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nóomba (20-30)

Navajo numbers 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

We’ve given you the sets of numbers leading up to 100 (1-10, 11-20, multiples of 10). Here’s the special set of numbers for the 20-30 range.

  • 20 - naadiin
  • 21 - naadiin ła’
  • 22 - naadiin naakí
  • 23 - naadiin táá’
  • 24 - naadiin dį́į́’
  • 25 - naadiin áshdla’
  • 26 - naadiin hast’ą́ą́
  • 27 - naadiin tsósts’id
  • 28 - naadiin tseebíí
  • 29 - naadiin nahast’éí
  • 30 - tádiin

This is the third time you’ve seen the word for ‘20’ here on NavajoWOTD. In numbers greater than 30, the case would be tádiin dóó ba’aan t’ááłá’í (31), or another example would be ashdladiin dóó ba’aan ashdla’ (55). So you would essentially form the number by announcing the multiple of 10, adding dóó ba’aan following, and then saying the ones digit.


learning it

boh hosh ah

Today’s word, and the following paradigm, is Navajo for “in the process of learning it.” Whatever the subject or matter, this word refers to the entire process of learning.

Compare this word to ííníshta’ (to study) and you’ll find that they are sometimes interchangeable. But ííníshta’ refers more to the act of reading out of a book or similar material. As you can imagine, not all things can be learned solely through the act of reading.

  1. bóhoosh’aah (I)
  2. bóhooł’aah (you)
  3. yíhooł’aah (him/her/it)
  4. bíhwiil’aah (we two)
  5. bíhooł’aah (you two)
  6. yíhooł’aah (they two)
  7. bídahwiil’aah (our group of more than two)
  8. bídahooł’aah (your group of more than two)
  9. yídahooł’aah (that group of more than two)

As a note, the form bíhoosh’aah is also used, or vocalized.


expression of disappointment or surprise

wh ah hh

Perhaps one of the most enigmatic words to non-speakers of Navajo, wah (or in some cases, wah-hah) is not so much a word as it is an expression.

The English counterpart would probably be “oops” when the speaker is talking about himself/herself. If the speaker is referring to others, it may be more of a jab at their clumsiness or failed attempt at doing something.

In other use cases, elders may exclaim “wah!” (expressed in a more drawn-out fashion) when they sit down after a strenuous activity. It would probably approximate to “whew!” in this instance.


read, study, school

ee nish tah

Ííníshta’ is an action word that means “to study” or “to read/count” in Navajo. In a more modern context, it also means “to go to school” or even as the noun “school.”

It is the first-person form (the “I” form) in the verb paradigm:

  1. ííníshta’ (I)
  2. ííníłta’ (you)
  3. ółta’ (he/she/it)
  4. ííníilta’ (we two)
  5. íínółta’ (you two)
  6. ółta’ (those two)
  7. da’ííníilta’ (us 3+)
  8. da’íínółta’ (you 3+)
  9. da’ółta’ (they 3+)

Using this verb and previous words of the day, here’s a sentence for you to memorize:

Diné bizaad baa ííníshta’. I am studying the Navajo language.


string or rope

t lth-ohh lth

Today’s Navajo word of the day is tł’óół, which is a string, or a rope in English.

It is also a word for cords, twine, or the lariats as used by cowboys.

In the context of díyogí (rug), it is the basis of the word adeeshtł’óół which means “to weave.”