The Cherokee speak an Iroquoian language, which is written in a syllabary invented by Sequoyah (a.k.a. George Guess). He had seen English writing, but misunderstood how it worked; thus, each symbol represents a syllable rather than a single sound, and while some symbols resemble Latin alphabet letters, the sounds are completely different (the form of the letter for "a" resembles Latin D, for example).
Cherokee, or Tsalagi (it's name in its own language), like most Native American languages is polysynthetic. As in the case of German or Latin, units of meaning, called morphemes, are linked together and occasionally form very long words. Cherokee verbs, constituting the most important word type, must contain as a minimum a pronominal prefix, a verb root, an aspect suffix, and a modal suffix. For example, the verb form ke:ka, "I am going," has each of these elements. The pronominal prefix is k-, which indicates first person singular. The verb root is -e, "to go." The aspect suffix that this verb employs for the present-tense stem is -k-. The present-tense modal suffix for regular verbs in Cherokee is -a. Verbs can also have prepronominal prefixes, reflexive prefixes, and derivative suffixes. Given all possible combinations of affixes, each regular verb can have 21,262 inflected forms.