Irayo nìtxan, ma eylan! Thanks very much, friends, for all your kind and encouraging words. They warmed my heart.
A few thoughts:
Corrections and a note to the Na’vi in my first post
Thanks to everyone who pointed out some minor errors. I corrected two of them without comment soon after the post went up but missed a third, which I’ve now revised, noting the edit at the bottom of the post. I plan to continue with that policy: if I catch something wrong within, say, an hour of posting, I’ll fix it without comment; later than that, I’ll make the correction but also indicate what was changed.
That correction, by the way, was to eliminate the extraneous e in two forms of the word sänumvi, ‘lesson.’ Thanks to the folks who pointed that out, and my apologies if it caused consternation! It was nothing more than a goof.
Despite my efforts at proofreading, such things will inevitably get through. So when you see something that doesn’t look right, please continue to let me know. You can do that in a public comment or a private e-mail—I’m perfectly happy either way! Chances are I’ll respond with one of the following: (1) “Whoops! That was a mistake. Thanks!” (2) “Both forms—the way I wrote it and the change you’ve suggested—are correct.” (3) “Although it may look odd, the way I wrote it is right, and here’s why . . .” Hopefully we’ll learn something in all these situations.
A note on srekrr, an adverb that usually means “before,” which as I used it in the post precipitated some discussion. (As many of you know, the form of the word is an exception to the rule: we would expect srehrr.) Srekrr means “before (time adv.), beforehand.” And “beforehand,” which my dictionary defines as “ahead of time, in advance,” shades into “already.” So the translation of the sentence in question—Fayupxaremì oe payängkxo teri horen lì’fyayä leNa’vi fpi sute a tsun srekrr tsat sivar—would be something like: “In these messages I’ll chat about the rules of the Na’vi language for people who can use it ahead of time”—i.e., people who can already use it. Irayo to Wm. Annis for the excellent analysis in his learnnavi.org post.
The language of comments
I was very impressed by the quality of the Na’vi in the comments. It’s so gratifying to see how far some of you have already come in using Na’vi for genuine communication!
As you know, this is a bilingual blog, and comments are welcome in English, in Na’vi, or in a combination of both. (And if anyone wants to leave a brief comment in another language, that’s fine—just please translate it so the rest of us can understand!) When it comes to all-Na’vi comments, though, I’ve received some feedback that I wanted to share with you.
Na’vi-only comments have both pros and cons:
PROS: They reinforce the idea that Na’vi is not a game but a means of genuine communication. They also give writers a chance to use their Na’vi in a public way and give others a chance to practice their reading comprehension. Providing an English translation of every Na’vi post would defeat those purposes. (For example, it’s hard to resist going immediately to the translation rather than puzzling out the Na’vi for yourself without help, a more productive activity.) They also give beginners a sense of how far some Community members have come and provide the incentive for them to get there themselves.
CONS: Na’vi-only comments are directed to a relatively small audience (assuming the blog will eventually get traffic from newcomers!) and create the sense of insiders vs. outsiders. They can be off-putting to new arrivals and curious people who have not yet learned much, if anything, of the language, who might react to the blog with, “Whoa. This is much too advanced for me.” And they might also imply that posters who write in English only are somehow not measuring up.
Please understand: Other than what I’ve indicated above, I’m not going to make rules for the language of comments. Whatever anyone prefers to do is fine—and very welcome! But I’m curious if people have strong feelings about this question one way or the other.
Request for stories in very simple Na’vi
For the Na’vi 101 beginner lessons, I’d like to include some little stories early on—short paragraphs in very easy Na’vi (simple structures, simple vocabulary) that could be used for listening and/or reading comprehension. These could be about anything at all—a little scenario taking place on Eywa’eveng (Pandora) or ’Rrta (earth) involving characters from the film, characters of your own invention, animals, plants, descriptions of environments, diary entries . . . anything at all that’s plausible. Although the grammar should be simple, it’s not necessary that every structure be something that’s already been introduced and explained. If the listener or reader understands what’s going on, that will be a step towards language acquisition even if not every grammatical process has been discussed at that point.
Although I’ll be working on such stories myself, I think it would be fun if many of them came from you! It won’t be easy—writing very simply and clearly while still sounding natural is a challenge. But if this sounds like something you’d like to try, by all means start thinking about it, and when you have something, send it to me in an e-mail. I’ll reserve the right to edit and change things based on pedagogical considerations, but if I use your story in a lesson I’ll definitely give you credit.
More soon. Trr/txon lefpom! (Have a good day/night!)