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Situational, Interactional, and Meta Navajo

March 6, 2013

situational navajoFrom what I have seen in the stats it looks like the resource I am highlighting today does not get the traffic it deserves.

The Navajo Language Academy has made Situational Navajo, Interactional Navajo, and Meta available online. They are part of a collection Professor Ken Hale bequeathed to the Navajo Language Academy, Inc.  I didn’t get a real opportunity to look at these until I had some free time. I am glad I finally did. These are amazing! You would not realize that from the look of it.

These documents are all very useful, but I want to make sure that everyone is especially introduced to Interactional Navajo and Meta Navajo.

The introduction to Interactional Navajo states that, “This is language that might occur in any of a number of different situations  It is the language that enables one to communicate personal wants and feelings to others.” For a beginning Navajo student this will be very helpful, especially if the student is already working with a fluent speaker directly. While there are plenty of examples to draw from Interactional Navajo, I decided instead to give you a sample run down of some of the sections listed in the Table of Contents:

   Expressing Agreement
Expressing Understanding
Offering to Help
Stating Warning
Inquiring about Forgetting
Inquiring Whether Something is Possible
Expressing Need
Inquiring About Difficulty
Expressing Ease
Expressing Pleasure
Expressing Worry
Expressing Surprise
Expressing Sympathy
Stating Want
Expressing Boredom

Now for Meta NavajoMetaNavajo is the interactional Navajo that applies to language. As far as I can see all phrases in this section are associated with language acquisition questions. For example, if someone says something to quickly and you need to ask them to repeat the phrase…. this is where you find that phrase. Or if you want something to be said a bit slower. This is the document to use. Here are a few examples:
Dinék’ehjí ádíní /  Say it in Navajo.
______ ha’át’íí(sh) óolyé?   /  What is __ called? or What’s the meaning of__?
ha’át’íísh ááh yiłní? / What is he/she talking about?
hazhóó’ígo ádíní  /  Speak slowly (so I can understand you)
doo nidiists’a’a da  /   I can’t hear you, I don’t hear you.
If you are learning Navajo with a fluent speaker I would immediately go download and print this document to keep with you. Be sure to read the introduction. I wish there was a way to improve the format, but this will have to do for now.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Barsine permalink
    March 9, 2013 5:38 am

    A great teacher resource for language educators. I’m looking forward to reading about the research.

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