Talk:Bilagáana

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Also "white people"?[edit]

Can't this also be a non-proper noun meaning "white people"? nv:WP seems to indicate this. 24.29.228.33 21:11, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it also means "white man/white people". The term "proper noun" is something that is peculiar to English and many languages have few or no proper nouns. If Navajo has proper nouns, it would be the names of towns. Bilagáana is just a noun (although it may also be considered a verb instead of a noun), and it is not always capitalized. "Proper noun" should not be applied to most other languages. —Stephen 21:49, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, well, this entry is capitalized and "white man"/"white people" aren't, so should we make another separate entry for that, or just un-capitalize this entry title? 24.29.228.33 04:09, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Most English manuals of style say not to capitalize white people or black people. That’s English, and Navajo capitalization is not the same. Few Navajo words really need to be capitalized. Bilagáana may be capitalized or not. Usually the language is bilagáana bizaad, not capitalized. When bilagáana is capitalized, it’s probably just in imitation of the English style. I think I said before that I don’t like marking nouns in languages like Navajo as "proper nouns", because few Navajo words could be considered proper nouns. Proper nouns are an English device. Bilagáana certainly is not a proper noun, so you could just as well move it to the uncapitalized form. —Stephen 12:56, 17 May 2010 (UTC)