When NASA was preparing for the Apollo project, some of the training of the astronauts took place on a Navajo reservation.
One day, a Navajo elder and his son were herding sheep and came across the space crew.
The old man, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question that his son translated.
“What are these guys in the big suits doing?”
A member of the crew said they were practicing for their trip to the moon.
The old man got all excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.
Recognizing a promotional opportunity, the NASA folks found a tape recorder.
After the old man recorded his message, they asked his son to translate it.
The NASA PR people brought the tape to the reservation, where the rest of the tribe listened and laughed, but refused to translate the elder’s message.
Finally, the NASA crew called in an official government translator.
His translation of the old man’s message was:
“Watch out for these guys; they have come to steal your land.”
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