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Why Navajo is the world’s hardest language to learn


Eldorado

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Concentrated in Arizona and New Mexico, the Navajo are one of the largest Native American groups in the United States. Consisting of up to 400,000 tribal members, they are thought to have originated from northwestern Canada and were forcibly moved to their present location by the federal government in the 1860s during the Long Walk.

Traditional Navajo families live in circular mud-and-log homes called hogans, create intricate ceremonial paintings made of sand, and hold four-day runs (a ritual called kinaalda) to celebrate young girls turning into adult women.

Arguably, the most important aspect of Navajo culture is their language. Also known as Diné Bizaad (the “people’s language”), Navajo is similar to Apache, from which it separated between 1300 and 1525 AD.

Full article: The Big Think

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Interesting article.  So, it is the tonal variation in words with the same spelling that makes it so complicated.  There are other people groups from South America that have similar language structure.

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Is it because no buggah’ll teach it to you?

Edited by Sir Wearer of Hats
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Legend has it that a Ute shaman put a curse on a plot of land that they dwelled on to get back at the Navajo.

That land today is known as Skinwalker Ranch where strange things happen. The Infamous Skinwalker Ranch – The Tribe (holttribe.com)

Edited by Hawken
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The Wind Talkers were Navajos. Bless every one of them for their service.

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18 minutes ago, susieice said:

The Wind Talkers were Navajos. Bless every one of them for their service.

Yep, there was a movie made about them which starred Nicholas Cage.

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I've read (may not be true but could be) that Native Americans were employed as radio operators by the US in WW2 because their languages would be impenetrable to German intelligence.

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3 minutes ago, pellinore said:

I've read (may not be true but could be) that Native Americans were employed as radio operators by the US in WW2 because their languages would be impenetrable to German intelligence.

They were absolutely used in the Pacific. Attached to the Marines. They probably did use some in Europe. A code doubly insured by their language was absolutely unbreakable. The Japanese attempted to capture a couple but they never succeeded. Less than a handful of language experts in the world could speak their dialects and none were Japanese or German.

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22 minutes ago, susieice said:

They were absolutely used in the Pacific. Attached to the Marines. They probably did use some in Europe. A code doubly insured by their language was absolutely unbreakable. The Japanese attempted to capture a couple but they never succeeded. Less than a handful of language experts in the world could speak their dialects and none were Japanese or German.

That would be it, the Pacific. That's where the Yanks were primarily engaged after giving the Germans their comeuppance. The Marines and Mighty Eighth- heroes every one. Who would believe we would be fighting another war on European soil, back to trenches and close quarter combat. The Russians are no better than the Nazis or the imperialist Japanese of 100 years ago.

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Patton wanted to push the Russians back to Russia and told Eisenhower so. Got him in trouble. If you watch the movie Patton with George C Scott, it's in it. After the war Stalin went back to killing Soviets. It's believed in the millions of them.

Inside The True Figure Of How Many People Stalin Killed (allthatsinteresting.com)

Excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin - Wikipedia

Edited by susieice
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7 hours ago, susieice said:

The Wind Talkers were Navajos. Bless every one of them for their service.

Hell yes.

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There is a man, I believe he is still alive.  His name is Bruce Olsen.  From what I know he is a country hick from like Minnesota?  He was raised on a farm and his father was a strict religious man.  But Bruce believed.  And, as it happened- he ends up being one of the most amazing unsung heroes of all time.  Nobody knows this guy but me.  I don’t know him personally, I read his book and believed every damn word he said.  His book is called, “Brutchko” or something similar.  Anyway…..

This dude goes down to South America with the hope of meeting an unreached people group so he can evangelize them….but…what I didn’t say was back when he was a farm boy in Minnesota ol’ Bruce was a language phenomenon to a degree.  He showed at a young age he was skilled with language.  Anyway, he goes looking for an unreached people solo, and along the way gets shot with poison arrows by hostile natives.  He survived the poison, and that gave him the respect of the tribe, so he joined.  He joined simply to learn their language and he did.  He said he was laid up sick for two weeks listening to the people talk and he was able to decipher that they had one word that was the same for different meanings if it were spoken in a different tonal register.  I mean, what this guy went through and what he did for these primitive people…..it’s beyond compare.  True, he did convert them to Jesus.  So…anyway…yeah.

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9 hours ago, pellinore said:

I've read (may not be true but could be) that Native Americans were employed as radio operators by the US in WW2 because their languages would be impenetrable to German intelligence.

They also used Choctaw and Cherokee code talkers in WWI. Comanche was also used in WWI and WWII.

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11 hours ago, Hawken said:

Legend has it that a Ute shaman put a curse on a plot of land that they dwelled on to get back at the Navajo.

That land today is known as Skinwalker Ranch where strange things happen. The Infamous Skinwalker Ranch – The Tribe (holttribe.com)

It's bull****....

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11 hours ago, pellinore said:

I've read (may not be true but could be) that Native Americans were employed as radio operators by the US in WW2 because their languages would be impenetrable to German intelligence.

The Lakota spoke Lakota in Europe but there was nothing official. My grandfather who was a Lenape scout just used English. 

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