The United States and
Nations, Language and Culture
Sé Habla Englés. Really?
Although my book is written in English, it is American English and specifically the English that is spoken in the southwest of the United States. The speech pattern is a mixture of European, Native American and Spanish. Some words pronounced like American English, others Native American and even more are Spanish.
If you live anywhere in Arizona, you become bi-lingual by osmosis. Go into Lowes all the signs are in English and Spanish. Arizona puts a unique cultural stamp on food also.
So here are some words and Arizona customs that my beta readers from other countries and other states have asked me to explain. Some I have explained in a separate blog, others need less explanation, relax and enjoy the view.
There is so much backstory I wanted to write. The incredible scenery. Ancient ruins. Places that catch a breath of cedar and pine. The altitude is 7000' to 12000' so make sure you drink plenty of water and take it slow. Temperatures this week in February run from 10 degrees at night in the Grand Canyon to 60 degrees on the Plateau during the day.
In my novel, I've mixed up the actual geologic formations of Northern Arizona into the backdrop of my imaginary town of Black Mesa AZ. There is an actual ancient volcanic caldera. The real Puerco River runs through the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. There is a real abandoned Pueblo where you can do an easy day hike. Hundreds of years ago around 1500 CE in a wetter climate there actually was a lake, water, village, game, and vegetation to support a vibrant community of people living in 125 dwellings.
So the geologic structures could have happened millions of years ago. In my mind, the imaginary town is overshadowed by a massive Black Volcanic Mesa. At the foot of the outcrop is Carriage Lock Lake (Carraigeacha Loch) damned by the lava flow from thousands of years ago. I invented the Rio de Plata a tributary of the Little Colorado River. I imagined the town's geology to look similar to a combination of Prescott and Sedona.
This is the drive and country that Minerva, computer science, and Flynn, geology, make once a week to teach at the Imaginary Navapache Community College in Keams Canyon, a real town. If you signed up for Flynn's Geology 101 class you would be discussing these features. Listen to your Tony Hillerman audiobook along with me and hang on for a serene and scenic ride. As you listen to his accent you can hear the drawl and speech patterns of the American southwest, especially Northern Arizona and New Mexico.
Interviews with Tony Hillerman
I let people speak in their own words.
Northern Arizona Landscape
Apache and Navajo County
Who are Hopi?
Ruby Chimerica on the Hopi Reservation, Arizona
Welcome to the Navajo Nation
Navajo County AZ
Round Up-Apache County
Arizona Vacation Guide. T
Narrator is British so his pronunciations differ from that spoken in AZ.
Note: Canyon de Chelly is pronounced (can-yon day shay)
Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly, Arizona (in HD)
Arizona volcano letting off steam in real time
Dinosaur Tracks Navajo Nation
Sunset Crater Volcano near Flagstaff AZ
View 1 Sunset Crater Geology
View 2 Sunset crater
View 2 continued Sunset Crater Geology
View 3 Sunset Crater geology
Sunset Crater flyover
More Sunset Crater
Back Country- Volcanoes,
Cedar trees, Desert, Grass,
Old Route 66
Hike in New Mexico (looks similar to back county Northern AZ)
Hopi Rez in the shadow of an Ancient Volcano
I40 AZ SAncient Supervolcano near Kingman AZ
Journey down Route 66
Old route 66 Navajo AZ back road
Old route 66 AZ
Ghost Towns in the American Southwest AZ
Beautiful drive from Kingman to Oatman AZ
How to lose in translation.
Jokes in Navajo/Diné.
Hopi the Mesa Dwellers. Spanglish.
Alphabets and numbers in
Navajo, Spanish, Apache
Because I was a teacher of English as a Second Language and Mathematics I can’t help being interested in numbers and letters no matter what language.
Navajo Grandma joke
The Navajo Alphabet Song
Caterpillar Story-Navajo Language
Spanish Alphabet song
Apache Alphabet Song
English Alphabet Funny Animation
Count in Hopi
Count in Spanish
Badgers WI vs Hoosiers IN
I remember as a kid I would visit my cousins. I grew up in Milwaukee WI (yew knooowww, with the flat nasal sound). I can spot anyone from Wisconsin or Minnesota the minute they open their mouth. My cousins were Hoosiers from Terre Haute, Indiana. My cousins also told me I talked too fast.Some of the cultural differences were:
bubbler WI or water fountain IN, comic books WI or funny books IN, soda WI (any kind of soft drink) or coke cola IN (any kind of soft drink), green peppers WI or mangoes IN, tomatoes WI (pronounced TOE-MAY-TOES) or tomatoes IN (pronounced TOE-MAY-TERS), same thing with potatoes. we used paper bags at the grocery store they used paper sacks. As a kid, a dictionary freak and bookworm, I cracked up over the differences. I once joked with an Apache friend about my grandmother's Hoosier version of Fry Bread, it's Wonder white bread fried in bacon grease, they cracked up too.
The best writer I've ever read who captured the Hoosier dialect was James Whitcomb Riley. Wonderful Stories my mother read to me as a child. She had the perfect Hoosier accent.
James Whitcomb Riley. Hoosier Author and Poet.
FREE Kindle books.
plus American English vs. British English
Funny British English vs American English.
20 Words Brits and Americans Say Differently
I Don't Understand AMERICAN ENGLISH!!!!!
Navajo fry bread: yum with mutton, hatch green chilis, and onions.
Good Fry Bread demo, however, Navajo Rez uses mutton, not beef.
Apache food exchange ceremony
Hopi Blue Corn Piki
Blue corn Hopi piki bread is pale blue in color. It reminds me of eating communion wafers. Light airy touch to the tongue. Very thin and wispy. Crisp but paper thin.
Navajo Food Drying
What's Cooking: Three Sisters Stew
This stew is so good on cold days. Corn beans and squash.
Apache acorn soup is an Apache tradition also. Couldn’t find an Apache video but I ate the soup during a traditional dinner on the Whiteriver Apache Rez. Nutty flavor tastes like walnuts rather than peanuts.
Corn Chowder Navajo
Sumac Berry pudding Navajo
Mexican Traditional Posole (Poe-so-lay) soup or stew. Wonderful. Warms you up. Very spicy or if you're afraid don't add so many spices. I like it hot and spicey.