Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary


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Give students an example of how the code might work. For example, boy in Navajo code might be "shush ne-ahs-jah tsah-as-zih. Tell students to work together to create messages using the dictionary. Then tell groups to exchange papers to decode one another's messages. Encourage creativity! Assessment Observe students' participation and ability to work in cooperative groups. Scroll down or click for work sheet text and answer key. Click for our archive of Every-Day Edit activities from previous weeks. Over the summer, the players practis and train. The season ends with playoffs and the championship game.

Do you have a favorit football team you will watch this year. In April, the league holds a draft where teams pick players. Over the summer, the players practice and train. Starting in September, each team spends the next 17 weeks playing games. Do you have a favorite football team you will watch this year?

Materials: Printable Student Worksheet Starter: Say: Why do you think that drawing inferences is something that you need to do? Allow the students to answer. Main: Say: We all draw inferences when we are reading. It is important to be able to draw inferences because many times you need to be able to draw a conclusion based on information that has not been stated.

Drawing an inference is also called reading between the lines and you do it when you are reading and when you are having a conversation with someone.

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In science texts, you are often given many details and a lot of information. You need to be able to understand that information and draw conclusions about what is being stated. For example, you might read a text that says that there were pieces of an egg found in a nest. What inference would you make? You would infer that a bird had hatched out of the egg that was in the nest.

In science texts, it is important to understand the difference between an observation and an inference.

Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary by HistoriaVictoria | Teaching Resources

An observation is something that someone has seen and then written about. Scientists use inferences all of the time, especially when they are learning about something that they cannot actually see or touch, like fossils or outer space. Now, you are going to read a paragraph about a science topic.


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While you are reading, pay attention to the details and to any inferences that you might be drawing while you read. Then, you will answer the questions. Does anyone have any questions? Feedback: Say: Who would like to share their answers? Allow the students to share and go over the answers. Why or why not? Main: Say: A fairytale is a story written for children that has magic or imaginary beings and lands. The electrical current passed from right to left through three rotors, each of which could change the current to designate a different letter.


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After passing through a reflector, which changed the current that signified a different letter, the current passed back through the rotors from left to right. Again, it went to the plugboard, and then finally arrived at the lampboard where it lit the bulb of the decrypted or encrypted letter. The Germans normally used ten plugboard cables to connect 20 letters.

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To prevent letter frequency analysis attacks, when a key was pressed to encrypt a letter, the rotors turned in an odometer-like fashion, assuring a different path through the machine and that a single letter would not encrypt to the same ciphertext letter. The rotors could be oriented in the machine in 26 different ways with the orientation indicated by the letter showing through a window located on top of the machine. To further confuse the enemy, the outer ring on each rotor could be rotated into any of the 26 letter positions known as the ring settings.

Finally, the reflector to the left of the rotors was designed to swap letters and ensured that the path for the encryption of a letter was the same as the path for decryption. In the field, each day the German Enigma operators used a codebook to configure their Enigma machines to the same initial settings. Navajos serving in the U. Marines were able to create a cryptographic technique that involved encrypting messages by basically speaking their native language.

The idea of using Navajos and their native language for encryption originated at the beginning of by a man named Philip Johnston. Having grown up the son of a missionary to the Navajo people, Johnston was very familiar with the Navajo culture, and was one of only a handful of non-Navajos who spoke the Navajo language fluently.

Johnston was a veteran of World War I, and was familiar with how the Choctaw had provided secure communication for the U. Army during World War I. Convinced of the potential of the Navajo language serving as an encryption device, the Marine Corps ordered a pilot project in which an eight-week communications training course was completed by a group of 29 Navajos, who became the original Navajo code talkers. A graduation picture from this communications training course is shown in Figure 1. Figure 1. Original Navajo code talkers. To overcome this problem, the Navajo trainees decided that they would indicate such military words using literal English translations of things in the natural world for which they had Navajo translations.

Other such translations are shown in Table 1. Table 1. Navajo code words for select English words.

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An encoded phonetic alphabet was also created to allow for less common English words to be translated one letter at a time. Individual letters in such words were indicated by literal English translations of things for which translations existed in the Navajo language.

Then the words were encoded one letter at a time using the Navajo translations. The individual letters, the literal English translations of these letters used by the Navajo code talkers, and the Navajo translations of these literal translations are shown in Table 2. Table 2. Navajo code words for alphabet letters.

Multiple translations were used for most letters to increase the difficulty of deciphering the code using frequency analysis. The Navajo code was completely oral and never written down. As a result, each code talker, of which there were more than by the end of World War II, had to know every code word by memory.

This was not difficult for the Navajos since their language lacked a written script. The word SANK had no literal translation, and thus was translated one letter at a time. This literal translation illustrates an important point about the code — only trained code talkers had the ability to translate the code. Even if a person could speak Navajo fluently, he or she, without knowledge of the code, would be unable to translate a ciphertext into an English plaintext that made sense. In the field, one Navajo code talker would translate an English plaintext into a Navajo ciphertext and communicate the ciphertext using a radio to another Navajo code talker on the receiving end, who would then translate the result back into English.

This process would typically take a matter of seconds. This Navajo verbal translation readily demonstrates the time saved for encrypting and decrypting messages compared to encrypting and decrypting the same message using the rotor driven Enigma cipher. Mathematically Describing the Code. The fundamental objective of any cryptosystem is to enable two people to communicate over an insecure channel so that any opponent cannot understand what is being said.

The two correspondents communicate confidentially using a pre-determined key that the sender uses to disguise the message and the recipient uses its inverse to reveal the message. Intuitively, the Navajo code and substitution ciphers do not appear to have a mathematical representation. However, all cryptosystems, including the Navajo code, can be represented mathematically.

P is a finite set of undisguised symbols or phrases called plaintexts. C is a finite set of disguised symbols or phrases called ciphertexts. K is a finite set of possible keys, called the keyspace. The Navajo code provides an excellent example of how functions are described and applied in non-traditional mathematical notation.

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The set P is the set of all English phrases to be disguised. The range C is the set of possible Navajo language phrases assigned to each English phrase. The Navajo talker applies the key k by assigning the phrase p a literal translation and mapping the literal translation to the Navajo phrase representing the ciphertext element c.

The entire process of encrypting and decrypting an entire message consisted of the Navajo code talker sending the message choosing a sequence of encryption functions to encrypt the message and the Navajo code talker receiving the message determining the sequence of decryption functions necessary to properly decrypt the message. The Navajo code talkers where the only persons who had knowledge of the keys necessary to translate the literal English messages to the intended desired plaintext and ciphertext messages.

Uses in the Field and Later Recognition. The speed, accuracy, and security of the Navajo code proved highly successful. Messages that would have taken hours to encrypt or decrypt using rotor machines, such as the Enigma, were encrypted or decrypted in seconds using the Navajo code. Given the speed of the Navajo code and the fact it was not broken led to it playing a critical role in the American success in the Pacific Campaign during World War II.

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First introduced at the Battle of Guadalcanal in August , the code was successfully used in many island battles, including Saipan, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima.

Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary
Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary
Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary
Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary
Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary Navajo Code Talkers Dictionary

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