Everything You Need To Learn Navajo
Navajo is an official language of the United States’ tribal areas, spoken by about 170,000 people. It’s in the Na-Dené branch of the Athabaskan languages, which also includes Chipewyan and a number of other languages in northern Canada.
Although Navajo is the most spoken Native American language in the United States, the language is considered to be endangered, with most children now growing up in a home where English is the primary language.
There has been a push in recent years to preserve the language, with initiatives in schools and community centers aiming to bring back daily use of Navajo among the natives.
As such, you’ll find a reasonable amount of learning materials available to you, many of which we’ve listed below.
Learning the Navajo language through Navajo course books is great way to get started, as they’ll introduce you to all of the basic skills you need, including alphabet pronunciation, Navajo grammar, language structure, and common vocabulary.
Another important addition to any learner’s library is an English-Navajo dictionary, which you’ll use frequently throughout your journey. A good Navajo dictionary will not only contain plenty of useful words, but will show you different usages for them.
All languages have books for children to help them learn their native tongue, and Navajo is no different. As a beginner, you can use these kids’ books written in Navajo to build your word bank, improve your comprehension of the language, and gain confidence in using it.
Navajo stories for kids use simple language and plenty of pictures, thus making them the perfect tool to ease you into native material.
To get the best out of your burgeoning reading skills, at some point you’ll want material that will challenge you more. Navajo books written for adults or older readers can help you increase your vocabulary exponentially, and get a more authentic feel for the language.
Another great way to learn the language is through a Navajo e-course, which is typically in the form of audio or video lessons, aimed at building your Navajo speaking and listening skills, whilst introducing you to grammar and structure organically.
The Navajo audio course by Native American Languages is a self-study program that comes with 1.8 hours of audio lessons, plus a 180-page book packed with useful language information and exercises to aid you in your studies.