Mipa Zìsìt, Aylì’u Amip — New Words for the New Year

Kaltxì, ma frapo. Sìlpey oe, ayngari zìsìt amip sngilvä’i nì’o’ nì’aw.

Here’s some new vocabulary for the start of 2012, in no particular order. Thanks as always to the Vocabulary Committee and others for some excellent suggestions.

wo (vtr.) ‘reach for’

Ngal new a tsa’ut rä’ä wivo, ma ’evi. Vivin.
‘Don’t reach for what you want, child. Ask for it.’

yawo (vin., ya.WO—inf. 2, 2) ‘take off, launch’

Fwa yawo ftu kllte to fwa tswayon ftu ’awkx lu ngäzìk.
‘Taking off from the ground is harder than flying off a cliff.’

’Uol ikranit txopu sleykolatsu, taluna po tsìk yawo.
‘Something must have frightened the banshee, because it suddenly took to the air.’

tsìk (adv.) ‘suddenly, without warning’

kllwo (vin., kll.WO—inf. 2, 2) ‘alight, land (process)’

Tompa ’eko nìhawng, ha zene awnga kllwivo.
‘The rain is too strong, so we must land.’

Note: Kllwo expresses the process of landing (“reaching for the ground”) before actual touch-down is achieved. To talk about the completed act, a different verb is used:

kllpä (vin., kll.PÄ—inf. 2, 2) ‘land, reach the ground’

Maw sätswayon ayol ayoe kllpolä mì tayo a lu rofa kilvan.
‘After a short flight we landed in a field beside the river.’

sätswayon (n., sä.TSWA.yon) ‘flight (= an instance of flying)’


rawn (vtr.) ‘replace, substitute’

The syntax for “replace A with B” or “substitute B for A” is: rawn A-ti fa B.

Rolawn oel pa’lit fa ikran, ulte makto set ikranit frakrr.
‘I replaced my direhorse with a banshee, and now I ride a banshee all the time.’

tìrawn (n., tì.RAWN) ‘replacement, act of replacing’

Po ’efu ngeyn ulte kin tìrawnit nìtxan.
‘He is tired and very much needs to be replaced.’

Note: An alternative way to express this thought is: . . . ulte kin nìtxan futa fkol pot rivawn.

särawn (n., sä.RAWN) ‘replacement, substitute, something that replaces something else’

Fìpamtseoturi ke layu ftue fwa run fkol särawnit a tam.
‘It won’t be easy to find a satisfactory replacement for this musician.’


kxeltek (vtr., KXEL.tek—inf. 1,2) ‘pick up, lift’

Pxiset ngeyä tskalepit kxeltek!
‘Pick up your crossbow right now!’

Ke tsun tute a’aw tsatskxeti aku’up kxiveltek nì’awtu.
‘One person alone can’t lift that heavy rock.’


fngo’ (vtr.) ‘require, demand’

Fol fte ayspe’etut livonu fngo’ ’upet?
‘What are they demanding in order for them to release the captives?’

Fìfnetìfkeytokìl fngo’ futa kem sivi fko pxiye’rìn.
‘This kind of situation requires immediate action.’

Karyul fngolo’ futa aynumeyu pivate ye’krr.
‘The teacher required the students to arrive early.’

Note: To express the idea in the previous sentence, English gives you two choices: ‘required the students to arrive early’ or ‘required that the students arrive early.’ In Na’vi only the equivalent of the latter is possible. (Question: How would you say, “The students were required to arrive early” if you wanted to begin the sentence with “students”?)

säfngo’ (n., sä.FNGO’) ‘requirement, demand’

Ngeyä faysäfngo’ìl nìwotx steykerängi oeti nìhawng.
‘All these demands of yours are making me exceedingly angry.’


ngam (n.) ‘echo’

Fìslärmì tsun fko stivawm ngamit apxay.
‘You can hear a lot of echoes in this cave.’

slär (n.) ‘cave’

ngampam (n., NGAM.pam) ‘rhyme’

ngampam si (vin.) ‘rhyme’

Melì’u alu mungwrr sì nìfkrr ngampam si.
‘The words mungwrr and nìfkrr rhyme.’

Note: Ngampam si can also be used metaphorically, in the sense of fitting together well:

New Rini sì Ralu muntxa slivu, slä tì’efumì oeyä, ngampam ke si.
‘Rini and Ralu want to marry, but I feel they’re not compatible.’

renu ngampamä (n., RE.nu NGAM.pa.mä ) ‘rhyme scheme’

Fìwayri hìnoa renut ngampamä ke tsängun oe tslivam.
‘I’m afraid I can’t understand the intricate rhyme scheme of this poem.’


faoi (adj., FA.o.i) ‘smooth’

ekxtxu (adj., ekx.TXU) ‘rough’

Ta’leng prrnenä lu faoi, pum koaktuä ekxtxu.
‘A baby’s skin is smooth, an old person’s is rough.’

Note: These words refer to physical characteristics and are not generally used metaphorically, as the corresponding words can be in English: “Hope everything goes smoothly” or “That was a rough meeting, wasn’t it.” Also, make sure you pronounce faoi in three distinct syllables that glide together—don’t let it become fawi except in very fast speech.


yo’ (vin.) ‘be perfect, flawless’

 Tìhawl lesngä’i lu tìkangkemvi skxawngä, slä pum alu fì’u yo’ nì’aw.
‘The original plan was the work of an idiot, but this one is just perfect.’

A: Ultxa sivi oeng sìn ramtsyìp txon’ongay.
‘Let’s meet on the hill tomorrow at nightfall.’
B: Yeio’! Tsakrrvay ko!
‘Perfect! See you then.’

Riniri nikre yängo’ nìtut.
‘Rini’s hair is always perfect. (I “hate” her. OR: I wish mine were perfect too!)’

Fìstxelit fol txerula fpi olo’eyktan. Zene yivo’ luke kxeyeyo kaw’it.
‘They’re constructing this gift for the chief. It must be perfect without a single flaw.’

nìyo’ (adv., nì.YO’) ‘perfectly, flawlessly’

Txo ke nìyo’ tsakrr nìyol. [Proverb]
‘If you can’t be flawless, at least be brief.’

tìyo’ (n., tì.YO’) ‘perfection’

Fìtseori ke tsun kawtu pivähem tìyo’ne; tsranten tìpähemä tìfmi nì’aw.
‘In this art it’s impossible to arrive at perfection; the only thing that matters is the attempt to arrive there.’

tìfmi (n., tì.FMI) ‘attempt’


Finally: HUMOR

The root word for humor is the adjective ’ipu:

’ipu (adj., ’I.pu) ‘humorous, funny, amusing’

Kawkrr ke lu peyä ayvur ’ipu kaw’it.
‘His stories are never a bit amusing.’

tì’ipu (n., tì.I.pu) ‘humor’

Srake tsun nga rivun fìtìfkeytokmì a tì’iput?
‘Can you find the humor in this situation?’

In general, anything humorous is a sä’ipu:

sä’ipu (n., sä.I.pu) ‘something humorous’

Oeru txoa livu, ma ’eylan. Rä’ä stivi. Lu hì’ia sä’ipu nì’aw.
‘I’m sorry, friend. Don’t be angry. It was just a small bit of humor.’

More specifically, there are different kinds of sä’ipu. One is a joke—that is, a story meant to be evoke laughter (for example, “A man walks into a bar . . .” in American culture)—is a hangvur:

hangvur (n., HANG.vur) ‘joke, funny story’

Poleng Neytiril hangvurit a frapot heykangham.
‘Neytiri told a joke that made everyone laugh.’

Another kind of sä’ipu is lì’uvan, humor based on language or word-play. Puns fall into this category.

lì’uvan (n., LÌ.’u.van) ‘pun, word-play’

Aylì’uvan aswey lu ’ipu, lu sìlronsem.
‘The best puns are both funny and clever.’

That’s it for now. Hayalovay!

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16 Responses to Mipa Zìsìt, Aylì’u Amip — New Words for the New Year

  1. Prrton says:

    Frawyo’! 🙂 Seyi irayo nìfrakrr, ma Karyu.

  2. Tirea Aean says:

    YEIO’!! nì’i’a!! SO MANY GREAT WORDS which i have been waiting for since the beginning! 😀 Irayo nìtxan to both Anonymous LEP submitters and and the committee, and Pawl for the judgement and delivery!

    To answer your question ma Pawl, to begin the sentence with students you reverse the futa and use left-branching attribution. that would be my guess anyway:

    Karyul fngolo’ futa aynumeyu pivate ye’krr. –>
    Aynumeyu pivate ye’krr a fì’uti karyul fngolo’.

    it however MEANS the same thing(ifi understand correctly, since the passive wont work in na’vi especially here)… but at least now the students lead the sentence in word order.

  3. Tirea Aean says:

    Aylì’uvan aswey lu ’ipu, lu sìlronsem.

    it also fascinates me that using double lu can mean N is BOTH Adj and Adj. can this be extended in any way?

    Srake tsun nga rivun fìtìfkeytokmì a tì’iput?

    that sentence also interests me. the a is there i assume because you are saying “can you find the humor which is in this situation?” Had you wanhed to say “Can you find in this situation the humor” i would expect no a because ‘in this situation’ is a standard prepositional phrase kefyak?

  4. Tanri says:

    Txantsan ma nawma Karyu!
    Irayo seiyi oe ngar sì frapor a srung sami. Fì’upxarel ngeia’ mipa aylì’uyä hìmtxanit apxay to fra’upxare aham. 🙂

    About “Karyul fngolo’ futa aynumeyu pivate ye’krr.”:
    Why is subjunctive used here? Because the “arrival of students” is a hypothetical action in the future, or because fngo’ can be used modally (like new futa construction)?
    In case of future I would expect a combination iyev, or even future tense alone.

    Tìsung: skxakep lu kxeyey ayzekwäyä, slä ke lu kea Tìftang mì famrelfya melì’uä alu tì’ipu sì sä’ipu. 😉

  5. SGM (Plumps) says:

    Eltur tìtxen si ulte kosmana aylì’u amip nìngay!

    Yeio’ is truely wonderful to say! And ekxtxu just sounds ‘rough’ in the throat 😉 I will have a hard time not pronouncing faoi as *fwi because that’s its equivalent in Irish, meaning ‘under, for’ and a bunch of other meanings 😛

    I find ’Uol ikranit txopu sleykolatsu… interesting. I’d expected txopu seyki for ‘frighten/scare somebody’

    Aylì’uri amip irayo seiyi ngaru nìtxan

    • Prrton says:

      I find ’Uol ikranit txopu sleykolatsu… interesting. I’d expected txopu seyki for ‘frighten/scare somebody’

      Mllte oe.

      Vay fwa smon oer, lì’fyavi alu »txewm sl‹eyk›olu« tsun kifkeytivok nìftue nìlun natkenong: Tsatsrayä sutel txolula fnevrrtepìt nìfya’o a txewm sleyku nìtxan nang fte ayhetuwongit txopu seykivi, slä san fìtìkenong pelun slu fìfya fa melì’u alu ›txopu‹›slu‹ ’awsiteng? sìk oe päpawm kop nìfya’o a heiek oer nì’it.

  6. Prrton says:

    Pol fneian frafnesä’iput nìtxan nì’aw…
    = “He’s just incredibly hilarious across the board.” ???

  7. Kamean says:

    Yeio’ nìwotx ma Karyu. 🙂

  8. `Eylan Ayfalulukanä says:

    Txantsan, ma Pawl! This is some really useful and practical vocabulary. Lots to play with here.

    One question though, on yo’, which is a word many people here (myself included) seem to like. With the definition ‘be perfect’, is this a kind of stative verb, as many ‘be’ verbs are?

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