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Flashcards to Learn Navajo

April 13, 2010

I uploaded a few terms on my iPod as flashcards to study.

There is one thing that is unavoidable with the Navajo language. Memorization. So many terms have to be memorized to have some comprehension. I never used many flashcards in my previous study of language…which is probably why I am not as sharp in Spanish as I should be. So I am going to give the flashcards a try.

I didn’t want to write all the cards I would need by hand. That’s ridiculous! There are hundreds of terms I need to be learning, which

My iPod Nano with flashcards

means hundreds of little pieces of paper!! Don’t forget I thought about how my hand would ache and cramp from tedious writing. So I thought about what my other options were.

I usually have my iPod on me. I listen to music, but I also have uploaded language lessons in Portuguese and Spanish. I search everywhere for a program to upload Navajo terms for me to study on my iPod. There was a problem: all the programs I found were developed for the iPod Touch or the iPhone. The thought ran through my head, “Is this a justifiable reason to buy a new iPod Touch or iPhone?” Justifiable or not, I didn’t have the money.

Somehow I knew I could get the terms on my iPod the way I wanted without many problems with fonts, downloading and/or formatting. Enter miracle. I found one site….ONE SITE! with an explanation on how to make your own flashcards in PowerPoint, save each slide individually as a jpeg, then upload them onto any iPod or mp3 player with photo viewing capability.  Amazing. And it’s all free, yet somewhat time consuming. But the product I can produce out-ways the alternative programs that cost a monthly subscription and a new expensive piece of hardware.

So the site is here, how to use PowerPoint to upload flashcards onto your iPod or mp3 player. Update: Powerpoint to flashcard site no longer available. 

As far as content is concerned I have started to make a flashcard set with the 100 most common words mentioned in a previous post. I have made a few sets since I discovered the procedure: clans, anatomy and Navajo handle verbs. I am brainstorming on what else would be helpful, possibly small useful phrases.

I will pass on this content as soon as I find a decently priced hosting site for the material and will post it in the Study Resource page as they become available.

One more thing: if you Google “Navajo Flashcards” you will get a result from http://www.flashcardexchange.com/tag/navajo. Flashcards from all subjects are available here, including about 500 Navajo terms and phrases. Very very helpful. I suggest anyone to go there to get the list. You can create flashcards from the saved set in flashcardexchange.com but you will have to pay a fee. However, you can view the list of words for free.

NOTE:  I would like to note that the Navajo terms are almost complete…the person who uploaded the terms could not keep a nasal accent with the words. So to still indicate a vowel has a nasal tone a “~” follows the vowel instead.

4-2013 The Study Resource page has been removed. It has been found that creating flashcards for these older versions of iPods was inefficient. Since then there have been many other resources found to  use flashcards effectively.  Anki is the flashcard program of choice, but there are other options. There are many other resources to find, study, and organize vocabulary lists, please go to the Resource Links page for more material.

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