Money (Béeso)

We’ve introduced béeso back in March, which means money.

We’ve also introduced the first 20 numbers [1-10, 11-20].

Today, we’ll give you the words for penny, nickel, dime, quarter, 50 cents and 75 cents, and also tell you how to use them to form an amount of money. [Note: some of the following words describe the coin’s color.]

  • penny – łichíí’í or tsindao
  • nickel – łitso
  • dime – dootł’izh
  • 25 cents – naaki yáál
  • 50 cents – dį́į́’ yáál
  • 75 cents – hast’ą́ą́ yáál

Now, suppose you wanted to by the Navajo Times for $1.50. In Navajo, you would pay t’ááłá’í béeso dóó ba’aan dį́į́’ yáál.

And, you also wanted $10 in gas, which would be neeznáá béeso.

Cheii (maternal grandfather) wants three Big Hunk candy bars at $3.83. This is how it would be said: táá’ béeso dóó ba’aan hast’ą́ą́ yáál dóó ba’aan łitso dóó ba’aan táá’ łichíí’í.

Notice how whole dollars are are followed by béeso, and if there are any coins (change) dóó ba’aan is added (which approximates to ‘and then’ or ‘and more’). You continue adding dóó ba’aan for every additional coin. Take some time to practice different amounts up to $20!