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Apache (Ndéé)

Apache is an Athabaskan (Na-Dene) language spoken by about 15,000 in Arizona and New Mexico. There are in fact two Apache languages: Western Apache and Eastern Apache, each of which has a number of dialects, including Jicarilla, Lipan, Kiowa-Apache, Chiricahua, and Mescalero. The Apache and Navajo languages are closely related.

The name Apache probably comes from the Yuma word for "fighting-men" and/or from apachu, which means "enemy" in Zuni. This was what the Zuni called the Navajo, who in turn were called Apaches de Nabaju by the early Spanish explorers in New Mexico. They call themselves N'de, Inde or Tinde, which all mean "the people".

Apache pronunciation

Apache pronunciation

Sample text in Apache

'Iłk'id́ą, k ǫǫ yá'édįná'a.
'Ákoo Tł'ízhe hooghéí dá'áíná bikǫ' 'óliná'a.
'Ákoo Tł'ízheí gotál yiis'́ąná'a.
'Ákoo Mai'áee híłghoná'a.
Gotál jiis'́ąí 'áee, Mai tsíbąąee naaná'azhishná'a.
'Ákoo bitseeí tsínáiłgoná'a.


Long ago, there was no fire.
Then only those who are called Flies had fire.
Then the Flies held a ceremony.
And Coyote came there.
At that place where they held the ceremony,
Coyote danced around and around at the edge of the fire.
And he continually poked his tail in the fire.

From: Coyote Obtains Fire, by Lawrence Mithlo


English to Apache Speaking Dictionary

Online Apache Texts

Information about the Apache language

White Mountain Apache Tride

Jicarilla Apache Nation

Yavapai-Apache Nation

Na-Dené languages

Apache, Chipewyan, Eyak, Gwich'in, Hän, Jicarilla, Mescalero-Chiricahua, Navajo, Tłı̨chǫ (Dogrib)

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet