Star Wars to be Dubbed into Its 40th Language: Navajo

Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum, has partnered with Lucasfilm and Deluxe to bring the original Star Wars film (that’s Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope to you kids out there) to the big screen once again. While Star Wars has long been a staple of sci-fi fans around the world, this latest version of the 1977 classic is being redubbed in a most unexpected language: Dine’, the language of the Native American Navajo Nation and the most widely used of all Native American languages. From The Hollywood Reporter:

There are not direct translations for many words in Star Wars, notes Wheeler. Dine, the Navajo language, often uses a description of what a word does to convey meaning so that several English words are needed to produce a translation. 

Wheeler said he hopes to avoid "what people saw in the old Kung fu movies when the lip movements didn't coincide at all with what was said. I don't want to disparage the Kung fu movies because I loved watching them, but this can become very distracting and we don't want to see that happen here."

Wheeler explains the importance of this translation, "By preserving the Navajo language and encouraging Navajo youth to learn their language, we will also be preserving Navajo culture."

The translation project has been underway for three years now. Auditions for actors to portray the leading roles of Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, and Han Solo began today.

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