How to say Lake Calhoun's Dakota name: 'Bde Maka Ska'

The new signs include the lake's Dakota name
Signs at Lake Calhoun have been changed to include the lake's Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska. The new signs were approved by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The signs updated on Oct. 2, 2015.
Peter Cox | MPR News

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board added "Bde Maka Ska" to signs around Lake Calhoun earlier this fall.

The move came after more than a 1,000 people signed a petition asking the board to rename the lake, saying "Lake Calhoun" represents a history of slavery and racism.

The lake was named after John Caldwell Calhoun, a South Carolina statesman, former vice president, senator, secretary of state and proponent of slavery. He is infamously known for preaching slavery as "a positive good" in the 1800s.

It's a tricky one for English speakers. That's got many would-be adopters stumbling over their words, unsure how to get it right. Turns out it's pretty straightforward, says Neil McKay, who teaches the Dakota language at the University of Minnesota. Listen to him say the name:

And, once you nail Bde Maka Ska, why not master the neighboring lakes as well? The Dakota name for Lake Harriet means "The Other Lake":

And here's a quick primer of some other, other lakes, Lake of the Isles and Lake Minnetonka:

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