By Alysa Landry
Kristi Smith, an eighth-grader at Tibbetts Middle School, emerged as the champion after correctly spelling "adinídíín," the Navajo word for "sunlight."
"It's really hard," she said after receiving her trophy. "In English, it's just plain letters, but in Navajo, you have to remember to say all the high tones, nasal hooks and glottal stops."
The Navajo written language includes 32 consonants and four vowels, but it also comprises a variety of accent marks and other pronunciation rules.