Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Ayiaearel
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Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Ayiaearel » 2007-09-29, 19:58

Does anyone know this language? They offer a class at my school, but I didn't have enough class periods to take it (plus, I've heard the teacher's really bad). I don't know of any reliable resources to learn it.

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Postby Nero » 2007-09-30, 0:14

I have a few books/workbooks on Navajo and Western Apache (which is called "Navajo with a funny accent"), but from what I see, there are a lot of irregular verbs, agglunation, a couple of tones, etc etc.

It's a very nice language but not one that really attracts me. I know that Pastorant has a good knowledge of the language also, perhaps he could add something here.
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Ayiaearel
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Postby Ayiaearel » 2007-09-30, 1:21

I mostly want to learn it since I plan on returning to New Mexico sometime after college. I'm pretty sure I have Navajo ancestors too. It seems like a pretty interesting language though.

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Postby Ayiaearel » 2007-12-28, 5:18

I found some books on Navajo at the public library, so I stole one and started through it. It doesn't explain verbs very in-depthly (it just give charts to memorize). I learned pronunciation and how to say a few things...

Yá'át'ééh - Hello (literally: "It's good")
Aaron wolyé - My name is Aaron
Bee'eldííldahsinildi shighan - I live in Albuquerque
Bilagáana nishł́į - I am a white person

It's exciting.
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Postby Babelfish » 2007-12-28, 19:56

Good luck :wink: Navajo would've been on my list if I had any time soon... It's foreign, different and complicated - I've read the Wikipedia article about it and it seems extremely complicated - and has an interesting heritage, having been used as a cipher language in World War II exactly because of its complexity 8)

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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Formiko » 2008-08-08, 7:34

I just found this thread. I know a little Navajo. The best way to learn it is from Colleges that offer it, and talk to the professor or dean of students if you can buy a textbook or take a distance class.

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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby limoneneis » 2010-05-17, 17:40

Is anybody else learning Navajo?

I am using the textbook "Diné bizaad: Speak, Read, Write Navajo" with audio.

You can also buy children's books in Navajo with audio at this site, although I haven't tried it yet:

http://www.salinabookshelf.com/
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Formiko » 2010-05-17, 21:56

limoneneis wrote:Is anybody else learning Navajo?

I am using the textbook "Diné bizaad: Speak, Read, Write Navajo" with audio.

You can also buy children's books in Navajo with audio at this site, although I haven't tried it yet:

http://www.salinabookshelf.com/


Well, I speak Cherokee and Mohawk and I can hold my own in Navajo.

Ahéhee’

(There is no such terms as "good luck" or "good day' in most Amerindian languages. You get what you put into it :)
But ahéhee' will suffice.
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby limoneneis » 2010-05-20, 18:49

Ah, Formiko, then maybe you can answer my questions if I have any :D
I don't think I will get very far though, considering the few resources that are out there. Even the official websites are not available in Navajo.

Here you can hear Navajo spoken:

http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/tferna ... onvers.htm
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Formiko » 2010-05-20, 22:18

limoneneis wrote:Ah, Formiko, then maybe you can answer my questions if I have any :D
I don't think I will get very far though, considering the few resources that are out there. Even the official websites are not available in Navajo.


There are more resources available for Navajo than any other Native American language. Most are in book form though.
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby limoneneis » 2010-05-21, 16:21

Formiko wrote:There are more resources available for Navajo than any other Native American language. Most are in book form though.


That sounds encouraging, and Navajo also has more speakers than other North American languages. But still... for example Kalaallisut only has 57,000 speakers but it's an official language. They have a lot of websites in Kalaallisut, news on television and radio shows, newspapers and a lot of books. Maybe it will just take some more time and more Navajo resources will appear. :yep:
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby limoneneis » 2010-05-21, 17:03

I just did a translation exercise from my book:

Lorenzo is a Navajo boy. He has a mother and a father. His mother's name is Frances. His father's name is Robert. They live at Window Rock. He has an older and a younger brother. He has no older sister but has a younger sister. His older brother is called Tom. His younger brother's name is Joey. His younger sister's name is Gerry. Lorenzo has a maternal grandfather and grandmother. They live at Ft. Defiance. His paternal grandparents live at Gallup.

He is Navajo but is learning English. At home he is learning Navajo.


Here is my translation, corrections are welcome :) :

Ashkii Lorenzo t'áá diné nilį́. Bimá dóó bizhé'é hólǫ́. Bimá Frances wolyé. Bizhé'é Robert wolyé. Tségháhoodzáníidi bighan. Bínaaí dóó bitsilí hólǫ́. Bídí doo hólǫ́ǫ da ndi bideezhí hólǫ́. Bínaaí Tom wolyé. Bitsilí Joey wolyé. Bideezhí Gerry wolyé. Lorenzo éí bicheii dóó bimá sání hólǫ́. Tséhootsooíidi bighan. Binálí hastiin dóó binálí asdzą́ą́ Na'nízhoozhíidi bighan.

T'áá diné nilį́ ndi bilagáana bizaad yíhooł'aah. Hooghandi diné bizaad yíhooł'aah.

(This font puts the acute accent after the letter if there is an ogonek, but they should both be on the same letter.)

Now I have a some questions:
- Can I just use "binálí" for both paternal grandparents instead of saying paternal grandfather and paternal grandmother?
- When would I use "dabighan"? My book says "bighan" was duoplural and "dabighan" plural, but it also says that you don't use this plural much. So when would you use plural? There are some examples where there are three people and they use duoplural. Would you use plural if there were a thousand people? Or people in general?
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby limoneneis » 2010-06-04, 16:15

Ayiaearel wrote:Aaron wolyé - My name is Aaron

If you want to say "My name is Aaron" it should be "Aaron yinishyé". :)

Aaron yinishyé - I am called Aaron
Aaron yinílyé - you (sgl) are called Aaron
Aaron wolyé - he is called Aaron
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby limoneneis » 2010-07-29, 18:51

I am now at lesson 5 in my book. I think the pronunciation is pretty straightforward and regular. The tones are not so hard either because there are only 2 tones: high and low (normal). What's hard is the amount of small filler words that don't really mean anything or are not so specific (at least I am not sure what they mean). And I think the verbs have not even started yet. I just learned that there are 3 types of nominalizers: -ígíí, -ii and -í, but I am not sure when to use which. I hope they'll explain it later. Sometimes I wish there were more grammatical explanations. And solutions to the exercises. But the good thing is they have all the dialogs and texts on tape so you get a lot of pronunciation practice :D .
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Yeshua.C » 2010-07-30, 1:20

Hi, limoneneis, how's it going?

I've just recently started learning Navajo and I'm really enjoying it. I have a feeling that the language is extremely deep and I've barely started to scratch the surface. I'm using the same book as you (although I have other resources) and it's good but nit quite enough. I've had this problem with all the minority languages I've tried to learn in the past. However, I think I can overcome this problem this time around.

Contact me and we can get together and work on it, and I can share some resources with you. :)

Edit: one thing about the tones - there are actually 4! They aren't so bad though. I just find the nasals hard to do. You should have less problems with that though.

low
high
falling
rising

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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Formiko » 2010-07-30, 2:54

Yeshua.C wrote:
Edit: one thing about the tones - there are actually 4! They aren't so bad though. I just find the nasals hard to do. You should have less problems with that though.

low
high
falling
rising


It's more like 2 pitches. There are technically 4 but only 2 are used. I have many years experience with Navajo, unfortunately it's complex and I've forgotten many of the verb tables :(
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Yeshua.C » 2010-07-30, 4:32

I guess it's a matter of categorization. Is a rising tone a separate tone itself, or a low plus a high. I guess it can be seen from both perspectives. From what I see, this only occurs over long vowels anyway. THe important thing is to see these changes.

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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby Formiko » 2010-07-30, 16:44

Yeshua.C wrote:I guess it's a matter of categorization. Is a rising tone a separate tone itself, or a low plus a high. I guess it can be seen from both perspectives. From what I see, this only occurs over long vowels anyway. THe important thing is to see these changes.


Yes, I see it more like rising and falling. It'll just becoe second nature after awhile where you won't even notice it.
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby E}{pugnator » 2010-08-01, 13:03

Hey Yeshua ! How's the Navajo going?
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Re: Navajo (Diné bizaad)

Postby limoneneis » 2010-08-02, 19:51

Formiko wrote:
Yeshua.C wrote:I guess it's a matter of categorization. Is a rising tone a separate tone itself, or a low plus a high. I guess it can be seen from both perspectives. From what I see, this only occurs over long vowels anyway. THe important thing is to see these changes.


Yes, I see it more like rising and falling. It'll just becoe second nature after awhile where you won't even notice it.


I like to see the rising and falling tones as a combination of high and low tones. It makes it easier in my mind. :whistle: :D


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