More Additions to the Lexicon

Ma smuk,

Before anything else, irayo nìtxan for all your encouraging comments. I truly appreciate them. And needless to say, I’m very pleased the Community is finding these posts helpful. I don’t always reply, but I do read all the comments, which are often really helpful in pointing out things that need clarification (sì oeyä keyey kop 🙂 ). Apropos of that, some grammatical issues have come up that I want to address; I’ll get to those as soon as I can. In the meantime, here are some new words that some of you have been waiting for. Thanks as always to the LEP contributors for their excellent suggestions and examples.


kanom (vtr., KA.nom—inf. 1,2) ‘acquire, get’

Oeyä tsmukanìl mipa tskoti kìmaneiom.
‘My brother just got a new bow, I’m happy to say.’

säkanom (n., sä.KA.nom) ‘something acquired, an acquisition, a possession’

Tì’efumì oeyä, ngeyä fìsäkanom lu lehrrap ulte tsun ngati tìsraw seykivi.
‘In my opinion, this acquisition of yours is dangerous and can hurt you.’


käsrìn (vtr., kä.SRÌN—inf. 2, 2) ‘lend’

zasrìn (vtr., za.SRÌN—inf. 2, 2) ‘borrow’

These two verbs are derived from a root verb srìn ‘temporarily transfer from one to another’ that’s rarely used without prefixes. The thing being transferred “goes out” () from the giver or lender and “comes to” (za’u) the receiver or borrower.

Sneyä masatit pol käsrolìn oer.
‘He lent me his breastplate.’

Srake tsun oe zasrivìn ngeyä tsngalit?
‘Can I borrow your cup?’

säsrìn (n., sä.SRÌN) ‘lent or borrowed thing’

Oeta a tsasäsrìnìl tok pesengit?
‘Where’s the thing (you) borrowed from me?’

Note: To express sharing rather than borrowing or lending, use the adverb nì’eng ‘equally’ with the verb that’s appropriate for the situation:

Fol tsnganit pxìmolun’i nì’eng.
‘They shared the meat.’ OR ‘They divided up the meat equally.’

pxìmun’i (vtr., pxì.mun.’I—inf. 2,3) ‘divide, cut into parts’

(Derived from hapxì ‘part’ + mun’i ‘cut.’)

Note: The range of pxìmun’i extends to situations where no actual cutting is involved:

Nìtrrtrr pxìmun’i samsiyul ayswizawit kutuä alawnätxayn snokip nì’eng.
‘Warriors typically share the arrows of their defeated enemies among themselves.’

lätxayn (vtr., lä.TXAYN—inf. 1,2) ‘defeat in battle, conquer’

sälätxayn (n., sä.lä.TXAYN) ‘defeat: an instance of defeat’

Tsasälätxayn Na’viru srung soli nì’aw fte slivu txur nì’ul.
‘That defeat only helped the People become stronger.’

Tsun awnga kelku sivi nì’eng Sawtutehu mì atxkxe awngeyä.
‘We can share our land with the Skypeople.’

If the sharing is with the entire olo’, however, a different adverb is used:

yll (adj.) ‘communal’

nìyll (adv., nì.YLL) ‘communally, in a communal manner’

Fol tsnganit pxìmolun’i nìyll.
‘They shared the meat with the entire clan.’

Fìteyluri ke narmew Va’ru yivom nìyll.
‘Va’ru didn’t want to share this teylu with the Omatikaya.’


hona (adj., ‘endearing, adorable, cute’

Ayhemìri ’ewana tsanantangur ahì’i tìng nari. Lu hona, kefyak?
‘Look at what that little young viperwolf is doing. Isn’t that adorable?’

Note: In normal conversation don’t use kalin ‘sweet’ in the sense of cute or adorable; it only refers to the sensation of taste. Use hona instead. A ‘sweet little cat’ is hona palukantsyìp ahì’i. (Palukantsyìp is the normal shortening of palulukantsyìp in conversation.)

nìhona (adv., nì ‘endearingly, sweetly’

Po ätxäle soli nìhona fìtxan, ke tsun oe stivo.
‘She asked so sweetly that I couldn’t refuse.’

tìhona (n., tì ‘cuteness, adorableness’

Peyä ’itanìri lu hona nìtxan a fì’u law lu frapor. Slä tìhona nì’aw ke tam.
‘It’s clear to everyone that his son is very cute. But cuteness alone isn’t enough.’


fäkä (vin., fä.KÄ—inf. 2,2) ‘go up, ascend’

kllkä (vin., kll.KÄ—inf. 2,2) ‘go down, descend’ [already in the lexicon]

fäza’u (vin., fä.ZA.’u—inf. 2,3) ‘come up, ascend’

kllza’u (vin., kll.ZA.’u—inf. 2,3) ‘come down, descend’

The use of these four directional verbs is straightforward. For example:

Fäziva’u ne tsenge a oel tok!
‘Come up to where I am!’

One of the uses of fäza’u and kllkä you may not be aware of, however, is for astronomical bodies rising and setting. For example:

Fäza’u tsawke krrpe?
‘When will the sun come up?’

Another—and very common—way to express rising and setting is to use two intransitive verbs you’re already familiar with, fpxäkìm ‘enter’ and hum ‘exit, leave, depart.’ The full forms of these expressions explicitly mention entering into the sky and exiting from the sky:

Tsawke fpxeräkìm nemfa taw.
‘The sun is rising.’

Tsaysanhì hayum ye’rìn tawftu.
‘Those stars will soon set.’

But most of the time the adpositional phrases (nemfa taw, tawftu) may be omitted:

Tsawke fpxeräkìm.

Tsaysanhì hayum ye’rìn.


sämok (n., sä.MOK) ‘suggestion’

Ngeyä sämokìri akosman seiyi oe irayo.
‘Thanks for that excellent suggestion (of yours).’


mal (adj.) ‘trustworthy, trust-inspiring’

Fìtìkangkemviri letsranten ke new oe hu Ralu tìkangkem sivi. Po ke längu mal.
‘I don’t want to work with Ralu on this important project. He’s not trustworthy, unfortunately.’

To say “I trust you,” you simply say, “You are trustworthy/trust-inspiring to me”—that is, Nga mal lu oer.  The usage is parallel to Nga yawne lu oer.

Nga MAL larmu oer!!!
‘I TRUSTED you!!!’

(It’s also possible Neytiri said larmängu, but I suspect she went with the shorter form. Under the circumstances it was obvious enough that she wasn’t happy.)

Lu tsatsamsiyu le’awa hapxìtu tsamponguä a mal lu moer.
‘That warrior is the only member of the war party that we both trust.’

nìmal (adv., nì.MAL) ‘trustingly, without hesitation’

Rini tsapohu holum nìmal nìwotx.
‘Rini left with that guy without thinking twice about it.’

tìmal (n., tì.MAL) ‘trustworthiness’

Lekin lu tìtxur, lu tìtstew. Slä letsranten frato lu tìmal.
‘Strength and courage are necessary. But most important of all is trustworthiness.’


kllyem (vtr., kll.YEM—inf. 2,2) ‘bury’

Trram tolerkängup sa’nok ayawne. Poti kllyolem ayoel äo utralo alor a rofa kilvan.
‘My dear mother died yesterday. We buried her under a beautiful tree beside the river.’


tsyìl (vtr.) ‘climb, scale’

This verb is used for climbing that involves pulling your whole body up, not climbing stairs.

Tsyìl Iknimayat ulte tsaheyl si ikranhu a fì’u lu tìfmetok a zene frataronyu a’ewan emziva’u.
‘Scaling Iknimaya and bonding with a banshee is a test that every young hunter must pass.’

nìtsyìl (adv., nì.TSYÌL) ‘by climbing’

sätsyìl (n., sä.TSYÌL) ‘climbing event, a climb’

Kintrramä sätsyìl lu lehrrap slä ’o’ nìtxan.
‘Last week’s climb was dangerous but very exciting.’


Finally, some concrete nouns that don’t need example sentences:

rìn (n.) ‘wood’

flawkx (n.) ‘leather’

’ana (n., ’ ‘hanging vine’

tsngawpay (n., ‘tears’

tsngawpayvi (n., ‘teardrop’


Edit 23 Jan.: ayoe –> ayoel in “We buried her” example. Irayo, ma Lance.

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19 Responses to More Additions to the Lexicon

  1. Prrton says:

    Nìngay yawne lu oer nìwotx fwa fìtsengmì tsun ayoeng nivume nìyll. Nìfrakrr seiyi oe irayo, ma Karyu.

  2. Weiou! Nì’ul seiolunu!

  3. Kamean says:

    Ma Karyu!
    Yawne lu oer aylìu amip nìwotx. Irayo seiyi! 🙂

  4. Tirea Aean says:

    WOOOUUU!!! SUCH a fantastically useful batch of words!

    Nga MAL larmu oer!!! — NEYTIRI

    for the win.

    also, possession and get with the absence of “own/possess/have” is interesting 🙂

  5. Alyara Arati says:

    Irayo seiyi ngaru oe nìhona nìtxan, ma Karyu Pawl! Pxaya lì’uri lesar suneiu oeru sì ayoe nìyll nìwotx! 🙂

    • Alyara Arati says:

      I just thought of a question. Is kalin only usable with taste, or can smells be sweet also? Taste is closely related to smell, being produced by the same sensory receptors in the nose (in Earth animals), and fruit smells sweet as well as tasting sweet. Or do we need a new word for “beautiful to the nose”?

  6. `Eylan Ayfalulukanä says:

    Irayo, ma K. Pawl!

    I really appreciate the direction terms. Those are particularly useful for describing flight. I alsm like some on the new nouns, especially for ‘wood’ and ‘leater’.

    You described dividing things equally at length. Is there also a straightforward, or a special way, to describe dividing things unequally? An example in English might be, ‘the hunters divided the meat among them according to the sizes of their families’.

    • Tirea Aean says:

      if you don’t want to say “divide equally” just don’t say nì’eng. simple as that kefyak?

      maybe “the hunters divided the meat more to large families, less to the small ones.”

      Wait. we don’t even have the opposite of nì’ul yet?? O___O

  7. SGM (Plumps) says:

    Indeed, very useful words and I thank you for releasing them. 🙂
    Spaw oel futa sar faylì’uti amip a fì’u sayunu awngar nìngay

    I wanted to mention that you used tìmok for ‘suggestion’ in this comment of yours

  8. Blue Elf says:

    Tse, pxaya lì’uti lesar aoyel tolel set. Oel sayar aylì’uot a kip tsaylì’u mi oeyä pamrel ahay. Zene oe pivlltxe san IRAYO sìk frapor a ngop tsaylì’u.

    I found tsngawpay and tsngawpayvi interesting. Except that I was wandering how to say “teardrop” for a long time, “tsngawpay” looks like plural of “tsngawpayvi” – but without ay+ 🙂

  9. Kxrekorikus says:

    Ma Karyu!

    Mipa aylì’uri, nìngay oe irayo seiyi ngar. Txantsana aylì’u a tì’änsyem sivi Pukur Aylì’uä 🙂
    Sìlpey oe tsnì nì’ul upxare ngata ziva’u ye’rìn 🙂

    Ngeyä Numeyu,

  10. Poti kllyolem ayoe äo utralo alor a rofa kilvan.

    This is missing an ergative suffix, kefyak?

  11. Tanri says:

    Irayo seiyi oe ngar, ma oeyä Karyu.
    Ngal zamolunge ayoer pxaya lì’ut amip a fì’u leiu txantsan.

    However, lot of new informations often induce some questions, as in this case:

    “Fìteyluri ke narmew Va’ru yivom nìyll.”
    This looks to me as “Va’ru didn’t want to eat this teylu together with the clan, he wanted to eat it alone.”
    I am afraid this example is not about sharing, but about eating alone or eating in common.

    Nìmal – seeing this first, I have thought about something like “trustworthly” (as “reliably”).
    For example: “Poan tsakem soli nìmal.” – “He did that in a manner that is trustworthy”. I trust him that he did something well/correctly.
    But I feel that meaning of nìmal is different in provided example “Rini tsapohu holum nìmal nìwotx”. This sentence is telling me that Rini did some action “blindly”, with blind trust in success of his action.
    I am hoping for a little more details about this difference in meaning.

    Thank both of You and those participating in LEP, for such a great and useful words!

  12. Sxkxawng says:

    Nìngay txantsan kosmansì nì’aw 😀

    I see Na’vi has come to be a real discerning language, and when I saw kanom, I was wondering how I might be distinguished from a few words we already have, such as tel, (za)munge, and niä. Sometimes the meaning between such words gets a little confused in English (and perhaps other languages).

  13. 'Eveng says:

    Ma karyu!
    It is true that Avatar 2 will be released on 2016?

    My compliments for the work on the Na’vi language!
    Eywa ngengahu!

  14. ftia oel lì’fyati leNa’vi nì’o’ nìwotx says:

    Hi! I have just started reading your blog because, I really want to learn the Na’vi language but, I’m finding it very difficult to understand all the pronunciation’s. Is there anythink that could help me gain more knowledge on it that you know of?
    Thank you for reading, I would appreciate any help but, thanks anyway if not! 🙂

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