Navahos and Code: A Technical View

Computers and technology play an ever-growing role in our lives, and my recent project has provided me with the opportunity to explore technology in the context of the Navaho culture. After attempting to learn the basics of dine bizaad, the Navaho language, I became interested in how modern technology could connect the traditional and the contemporary. I wanted to develop a program that could take in a phrase written in dine bizaad, and translate it to English.

To achieve this, I wrote a Java program with two main features. The first would read in a written phrase from a traveler, and the second would output a translated English phrase. The code for the input feature is below:

  String travelerPhrase = "";
  Scanner myscanner = new Scanner(;
  System.out.println("Please input a phrase written in dine bizaad:")
  travelerPhrase = myscanner.nextLine();

The code for the output feature is as follows:

  String englishPhrase = "";
  for (int i = 0; i < travelerPhrase.length; i++) {
    char c = travelerPhrase.charAt(i);
    if (c == 'á')
      englishPhrase += "a";
    else if (c == 'é')
      englishPhrase += "e";
  System.out.println("English translation: " + englishPhrase);

Overall, this project was a great learning experience. Not only did I get the chance to experiment with coding, but I also recognized the beauty of different cultures and how technology can bridge the gap between them. I hope that my code may become a useful tool for those wishing to explore dine bizaad in greater depth.

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