More Vocabulary + a Bit of Grammar

Ma eylan,

Here are a few new words, mostly suggestions from our hardworking Vocabulary Committee, along with a bit of new grammar.

Na’vi has two different words corresponding to the English word source; it’s important not to confuse them. One is:

letsim (adj., le.TSIM) ‘original, unique, not derived from another source’

This adjective is derived from the noun tsim ‘source, origin.’

Sweylu txo ngal ke txivìng säfpìlit letsim.
‘You shouldn’t abandon your original idea.’

The meaning here is that you came up with a new and unique idea that you shouldn’t abandon.

But we also have:

lesngä’i (adj., le.SNGÄ.’i) ‘original, existing at or from the start, first in a series’

Sweylu txo ngal ke txivìng säfpìlit lesngä’i.
‘You shouldn’t abandon your original idea.’

Here the meaning is that your very first idea is better than the current one.

The related adverbs are:

nìtsim (adv., nì.TSIM) ‘originally, in an original way, with originality’

sngä’i (adv., nì.SNGÄ.’i) ‘originally, at first’

Frakrr po fpìl nìtsim nìwotx.
‘Her thinking is always completely original.’

Nìsngä’i fmawnit fo narmew wivan, slä nì’i’a frapor lolonu.
‘They originally wanted to hide the news, but in the end they revealed it everyone.’

(adj.) ‘lethargic, lacking sufficient energy, lazy’

Ftue lu fwa taron ngonga ioangit to fwa taron pumit a lu walak sì win.
‘It’s easier to hunt lethargic animals than to hunt perky, speedy ones.

walak (adj., WA.lak) ‘energetic, active’

Tìtusaronìri txo new fko slivu tsulfätu, zene smarto livu walak.
‘If you want to become a master hunter, you have to be more active than your prey.’

Fìtrr oe ’efu ngong nìwotx.
I’m just not motivated to do anything today.’


tìngong (n., tì.NGONG) ‘lethargy, laziness’

nìngong (adv., nì.NGONG) ‘lethargically, lazily’

Note: When applied to people, ngong and its derivatives have a pejorative force: it’s not good to be lazy and lethargic.

Fwa Ìstawhu ’awsiteng tìkangkem si ke sunu oer; tìngongìri ke lu kawtu
na po.
‘I don’t like to work with Ìstaw; he’s famous for his laziness.’

To talk about doing something in a leisurely or unhurried way, without the negative connotation, we use a different set of words:

txi (n.) ‘hurry, hurriedness, frenzy’

letxi (adj., le.TXI) ‘hurried, frenzied’

nìtxi (adv., nì.TXI) ‘hurriedly, in a frenzied way’

letxiluke (adj., ‘unhurried’

nìtxiluke (adv., nì ‘unhurriedly, leisurely’

Tsun oe ngahu tsatsengene kivä, slä nulnew futa sivop oeng nìtxiluke.
‘I can go there with you, but I prefer to travel leisurely.’

 (vtr., — inf. 1,2 ) ‘reveal, bring forth, uncover (literally and metaphorically)’

Maw txantompa, pxaya rìkäo lamu tskalep peyä, ha tsat kulat ayoel.
‘After the rainstorm, his crossbow was under a lot of leaves, so we uncovered it (removed the leaves from it).’

txantompa (n., ‘rainstorm, heavy rain’

Lolu kavuk, slä Tsenul tìngayit kolulat.
‘There was treachery, but Tsenu revealed the truth.’

 (vtr., me.YAM — inf. 1,2) ‘hug, embrace, hold in one’s arms’

Ma sa’nu, oe txopu si. Meyam oeti!
‘Mommy, I’m scared. Hold me!’


sämyam (n., säm.YAM) – hug, embrace

Sämyamìl poru wayìntxu futa ngata lolu li txoa.
‘A hug will show him that you’ve already forgiven him.’
Now here’s the first bit of new grammar. How would you say, “They hugged each other?”

For this “reciprocal structure,” Na’vi uses the reflexive infix äp along with the adverbfìtsap:

fìtsap (adv., fì.TSAP) ‘each other’

This word evolved from fìpo+tsapor, literally ‘this person/thing to that person/thing.’


Mefo fìtsap mäpoleyam tengkrr tsngawvìk.
‘The two of them hugged each other and wept.’

Note two things here. First, it’s mefo, not mefol, since a reflexive verb takes the subjective, not the agentive, case. Second, if you omitted fìtsap, the sentence would mean that the two of them hugged themselves—that is, A hugged A and B hugged B rather than A hugged B and B hugged A.

Note also that the verb pom ‘kiss’ and the derived noun säpom ‘a kiss’ are parallel in all respects to meyam and sämyam.

 (adp.+, NU.ä) ‘beyond’

Awnga kelku si nuä ayram alusìng.
‘We live beyond the flying mountains.’

Note the difference between nuä ‘beyond’ and few ‘across, aiming for the opposite side of.’

Fo kelku si few ’ora.
‘They live across the lake.’ (That is, on the opposite side of the lake, on the other shore.)

Fo kelku si nuä ora.
‘They live beyond the lake.’ (That is, a great distance beyond and out of sight of the lake.)

(I’m sure everyone knows why it’s ’ora in one but ora in the other. 🙂 )

 (vin., KAN.fpìl — inf. 1, 2) ‘concentrate, focus one’s attention’

Furia sneyä tskoti ngop po kanfpìl.
‘He’s concentrating on making his bow.’

Txo new nga tslivam, zene kivanfpìl.
‘If you want to understand, you have to concentrate.’


fmokx (n.) ‘jealousy, envy’

The syntax is: Lu oeru fmokx. ‘I’m jealous.’

Note that fmokx carries a neutral connotation unless otherwise specified with äng orei.

Furia fìtxan fnängan Ulreyìl tsko swizawit, lu oeru fmokx.
‘I’m jealous of the fact that Ulrey is such an excellent archer.’

Fko plltxeie san menga muntxa slolu sìk! Seykxel sì nitram! Slä lu oeru
fmokx nì’it.
‘I’m so happy to hear you got married! Congratulations! I am a little envious, though.’


nìfmokx (adv., nì.FMOKX) ‘jealously, enviously’

Txewìl tukrut Loakä narmìn nìfmokx.
‘Txewì was eyeing Loak’s spear enviously.’

 (adj., kì.MAR) ‘in season (of foods, vegetable or animal)’

Teylu kìmar lìyu a fì’u oeru teya si.
It fills me with joy that teylu is about to be in season.


nìkmar (adv., nìk.MAR) ‘in the right season, opportunely’

Nìkmar can be used to describe events and situations that occur at a convenient or appropriate time.

Po tsap’alute soli nìkmar.
‘He apologized at the right time.’

Awngal tok kelkut.  Nìkmar zup tompa set.
‘We’re home.  Now is a good time for it to be raining.’

When occurring in a negated phrase, the meaning is not merely ‘not in season’ but ‘genuinely out of season, occurring at an inappropriate or inconvenient time.’

Fo ke perängkxo oehu nìkmar.
‘They were chatting with me at a bad time.’

Contrast the previous sentence with:

Kìmar lu fwa fo ke pängkxo oehu.
‘It was opportune that they didn’t chat with me.’ (That is, ‘They chose a good time not to chat with me.’)

Finally, here’s a use of the second-position infix ats that I don’t think you’ve seen before. (Thanks to one of our sulfätu lì’fyayä for this suggestion.)

ats› is used in what we might call “conjectural questions.” In a normal question, I don’t know something but I expect you do—that’s why I’m asking.  In a conjectural question, however, I don’t know and I don’t think you do either.

Tsa’u latsu peu?
‘What on earth is that?

Pol pesenget tatsok?
‘Where in the world could she be?’

Srake pxefo li polähatsem?
‘I wonder if the three of them have already arrived.’

’O’a Ftxozä Hälowinä, ma frapo!

ta Pawl

P.S.—I owe some of you responses to your comments on the previous post, and I’m sure there will comments on this one as well. I’ll get to them as soon as I can, but it probably won’t be until Wednesday night at the earliest.

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21 Responses to More Vocabulary + a Bit of Grammar

  1. Amaya says:

    No questions, only a great big IRAYO! I’ve wanted a word/words for “each other” for months now, as I was trying to translate something and I kept on putting “each other” in there and being unable to translate it without extreme awkwardness.

    And now I have my word, just in time for my birthday (well a few days early but I’ll pretend HRH)

  2. Sxkxawng says:

    Txantsan fwa lolu ayoeru aylì’ul nì’ul! 😀

    With more words, it’s becoming more difficult to notice the small, distinguishing differences in certain words:

    lesngä’i with ‘awve (to the zìma’uyu lì’fyayä leNa’vi)
    Similarly, nìsngä’i with nì’awve

    kanfpìl and (a possibly infixed) eltu si — I’m gonna need a little help with this one.

    Nìfrakrr, ngengaru seiyi irayo nìtxan!

  3. Carborundum says:

    I noticed you translated ‘got married’ as muntxa slolu rather than muntxa soli. What is the distinction?

    As always, thank you for an excellent post! 🙂

  4. SGM (Plumps) says:

    Ma karyu,

    furia ayoer mipa aylì’ut ngal tìng irayo ngaru nìtxan!

    Very useful words, the use of ‹ats› in this particular structure is very interesting (William will like that 😉 ) and the ‘each other’ structure was due for so long 😀

    Mefo fìtsap mäpoleyam tengkrr tsngawvìk.
    This one is interesting to me because of the use of tengkrr without the ‹er› infix in the dependent verb. Does that mean, we don’t need ‹er› in the following verb when using tengkrr?

    ’o’a Ftxozä Hälowinä ngaru kop! 🙂

    • SGM (Plumps) says:


      Also, in this sentence…
      Tìtusaronìri txo new fko slivu tsulfätu, zene smarto livu walak.

      Shouldn’t there be an ‹iv› in new (because of txo)?

      • wm.annis says:

        That is true of future conditions: txo + ‹iv›, some future. But here we have our first example of general condition, with both parts (the if-clause and the then-clause) taking verbs without funky mood marking.

  5. Two short notes on the English text:

    1) Shouldn’t the second paragraph refer to the word “original” rather than “source”?
    2) Keeping to the lexicon definition, ayram alusìng would be more appropriately rendered as “floating mountains”.

    • Carborundum says:

      Re: 2)
      While “floating mountains” would be a more accurate translation, the English name used in the movie is “flying mountains”.

  6. Blue Elf says:

    Wou, new words are here and some of them very useful we needed for a longer time (like fìtsap + <äp>). Ma Pawl, ngaru irayo seiyi nìtxan, nìngay!
    On the other hand, kìmar can be a little confusing as it looks on first view as k<ìm>ar. Well, we must read and think carefully 🙂

    • Tirea Aean says:

      Came here to say this. ;D

      Anyways, ma Pawl, KOSMANA PAMREL nang! I have been waiting for every single one of these for a long time. 😀

      Great to know more about ats. (We have seen it before [in statements], but it wasn’t ever explicitly identified with the conjectural question)

      Dictionary update time 😀 😀

    • Sxkxawng says:

      …and yet another Na’vi homophone 😛

      Luckily, like most — if not all — Na’vi homophones, this one can be distinguished from context.

  7. Teya si oer frakrr fwa tse’a fya’ot a lì’fya ‘ong! Irayo, ma Pawl, lì’uri alu “fìtsap” nìpxi.

  8. `Eylan Ayfalulukanä says:

    Tewti, ma Karyu Pawl!

    These kinds of words are helping ‘fill in’ Na’vi and helping it become an expressive language.

    I have an interesting question. You say that lesngä’i means ‘first in a series’. Is the ‘other end’ of this process syen, which you said along time ago could mean ‘last in a series’, as opposed to uk which means ‘last, final, ultimate’. Is there also a first, last relationship between letsim and uk?

  9. Kamean says:

    Ma Karyu!
    Pamrelìri akosman irayo seiyi! 🙂

  10. Tswusayona Tsamsiyu says:

    frapoyä aylì’uti oel leieyn. irayo ma K.
    nitrama Halowin. 🙂

  11. Blue Elf says:

    Tse, tìpawmìl a’aw vingkap oeti set: what is difference between uo and nuä? Meaning seems to me quite similar. Maybe they differs in distance – “uo” is behind something, but in near distance, while “nuä” means beyond the long distance?

  12. 'Eveng says:

    Irayo ma Nawma Karyu!
    Thank you very much for this new words!!

    Kiyevame ulte Eywa ngahu!

  13. Kxrekorikus says:

    Ma Karyu!

    Aylì’uri amip irayo oe seiyi ngar. Lesar nìtxan 🙂
    Slä rolun oel kxeyeytsyìpit alu san adverbfìtsap sìk 😉

  14. Sheba says:

    Wou, new words are here and some of them very useful we needed for a longer time (like fìtsap + <äp>). Ma Pawl, ngaru irayo seiyi nìtxan, nìngay!
    On the other hand, kìmar can be a little confusing as it looks on first view as k<ìm>ar. Well, we must read and think carefully

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