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How to Say Happy Birthday in Navajo 

Navajo is one of the oldest languages in North America and it’s even becoming the second language of some states in the US. This could potentially be in large part to Duolingo offering a Navajo course, opening it up to more people than ever. So, how can you say Happy Birthday in Navajo?

How to Say Happy Birthday in Navajo

There are two different ways to say happy birthday in Navajo and they’re completely different. The first way to say happy birthday in Navajo is Baa hózhǫ́ǫgo niʼdizhchį́ pronounced as ‘baa hozh-ogo nih-dih-zhir’ and the alternate way to say happy birthday is Niʼdizhchį́įjįʼ anáhoolzhįįzhígíí baa shił hózhǫ́.

The second phrase is obviously a lot longer, so start off with the first one and see if you can nail the pronunciation before trying the second one!

More Celebratory Phrases in Navajo

If you need a more general celebratory phrase to say in Navajo, learning to say congratulations can go a long way. You can use it for birthdays, weddings, promotions, and all manner of great occasions.

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It’s definitely a phrase that’ll go a long way, so if you just want to put your energy into learning one word or phrase in Navajo, this is the one to go with. 

So, to say congratulations in Navajo you’d say or write Ná bąą hózhǫ́. Give it a couple of practice rounds before you see your friend or family member, as Navajo can be a tricky language to master.

How to Sing Happy Birthday in Navajo

It seems like there is a birthday song tradition in every single country, and Navajo is no different. You’ll be pleased to know that not only is it the same tune as the English language version of the Happy Birthday song, but it’s only one line repeated four times.

Here is a video to help you get the pronunciation right:

In Navajo, the lyrics are: 

“Baa hózhǫ́ǫgo niʼdizhchį́

Baa hózhǫ́ǫgo niʼdizhchį́

Baa hózhǫ́ǫgo niʼdizhchį́

Baa hózhǫ́ǫgo niʼdizhchį́”

Unsurprisingly, the English translation of this is:

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“Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you!”

You might notice that there isn’t a space to personalize the birthday person’s name like there is in the English language version. Even though it’s not written in the lyrics, you can always add in the name at the end of the third line.

So, you can sing it in a classic way, or personalize it accordingly, it’s entirely up to you. It seems like no matter what language or culture you’re in, embarrassing the birthday person in song form is a surefire hit!

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