker: Died in 1980

AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/18FLNjm

More info: http://www.ethnologue.com/language/twa

 

Dialect: Quinault

Lake Quinault

Lake Quinault

 

Location: Quinault Region to Taholah and Queets

Status of the Language: Only used for heritage and pride, but no one has more than a base knowledge.

Who is learning it: Classes are taught at the school in Taholah, but so far no real progress has been made.

AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/JgbBHv

More info: http://www.ethnologue.com/language/qun

 

Dialect: Lushootseed

Mount Rainier from the Olympic Peninsula

Mount Rainier from the Olympic Peninsula

 

Location: Puget Sound

Status of the Language: This is nearly extinct.

Who is learning it: Taught at some local colleges and community outreach by elders

AREA HIKES: The Cascades and Mount Rainier

More Info: http://www.ethnologue.com/language/lut

 

 

The Chimakuan Impact

Dialect: Quileute

Welcome to the land of the Quileute

Welcome to the land of the Quileute

 

Location: The Beaches of Lapush, up the Hoh River and a small section near Quilcene.

Status of the Language: Only used for heritage and pride, but no one has more than a base knowledge.

Who is learning it: Taught in schools starting in the 1970s, but minimally.

AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/IOv3Ka

More Info: http://www.ethnologue.com/language/qui

 

 

The Wakashan Impact

 

Dialect: Makah

Cape Flattery

Land of the Makah

 

Location: Northwestern-most point of the Olympic Peninsula.

Status of the Language: Right now, the only active users of this language are the elderly

Who is learning it: It is taught bilingually in preschool, and then ongoing throughout the schooling on the reservation.

AREA HIKES: http://bit.ly/19JYog5

More Info: http://www.ethnologue.com/language/myh

 

 

2 Responses so far.

  1. pacho says:

    Piss on natgeo

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