Category Archives: Words

Tsah / Ts’ah

Summary:

Today we’re following up with another pair of words to demonstrate a glottalized Navajo consonant. The ts / ts’ sounds, as outlined in the post for ts’in, vary in that ts’ requires a ‘push’ from the back of the tongue for the initial ts- (keep in mind that no air from the throat is feeding […]

Ts’in

Summary:

This word is remarkably similar to tsin (the Navajo word for tree or wood). But you’ll notice the glottal stop (the apostrophe) right there in the middle. Normal ts sounds like the ts in “hats.” So tsin would be like saying “hatsin” without the initial ha. For ts’ the pronunciation will need to be ‘ejected’, […]

Telling the time of day in Navajo

Summary:

Here’s a little note: the directions Ha’a’aah and E’e’aah can be used to refer to a time of day when the sun is in their respective directions. Ha’a’aah means East, and also is said to mean “it’s sunrise, or the sun is rising.” E’e’aah means West, and is inversely “it’s sunset, or the sun is […]

Áłtsé

Summary:

“And what’s that mean anyway, assay, assay?” “It’s an ancient Navajo word. It means ‘stop’.” This exchange took place in the movie Young Guns II, and it is somewhat incorrect. Sometimes this word is used to mean ‘wait’, as in “hold up” or “hold on”, and that’s about as close to ‘stop’ that it gets. […]

Yas Niłt’ees

Summary:

We’re back for the New Year with Yas Nił’ees, which is the Navajo word for the month of January. To give some background, the word follows a theme we’ve been pointing out to you recently, which is snow. It sits right there at the beginning. The next part is a bit of a mystery… niłt’ees […]