Kap sì ayunil saylahe. Threats, dreams, and other things.

Kaltxì nìmun, ma eylan! Sìlpey oe tsnì fpom livu ayngaru nìwotx.

I hope you’ll find the following new words useful, the majority of which stem from ideas provided by the LEP.

kxap (n.) ‘threat’

Tìpähem Sawtuteyä kxap atxan larmu Na’viru.
‘The arrival of the Sky People was a great threat to the Na’vi.’


kxap si (vin.) ‘threaten’

Srake nga kxap si oer, ma skxawng?
‘Are you threatening me, you moron?

kxapnga’ (adj., KXAP.nga’) ‘threatening’ (nfp)

Ngeyä aylì’ul akxapnga’ txopu ke sleyku oet kaw’it.
‘Your threatening words don’t scare me one bit.’

For threatening animals or people, we use kxap si with a rather than *lekxap:

’Angtsìk a kxap si lu lehrrap, ma ’itan.
‘A threatening hammerhead is dangerous, son.’

nìkxap (adv., nì.KXAP) ‘threateningly’

Txopu rä’ä si. Ngati ke nìn pol nìkxap. Lu lenomum nì’aw.
‘Don’t be scared. He’s not looking at you threateningly. He’s just curious.’

tìftiatu kifkeyä (n., tì.fti.A.tu ki.FKEY.ä) ‘scientist’

This is obviously related to a term we’ve already had, tìftia kifkeyä ‘science,’ and means ‘one who studies the natural world.’ It’s a concept the Na’vi got from the Sawtute. If it’s clear from the context, tìftiatu kifkeyä may be shortened to simply tìftiatu; by itself, the word has the force of ‘researcher.’

Sawtuteri sìftiatu kifkeyä var fmivi Eywevengit tslivam, slä kawkrr ke flayä.
‘The scientists among the Sky People keep trying to understand Pandora, but they will never succeed.’

Note two things here. First, the stress in tìftiatu is on the a, since that’s where it is in the root verb ftia ‘study.’ Second, to name the person doing the studying in this case, Na’vi uses –tu rather than the agentive suffix –yu. For a discussion of –tu vs. –yu, see the post “A note on the word yora’tu,” December 31, 2011.

heyr (n.) ‘chest’

This term, indicating the area between the stomach and throat, applies to both people and animals.

Oeri heyr tìsraw sängi taluna zize’ìl oet sngolap tsatseng.
‘My chest hurts because a hellfire wasp stung me there.’

tseri (vtr., TSE.ri—inf. 1,2) ‘note, notice’

Peyralä miktsangit amip ngal tsoleri srak?
‘Did you notice Peyral’s new earring?’

For the negative, we need to distinguish intentional from unintentional non-notice. When you overlook or fail to notice something unintentionally or carelessly, that’s simply the negative of tseri:

Oeru txoa livu. Ke tsolerängi oel futa ngari kxetse eo oe lu.
‘Forgive me. I didn’t notice that your tail was in front of me.’


tìtseri (n., tì.TSE.ri) ‘awareness, notice’

tìktseri (n., tìk.TSE.ri) ‘unawareness, lack of notice’

As you might suspect, tìktseri is derived from + ke + tseri.

Tìktseri lu tìmeyp.
‘Lack of awareness is (a form of) weakness.’ (Proverb)

For intentional overlooking, we have a separate verb:

yäkx (vtr.) ‘not notice; ignore, snub’

Srake fo hangham taluna nga snaytx? Foti yäkx.
‘They’re laughing because you lost? Ignore them.’

Tsamsiyu zene tsivun yiväkx sneyä tìsrawit.
‘Warriors must be able to ignore their own pain.’


tìyäkx (n., tì.YÄKX) ‘lack of notice; snubbing’

Tìyäkx ke lu srunga’, ma tsmuk. Nga txo sti, oeyktìng teyngta pelun.
‘Snubbing isn’t helpful, brother. If you’re angry, explain why.’

srunga’ (adj., SRU.nga’) ‘helpful’ (nfp)

Tseri: Srunga’ comes from srung + nga’. Here the two ng’s have coalesced into one. Compare sngum + nga’ which becomes sngunga’ ‘worrisome, troubling.’

In fact, there’s a proverb that capitalizes on the similarity in sound of srunga’ and sngunga’:

Hem asrunga’ nì’ul, hum asngunga’ nìnän.
‘More helpful actions lead to less troubling outcomes.’

Parallel to kxapnga’, srunga’ is not for people. A helpful person is tute a srung si or srung si a tute.

säyäkx (n., sä.YÄKX) ‘snub’

Fìsäyäkxit ayoel ke tswaya’.
‘We will not forget this snub.’

ngip (n.) ‘space, open or borderless area’

Ngeyä ikranìl ngipit letam kin fte tsivun kllpivä.
‘Your ikran needs enough open space to be able to land.’

Plltxe Sawtute san kifkeyìl ayoeyä tok txana ngipit a sanhìkip.
‘The Sky People say that their world is in the great space among the stars.’

Note the difference between mo and ngip, both of which have to do with spaces. Mo refers to an enclosed open area or hollow, while ngip refers to an unenclosed, borderless area.

txepram (n., txep.RAM) ‘volcano’

txekxumpay (n., txe.KXUM.pay) ‘magma, lava’

Txep ‘fire’ is a component of both these words. In txekxumpay, the p of txep has dropped.

Txepram pxor a krr, txana txekxumpay wrrza’u.
‘When a volcano erupts, a lot of lava comes out.’

wrrza’u (vin., wrr.ZA.’u) ‘come out, emerge)

tskxevi (n., TSKXE.vi) ‘pebble’

nìkx (n.) ‘gravel’

Tskxevi refers to small stones polished smooth by natural forces. Nìkx is rock that has been crushed either naturally or artificially.

tìralpeng (n., tì.ral.PENG) ‘translation, interpretation’

Spängaw oel futa fì’upxareyä tìralpeng ke lu eyawr.
‘Unfortunately, I don’t believe the translation of this message is correct.’

unil si (vin., U.nil si) ‘dream’

uniltsa (vtr., U.nil.tsa—inf. 3, 3) ‘dream of, dream about, dream (that)’

Both unil si and uniltsa (a contraction of unil + tse’a, “dream-see”) mean ‘dream,’ but they’re used differently. Unil si just indicates the action of dreaming:

Tìtxen si, ma ’ite! Unil sarmi nga tengkrr zerawng. Lu fpom srak?
‘Wake up, daughter! You were dreaming and screaming. Are you okay?’

To say you were dreaming of or about something, use uniltsa:

Nìtrrtrr oel uniltsa sa’nuä teylut.
‘I regularly dream of my mom’s teylu.’

Uniltsola oel txonam futa tswayon Neytirihu.
‘Last night I dreamed I was flying with Neytiri.’

mauti (n., MA.u.ti) ‘fruit’

Pefnemauti sunu ngar frato?
‘What kind of fruit to you like best?’ OR ‘What’s your favorite fruit?’

utu (n., U.tu) ‘forest canopy’

utumauti (n., U.tu.ma.u.ti) ‘banana fruit’

The delicacy known in English as ‘banana fruit’ is actually ‘canopy fruit’ in Na’vi, since it grows high in the forest canopy and is relatively inaccessible.

slayk (vtr.) ‘brush, comb’

New sa’nok slivayk nikret ’evengä.
‘The mother wants to brush the child’s hair.’

Finally, here are links to videos of the Na’vi 103 class I taught at the Avatar Meet-up last year in Los Angeles. As always, our intrepid videographer, Alan Taylor, has done a fantastic job in putting it all together in a totally professional and very appealing format. Irayo nìtxan ngar, ma Älìn! Ayrelìri arusikx leiu nga tsulfätu nìngay!

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY35uTrkapo

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKtF4JnKCko

Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqUDwdiL6jc

Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79q79UMXxrE

I’ll post the handout as well.

Hayalovay, ma frapo.

Edit 01 April 2015: Hyperlinks added for videos.
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14 Responses to Kap sì ayunil saylahe. Threats, dreams, and other things.

  1. SGM (Plumps) says:

    Srunga’a aylì’u amip nìtxan! 🙂
    Irayo nìtxan, ma Karyu.

  2. Tìtstewan says:

    Fìpostì leieieieieiu txantsan nìtxan nang!!! 🙂
    Seiyi irayo ngar nìtxan!

    There are some really great and useful words!

  3. Ftiafpi says:

    Fire mountain! I look forward to coming up with puns using txepram.

    Great proverb as well, I’ll have to remember that one as it sounds so good to say.

  4. Ftiafpi says:

    Oh, just noticed the confirmation of the verb to dream. Hooray!

  5. Vawmataw says:

    Faylì’uri amip irayo nìtxan ma Nawma Karyu. 🙂
    Ngian, lu ngäzìk fwa ralpeng lì’fyane leFranse aylì’ut alu tseri, tìktseri, tìtseri, säyäkx sì tìyäkx. :/ Oel fpìl futa nayume nì’ul teri lì’fya le’Ìnglìsì. 🙂

  6. SGM (Plumps) says:

    Tsalì’fyaviri alu Hem asrunga’ nì’ul, hum asngunga’ nìnän.
    Srake tsun kop fko pivlltxe san ’Ul hem asrunga’, nän hum asngunga’? 🙂

  7. 'Eylan Ayfalulukanä says:

    Lots of useful words here, and a few that have been a long time coming. Irayo nìtxan!

  8. Vawmataw says:

    How about nightmares?

    • Tirea Aean says:

      Holy Torukspxam. A new comment here after nearly 2 years! HRH

      It’s a good question, though. I believe this question has come up somewhere at some point since this post.

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