The original language of Los Angeles is Tongva
Pamela Munro writes about the challenges and rewards of revitalizing and resurrecting a North American First People's language that had lost all of its native speakers.
Our Gabrielino-Tongva Language Committee has put together a phrasebook—including everything from Chongaa'aa kukuume'a! ("Wash the dishes!") to 'Wiishmenokre ("I love you")—and a little book about animals. We've had to figure out a lot of things using creativity, common sense, and comparison with other local languages. Now we have a Coyote story (a moral tale like those in Aesop's Fables), the Christmas story, and a version of the Aquarium of the Pacific's blue whale story.