Kaltxì nìmun, ma frapo—and Happy October. Here are some new words and expressions from my backlog of submissions that I hope you’ll find useful.
zet (vtr.) ‘treat (emotionally), display an attitude towards’
Zet is always paired with pxel (not na) to express the idea of “treat A like or as B.”
Va’rul zänget ikranit sneyä pxel hapxìtu soaiä.Tìng mikyun
‘Va’ru treats his ikran like a member of the family (and I don’t approve).’
Peyralìl zet wura wutsot a’awnem pxel sngel.Tìng mikyun
‘Peyral won’t eat a cooked meal that isn’t still warm.’
(Literally: ‘Peyral treats a cool cooked meal like garbage.’)
Pol zeret oeti pxel tute a ke inan pot.Tìng mikyun
‘He’s treating me like I don’t know him.’
(Literally: ‘He’s treating me like a person who doesn’t read him.’)
Here inan ‘read, gain knowledge from sensory input’ is being used colloquially in the sense of ‘know what someone is about, know someone’s “deal.”’
To express the idea of “treat as though,” you still need to “compare apples to apples.” For example:
Pol zolet oeyä säfpìlit pxel pum a tìngäzìkit ngop.Tìng mikyun
‘He treated my idea as though it created a problem.’
(Literally: ‘He treated my idea as one—i.e., an idea—that creates a problem.’)
ha’ (vin.) ‘fit, suit, complement, inherently enhance’
This verb doesn’t have a simple English equivalent. The idea is that two entities (things, people, situations, . . . ) fit or suit each other—they “go together” well. Note that unlike in English, the syntax is not that of a transitive verb. Instead, ha’ can take either a plural (or dual or trial) subject with fìtsap ‘each other’ or the dative.
Tsenu sì Loak fìtsap ke ha’ kaw’it.Tìng mikyun
‘Tsenu and Loak are a terrible match for each other.’
(Their personalities don’t mesh, but neither one is “to blame.” The source of the mismatch is equally divided between Tsenu and Loak.)
Tsenu Loakur ke ha’.Tìng mikyun
‘Tsenu is a bad match for Loak.’
(Here the speaker is identifying Tsenu as the source of the mismatch. Loak is in the dative.)
Tsenur Loak ke hänga’.Tìng mikyun
‘Loak isn’t good for Tsenu.’
(Here the source of the problem is Loak. The speaker is more concerned for Tsenu and is unhappy that she and Loak remain in a relationship.)
Hufwa ngeyä tìhawlìri ke lu kea kxeyey, tsalsungay oeru ke ha’ nìtam.Tìng mikyun
‘Although there’s nothing wrong with your plan, it just doesn’t suit me.’
Ngay. Tsa’opin hek nì’it, slä sunu oer, ha ha’.Tìng mikyun
‘True. That color is bit odd, but I like it, so it’s a good fit for me.’ (I intend to wear that article of clothing anyway.)
syon (n.) ‘feature, trait, attribute, characteristic, point, aspect, facet, property’
Tsranten frato a syon tsamsiyuä lu tìtstew.Tìng mikyun
‘The most important characteristic of a warrior is bravery.’
Palulukanìri lu pxesyon a zene fko ziverok nìtut:Tìng mikyun
• Tsun kxamlä na’rìng rivikx nìfnu nìwotx.
• Lu tsawl sì txur.
• New fkot yivom.
‘Three things about the thanator must always be kept in mind:
• It can move silently through the forest.
• It’s big and strong.
• It wants to eat you.’
ran (n.) ‘intrinsic character or nature, essence, constitution’
This word has no exact English equivalent. Basically, it refers to the basic nature of something resulting from the totality of its properties, a result of all the syon of that thing. For people, ran is often best translated as ‘personality.’
Muntxaturi Sorewnti ke tsun oe mivll’an. Ran peyä oeru ke ha’.Tìng mikyun
‘I can’t accept Sorewn as my spouse. Her personality doesn’t suit me.’
Fra’uä ran ngäpop fa frasyon tseyä.Tìng mikyun
‘The ran of each thing arises from the totality of its attributes.’
Note: Here the reflexive form of ngop ‘create’—ngäpop, literally ‘creates itself’—is used for this sense of ‘arise.’ A closer translation would be ‘is created.’ For the grammar experts, this is an example of an “agentless passive” in English that becomes a reflexive in Na’vi.
Ran tìrusolä peyä lu fyole.Tìng mikyun
The ran of her singing is sublime.
fyole (adj., FYO.le) ‘sublime, beyond perfection’
loran (n., LO.ran) ‘elegance, grace’
This word is derived from lor + ran.
Yamì tsun fko tsive’a loranit renuä kilvanä slä klltesìn wäpan.Tìng mikyun
‘From the air you can see the grace of the river’s form but from the ground it’s hidden.’
fe’ran (n., FE’.ran) ‘flawed nature; something ill-conceived or inherently defective’
From fe’ + ran. This word can refer either to the property of being inherently flawed, or to something that has the property.
Fìtìhawlìri fe’ran law längu frapor.Tìng mikyun
‘Unfortunately the flawed nature of this plan is obvious to everyone.’
’Rrtamì a reyfya Sawtuteyä latsu fe’ran nìngay.Tìng mikyun
‘The Skypeople’s culture on earth must truly be flawed.’
(Literally, it must truly be a flawed thing.)
reyfya (n., REY.fya) ‘way of living, culture’
fe’ranvi (n., FE’.ran.vi) ‘blemish, deformity, stain, flawed feature’
Hufwa lu filur Va’ruä fnefe’ranvi, tsalsungay fpìl futa sayrìp lu nìtxan.Tìng mikyun
‘Although Va’ru’s facial stripes are rather uneven, I still think he’s very handsome.’
nìran (adv., nì.RAN) ‘basically, fundamentally, in essence’
Nìran lu Loak mi ’eveng slä tsun tivaron nìtengfya na fyeyntu.Tìng mikyun
‘Loak is still really just a boy but he can hunt the same as an adult.’
mo (n.) ‘space, hollow, enclosed open area’
Mo is more specific than tseng: it’s tseng plus the idea of enclosure. Like tseng, a mo can be tok-ed.
Tok oel lora tsamoti a mì na’rìng a krr, ’efu mawey sì nitram.Tìng mikyun
‘When I’m in that beautiful hollow in the forest, I feel calm and happy.’
snomo (n., SNO.mo) ‘private space that one can retreat to’
Mo can be used for ‘room’ in a house mì ’Rrta. One’s own room would be one’s snomo. More specifically:
mo letrrtrr ‘living room’
mo a yom ‘dining room’
(sno)mo a hahaw ‘bedroom’
Note: The last two expressions do not mean ‘room that eats’ and ‘room that sleeps,’ although theoretically they could! You can think of mo a yom as shorthand for mo a fko yom tsatseng and so on.
wum (adv.) ‘approximately, roughly’
Oeri solalew wum zìsìt °a14 a krr, folrrfen sponot alo a’awve.Tìng mikyun
‘When I was about 12 years old I visited an island for the first time.’
kesran (adj, ke.SRAN) ‘so-so, mediocre’
The derivation of this word is not entirely clear. It may have originally been kesrankekehe, literally, ‘not yes, not no,’ in reference to whether a certain action was performed well or not, and over time it became shortened to just kesran, its use expanding to include anything only mediocre in quality.
Peyä säftxulì’u lolängu kesran ulte kawtur slantire ke si.Tìng mikyun
‘Unfortunately his speech was only so-so and inspired no one.’
nìksran (adv., nìk.SRAN) ‘in a mediocre manner’
yewla (n., YEW.la) ‘disappointment, emotional let-down, failed expectation’
The syntax is: lu oeru yewla ‘I’m disappointed’ (literally: ‘I have disappointment’).
Oer lu txana yewla a ke tsun nga oehu kiväteng mesrray.100212_23_Oer
‘I’m very disappointed you can’t hang out with me the day after tomorrow.’
leyewla (adj., le.YEW.la) ‘disappointing’
Kea kem leyewla rä’ä si, rutxe.Tìng mikyun
‘Please don’t let me down.’
nìyewla (adv., nì.YEW.la) ‘in a disappointing fashion; in a way failing to meet expectations’
Trramä ayuvanìri makto Akwey nìyewla ha snaytx.Tìng mikyun
‘Akwey rode disappointingly in yesterday’s games so he lost.’
yawnyewla (n., yawn.YEW.la) ‘broken heart; broken-heartedness’
Lu Tsenur yawnyewla a lam fwa Va’rul pot txìyìng.Tìng mikyun
‘Tsenu is broken hearted that Va’ru appears to be about to dump her.’
Yewla! (conv.) ‘Bummer! That’s a shame! What a shame!’
ve’o (n., VE.’o) ‘order (as opposed to disorder or chaos), organization’
Mawkrra Sawtuteyä txampxì holum, tätxaw Na’vine nì’i’a ve’o.Tìng mikyun
‘After most of the Sky People left, order finally returned to the People.’
vezo (vin., ve.ZO—inf. 2, 2) ‘be in order, be organized’
vezeyko (vtr., ve.zey.KO) ‘put in order, organize’
Ngari snomot krrpe vezeyko, ma ’itan?Tìng mikyun
‘When are you going to organize your room, son?’
vefya (n., VE.fya) ‘system, process, procedure, approach’
Neytiril Tsyeykur wamìntxu Omatikayaä vefyat tìtusaronä.Tìng mikyun
‘Neytiri showed Jake the Omatikaya’s approach to hunting.’
(Note the irregular genitive of Omatikaya: Omatikayaä.)
velke (adj., VEL.ke) ‘chaotic, messy, disorganized, in shambles’
This word derives from ve’o + luke, ‘without order.’ (Compare kxuke ‘safe,’ which comes from kxu + luke ‘without harm.’ The evolution was kxuluke > kxulke > kxuke. With velke, the l of luke didn’t drop.)
Eyk Kamun a fralo längu tsasätaron velke nìwotx. Taronyut yom smarìl!Tìng mikyun
‘Every time Kamun is in charge, the hunt is a mess. Everything goes wrong that can.’
venga’ (adj., VE.nga’) ‘organized, “on top of things” (ofp)’
Txo nivew fko säro’a sivi, zene nì’awve venga’ livu.Tìng mikyun
‘If you want to accomplish great things, you first have to be organized.’
Hayalovay, ma smuk!
Edit Oct. 3: Fixed säfpìl –> säfpìlit in zet example; corrected typos and spurious underlining.