NavajoWOTD

adą́ą́dą́ą́'

yesterday

ud daa daa

Adą́ádą́ą́’ is the Navajo word for ‘yesterday.’

Here’s an example of its usage:

Adą́ádą́ą́’ Hoozdohdi be’ak’idgi łóó’ t’óó ahayóí dzíłts’áníghį́!

Yesterday in Phoenix at a pond I made a big catch of fish!

We cheated and threw in a couple extra words that may be new to you. Hoozdoh is the place name for Phoenix, AZ. Be’ak’id is the Navajo word for a pond. Łóó’ means fish in Navajo, and of course t’óó ahayóí means a lot or large amount. And the action word dzíłts’áníghį́ is one we pulled from a reference to making (past tense) a catch.

How would you say you did not catch a lot of fish?

i'ii'nííł bijį́

election, the day of

ih ee knee-lth bih jih

Today, August 28th is the Arizona Primary Election, so we bring you i’ii’nííł bijį́.

This is the Navajo word for “election—the-day-of.”

Today also happens to be the Navajo Nation’s own Primary Election, so to the Navajo voters in Utah and New Mexico: head to your Chapter House to vote by the end of the day!

Since the advent of the ballot system on the reservation, candidates have often hosted community rallies in the area, and some even provide food on election day to voters (right outside the polling places).

It’s a very, very busy day for Navajo Chapter Houses, especially since this year’s AZ slate of candidates features more Native American representative hopefuls.

Bini'anit'ááts'ósí

August

bin nih un it tah tsoh sih

Otherwise known, in English, as August.

-ts’ósí, as you see in the end of the word, is in reference to something that is skinny, or lean.

When said as a whole, the direct translation stems from the Navajo word nit’ą́ (ripe, it is). It’s form is altered to reflect the plural and perfective (completed – or “past tense”) characteristic of a crop of ripened things.

So, it could be said that August is the time that the harvest starts, but not is not yet in full swing.

nahałtin

it is raining

nah hu-lth tyih nh

We’ll share with you today, and for the weekend, the Navajo word for “(it is) raining.”

Dinétah has been receiving a good amount of rain lately, and it just so happens that there is a form of this word that references the repetitive nature of rainstorms: nináháłtį́į́h (the rain is recurring).

There is also the past tense (meaning that the rain has completed its act of falling), known as nahóółtą́.

And of course, there is the future tense (meaning that the rain has yet to commence and be completed) which is nahodoołtį́į́ł.

Now there are other ways to say that the rain started, or the rain is coming, and you’ll usually hear a form of the root, which is -tį́į́ł. Whichever forms are more common depend on the area and the context, but it’s usually these four that are easier to use.

Be'eldííl Dah Sinil

Albuquerque

beh el deal dah sin ill

Shout-out to the people of Albuquerque this week as they head back to school!

Today’s word is the Navajo place name for the New Mexico city (also spelt: Be’eldíílasinil, or Bee’eldííldahsinil).

Be’eldííl – that with which ringing is done/made (in reference to bells)

dah – held up, above

sinil – objects, in place (or position)

Early Navajo people noted either the large church bells or the municipal bells on the buildings in the area, and that’s how Albuquerque came to be known in Navajo. By now you should notice that Navajo place names, as a whole, are very descriptive.

As always, if you use a place in conversation, using the -di suffix (ex. Be’eldííldahsinil_di) creates the phrase “at_ Albuquerque.”

It’s also been said that the bells were located at two sides of a river, which were used when people needed to get across to the other side (the bells called the raft or boat).

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