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Lesser Known (and interesting) Navajo Resources

September 8, 2011

I have come across quite  few Navajo resources over the last year that have been helpful to the public. Quite a few them are mainstream and are readily available for others to purchase. I have, however, found some that I thought were interesting (or strange) and these four resources are the ones that I wanted to highlight.

Photo via Amazon.com

First, the Webster Navajo-English Thesaurus-Dictionary. What I thought was funny about this reference book was the product description in Amazon. It states,

“If you are learning Navajo, this book was not created for you, and you should not purchase it. “

I guess the book is for fluent Navajo speakers who wanted to know English synonyms. I looks like it was published in 2008; and I am sure it might have missed a majority of its audience by a few decades. It would be nice to have a Navajo-only thesaurus, maybe one will be published at a later date.

Photo via Amazon.com

Second, Webster’s Navajo-English Crossword Puzzles. This actually looks kind of fun. I don’t know how many people have actually purchased it, but I would think it would help with some vocabulary. I could see this being used in classroom settings. I think I will add this to my wish list.

Phto by Flickr user:isriya

Next, “A Sherlock Holmes pastiche in the Navajo language”  A pastiche is a literary imitation. It looks as though over the years there have been many pastiches written about Sherlock Holmes. This particular one was published in Brigham City, Utah by Kevin John. At a gathering of Sherlock enthusiasts this Navajo imitation was, “By far the most fascinating publication received,” and was sold for $1. The Navajo title is, “Ołtah bii’ jiił sisxé”.. Very interesting stuff. I am trying to secure a copy for everyone; my initial attempt through WorldCat was fruitless. I might have to just visit Brigham City or even write Mr. John if he has a copy I can purchase. Nonetheless, this pastiche actually exists and at 7 pages long I believe it would be fun to read.

Subliminal Navajo CD,  Photo via Amazon.com

Lastly is Superior Subliminals Superior Navajo CD. I saw this listed in Amazon sometime ago and thought there was no possible way to work it into my blog. I really didn’t care to add it to my language resources either. So as a compromise I thought I would mention it here. I don’t have much experience with subliminal audio, the closest I have come is a hypnotist show I attended with some roommates. In fact, one of my roommates was chosen as a participant and proceeded to hypnotically give birth to her alien child on stage. I got a good laugh out it. So with something like this I have my suspicions.

In the healthcare realm subliminal messages have been able to help individuals break bad habits like smoking and have even helped others control their weight. It is not a mainstream practice, but I guess it couldn’t hurt. I think this CD has a lot of subliminal affirmations to help the user keep on task with language study. I doubt there is any Navajo audio on the CD at all, but I could be wrong. I would try it as an experiment, but I would not pay out of my own pocket. It’s $15. If someone wants to sponsor me to try it email me and we will arrange something.

So there you have it, a few interesting Navajo resources. Note that there were a limited amount of these resources created and that finding some of them will be difficult. However, despite their rarity none of them are expensive.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2011 1:07 pm

    Sherlock Holmes ya’, t’óó baa dloh hasin. :]

    Hey, some things work for some people, you never know. As a fluent speaker it is difficult for me to appreciate the complexities of language acquisition and so it goes. I too, at my age, am still acquiring new vocabulary or re-acquiring, perhaps. Whatever the mix we can’t say some things are trivial, if funds were not tight for me I would sponsor some of your worthy projects. Thank you for sharing.
    Dóó Ahxéhee’.

    • September 28, 2011 10:56 pm

      I often wonder if Navajo students would benefit from an instructor that spoke more than one language. This is an interesting question, and you recognize, as an instructor, that language acquisition is something that you haven’t experienced like these students have. Would you ever consider learning another language to get that experience?

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