Kaltxì, ma frapo—
This post adds to the cultural terminology in the previous one and hopefully fills a few important gaps in our lexicon as well. Irayo nìfrakrr to the LEP and other members of the Na’vi community for some very useful discussions, suggestions, and examples. And a special irayo to two of our sulfätu lì’fyayä, Prrton and Stefan, who very kindly and beautifully recorded the example sentences below. Seysonìltsan, ma mesmuk!
seyn (n.) ‘chair, stool, bench; any tool or device to facilitate sitting’
This word derives from sä’o ‘tool’ and heyn ‘sit’:
sä’o + heyn > säheyn > seyn
Since chairs can be comfortable or uncomfortable:
hoan (n., HO.an) ‘comfort’
lehoan (adj., le.HO.an) ‘comfortable’
nìhoan (adv., nì.HO.an) ‘comfortably’
kelhoan (adj., kel.HO.an) ‘uncomfortable’
Sko frrtu, frakrr mì helku ngeyä lu oeru hoan nìtxan, ma tsmuk.
‘I always feel very comfortable as a guest in your home, brother.’
Längu fìseyn kelhoan nìngay. Tsun oe hiveyn tsawsìn ’a’awa swawtsyìp nì’aw.
‘This chair is really uncomfortable. I can only sit on it a few seconds.’
Where there are chairs, there are tables. So:
fyan (n.) ‘constructed device for keeping something off the ground and clean’
fyanyo (n., FYAN.yo) ‘table, elevated utilitarian surface’
You’re already familiar with yo ‘surface.’ Fyanyo is a specific kind of yo. But note that colloquially, yo can be used in place of fyanyo.
A: Oeyä tstalìl tok pesenget?
B: Lu yosìn.
A: ‘Where’s my knife?’
B: ‘It’s on the table.’
Some other words compounded with fyan or yo:
yomyo (n., YOM.yo) ‘plate (for food)’
yomyo lerìk (n., YOM.yo le.RÌK) ‘leaf plate’
(Colloquially, yomyo lerìk is often reduced to rìk.)
fyanyì (n., FYAN.yì) ‘shelf’
Fyan also compounds with kur ‘hang’ to yield these cultural terms:
kurfyan (n., KUR.fyan) ‘hamper or suspended rack’
snokfyan (n., SNOK.fyan) ‘personal belongings rack’
kurfyavi (n., KUR.fya.vi) ‘hook (for hanging or suspending an item)
These last two terms developed as follows:
sno + kurfyan > snokurfyan > snokfyan
kurfyan + vi > kurfyanvi > kurfyavi
seyto (vtr., sey.TO) ‘butcher (in the sense of separating or processing the carcass of a dead animal)
Seyto is not to be confused with ‘butcher’ in the sense of killing an animal. There is some overlap with pxìmun’i ‘divide, cut into parts,’ but that word is more general and can be used for cutting up anything; seyto refers specifically to cutting up an animal. Also note the stress on the final syllable.
Awngal fìyerikit nìwin siveyto ko.
‘Let’s cut up this hexapede quickly.’
säseyto (n., sä.sey.TO) ‘butchering tool’
yaney (n., ya.NEY) ‘canoe’
spulyaney (n., spul.ya.NEY) ‘canoe paddle’
This word obviously derives from spule ‘propel’ + yaney.
lal (adj.) ‘old (opposite of mip, nfp)’
txanlal (adj., TXAN.lal) ‘ancient, very old’
Poleng ayoeru koaktel vurit atxanlal.
‘The old woman told us an ancient story.’
A word about lal vs. spuwin: Both mean ‘old’ and are generally not for people (i.e., neither one can be used for ‘elderly’—that word is koak). So there is some overlap, but there are also some differences. Spuwin has the connotation of ‘old’ in the sense of ‘former’ as opposed to ‘current,’ where an older entity has been replaced by another one. In a blog post from 2011, I gave the example, Tsatsko lu spuwin ulte ke lu mi txur, which was translated as ‘That bow is old and no longer strong.’ The implication was that the bow had been replaced by a new one: it was the owner’s former bow rather than his current one. By the same token, if we were to translate into Na’vi the last line of the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” (does anyone younger than I still listen to the Who? J )—namely, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”—“old” in this case would definitely be spuwin.
On the other hand, lal indicates something that is not new and has been around for a long time, whether or not it’s been replaced. For tangible objects, it often has the implication of ‘worn out,’ ‘broken,’ ‘tattered,’ ‘no longer usable,’ etc. (Calling a person lal would be very insulting.) But for non-tangibles, it simply indicates long existence, as in lala säfpìl, ‘old idea.’
tsankum (n., TSAN(G).kum) ‘advantage, benefit, upside, gain’
In normal speech, tsankum tends to be pronounced tsangkum, but it’s not spelled that way.
Tsakemìri tsankum lu law.
‘The advantage of that action is clear.’
fekum (n., FE.kum) ‘disadvantage, drawback, downside’
Tìtaronìri längu tìkakpam fekum. Kin fkol frainanfyat.
‘I’m sorry to say that deafness is a disadvantage for hunting. You need all your senses.’
tsankumnga’ (adj., TSAN(G).kum.nga’) ‘advantageous’
fekumnga’ (adj., FE.kum.nga’) ‘disadvantageous’
tìmungwrr (n., tì.mung.WRR) ‘exception’
Fwa tawtute slu Na’viyä hapxì lolu tìmungwrr apxa.
‘It was a great exception for a human to become part of the People.’
tìmungwrr si (vin.) ‘make an exception’
Ninat tìmungwrr sìlmi fte Ralu tsivun kivä hu tarpongu.
‘Ninat just made an exception so that Ralu can go with the hunting party.’
tarpongu (n., TAR.po.ngu) ‘hunting party’
nawfwe (adj., naw.FWE) ‘fluent, (for speech)’
This useful word requires some explanation.
You’re familiar with the expression nìwin na hufwe ‘as fast as the wind,’ which can be used in any situation to express rapidity. The shortened version na hufwe has become specialized as an adverbial expression for the fluent (not just rapid) use of language.
Fteria oel lì’fyati leNa’vi, slä mi ke tsängun pivlltxe na hufwe.
‘I’m studying Na’vi, but I’m afraid I still can’t speak it fluently.’
Na hufwe can contract further to nawfwe, which is a full-fledged adjective:
Toitsyeri lu poe plltxeyu anawfwe nìtxan.
‘She’s a very fluent speaker of German.’
Finally, a question has arisen regarding time expressions like tsakrr. As you know, tsakrr is listed in the dictionary as an adverb meaning ‘then, at that time.’ The question is: Since krr is a noun, can tsakrr also be a noun meaning ‘that time,’ as in Muntrram oe koläteng hu Ralu ulte sunu oer tsakrr, ‘I spent last weekend with Ralu and had a good time (literally, that time was pleasant to me)’? The answer is: absolutely! Many time expressions double as adverbs and also as nouns or noun phrases. You can tell from the context which usage is relevant. (The stress does not change.)
Hayalovay, ma smuk!