Stxeli Alor: The text

Here’s the text to the listening exercise in the previous post. If you haven’t already, I think it would be a great idea to listen to the narrative several times and try to write out what you hear. Then compare it to the text below.


Tengfya omum aynga, krrka tsawlultxa Uniltìrantokxolo’ä a mì LosÄntsyelesì vospxìam, kaymo zola’u frayultxatu ne kelku moeyä fte yivom wutsot, ftivia nì’it lì’fyati leNa’vi, ulte kiväteng nì’o’. Tsyanìri sì oeri loleiu tsakaym tsyeym angay.

Kaymkrrka tolel moel ta ayultxatu stxelit akosman—nìfkeytongay, mestxelit alu lora merel Tsyanä sì oeyä. Tsun aynga mesat tsive’a fìtseng:

Lu txantsan nìngay, kefyak? Fìmerelit ’ongolop awngeyä tsulfätul reltseoä alu Älìn. Tengfya tsun tsive’a, lupra eltur tìtxen si nìtxan. Relit oeyä ngolop Älìnìl fa hì’ia aylì’u leNa’vi, relit Tsyanä fa hì’ia aysìreyn. (Sunu Tsyanur tìreyn nìtxan.)

Fìmestxeli alor kur set ta kxemyo a mì helku moeyä.

Fìmeuiari seiyi moe irayo nìtxan, ma smuk. Moeru teya si nìngay.


And here’s the English translation:

As you know, during the Avatar Community Meet-up in Los Angeles last month, all the participants came to our house one evening to have dinner, study a little Na’vi, hang out together, and have fun. For John and me, that evening was a real treasure.

During the evening we received a wonderful gift from the participants—actually, two gifts: two beautiful pictures of John and me. You can see both of them here:

They’re excellent, aren’t they? The two portraits were created by our Master of Visual Arts, Alan. As you can see, the style is very interesting. Alan created my portrait out of little Na’vi words; John’s he created out of trains. (John likes trains a lot.)

These two beautiful gifts are now hanging on a wall in our home.

We thank you so much for this honor, brothers and sisters. We’re greatly touched.

One thing to note here is the adverb kaymo ‘one evening.’ As you can see, it’s simply kaym ‘evening’ with the indefinite –o suffix. You can use this same structure to form other such adverbs from many of the other words you know relating to time of day or the calendar:

trro                ‘one day’

rewono        ‘one morning’

ha’ngiro       ‘one afternoon’

txono            ‘one night’

kintrro         ‘one week’

muntrro      ‘one weekend’

vospxìo        ‘one month’

zìsìto             ‘one year’

Don’t confuse, for example, trr a’aw with trro. Both can be translated ‘one day,’ but their use is very different. Trro is an adverb, answering the question, When did it happen?

Po fnarmu frakrr, slä trro poltxe.
‘She was always silent, but one day she spoke.’

Trr a’aw or ’awa trr, on the other hand, is a noun phrase that can be the subject or object of a verb:

Fìtìkangkemviri oel kin ’awa trrti nì’aw.
‘For this project I only need one day.’

Stay tuned for some new vocabulary . . .

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15 Responses to Stxeli Alor: The text

  1. Tìtstewan says:

    Wou, txantsana postì! Irayo! 😉

    Hmm, how do one distinguish e.g.: zìsìto ‘some years’ vs ‘one year’? Zìsìto amrr would mean usually ‘for five years ago’ or ‘ five years long’ (speaking about duration) if one add a number.

    I’m a bit confused.

    • SGM (Plumps) says:

      I was wondering the same thing … although the meaning in the example sentence is clear, I imagine that there could be a situation where it would be ambiguous whether it’s ‘a day long’ or ‘one day’.

      Otherwise, great post. We got almost everything right from the listening exercise 🙂

    • Blue Elf says:

      Hmm, I’m afraid there will more confused people.
      Time word + -o until now meant time duration:
      zìsìto amrr = for five years
      kaymo = for the evening/during the evening
      Now seems definition changed to “standard” indefinity like for nouns
      (ketuwongo – some alien).
      Yes, we have another older example where -o is not used as duration (Frasyurati fkol zasrolìn nì’aw ulte trro zene teykivätxaw), but….
      Or is it the context what makes clear how -o works with time word???

      • Tanri says:

        Hmm, looks like the time-duration meaning was taken by the adposition krrka, therefore -o suffix have returned to the indefinite meaning only, even with time words.
        An explicit confirmation would be nice, of course 🙂

  2. Vawmataw says:

    Txantsana sänumvi! 🙂
    Oeri tìpawn a io fì’upxare eltur tìtxen si.
    Haya postìri oe perey.

  3. Pawl says:

    Ayngeyä sìpawmìri atxantsan irayo, ma smuk. Slä txe’lan mawey. Sngum rä’ä si.* Fìlì’fyaviri tìfkeytok ke leiu lehrrap. 🙂

    sngum si (vin.) ‘worry’

    With these time and calendar expressions, the –o suffix indicates that the expression is being used adverbially and not substantively—that is, as an adverb rather than as a noun or noun phrase. You’re right that there are different ways the adverbial can be interpreted—as a point in time (e.g., something happened on one particular day) or as a duration (something happened for the length of one day). But this situation is not uncommon. It occurs, for example, in English. Notice how “one day” is interpreted in these two sentences:

    Point in time: “I didn’t think I’d hear from her, but she called me one day.”

    Duration: “You study Chinese one day and you’re disappointed you can’t speak it fluently?”

    Most of the time the correct interpretation will be clear from the context. So in the example with syura that Blue Elf gave (thanks for reminding me of that wonderful sentence from the LEP!), I think it’s pretty clear that trro there is point-in-time, not duration.

    Real languages can live with a certain amount of ambiguity provided there are mechanisms in the language for disambiguating when necessary. In this particular situation, Na’vi can indicate the durative interpretation by using the adposition ka ‘across’, which you’ve already seen relating to time in the word krrka ‘during’—that is, across a length of time. Ka here corresponds to English “for.” So for example:

    Pol lì’fyati leNa’vi ftolia ka trro.
    ‘He studied Na’vi for a day.’

    To be even clearer, you could add a’aw at the end.

    To specifically indicate the point-in-time interpretation, you can use ro (ADP+) ‘at’:

    Ro srro Ralu zola’u fte oehu ultxa sivi.
    ‘One day Ralu came to meet with me.’

    Keep in mind you don’t have to use ka and ro with adverbial time expressions, but if you anticipate a possible misinterpretation of your intended meaning, it’s a good idea to use them.

    Sìlpey oe tsnì tìfkeytok law slilvu!

    • Prrton says:

      Law lu oer nìwotx! Seiyi irayo nìtxan!

    • Tìtstewan says:

      WOU! Irayo seiyi ngaru nìtxan!
      That explanation is great and sngum si oer sunu! 🙂

    • Vawmataw says:

      Oeykìri lesar sì kemlì’uri amip irayo ma Karyu Pawl. 🙂

    • Blue Elf says:

      Tse – tìngäzìk ‘ìp 🙂 Set lu ayoer fya’o a fko tsun tslivam am’aluke.

    • Tanri says:

      Txantsan! Tìoeyktìngìri oe irayo seiyi.
      Tsalsungay vingkap oeti tìpawmìl a’aw: Srake tsun awngal sivar lì’uti alu ka nìtengfya pum alu krrka, kolan luke -o?
      Natkenong: “Tompa li zerängup ka mesrr”.
      Fu tsalì’u alu ka nì’aw srung si fte zeykivo ralit li’uä lekrr a nga’ -o?

      Great! Thanks for the explanation.
      However one question came to my mind: Can we use ka in the same way as krrka, without -o?
      For example: “It’s already raining two days”.
      Or the adposition ka only helps to correct the meaning of a time word containing -o?

      • Pawl says:

        Eltur tìtxen si a tìpawm, ma Tanri.

        Use ka, as you’ve suggested, to make clear the meaning of a time word containing -o. So we have:

        Tompa li zerängup ka mesrro.
        Tompa li zerängup krrka mesrr.

    • SGM (Plumps) says:

      Tìpawm ahì’i:

      Can we use this construct also to convey “per” or “a (time word)” (I don’t know the linguistic term for that…) as in:

      Tsat munge pxelo ka trro.
      “Take it three times a day.”

      (?tsat munge ’awlo fratrr amuve, “take it every second day”?)

      Ayliniri ayioangoä ’ongokx ’awlo (ka) zìsìto nì’aw.
      “Some animals have their young only once per annum.”

      Irayo nìli.

  4. Blue Elf says:

    Nìvingkap – sngum si is interesting construction, so far we could write:
    Lu oeru sngum a X – I’m afraid/worried that X.
    What about topical + sngum si?
    X-ri oe sngum si.
    Is the meaning the same or it differs somehow?

    • Pawl says:

      Good observation, ma B. E.

      You’re right–there are two ways to express worry, and I don’t see any difference in meaning between them. For example:

      1. Lu oeru sngum a po ke zaya’u.

      2. Furia po ke zaya’u oe sngum si.

      Both mean “I’m worried that he won’t come.” It’s possible, though, that in terms of focus and emphasis, one will fit better into a conversation than the other.

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