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uTalk Navajo iPhone/iPod App

February 24, 2011

I downloaded the uTalk Navajo app I mentioned in a previous post. I had no intention of purchasing the product, but I came by some expendable income and decided to give it a try.

I agree with some of the apps reviewers that it is a “cookie cutter” program. uTalk has the same app available in other languages with the same vocabulary and phrases. It is aimed toward travelers, so there are phrases and vocabulary that you would practically never need in Navajo. Example:  “Where is the beach?”. I guess you could ask if you were joking. I haven’t figured out if the phrase might also mean just water in general. That isn’t clear.

The app is very useful despite a few words and phrases for beginning Navajo. There is vocabulary for basic greetings, food, colors, body parts, numbers, etc. The selection under each category is not extensive, but it gives you a fair foundation on basics. All this information can be found on other sites for free, but what you want is the audio pronunciation. There are two native voices, male and female,  for each word or phrase.  This helps for those who want to practice pronunciation and are completely unfamiliar. Along with this there is a playback function when you record your own voice  to compare with the native speaker.

To master vocabulary there is a quiz function. Given the word, or audio que, you have to choose the correct answer from three or four picture choices. I have been using Babbel’s Spanish and Portuguese app lately and it has a similar quiz function. You won’t be asked to spell anything or complete sentences like in Babbel, but it is helpful for learning basic Navajo.

How can the app be improved? I would like a larger selection of phrases and some vocabulary. Ten dollars is also a bit much for the app. But if you want to learn the bare basics with a portable audio-on-demand program, and won’t feel guilty for spending $10, then get the app.

Go to Eurotalk’s page for a free preview of the computer software which is a lot like the app. Nevermind the bilagaana (Anglo) girl with the Navajo accent, it tripped me up when I tried it out. She’s only in the computer program, not the app.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. bilaganna permalink
    April 27, 2011 2:14 am

    too (sorry I can’t do the diacritical marks) is water if the phrase about the beach includes this word, then yes, it probably means by the water

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