Diné Bizaad yee Nidaazbaa’ígíí

din neh biz awd yeh nh dahz bah ig gee

Today is a special day: National Navajo Code Talkers’ Day. As such, we bring you the Navajo word for ‘Navajo Code Talkers.’

  • Diné Bizaad – Navajo, it’s (their) language
  • yee – with it, or by means of it
  • nidaazbaa’ – plural for of ‘he/she/it went to war’
  • -ígíí – particle that converts the verb nidaabaa’ and the phrase as a whole into a noun.

NavajoWOTD.com is, in large part, an homage to the late Keith Little, who passed a month before we began posting our words. It remains, now, a tribute to the Speakers who leave behind a valuable lesson: that our Native languages are powerful tools for shaping our identity as a People.

The Navajo Code Talkers’ service during WWII and afterwards invigorated the movement to preserve the Navajo language in a time when off-reservation boarding schools embraced a brutal policy of banning students from speaking their native language.

The Navajo language and the Code derived from it was a powerful weapon in the Second World War. But that same code became a saving grace for the language as a whole.