"Learn Navajo one word at a time"

Thumbnail preview of the Navajo Starter Kit Companion E-Book.

Learn Navajo

We made the Navajo Starter Kit to help you learn Navajo.

Learn more



bill lah sah nuh

The Navajo word bilasáana refers to the apple in English.

The origin of the word is not concrete, but it is thought to be an adaption of the Spanish word manzana. It’s remarkably similar to the Navajo word bilagáana, which is also thought to be of Spanish origin.

Following yesterday’s examples for tó, you could say bilasáana bitoo’ to refer to apple juice. Yum.



The Navajo word tó means water in English.

You’ll find tó in words that range from places, to clans, and to liquids in general. For example, tó becomes atoo’ to refer to mutton stew, or sometimes other soups. Tó also becomes bitoo’ (“its juice/water”) when speaking about orange or apple juice.

Tódích’íí’nii is one of the four original clans of the Navajo and it refers to the Bitterwater People.


corn pollen

tah dih deen

The Navajo word tádídíín is the word for corn pollen.

Tádídíín is a fundamental aspect of Navajo traditional culture. It comes from the tassels of a mature corn plant, and can only be collected by a female.

It is then blessed and used by all as the primary means of communicating with the Navajo Holy People. It is a conduit through which safety and happiness are assured, especially when one travels beyond the Navajo homeland (Dinétah).

It is a sweet-tasting yellow-colored powder that is commonly kept in small leather pouches.


okay, see you later

hah goh uh neh

The Navajo word hágoónee’ is commonly used in parting, and it roughly means “okay/alright then” in English.

It’s almost like saying, “Okay, things are settled. See you later.”

Another useful parting expression is yá’át’ééh – the common word for “hello.” It’s literal meaning is “it is good,” so that could denote a conclusion to events as well.

baa shił hózhó

I am happy about it

bah shih-lth hozh oh

The Navajo phrase baa shił hózhǫ́ translates roughly into “about-it with-me there-is-happiness.”

The English idiom would be “I’m happy about it.”

Hózhǫ́ reflects wellness in the Navajo mindset, and things that are done well (in terms of quality). Whereas “shił yá’át’ééh” reflects a personal preference.

In Navajo philosophical usage, it refers largely to the concept of beauty and balance as it applies to how one chooses to live.

This phrase can be negated by following the “doo…da” convention in this post [click].