The Vocabulary of Standing Rock – Lakota Words In the News

Earlier this week, over one million people from around the world “checked in” to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation via Facebook. “Checking in” is an easy way for people to show support for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.  The tribe is protesting oil pipeline construction that they believe threatens their water supply as well as sacred archaeological sites.

But let’s leave politics aside for the moment. As the visibility of the protest has grown, so has the visibility of the tribes’ native language. Do you want to learn more about the Sioux language? Are you curious about the meaning of native words you’ve seen protestors and supporters use? Here are some fast facts about the language and some Sioux translations.

Fast Facts About the Sioux Languages

  • 20 to 30 thousand native speakers of Dakota and Lakota, the two major Sioux dialects, still live today in North America.
  • Linguists often classify Dakota and Lakota as separate languages, and each has its own dialects and subdialects. However, they are so closely related that they are mostly mutually intelligible.
  • Counting all dialects together, Sioux is the fifth most common indigenous language in North America.
  • That said, Ethnologue lists it as threatened because not enough children are learning it.
  • Sioux has some words that only one gender uses. For example, only men use the greeting “Hau.” The female equivalent is “han.”
  • You can watch the Berenstain Bears in Lakota. 

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6 Truths About Multilingual Customer Service You Need to Know 

When it comes to customer service, is one language enough? More and more often, the answer is “no.” You have to be able to communicate with your customers, even if they don’t speak English. That said, each organisation has unique multilingual customer service needs and capabilities. Here are 6 facts and statistics about multilingual customer service to help you determine how best to serve your global customer base.

Multilingual Customer Service Increases Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction

Did you know that your customers are more likely to come back if you offer customer support in their language? It’s true!

In fact, according to as 2014 report from Common Sense Advisory, 74% of customers would be more likely to purchase from a company that offered post-sales support in their language.

Meanwhile,  a 2014 report from ICMI yielded these insights:

  • 71.5% of customer service leaders interviewed “said support in a customer’s native language increased their satisfaction with customer support.
  • 58.4% said it increased their loyalty to the brand.

Multilingual Customer Service: One Weird Trick to Make Your Customers Trust You

You want your customers to trust you, right? Of course you do. It’s no surprise that people prefer to hand over their hard earned money to organisations that they trust. And they trust people who speak their language and speak it well.

For example, in an interview with, Martin Hope of the British Council observed that
“companies that learn the language of the countries they do business with will thrive in the future, making it easier to build trust relationships and helping them to understand how people think.”

Meanwhile, in ICMI’s 2014 report on multilingual customer service [PDF], one call center manager observed that  “Our callers trust us more and think we are providing more accurate information when we speak to them in their native language.”

And a 2014 report by Whale Path found that thought leaders in various industries called multilingual customer service “a   useful   tool   in   establishing   trust   and  leveraging  care  and  activities  an  aggregate  75%  of  the  time.”  Read more

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