Ak’éí

Yá’át’ééh shik’éí dóó shidiné’é. (Greetings my relatives and my people.)

This is a more formal, yet intimate, way of greeting a large group. It’s part of an introduction that commonly precedes a speech, or address, of some sort.

Ak’éí, and most nouns that are preceded by a-, is a non-possessive from of “relatives” and “family.” Add shi/ni/bi/nihi/etc. to say my/your/his (or her)/our (their) family.

Here are a few elder family terms that are useful to know:

In English In Navajo (Diné Bizaad)
amá mother
azhé’é father
amá sání maternal grandmother
acheii maternal grandfather
análí asdzą́ą́ maternal grandmother
análí hastiin paternal grandfather

In combination with the Diné (Navajo) clan system, these words can extend outside the immediate family. For example, if a woman’s second clan (her father’s clan) were the same as another man’s first clan (his mother’s clan), she calls him her older/younger father depending on his age relative to her own father’s age. There are many unique relationships that arise from this system.