Translating for National Geographic

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Jesse Bruchac, Native American author and Abenaki language teacher, has just finished one of his biggest projects yet. Bruchac, who lives in Greenfield Center and grew up in Saratoga, was asked by National Geographic to be the translator for their new two-part special, “Saints and Strangers.”

“Saints and Strangers” tells the story of the pilgrims on the Mayflower, and follows their first year settling in America, as well as their interactions with the native people. National Geographic, wanting this show to be as realistic as possible, included the Eastern Algonquian language Western Abenaki, a language similar to what the pilgrims might’ve heard spoken by the Native Americans.

Today, only about a dozen people speak Western Abenaki in the world, making Bruchac’s contribution to the show that much more remarkable. Though Bruchac is very busy with the premiere of “Saints and Strangers,” he took some time to answer questions about his latest venture and share what his experience was like.

“Saints and Strangers” premieres on Sunday, November 22 at 9 p.m. and concludes on Monday, November 23 at 9 p.m. on National Geographic.

Read more: Saratoga Today

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