Irayo! Thank you! And some miscellaneous thoughts

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 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!)

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16 Responses to Irayo! Thank you! And some miscellaneous thoughts

  1. kawazoe says:

    There is a huge RP section in the LearnNa’vi forums were some of us write walls of texts in Na’vi. There is times when we are using quite advanced notion but I think that there might be some very good stories in there. You might want to take a look. I’m sure the authors would be honored to see their writings used for such purpose.

  2. Ftiafpi says:

    Ma Karyu Pawl (sì ma lahea sute ta, in response to your note on the language of comments allow me to add my voice.

    I agree wholeheartedly (is that really one word? Firefox doesn’t like it as two. Hiyìka ‘ìnglìsì…) with your pros and cons regarding comments nìNa’vi. I myself follow the following personal “rules” with Na’vi comments:

    1) If I intend the comment for an advanced Na’vi speaker I will generally do it in Na’vi with little to no English and no translation.
    2) If I intend it for a beginner I will do mostly English and any Na’vi will be accompanied by a translation and/or glossed sentence.
    3) If I intend it for a general audience I will mix Na’vi and English, generally putting the less important or commonly used sentences in Na’vi.

    Some additional “rules” I may follow are:
    4) If I intend it for learning purposes I will always include a translation of any Na’vi but any major explanations will be in English.
    5) If I want there to be minimal misunderstanding I will either do all English or will provide the full text in both Na’vi and English

    I think the most pragmatic solution is to provide translations at the end of comments, with enough space between them and the main text that one’s eyes aren’t automatically drawn to them. Furthermore, one can use the “blockquote” or “cite” HTML tag around the translation to make it less attractive visually.

    As for stories, and other direct questions in general, do you prefer our responses posted in these comments or in an E-Mail to you? Or both? I’ll assume both for now and send this to you in an E-Mail as well.

  3. Corey Scheideman (Tirea Aean) says:

    Oh how I love this blog!

    As for mistake recognition: I will be on the lookout and will let you know if I see something out of the ordinary.

    As for my comments in Na’vi: I like to comment on things in Na’vi sometimes. I completely agree with all the things you said about Na’vi nì’aw comments. They may be off-putting for beginners, and half pointless if instantly translated…So I hereby agree to translate upon request.(if that even helps)…I do not at all look down upon English-only commenting. As you see, this comment is in English. This blog is a place of learning and uniting the learners of Na’vi…not segregating. I respect all students of Na’vi just as I do the teachers. Technically, we ALL are beginners. 🙂 I don’t have strong feelings at all as for the language of comments. (I’m with Pawl and think everyone should feel welcome here. :D) I really like Ftiafpi’s Ruleset and will also be personally abiding by them.

    Stories in Simple Na’vi is a BRILLIANT idea. I cannot wait to see them and use them to further learning of newer members. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I will have the time to construct a story unless it is a really short one…who knows.?

    fìpìlokìri nìmun irayo seiyi oe ngar ulte ke tsun pivey vaykrr nìmun nga fìtsenge pamrel si.
    as for this blog, again I thank you and cannot wait until you write here agin.

    –Tirea Aean

  4. Le'eylan says:

    Svenska(för att mitt egna språk är fint):
    Jag uppskattar verkligen att du har tagit dig tid att göra den här bloggen! Det ska bli kul att läsa den, och jag ska fundera lite på det där med historierna. Kreativitet är roligt 😀
    Och det känns bra att veta att du finns här för oss Na’vi-elever 🙂

    I really appreciate that you have taken time to make this blog! I’ll be having fun reading it, and I’ll think a little about those stories. Creativity is a fun thing 😀
    And it feels good to know that you’re here for us Na’vi-students!


  5. ma Karyu Pawl, oe lu nume Na’vi ulte lu, kxawm, sìltsan ni’ul to ay-tuteo, pxel-sìltsan pxel-ay-lahe … ngeyä pilok oe tse’a hu-tìprrte’. Irayo ting Ayoe Na’vi li’fya. Kekerusey (Teacher Paul, I am learning Na’vi and am, maybe, more good than some, not as good as others … your blog I see [read] with pleasure. Thank you for giving us the Na’vi languae. Kekerusey.)

  6. Plumps says:

    Ma Karyu Pawl,

    Oe mllte hu sute eo oe (wow, that looks stxong 😀 )
    This is a place of learning, after all, same as the forum. Nobody should feel excluded or inferior because of supposed lack of language skills – we are all aynumeyu 😉

    As for the stories… I poured all my creativity in »Kelutral aKe’aw« (shameless self-ad 😛 ) but I can’t really decide which level that might be. But I love creating stories and maybe will come up with something else…

    Fìpìlok yawne lu oer! 🙂

  7. Kemaweyan says:

    Ma Karyu, oel ngati kameie. Mipa ‘upxareri seiyi oe ngaru irayo nìtxan.

    Oe mllte ngahu nìwotx aylì’uri ngeyä teri aylì’fya sì’eyngä, slä new sivung oeyä sìfpìlit fìtxeleri. Nìngay oe ke lu karyu ulte tsun fpivìl nìkeyawr, slä lam oer, sweya fya’o fte nivume lìfyati lu tìpängkxo, tskxekeng. Ha fpìl oel futa nì’ul sìltsan livu fwa sì’eyngìri pamrel sivi nìNa’vi nì’aw luke tìralpeng. Krr a oe lamu sngä’iyu, oe frakrr fmami sivar pukit aylì’uä ulte ralpiveng luke srung. Srane, tsakem krrnamek oer nìtxan, slä set fìlunta oe tsun tslivam lì’fyati leNa’vi luke tìralpeng 🙂 Tafral fpìl oel futa txo oe pamrel sayi nìNa’vi nì’aw, layu aysngä’iyur nì’ul tskxekeng. Nìngay, txo fol nayew tsat 🙂 Ulte nìteng oeru lì’fya leNa’vi mowan sì ftue lu to pum le’Ìnglìsì 🙂 Ke tsun oe pänutivìng tsaria nìyawr pamrel sivi oe nì’Ìnglìsì, oeru txoa livu… Ngian omum oel futa horenìri zene fko pamrel sivi nì’Ìnglìsì fte frapo tsivun tslivam sat nìftue…

    LeNa’via ayvurìri ahì’i fpìl oel futa tsun awnga a ayhapxìtu lu, srung sivi ngar. Slä nìtslam kin awngal krrit nì’it 🙂 Pxiye’rìn oe fmayi ‘uot ngivop. Tsun oe srung sivi ngaru sì tì’usongur lìfyayä leNa’vi a fì’u oeru prrte’ lu nìngay 😉 Irayo, ma Karyu.

    Kìyevame, Eywa ngahu. Perey oel mipa upxaret ngeyä…

  8. Ftiafpi says:

    Ma Karyu Pawl, ngal tsole’a futa ta TEDxUSC srak?

  9. Thorinbur says:

    Oel ngati kameie.
    What do you think about idea of translating your messages and posting them on different blog? I created blog espetialy for that wich is Polish version of this blog. I have to work on it when i have more time to add links and so. And of course I stated clearly that all posts are translations and only credit for me is for translating them. Do you like that idea or i should only post translations on forum?

    Adress of this blog is:

    And if you excuse me it’s 4:30 am in Poland I just finished translation so one last quick post on and it’s time to sleep. I was just going to bed, when my browser found new items in RSS feed… heh. But one must have some priorities. Kiyevame, ulte Eywa ayngahu.

  10. Alton DeHaan (Kayrìlien Rolyu) says:

    First of all, I have to start out with a somewhat-generic-yet-completely-sincere “This is awesome!” Your beautiful creation has finally given me an opportunity to mate my longstanding fascination with language with my perennial love of fantasy in a truly glorious new fashion. Fì’uri ngaru seiyi irayo nìtxan, ma ‘eylan karyusì. Sìlpey oe tsnì ngeyä tìngop vayirä ne wotx ‘Rrtayä.

    I am looking forward with intense anticipation to the continuation of this project. By the way, I would be honored to contribute short stories for the purpose of teaching new learners; said honor would definitely grow beyond Thanator-sized proportions should anything I write be used for such a purpose, especially if the end result is a larger and more vigorous Na’viphone community.

    Thanks again, ulte Eywa ngahu tì’i’avay krrä!

  11. I knew small journal entries would come in handy at some point…

  12. Txur'Itan says:

    I have written a fan-fiction with Na’vi and English translation.

    I wanted to incorporate more Na’vi into the story telling, but I laked certain vocabulary and grammar knowledge to proceed with confidence. Please take a look at my early efforts. I would like to write entertaining stories conveying the message as intended in more correct Na’vi, and include dialog with translations.

  13. Txur'Itan says:

    I have a thought on the note about Languages to use…

    I think the Na’vi students want to try their hand on the language, and those who don’t speak, read, write English will likely be disinclined to use it…

    My suggestion for a middle ground:
    Mother tongue in the post.
    Na’vi if one would wish to make an attempt, regardless of the language proficiency in Na’vi.
    Polyglot translation in additional languages if so inclined to help people cross reference meaning, or better understand the post.

  14. Gisle Aune says:

    Seiyi oe ngaru irayo nìmun furia nga pamrel soli ayoefpì. Ngaytxoa furia oeyä pamrel a na’vi nì’aw lameiu, oe pamrel sayi nì’ìnglìsì, ulte nìna’vi alo ahay.
    I thank you again as for your writing for-the-benefit-of us. Sorry for that my writing that was in na’vi only, i will write in English, and Na’vi next time.

    Oel omängum futa aykeyeyil tok pamrelit oeyä, ulte oeru txoa livu fì’uri.
    I know that errors are in my writing, and I am sorry for that.

    Eywa ayngahu.

  15. Udrihel says:

    Kal’txì! i’m not expert in Na’vi language even if love this language!
    I’ve create a conlang with my friends called Kreczam,i spoke this language with my friends and i can say that is very cool!!
    I’m learning even na’vi in the blog Avatar-italia because i’m italian!!
    Conlanging is very cool!!

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