Klallam is a member of the Salishan or Salish family of languages and
is once spoken on the north shore of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in
the USA, and also at Becher Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia,
Canada. Today only five people speak Klallam, though efforts are being
made to revive the language.
A spelling system for Klallam was devised by linguist Timothy Montler of
the University of North Texas during the 1990s. Since then, Montler has been
documenting the language and helping the remaining speakers of Klallam to
produce teaching material.
The language is also know as Clallam, S’Klallam or Na’Klallam.
Sample text in Klallam
hiyáʔ č̕ə ƛ̕ácu cə čáʔsəʔ
níɬ č̕ə suʔčəm̕əsnə́kʷis.
suʔkʷčáŋəts cə náʔc̕uʔ,
“tx̣ʷéyn cxʷ ʔuč? hiyáʔ u cxʷ?
hiyáʔ u cxʷ ƛ̕ácu?” suʔqʷáys cə
náʔc̕uʔ ʔaʔ “ʔə́wə. hiyáʔ
cən ƛ̕ácu.” suʔƛ̕áys qʷáy cə
náʔc̕uʔ, “o, nəx̣čŋín tə či
It seems two deaf men were going fishing. They met. Then one hollered,
“Where are you going? Are you going? Are you going fishing?” The other one said,
“No. I’m going fishing.” Again the other one spoke, “Oh, I thought you were going fishing.”
Introduction to the Klallam Language
Information about the Klallam language
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe