• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 34s

Anchorage man hopes to revitalize Ahtna language with new children’s book

By Heather Hintze 9:32 PM December 17, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

It all starts with a story.

“Ndoxe Tiziyaas?” asked Grant Rebne.

That’s half of the title of his new children’s book, with the other half translating to English as “Where are you going?” Rebne hopes the book will inspire people to learn and preserve his native language, Ahtna.

“Our language shows our culture,” Rebne said. “It’s who we are. It teaches so much more than just how to speak in Ahtna. It tells about our people and where we’ve been and how our people think.”

The book is just in the beginning stages. Rebne still needs to find an artist to bring his story to life. He also has a Kickstarter page to raise $9,000 for publishing.

“Ndoxe Tiziyaas” would also come with an audio CD. Rebne worked with three elders to make sure the pronunciations were perfect.

“We wrote out how it would sound in Ahtna. They let me record it,” he said. “I spent time trying to translate it going back and forth, and this is the result of it.”

The Ahtna language isn’t easy on English speakers, and that goes for Rebne’s Native name as well.

“C’edahwdełdiixen,” he said. “It’s got a couple of guttural stops, the barred ł, the x in there, the hw.”

A lot of the letter combinations — dz, dl, tl — can’t be found in many of the romance languages.

“We have 39 different sounds in Ahtna and 19 of them are not found in English. It’s very different.” Rebne said.

Rebne is a new father; his 6-month-old daughter, Hadley, stars in his Kickstarter video. For him, the book is about taking the language of his ancestors and passing it on to a new generation.

“Yidi ts’ilaen?” he asked. “Who will we be after we lose our language?”

Latest Stories

  • News

    Hiland Mountain plant sale starts Tuesday

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 22, 20:21

    The plant sale at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center is an event that some people wait all year for. Not just the people who come to buy beautiful hanging baskets but the inmates who grow them, as well. The sale has been going on for at least 20 years, according to Superintendent Gloria Johnson. Most of […]

  • Politics

    Alaska House approves measure limiting opioid prescriptions

    by Liz Raines on May 22, 20:14

    On Monday, the Alaska House passed a bill to limit initial opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply. House Bill 159 is part of a push from Governor Bill Walker’s administration to address the state’s growing opioid epidemic, which Walker declared a disaster in February. While members of the House spent nearly four hours debating the […]

  • Politics

    Sullivan’s town hall highlights senators’ difference on Planned Parenthood funding

    by Heather Hintze on May 22, 20:07

    Senator Dan Sullivan’s (R-Alaska) town hall in Anchorage over the weekend highlighted how he and fellow republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) differ on funding for Planned Parenthood. He discussed a variety of topics from fighting opioid abuse to diversifying our economy, but it was the topic of healthcare that really got the crowd engaged. “My […]

  • Weather

    Record rainfall recorded across SE Alaska

    by Melissa Frey on May 22, 17:18

    Significant rain fell across most of Southcentral and Southeast Alaska this weekend as a storm system moved in from the Gulf of Alaska. For Southcentral, this was the wettest day seen in months. Anchorage picked up 0.25 inches of rain on Sunday alone. This was the most rain recorded in Anchorage since late-September of 2016. […]

  • News

    Search underway for 2 overdue boaters

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 22, 17:13

    Late Monday morning, a search began for two overdue boaters in Togiak. The Togiak Village Public Safety Officer contacted Alaska State Police around 11:15 Monday morning to report two overdue boaters. Troopers say Simeon Wassillie and Stephanie Poulsen, both 25, left the village on Saturday in an 18-foot, blue, open hull, 35hp boat and were […]

  • News

    APD seeks runaway teen, 15

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 22, 16:58

    Police are asking for your help in locating a missing teen they say ran away from home. Celonia Rainey, 15, was last seen in the 5200 block of Chena Avenue in east Anchorage Sunday afternoon around 1. Celoina is described as a light-skinned black female, standing 5-foot-7 and weighing about 165 pounds. She has short […]

  • News

    ASD to hand out 220 pink slips on Wednesday

    by Shannon Ballard on May 22, 16:35

    It’s the final countdown for Anchorage students, as there are just two days left until summer break. But, this year, it’s not just graduates who won’t be returning to their old classrooms this fall. More than 200 pink slips are all set to go out on Wednesday. This comes after five were already given to five […]

  • News

    North Korea fires medium-range missile in latest test

    by CBS News on May 22, 15:57

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Sunday fired a medium-range missile, U.S. and South Korean officials said, in the latest ballistics test for a country speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles. One U.S. official said it appeared to be a successful test of the land-based version of North Korea’s sub-launched missile, […]