Zola’u nìprrte’ ayngaru nìwotx! Welcome to you all! It’s a pleasure to post this first message to Na’viteri (Concerning Na’vi), my blog about the language of the inhabitants of Pandora in James Cameron’s seminal film, “Avatar.” I hope that everyone with an interest in Na’vi—from the casually curious to those aspiring to mastery—will find something useful here.
I have three main goals for Na’viteri that will be reflected in three different kinds of posts:
1. BEGINNERS’ CLASSROOM—NUMTSENGVI AYSNGÄ’IYUÄ
This is the place for Na’vi 101, a series of friendly, progressive language lessons, starting from scratch, for beginners. Here you’ll find conversations and dialogs where you’ll not only see the language in written form but be able to click on a button and hear it spoken as well. You’ll also find brief, non-technical grammatical explanations, passages for reading and listening comprehension, and practice exercises.
I want to make one thing clear at the outset. As many of you know, a wealth of learning materials for Na’vi is already available on the Internet—discussion boards in at least 18 languages, Na’vi language lessons, dictionaries, sound recordings, videos—created by devoted fans of “Avatar” and Na’vi who have formed a spirited and passionate Na’vi Community. (You’ll find links to some of those sites under “Na’vi on the ‘Net” at the right.) The quality of many of these materials is extraordinarily high; the fact that talented people have put in so much time and effort to help others learn Na’vi is for me a great source of pride. What I myself will present here is not intended to substitute for or supplant those materials but rather to supplement them. At times, in fact, I may refer you to a particularly clear or insightful explanation, discussion, or example that someone else has provided.
2. LANGUAGE DISCUSSION—TÌPÄNGKXO LELÌ’FYA
In these posts, aimed at intermediate and advanced learners, I’ll be discussing various points of grammar and usage and responding to questions. I’m grateful for the probing queries I’ve gotten from members of the Community, many of which have helped me see where Na’vi needs further elucidation and development. This blog will be a central location where I can offer suggestions and address issues of interest to those who are already using the language for communication.
3. NEW EXPRESSIONS, NEW RULES—MIPA AYLÌ’FYAVI, MIPA HOREN
This is the place for introducing new vocabulary and expressions and presenting new or extended rules of grammar and usage.
While Na’viteri will be an English/Na’vi bilingual blog, there will inevitably be more English than Na’vi. Ideally everything would be in both languages, but that would take more time than I have. Like all of you, I’m still a learner myself and not yet at the point I can write as quickly and easily in Na’vi as I can in my own native language. That said, I’ll try to include as much Na’vi as I can for intermediate and advanced students.
This is my first-ever blog—and it will soon become clear, if it hasn’t already, that I am very much feeling my way around. So as we go along, don’t be surprised if you come across inconsistencies and errors of various kinds or if you notice changes to format and organization as I discover better ways of doing things. Your constructive comments and suggestions are always welcome. I also want to say how grateful I am for the offers of help I’ve received from kind volunteers in the Community—irayo, ma oeyä eylan (thank you, my friends); as things go along, I may indeed enlist your assistance. Right now, though, I want to acknowledge the invaluable guidance I’ve received from Britton Watkins and Josh Feldman, without whose generous help I’d still be scratching my head and wondering how in the world to get started. Needless to say, any mistakes or omissions are my own.
And so . . . Awnga sngivä’i ko! Let’s begin! Check back here soon for Na’vi 101 Lesson 1 and the first posts to the discussion room. Until then, kìyevame ulte Eywa ngahu—so long, and Eywa be with you.
Ma oeyä eylan,
Tse . . . Nìawnomum, fwa oel fìtìkangkemvit1 sngeykivä’i2 krrnolekx nìtxan, slä nì’i’a3 tsun oe pivlltxe san Zola’u nìprrte’ ne pìlok4 Na’viteri sìk! Tìmweypeyri ayngeyä seiyi irayo nìngay. Sìlpey oe, awngeyä lì’fyaolo’ìri fìpìlok lìyevu pxan, ulte frapo—ftxey sngä’iyu ftxey tsulfätu5—tsìyevun fìtsenge rivun ’uot lesar.
Lu pìlokur pxesìkan sì pxefne’upxare:
1ve: NUMTSENGVI6 AYSNGÄ’IYUÄ
Fayupxare layu aysngä’iyufpi, fte lì’fyari awngeyä fo tsìyevun nìftue nìltsansì nivume.
Ma oeyä eylan, faysänumviri rutxe fì’ut tslivam: Nìltsan omum oel futa ayhapxìtul lì’fyaolo’ä awngeyä txantsana aysänumvit ngolop fte aylaru kivar. Faysulfätuä tìkangkem oheru meuia luyu nìngay. Kllkxayem fìtìkangkem oeyä rofa7—ke io—pum°10 feyä.
2ve: TÌPÄNGKXO LELÌ’FYA
Fayupxaremì oe payängkxo teri horen lì’fyayä leNa’vi fpi sute a tsun srekrr tsat sivar. Ayngeyä sìpawmìri kop fmayi fìtsenge tivìng sì’eyngit. Nìawnomum tolel oel ta ayhapxìtu lì’fyaolo’ä pxaya sìpawmit atxantsan a vay set ke ’oleyng. Sìlpey oe tsnì tsìyevun nì’i’a tsakem sivi fìpìlokfa.
3ve: MIPA AYLÌ’FYAVI, MIPA HOREN
Pìlokä fìhapxìyä tìkan lu law.
Lu law ’uo alahe, ma eylan. Krro krro°11 fìtsenge oe tìkxey sayi. (Ke plltxe san sasyi sìk!) Txo tsive’a ayngal keyeyt, rutxe oeru piveng fte tsivun oe sa’ut leykivatem.
Ha awnga sngivä’i ko! Ziva’u nìmun ye’rìn . . . tsakrr rayun ayngal ayupxaret amip.
1tìkangkemvi ‘project, piece of work’
2Make sure to distinguish between the two senses of “begin”—intransitive (as in “The work began”—Tìkangkem sngolä’i) and transitive (as in “She began the work”—Poel tìkangkemit sngeykolä’i).
3nì’i’a ‘finally’ Na’vi has different words for the two senses of “finally” in English. Nì’i’a is “finally” in the sense of “at long last”—“I’ve finally finished!” For “finally” in the sense of “lastly”–“Finally, we need to talk about the budget”—use nìsyen.
5tsulfätu ‘master of an art, craft, or skill; expert’ Related expressions: tsulfä ‘mastery,’ tsulfä si ‘to master’
6numtsengvi ‘classroom, division of a school’
7rofa (ADP-) ‘beside, alongside’
°10pum ‘possession, thing possessed’ Pum is used as a “dummy noun” with the genitive pronouns to form “disjunctive possessives”—that is, words like “mine,” “yours,” “theirs.” Example: Kelku ngeyä lu tsawl; pum oeyä lu hì’i. (Your house is large; mine is small.)
°11krro krro ‘at times, on occasion’
Edit (30 June): Corrected two errors: *faysänumeviri–>faysänumviri, *aysänumevit–>aysänumvit