Flutes, Facts, and the Future of the Navajo Language

In October 2010, Allison Harper of the Social Media Team and Danny Hieber and I of the Endangered Language Program at Rosetta Stone had the pleasure of traveling to the capital of the Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona, to attend the celebration of the release of the newly completed Rosetta Stone Navajo software. The event was the culmination of over two years of work by Navajo Language Renaissance, the Rosetta Stone Endangered Language Program, and dozens of individuals who contributed their time, labor, and knowledge.

We’d been really curious to learn what the Navajo people themselves think about their language and the idea of creating software to learn it. So, while in Window Rock, we filmed some interviews, then compiled them into a short video about the project, The Navajo Handprint. The Navajo Nation Museum provided a scenic locale. Vince Redhouse was kind enough to let us use his silvery flute music. And project participants contributed their thoughts and words, in English and Navajo, about their language and their lives.

I think the video has captured the essence of what the Navajo language represents to its speakers—something unique and central to a way of life. The language is “…like a handprint. It is imperative that it be saved,” says Michelle Whitstone, Navajo voicer for the Rosetta Stone software.

Many thanks to all who helped make this video a powerful commentary about the beauty and significance of the Navajo language.

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  • Michelle

    Awesome! You managed to squish essential material into a six and a half video piece. 🙂 My lil son was tickled to see himself. 🙂 Great job!

  • http://reelingit.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/looking-in/ Looking in | reelingit

    […] Flutes, Facts, and the Future of the Navajo Language (rosettastone.com) […]

  • http://danielhieber.com/2011/01/12/flutes-facts-and-the-future-of-the-navajo-language/ Flutes, Facts, and the Future of the Navajo Language | Daniel W. Hieber

    […] Navajo people giving their thoughts on the project and on their language. Check out her blog entry here, and watch the video above! (Also check out my previous blog entry on the […]

  • fs bridges

    Now another language from within the US…terrific…when will this product become available?

  • baileigh

    This is cool

  • leland yazzie

    Want to learn to write the Navajo language And speak the language, I don’t want all language just Navajo language

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