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  5. "My maternal grandmother and …

"My maternal grandmother and I."

Translation:Shi dóó shimasaní.

January 3, 2019



Why does "Shi" ( I ) have to be first and not "shimasaní" ?


We are not just applying English grammar, we're trying to understand this grammar. Is there a rule for this in Navajo? The youngest person comes first, the speaker comes first? Does it not matter at all and we could have put our grandmother first?


Good question. I wonder too.


In other words, why is the order reversed?

[deactivated user]

    You're trying to apply English rules to another language. If you do that to every foreign language you learn, you will always make mistakes learning them. Rules that apply in English don't necessarily apply to other languages. Yes, in English the order "my mom and I" is correct, but this is not how Navajo orders it. They order the Subject "I" first and Object "my maternal grandmother" and then the Verb, if present.


    But the "and" means that they are both subjects. For example, in the sentence "My grandmother and I bake a cake", "my grandmother and I" is the subject and "a cake" is the object. SVO vs SOV syntax had nothing to do with whether "I" or "my grandmother" comes first.


    What irks me is when I use all the right accent marks and it says to be sure to use the right accent marks, or when it offers another translation the same as mine but without the period at the end.


    I don't understand


    I got it wrong when the hints gave my answer


    When I mouse over "I," it shows "shimasaní" as a possible translation. Is that just because the word "shimasaní" belongs in that position in the Navajo translation?


    In English, it's grammatically incorrect to say "Me and my grandma" , you're supposed to say "My grandma and I". In Navajo the sentence just flows better when it's "Shi doo shimasani". Since, "shi" can mean "I/me/my/mine", placing it at the beginning of the sentence when you're not referring to owning/describing anything reduces subject/pronoun ambiguity.

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