Tlingit Children’s Book

Nice piece in The Guardian about a Tlingit version of the story of The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. The story is now about bears!

The first comment is very odd though:

It is very strange that to someone who doesn’t speak a language, its words look impossible and awkward – I presume “Xóodzi” means “Bear” but not knowing how the “Xó” or “dzi” are pronounced makes it seem alien compared to seeing something like “l’ours” or “Bär”

This sort of attitude would be less surprising from someone who was clearly monolingual, but once you realise that the sound-meaning correspondence is arbitrary for ‘bear’ and ‘l’ours’ and so on, why should Tlingit be so surprising?

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