Now watch Nemo in Navajo Mikyla Hongeva, 11, holds a copy of "Finding Nemo" outside the Peunte de Hozho elementary school in Flagstaff, Ariz. Mikyla recorded the voice of one of the turtles in the Navajo language version of the movie, only the second major motion picture to be translated. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun via AP)
Now watch Nemo in Navajo
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A few children in Flagstaff, Arizona, are among the voice cast bringing "Finding Nemo" to a Navajo-speaking audience.
 
For only the second time, a major motion picture has been dubbed in the Navajo language.
 
This version of "Finding Nemo" is playing in select theaters on the Navajo Nation.
 
Disney and Pixar officials say they chose the animated fish tale because there are only animal characters and few songs.
 
The movie follows the journey of Marlin, a clown fish, as he searches for his son, Nemo.
 
The children's parents tell the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper that they believe the translation will help keep the Navajo language alive.
 
Catherine Esquivel's 6-year-old son Mariano Esquivel voiced a baby turtle in the movie.
 
"I don't know that he understands now how huge this is for the Navajo people, to have Disney play a part in retaining our language," she said. "When he's older he will think, 'Wow, this was a great time in my life.'"
 
"Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" became the first Hollywood feature translated in Navajo in 2013.
 
That movie is also owned by Disney.
 
"I love the fact that Navajo has such a place in our history, with the Code Talkers in World War II," said senior vice president of Disney character voices Rick Dempsey. "If we want to work to preserve a language, this is a great one."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How will this movie help preserve the Navajo language?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (20)
  • audreyv-4-bar
    3/24/2016 - 06:34 p.m.

    This movie will help preserve Navajo language by getting more and more people to listen to this language. With more and more people introduced to the Navajo language, they will start to remember some of the words and even teach the language to others.

    I found this article interesting, because it's nice to hear how large companies are trying to help those speak languages other than English.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    3/24/2016 - 09:48 p.m.

    I didn't know that the Disney movie, Nemo, was translated into the Navajo language. Most Disney movies aren't in that language and this will help the people of the Navajo nation to learn more about their language. Star Wars Episode 4, The New Hope, was also translated into the Navajo language. A woman named Catherine Esquivel has a 6-year-old son named Mariano Esquivel who has watched Nemo. Many people were fascinated by the movie and they enjoyed it. Catherine thinks that when her son grows up, he will think that this was a great time in his life.
    I think that this movie will help preserve the Navajo language by showing people that this great movie has been translated into the Navajo language which might tell people something. They might pay more attention to the language and try to see what significance it has.

  • lucasddd-3-bar
    3/24/2016 - 10:53 p.m.

    The movie will help preserve the navajo language because Finding Nemo is in the Navajo language, and everyone is able to see it. The second paragraph says " a major motion picture has been dubbed in the Navajo language." This means, people will hear Navajo when they watch it and people will be able to see it forever.
    This article was interesting, and I have never heard of the Navajo before.

  • gabriellek-1-bar
    3/24/2016 - 10:58 p.m.

    The movie will help preserve the Navajo language because it will be a copy of how to say all of the words in the language. People may be inspired to learn the language after hearing it and the more people that know the Navajo language the more people will be able to teach it. I found this article interesting and surprising because a 6 year old boy played the role of a baby turtle. When he is older he will always have this memory.

  • calis-3-bar
    3/24/2016 - 11:19 p.m.

    This movie will help preserve the Navajo language because it will allow for the language to be documented through video form. There are many languages that are burning out as their people do, but having the Navajo language being translated into films allows for it to be passed down for generations even if the population of people who speak Navajo depletes. I liked this article. I recently read a book called "Code Talkers" for Ms. Avol's book club and enjoyed it greatly. This article really shows how little is being done to preserve languages such as this one, and how technology may help document the Navajo language.

  • matthewp-6-bar
    3/25/2016 - 12:24 a.m.

    This movie will help preserve the Navajo language. The reason for this is because having movies in the language encourages speakers to keep speaking their language and other people can hear the Navajo language. This is shown in the article by,"They believe the translation will help keep the Navajo language alive." My opinion about this article is that it is important to preserve other languages.

  • justiny-2-bar
    3/25/2016 - 12:35 a.m.

    This movie will help preserve the Navajo language by exposing it to the younger generations and the movie will last for a very long time. I found this article surprising because I have never heard of the Navajo language before. I found it interesting that Disney is also trying to preserve this language.

  • yuaw-3-bar
    3/25/2016 - 12:41 a.m.

    This movie will help preserve the Navajo language by translation. On paragraph six, it says that the children parents believe that "the translation will help keep the Navajo language alive." By making the kids watch a kid audience movie, it will help them understand it better.
    I thought this was interesting because first of all, "Finding Nemo" is one of my favorite movies and I thought it was great how kids can start to learn their languages from it, and also, because learning a language is hard work and making the kids watch a movie to learn the language from a young age is a really good start.

  • daytonb-3-bar
    3/25/2016 - 09:11 a.m.

    This movie will help preserve the Navajo language because generations and generations will be able to watch it in their original language. Also it doesn't encourage the young Navajo children to have to learn English because they can share some entertainment in their native language. I think this is awesome but I think more movies should be translated to Navajo not just two. In some ways it seems unfair that children can't watch the same movies I did.

  • angelinat-3-bar
    3/25/2016 - 10:17 a.m.

    The movie will help preserve the Navajo language because if the children of the Navajos see this movie, it will help them better understand the language. The article says, "The children's parents tell the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper that they believe the translation will help keep the Navajo language alive." This shows that this movie will help the Navajo culture. I was interested in this article because I like to learn about the Native American tribes. I was not surprised by this article because I think they should do this more often.

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