Kaltxì ayngaru, ma eylan.
I hope you’re all doing well and looking forward to healthy and happy holidays.
Here are some new vocabulary items I hope you’ll find useful. Thanks, as always, to the stalwart LEP contributors for some of these ideas.
First, some words for good and bad sights and sounds.
Na’vi distinguishes two kinds of ‘noise’:
väpam (n., VÄ.pam) ‘noise: ugly or unpleasant sound, screech’
hawmpam (n., HAWM.pam) ‘noise: sound that is excessive, unnecessary, inappropriate, unexpected, or startling’
As you see, väpam, from vä’ ‘unpleasant to the senses’ + pam ‘sound,’ is always an unpleasant sound; hawmpam, from hawng ‘overabundance’ + pam, is not necessarily an ugly sound but rather one that’s somehow wrong—a sound that in some sense shouldn’t be there.
Ninatìri tìrusol Txewìyä lu väpam.
‘To Ninat, Txewì’s singing is noise.’
A: Sunu oeru nìtxan aysäftxulì’u peyä.
‘I like his speeches a lot.’
B. Srake nìngay plltxe nga? Oeri ke tsun oe yivune tsaväpamit.
‘Really? I myself can’t listen to that noise.’
Fìhawmpam pelun, ma ’itan? Fnivu set!
‘Why all this noise, son? Be quiet now!’
lehawmpam (adj., le.HAWM.pam) ‘noisy’
nìhawmpam (adv., nì.HAWM.pam) ‘noisily’
Taronyul lehawmpam ska’a sätaronit.
‘A noisy hunter destroys the hunt.’
Txo fko tivul mì na’rìng nìhawmpam, stawm ayioang.
‘If you run noisily in the forest, the animals will hear.’
And here are some other adjectives relating to good and bad sounds—and sights—built on the ftxìlor/ftxìvä’ (‘good tasting/bad tasting’—literally, ‘pleasant or unpleasant to the tongue’) pattern we’ve already seen. These words are more specific than the general adjectives lor and vä’, which can be applied to any sensory experience.
miklor (adj., mik.LOR) ‘pleasant sounding, beautiful sounding’
mikvä’ (adj., mik.VÄ’) ‘bad-sounding’
narlor (adj., nar.LOR) ‘beautiful visually’
narvä’ (adj., nar. VÄ’) ‘ugly, unsightly’
And since we’ve been talking about sounds:
zawr (n.) ‘animal call’
Let me quote the LEP committee here, since they’ve provided a nice explanation of this word:
“Zawr is used for the sound an animal makes for vocal communication. It can be used alone to mean “an animal cry” or “the call of an animal,” but it’s very general . . . When translating into English, it can then be changed to mean whatever sound is normally associated [with a particular animal]: the roar of a palulukan, the screech of an ikran, the bellow of a talioang.”
Zawr thus takes the place of a more specific word for a particular animal’s vocalization, like nguway for the howl of a nantang. It’s always correct, although the specific words are more colorful.
Zawr yerikä lu ’ango.
‘The call of the hexapede is quiet.’
tìnew (n., tì.NEW) ‘desire’
Tìnew is parallel to tìkin ‘need,’ in that it can refer either to the general state or concept or to a specific instance.
Tsamsiyuri lu tìyora’ä tìnew lekin.
‘A warrior must have the desire for victory.’
Lu oer tìnew a tse’a txampayit.
‘I have a desire to see the ocean.’
Pxìm lu tìnew lehawng kxutu fpomä.
‘Excessive desire is often the enemy of peace.’
nopx (vtr.) ‘put away, store’
Tsko swizawti nivopx, ma ’ite. Ke taron oeng fìtrr.
‘Put away your bow and arrow, daughter. You and I are not hunting today.’
tiam (vtr., TI.am—inf. 1, 2) ‘count’
Rutxe tiviam aysrokit tsakrr holpxayti piveng oer.
‘Please count the beads and tell me the number.’
Derived from tiam we have a word for infinite or uncountable:
ketsuktiam (adj., ke.tsuk.TI.am) ‘uncountable, infinite’
Note that this word doesn’t necessarily mean something is literally uncountable or infinite, but only that the number is exceedingly large.
Holpxay sanhìyä a mì saw lu ketsuktiam; keng ke tsun fko tsive’a sat nìwotx.
‘The number of stars in the sky is infinite; it’s not even possible to see them all.’
A related word is:
txewluke (adj., TXEW.lu.ke) ‘endless, boundless, without limit’
The basic difference between ketsuktiam and txewluke is that the former is for countables while the latter is for noncountables:
Spaw Na’vil futa tìyawn Eywayä lu txewluke.
‘The Na’vi believe that Eywa’s love is boundless.’
’umtsa (n., ’UM.tsa) ‘medicine’
Ralul ngolop ’umtsat fa aysyulang fwäkìwllä.
Ralu made medicine from flowers of the Mantis orchid.
Fìsäspxinìri ngeyä ke längu kea ’umtsa.
‘Unfortunately there is no medicine for this disease of yours.’
lang (vtr.) ‘investigate, explore’
There is overlap in meaning between lang and steftxaw ‘examine, check.’ Lang has a sense of exploring something previously unknown, without preconceived notions of what you’re going to find; steftxaw can imply a detailed examination of the components of something, perhaps against a checklist. But the two are often interchangeable.
Lumpe lerang Kelutralit Sawtutel?
‘Why are the humans exploring Hometree?’
tìlang (n., tì.LANG) ‘exploration (general sense)’
sälang (n., sä.LANG) ‘an exploration or investigation’
Srane, sunu Sawtuteru tìlang, slä ke omum fol teyngta kempe zene sivi mawkrra ’uoti rolun.
‘Yes, the Skypeople love exploration, but they don’t know what to do once they find something.’
Kum sälangä leyewla längu. Ke rolun awngal ke’ut.
‘The result of the investigation was, I’m sorry to say, disappointing. We found nothing.’
Finally, here are a couple of idiomatic expressions you may find useful.
First, a couple of new words:
kxum (adj.) ‘viscous, gelatinous, thick’
kxumpay (n., KXUM.pay) ‘viscous liquid, gel’
Kxumpay is the word used for the aloe-like gel derived from the leaves of the paywll ‘dapophet’ plant that’s used as an ’umtsa.
Idiom: (Na) kenten mì kumpay
Literally, this is ‘(like) a fan lizard in gel.’ (Note that we would expect a linking a in this phrase: na kenten a mì kumpay. In proverbial expressions, however, the a is often omitted.)
The sense is one of being in an environment where you’re prevented from acting naturally or doing what you want to do. The kenten wants to spread his beautiful fan and fly away, but being encased in gel, he is unable to.
Narmew oe foru na’rìngä tìlorit wivìntxu, slä ke tsängun fo tslivam. ’Efu oe na kenten mì kumpay.
‘I wanted to show them the beauty of the forest, but sadly, they weren’t able to understand. I felt completely stymied.’
Idiom: (Na) loreyu ’awnampi
Literally, ‘(like) a touched helicoradian’ (Again, the expected a has been omitted in a proverbial expression.)
As you recall from the film, loreyu are the beautiful spiral-shaped plants that immediately curl up and vanish when touched. The analogy is used to indicate extreme shyness.
Lu por mokri amiklor, slä loreyu ’awnampi lu. Ke tsun rivol eo sute.
‘She has a beautiful voice, but she’s extremely shy. She can’t sing in front of people.’
Until next time. Hayalovay, ma smuk!