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Navajo Vocabulary Books Online

May 27, 2011

Last week I explored the possibility of some old Navajo language books having expired copyrights and therefore being available in the pubic domain. It seemed like a good avenue to explore. Navajo has been studied for quite some time now, why wouldn’t there be at least a few, right?

I found quite a few books with expired copyrights. The trick was finding books that were already scanned and available to view already.  I found two that are available online. This is in addition to the books I have listed in my links – reading material section.

The first is a dictionary titled A vocabulary of the Navaho language published by The Franciscan fathers in 1912. Now that I’ve looked at the information page in Google Books, where I found this, this book was just recently digitized on Apr 1, 2011. You can always read the book online, but if you want your own copy you can download it here as a pdf file.

Navajo Dictionary on my iPod

I toyed around with the idea that I could have a readable copy with me on my iPod. So I downloaded the Google Books iPod app to see if that would work. It worked fine, I was able to search for the book and download it directly to my iPod. The only downside was that it did not allow me to zoom in on the page. Maybe it is a glitch on my end.

As an alternative to Google Books I also have an iBooks app on my iPod. With iBooks I am able to download any pdf onto my desktop import the file into iTunes and transfer it over to my iPod. I keep the pdf files of the reading assignments for my Pimsleur Portuguese lessons in this application. I did the same for A vocabulary of the Navaho language and that is what is shown in the picture. I was able to zoom in with this app as you can see.

The other book I came across was A stem vocabulary of the Navaho language published by St. Michaels Press in 1950.  This would be more useful for the intermediate or advanced student, but there is no harm in looking at what you could do with it. I have not looked at it in-depth yet, but it is a good copy digitized by Google as well. At least that is what the mark says at the bottom of every page.

A vocabulary of colloquial Navaho  by  Robert W. Young and William Morgan is also in this same archive for viewing. I believe it is possible because it was published by the government and is therefore automatically considered as public domain. I have not tried to download the book, it looks like you need an account with the website and at least affiliated with one of the universities it lists when you go in and register. If someone is capable of downloading either of these shoot me a copy.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    May 31, 2011 9:23 pm

    Evidently, because I am not a part of a member institution, I cannot download the full pdfs of these books. Do you know where else they may be found?

    • May 31, 2011 10:07 pm

      It looks like you could download each page with the link on the left. So not the whole book, but page by page. All 379 pages. That might get tiresome. I did a quick search to see if it is anywhere else online. If I can double check the copyright I think I just might digitize the local hardcopy at the library myself. I think I will check into finding a book scanner, 379 pages is a lot to scan on a flatbed scanner.

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