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Tutchone (Dän k'í / Dän k'è)

Tutchone is an Athabaskan language spoken in the Yukon Territory in Canada by about 350 people. There are two varieties of Tutchone: Southern Tutchone and Northern Tutchone, which are sometimes considered separate languages. Each variety has a number of different dialects, which are mutually intelligible.

Southern Tutchone (Dän k'è) is spoken in the communities of Aishihik, Burwash Landing, Champagne, Haines Junction, Kloo Lake, Klukshu, Lake Laberge, and Whitehorse in Yukon.

Northern Tutchone (Dän k'í) is spoken in the communities of Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Stewart Crossing, Carmacks, and Beaver Creek in Yukon.

Southern Tutchone was first documented in the 1970s by Daniel Tlen, a native of Burwash who studied linguistics at the University of Victoria. He compiled language lessons, a dictionary of nouns and a collection of songs and stories, assisted by Jessie Joe, Mary Jacquot, Copper Lilly Johnson and Lena Johnson. Margatet Workman also documented her Southern Tutchone language and culture at the Yukon Native Language Centre.

Since the early 1980s there have been classes in Southern Tutchone in Yukon schools, and the language is currently taught in schools in Whitehorse, Haines Junction and at Kluane Lake. Southern Tutchone is also used in a kindergarten in Haines Junction in a bi-cultural program.

Northern Tutchone alphabet and pronunciation

Northern Tutchone alphabet and pronunciation


Southern Tutchone alphabet and pronunciation

Southern Tutchone alphabet and pronunciation


Download an alphabet chart for Tutchone (Excel)

Details of Tutchone pronunciation supplied by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample text (Southern Tutchone)

Nä̀sghèy’ish hanay né’į män ke nàdhät.


Nèshghèy'ikh sees a bull mouse standing in the water.



Information about Tutchone

Na-Dené languages

Apache, Babine-Witsuwit'en, Chilcotin, Chipewyan, Deg Xinag, Dane-zaa (Beaver), Eyak, Gwich'in, Hän, Hupa, Jicarilla, Koyukon, Mescalero-Chiricahua, Navajo, Sarcee, Sekani, Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib), Tutchone

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet

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