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Going to use old media

May 11, 2012

I have a night class four days a week. This daily commute gives me an opportunity to listen to Navajo.

It is hard to listen to Navajo lately. Having so many choices between my favorite radio programs and some new music I’ve downloaded, it really is a tough decision. The option to listen to Navajo always crosses my mind, and I will act on that thought maybe one in four times. That’s not enough. So I’ve decided to make cassette tapes with Navajo content on it.

I have defined my barriers and I’ve decided this is the best plan of action. First, this will save my iPod battery. Second, it is the best possible way to refrain from listening to anything else on my iPod. The added bonus is that I can get in my car and go, no idling. The tape will pick up where I left off when I switch off the ignition. This is good safety-wise. Usually, I’ll sit for a minute to plug in my iPod, find a playlist or podcast, adjust the volume, then get on the road. This is not a good practice when my class gets out at night.

I also know all the rewind, fast forward  and volume buttons and knobs on my car stereo by touch. I don’t have to take my eyes off the road to search for a song or rewind to catch a phrase. No need to unlock my device then search for a song I wanted while on the road.  I know my iPod has a voice command function, but my iPod will rewind to the beginning of tracks instead of by a few seconds.

I see nothing but positives. I can only store up to 90 minutes of audio on a tape, but I usually listen to only a few stories repeatedly anyway. I am thinking about making one side full of dramatized children’s stories and the other side with more adult listening like Navajo Radio Network broadcasts (no longer available). Did I also mention I found my old Yazzie Girl tape in the closet yesterday?  =)

So how am I going to do this? I have a 3.5 mm to AV cable I use for connecting my iPod to our house stereo. If I run the 3.5mm end to my laptop, run the AV to the house stereo, open a Navajo playlist in iTunes (or open videos on YouTube) and hit record on the stereo….it works like a charm. Quick and easy recording.

To close out, I would like to say that I am catching on to some of the Navajo I am listening to. I listen to the Caterpillar Story repeatedly, and on a recent drive home I recognized all the days of the week, some repeated of sections, and some other vocabulary I know. When I started listening to this story I thought it was a little quick for me to catch individual words. Now I’m starting to catch individual words and phrases. It helps to have the video for a visual reference, and I have watched it a few times, but I usually just listen. I am not able to understand everything, but I am pretty sure I could write a rough transcription. This is an exciting milestone for me.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 31, 2012 8:51 pm

    I’m so glad I found your site! I’ve been trying to learn Navajo for a few years now (I created those 5 flash card exchange decks).
    I’m not Navajo, and not having access to audio and books has hampered me for a while now, and I just discovered all the resources you’ve listed. I’m looking forward to using them and seeing if that can jump me up a level (I’ve found using a lot of different “brain channels” helps me a lot when I’m learning languages).
    Looking forward to trying it all out, thanks!

    • June 1, 2012 1:40 pm

      I’m glad you found my site. I do recognize your name from the flashcardexchange credits. Good job with that by the way. Those flashcards are one of the most frequented links I have on my blog. So thanks for that.

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