Txon Eywa’evengä: Text and Translation

Here’s the text and Tirea Aean’s own English translation of Txon Eywa’evengä:

Txon Eywa’evengä. Na’rìng fa tìrey teya leiu. Pxaya swirä sì ioang tìran, taron, sì wem fte emrivey. Ayewll nrr fte syuratanit akosman tivìng na’rìngur. Kenten mìn, pay rikx äo eana syuratan. Lena’via ’evengan tìran tìkanluke kxamlä na’rìng fte ’ivefu fpomit ulte tsive’a txonä tìreyit alor. Pol aysmìmit a nrr ngop sìn txura ayvul tsawla ayutralä. Lora ’opin aean-na-ta’leng teya si tawur. Kifkey apxa kllkxem nìtxur hu sneyä smuk sì sanhì a fìtxan hì’i lam. ’Evenganìl lok ’orat ulte fpìl teri tìlor kifkeyä. Fìpori a syaw fko Zuvo lrrtok si Eywa.

Night of Pandora. The forest is full of life. Many creatures and beasts walk, hunt, and fight to survive. Plants glow to give wonderful bioluminescence to the forest. Fan lizards turn, water flows under the blue bioluminescent light. A Na’vi boy walks aimlessly through the forest to feel peace and to see the night’s beautiful life. He makes glowing foot tracks on the strong branches of a tall tree. A beautiful skin-blue color fills the sky, the large world stands strong with his siblings and the stars which seem so small. The boy approaches a lake and thinks about the beauty of the world. Eywa smiles upon this one, who is called Zuvo.

Srake tsolun fra’ut tslivam kxeyeyluke?  :-)

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Tìng mikyun! Listen!

Here’s some Na’vi for your listening pleasure. This is a poetic paragraph written and recorded by one of our sulfätu lì’fyayä, Tsm. Tirea Aean. It’s an evocative description of the Pandoran night called, appropriately, Txon Eywa’evengä. I think you’ll like it.

I’m going to hold off publishing the text for a bit. Try to get as much as you can from T.A.’s beautiful, clear reading. I’ll reveal the text in a subsequent post.

By the way, the unfamiliar word you’ll hear towards the end is a proper name.  :-)

Tìng mikyun nì’o’!

Txon Eywa’evengäTing mikyun

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Ulte säwäsultsyìpä yora’tu leiu . . . And the winner is . . .

Ma smuk,

Haykuri sna’o ayngeyä lor nìtxan lu nang! What a beautiful collection of haiku! I was genuinely impressed—and touched—by the effort and creativity that went into the submissions. Deciding on the winner wasn’t easy.

Here’s how I proceeded. First, I copied all 30+ poems into a separate document, completely anonymously, and printed it out. Then I went through each one carefully. I found myself writing Nice! in the margins many times, and Lovely! more than once. A few had minor grammatical problems, so I eliminated those from consideration. But I was still left with a large and wonderful collection. Most touched on nature, especially the images of falling leaves and approaching cold. Some seemed spiritual. Others were mysterious and thought-provoking. At least one related to the plot of Avatar. And many made me smile.

Although, as I say, the choice was difficult, in the end I chose this haiku for the purpose of today’s interview:

Srew, ma frapo, srew.
Au a’eoio.
Ftxozä sivi ko!Tìng mikyun

The author’s translation is:

Dance, everyone, dance.
Ceremonial drumming.
Let us celebrate!

 (Mìftxele, notice that the English is a bona fide haiku itself!)

I especially liked this one for several reasons. It sounds great; the second line is the shortest of all but contains the most syllables (sìlronsem nìngay, kefyak?); it’s upbeat; and I won’t have too much trouble memorizing it.  :-)

Seykxel sì nitram to the author, Prrton!

And congratulations to everyone who participated. If you haven’t already, please take a good look at the impressive collection of submissions (link in the previous post). Once again, the Community has made me feel proud.

UPDATE Oct. 25: Ulte set . . . mokri ngopyuä! I’ve added Prrton’s recording of his haiku to the text. Enjoy!

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Wina Säwäsultsyìp Ahì’i–A Quick Little Contest

Kaltxì, ma frapo–

Here’s a quick little contest I hope some of you will enjoy:

Next week I’m going to be interviewed on camera for a web-based series called “The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers.” (I’m not sure I count as a scientist, and I’m certainly not an engineer, but the producers thought that their viewers would be interested in the story of Na’vi.) As part of my preparation, I’ve been asked to compose a haiku, which I will read on camera. I suggested that it might be interesting if the haiku were in Na’vi instead of English, and the producers thought that was a great idea. Later, it occurred to me that this could be a fun little contest for members of the lì’fyaolo’: come up with a Na’vi haiku, which I will use for my interview, kezemplltxe with proper acknowledgment of the author!

For those of you who might not be familiar with haiku, it’s a form of brief poetry of Japanese origin. There are several varieties, but the most familiar one has three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively–17 syllables in all. The subject is often related to the natural world.

Here’s a (not very good) English example I just made up. It’s based on recently seeing a young hawk enjoying our birdbath:

Hawk in my birdbath,
Looking in all directions.
Why so wary, friend?

 If nothing else, at least it follows the 5, 7, 5 pattern.  :-)

So let’s see what you can do with a Na’vi haiku!

Tsmukan Markì has kindly created a thread on learnnavi.org where you can post your haikus anonymously:


I’ll check the thread periodically to see what’s there, and choose the one I like the best. Then I’ll find out who the author is so I can acknowledge her or him when I read the poem on camera.

Since my interview is Tuesday afternoon, please submit your haikus no later than Monday at noon, Pacific Time. I’ll make my choice later that day. Feel free to submit up to three haikus of your own.

Sìlpey oe, fìsäwäsultsyìp ’o’ lìyevu ayngaru!

Oh, and some related vocabulary:

wäsul (vin., WÄ.sul–inf. 2, 2) ‘compete’

This compound is derived from ‘against’ + tul ‘run.’ , as you know, triggers lenition. (The noun wätu ‘opponent’ is an exceptional form.)

 Oe new ngahu ’awsiteng tìkangkem sivi–ke new futa wäsivul oeng.Tìng mikyun
‘I want to work together with you–I don’t want us to compete.’

tìwäsul (n., tì.WÄ.sul) ‘competition’ (i.e., the abstract idea of competition)

säwäsul (n., sä.WÄ.sul) ‘a competition’ (i.e., a particular instance of competing)

säwäsultsyìp (n., sä.WÄ.sul.tsyìp) ‘contest’

A foot race, for example, is a particular kind of competition–a säwäsul a tul.

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Audio and Video Learning Materials for Na’vi 101!

Kaltxì, ma eylan–

As you know, July’s 90-minute Na’vi 101 class in Seattle was an effort to help absolute beginners take their first steps in the language, and the response to it was gratifying. Now I’m delighted to announce that due to the hard work and dedication of several members of the lì’fyaolo’, all the materials from that class–including videos of the class itself!–are available online for anyone who wants to see and hear them.

This post gives you all the relevant links, files, and documents. I’ve divided it into two parts: the videos of the class, and alternate audio recordings of the dialogs so you can hear different voices.

Before anything else, here’s the two-page handout that was distributed during the class.

Na’vi 101 handout

And for the record there were a couple of new vocabulary items, both related to drinking:

swoa (n., SWO.a) ‘intoxicating beverage’

rou (vin., RO.u–inf. 1,2) ‘be drunk, get drunk’

Srane, fìtxon tsun nga niväk swoat nì’it, slä rä’ä rou!Tìng mikyun
Yes, you can have a little alcohol tonight, but don’t get drunk!


Three members of our Community–Aaron Holmes, Yasu Tano, and Alan Taylor–saw to the videotaping of the class and the conversion to video. Irayo nìtxan pxengaru! In particular, I want to thank Alan so much for his brilliant work in creating professional-quality videos that I’m so proud to show off to people. Ngeyä tìkangkem afyole meuia leiu lì’fyaolo’ru, ma tsmukan. The enthusiastic descriptions below are Alan’s.

For all the videos, the slides can be found at:


And thanks again to Prrton, Txonä Rolyu, and ‘Oma Tirea, who co-taught the class with me.


Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Introduction

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O81Pl7TNYVw

Video duration: 6mins 13sec

Do you wish to learn Na’vi, the language created by Dr. Paul Frommer for the film “Avatar”? If so, then this is your opportunity to learn the basics. Filmed at AvatarMeet 2012 on July 22, Karyu Pawl takes us on a journey of learning Na’vi. In this short introduction you get to hear what fluent Na’vi sounds like, as well as see some of the many Avatar fans who have taken the opportunity to learn from the creator of the language. Eight follow-on parts to this introduction take you through the basics of the language and how to speak it. So take a ride with the Avatar Community to Pandora and take on a bit of Na’vi culture. Eywa ngahu.


Part 1: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 1

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goxi2Vejrks

Video duration: 14mins 23sec

Part 1 – Snapamrelvi sì Lì’upam / Alphabet & Pronunciation.

In this first of eight ‘Na’vi for Beginners’ lessons filmed at AvatarMeet 2012, Karyu Pawl (Teacher Paul) gives an introduction to Na’vi starting with an example of the language followed by a walk through the Na’vi alphabet and how to pronounce a number of letter combinations. You will find yourself taking part without knowing it!


Part 2: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 2

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-knEp2aPjHs

Video duration: 12mins 54sec

Part 2: Kaltxì/Hello.

In the second part we go through the first of a number of Na’vi conversations covered in this series: how to greet someone in Na’vi. Also covered is the placement of stress in words and the fact that Na’vi word order is not the same as in English. Audience participation is compulsory!


Part 3: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 3

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XvAaW7k0GE

Video duration: 8mins 1sec

Part 3: Srungtsyìp / Hints & Tips.

This third part of the Learn Na’vi lessons starts to build up sentences. Learn some simple but useful sentence patterns and where the emphasis is placed in words. Word order, or rather the flexibility of word order in Na’vi, is also explored.


Part 4: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 4

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ_wWkttvg4

Video duration: 8mins 35sec

Part 4: Smon Nìprrte’ / Nice to meet you.

A second dialogue sequence, exchanging names in Na’vi, is demonstrated before some audience participation and an opportunity for you to join in and practice.


Part 5: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 5

Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdXlKKtFEew

Video duration: 10mins 19sec

Part 5: Nga ftu peseng? / Where are you from?

Dialogue number three centers on where are you from and where you are going. Also explained is the addition of pe to form information questions and the flexibility in where it is placed.


Part 6: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 6

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3M-0bLXinU

Video duration: 12mins 52sec

Part 6: Yafkeykteri / About the weather.

A dialogue sequence to ask what the weather is like and describe the different types of weather. Also covered is how to describe the temperature right from being cold enough to turn you blue(!) through to very hot.


Part 7: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 7

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyuNCYaR3xU

Video duration: 14mins 44sec

Part 7: Syuve / Food.

This dialogue sequence centers on eating and food. Also explained is how the question word srak(e) can appear at the beginning or end of a sentence. Na’vi verb use in phrases with ‘I have’ or ‘I can’ is explored along with the incorporation of the infix -iv- and where it appears in the verb. Audience participation is your opportunity to join in.


Part 8: Learn Na’vi with Karyu Pawl – Part 8

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DWlAVjhnGU

Video duration: 15mins 21sec

Part 8: Naer / Drink.

This last sequence is a dialogue inviting someone for a drink and discussing what to have. Also covered is how nouns and adjectives, i.e ‘a heavy book’, are brought together in Na’vi and the flexible word order. The lesson is rounded off with where to go to find out more.


Since it’s important to hear a variety of voices speaking Na’vi–especially female voices, which we don’t hear enough of!–I asked several members of the lì’fyaolo’ to record the dialogs from the class. Irayo nìtxan to tsmukan Britton Watkins, tsmuke Jane MacMillan, and tsmuke Lauren Maurer, whose voices you’ll hear in these mp3′s.

We have others in the Community whose spoken Na’vi is excellent. For future posts I’m going to ask several of these sulfätu to record some of their own Na’vi compositions for us, which I’ll be delighted to post to the blog.

Dialog 1: Jane, BrittonTìng mikyun

Dialog 2: Lauren, BrittonTìng mikyun

Dialog 3: Britton, LaurenTìng mikyun

Dialog 4: Lauren, JaneTìng mikyun

Dialog 5: Paul, BrittonTìng mikyun

Dialog 6: Britton, PaulTìng mikyun

I hope all these materials will be useful not only to aysngä’iyu (beginners) but to our ayharyu (teachers) as well!

Hayalovay, ma frapo.

Posted in General, Na’vi 101 | 10 Comments

Sound Files Added to Previous Post

Ma smuk,

I’ve now added sound files for all the examples in the previous post. After each example, you’ll see a little light gray arrow. Click on it and you’ll hear me pronounce the example at normal conversational speed.

A language should be heard and not just seen, so I hope these sound files will be useful to you. Although I may not be able to do this every time, I’ll try to add sound to the written examples whenever I can.

Ayngeyä tìftusia ’o’ livu nì’aw!

ta Pawl

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Mipa Vospxì, Mipa Aylì’u—New Words for the New Month

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.

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Tskxekengtsyìp a Mikyunfpi–A Little Listening Exercise

Teri lì’fya leNa’vi a tsanumultxa loleiu säflä! Last week’s Na’vi for Beginners class at the Avatar Meet-up in Seattle was, I think, a great success. I believe we had more than 40 students from the Avatar community in the class, which lasted about an hour and 45 minutes. Three members of the lì’fyaolo’–pxesmuk alu Prrton sì Txonä Rolyu sì ’Oma Tirea–co-taught with me. The Museum provided excellent facilities, we made good use of the beautiful supporting slides Prrton had created, and everyone seemed to have a good time. I know I did! It was great to reunite with old friends from the Community and meet new ones. And hopefully some learning went on as well.  :-D

I was also impressed by the Meet-Up itself. From what I saw, the organization was top-notch and the supporting materials were totally professional. Plus the Clan Dinner was ftxìlor nìngay! Seykxel sì nitram to everyone who helped make the Meet-Up happen!

As a little listening exercise, I’ve recorded the introductory remarks in Na’vi with which I began the class. The idea was not for most people in the class to understand it–this was, after all a class for beginners–but just for everyone to get an idea of what Na’vi sounds like when spoken at more or less normal conversational speed. Prrton kindly served as consecutive interpreter after every few sentences.

Here’s the sound file: Class Introduction

And here’s the Na’vi text (as a Word file): Class Intro–Na’vi and free English translation: Class Intro–English.

My suggestion is to listen first to the Na’vi without any help to see how much you can get on your own. (I made use of some recently introduced vocabulary, so you might want to review the last blog post beforehand.) Then take a look at the text and translation to check how you did.

Nìvingkap, we now have a Na’vi toast:

Nitram nì’aw! ‘Happy only!’


ETA July 30–Here are the text files in RTF format for those who can read these more easily:

Class Intro–Na’vi RTF

Class Intro–English RTF

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Fìvospxìyä Aylì’fyavi Amip—This Month’s New Expressions, Pt. 2

Here’s a grab bag of new expressions, many of which reflect the creativity of the Community. Txantsana aysämokìri seiyi irayo, nìfrakrr. Some of these will be useful for Sunday’s “Introduction to Na’vi” class in Seattle.


How do you say “I’m proud of you” in Na’vi? The structure revolves around the noun nrra. You say, essentially, “Concerning you, I have pride.”

nrra (n., NRR.a) ‘pride, feeling of pride’

Ngari l(ei)u oeru nrra nìtxan, ma ’ite.
‘I’m very proud of you, daughter.’

Tsu’teyri lu foru nrra a fìrewon yolora’.
‘They’re proud of Tsu’tey for having won this morning.’


lenrra (adj., le.NRR.a) ‘proud’

Sa’nok lenrra lrrtok soli krra prrnen alo a’awve poltxe.
‘The proud mother smiled when the baby spoke for the first time.’

Note that lenrra refers to the feeling of pride you have in others—it’s not used for one’s own sense of personal worth or dignity (as in, for example, ‘a proud warrior.’)

nìnrra (adv., nì.NRR.a) ‘proudly, with pride’

Sa’nok nìnrra lrrtok soli krra prrnen alo a’awve poltxe.
‘The mother smiled with pride when the baby spoke for the first time.’

snonrra (n., sno.NRR.a) ‘self-pride (negative connotation)’

lesnonrra (adj., le.sno.NRR.a) ‘full of self-pride’

Kea tsamsiyu lesnonrra ke tsun Na’vit iveyk.
‘No warrior full of self-pride can lead the People.’

Nrra has an interesting and somewhat unclear derivation. It’s related to the verb nrr ‘glow,’ perhaps as a shortening of nrr a tirea, ‘glowing spirit.’

nrr (vin.) ‘glow, be luminous’

Na’rìng sngä’i nivrr txonkrr syuratanfa.
‘The forest begins to glow at night with bioluminescence.’

Note that the “good feeling” –ei- form of this verb is neiyrr, not *neirr; since the pseudo-vowels ll and rr only occur in syllables that begin with consonants, a y has to be inserted.

Ngari key nereiyrr, ma ’eylan. Nìlaw po yawne lu ngar.
‘Your face is glowing, my friend (and I’m pleased to see it). It’s clear you love her.’


sänrr (n., sä.NRR) ‘glow, an instance of glowing’

Txepìl tìng lefpoma sänrrti.
‘The fire gives a pleasant glow.’

And speaking of fires:

ylltxep (n., YLL.txep) ‘communal fire or fire pit’

Nìtrrtrr yom Na’vil wutsot ’awsiteng pxaw ylltxep.
‘The Na’vi regularly eat dinner together around a communal fire.’

Contrast ylltxep with txeptseng:

txeptseng (n., TXEP.tseng) ‘place where a fire is burning or has burned’

Txeptseng is a general term lacking the cultural significance of ylltxep.

Tsatxeptsengmì längu ayutral akerusey nì’aw.
‘Sadly, there are only dead trees where the fire has been,’

ralnga’ (adj., RAL.nga’) ‘meaningful, instructive, something from which a lesson can be learned.’

Don’t confuse ralnga’ with txanwawe (stress on the third syllable: txan.wa.WE), which means ‘meaningful’ in a personal sense—something that’s personally or emotionally significant to you.

Kìreysìri lu tsapukä ayvur a teri ’Rrta txanwawe nìngay, slä oeri, hufwa eltur tìtxen si, lu ralnga’ nì’aw.
‘For Grace, the stories in that book relating to Earth are personally meaningful, but for me, although interesting, they’re simply instructive.’


The stand-alone word for ‘pair’ is munsna:

munsna (n., MUN.sna) ‘pair’

The derivation is transparent: mune + sna’o, a ‘two-set.’

Hawnvenìri lu oeru munsna amrr.
‘I have five pairs of shoes.’ (Literally: As for shoes, I have five pairs.)

But to indicate one pair of something, a special structure is usually used: munsna acts as a prefix before the noun in question:

munsnahawnven ‘a pair of shoes’
munsnatute ‘a pair of people; a duo’

Rutxe fìtskxekeng sivi munsnatutefa, ma frapo.
‘Please do this exercise in pairs, everyone.’

Pronunciation: Munsna- words can be long, but in all cases the primary stress remains in the original place on the noun. For example, since hawnven is stressed on the final syllable, that’s where it stays in munsnahawnven: mun.sna.hawn.VEN. And munsnatute is mun.sna.TU.te

fyin (adj.) ‘simple’

ep’ang (adj., ep.’ANG) ‘complex’

Pronunciation: Make sure you don’t pronounce ep’ang as if it were epxang (e.PXANG). Both words are possible in Na’vi, but they do not sound the same. In ep’ang, the p is at the end of a syllable, so it’s unreleased; the second syllable begins with a tìftang, a glottal stop.  By the way:

epxang (n., e.PXANG) ‘stone jar used to hold small toxic arachnid’

fyinep’ang (n., fyin.ep.’ANG) ‘degree of complexity’

pefyinep’ang/fyinep’angpe (Q., pe.fyin.ep.’ANG / fyin.ep.’ANG.pe) ‘how complex’

Ngal ke tslängam teyngta fìtìngäzìkìri pefyinep’ang.
‘Unfortunately you don’t understand how complex this problem is.’

sngä’itseng (n., SNGÄ.’i.tseng) ‘beginning, starting position, initial location’

Don’t confuse this with sngä’ikrr, which means a beginning in time.

Ro sngä’itseng tsalì’uä alu ’eylan lu tìftang.
‘At the beginning of the word ’eylan there’s a glottal stop.’

Two helpful :-) words derived from srung:

srungsiyu (n., SRUNG.si.yu) ‘assistant, helper’

srungtsyìp (n., SRUNG.tsyìp) ‘helpful hint, tip’

And a couple of words relating to Sawtute technology that I believe are already in use in the Community:

spulmokri (n., spul.MOK.ri) ‘telephone’

syeprel (n., syep.REL) ‘camera’

These words obviously developed after the Na’vi came into contact with the Sawtute. The derivations are clear: spule + mokri ‘propel voice,’ syep + rel ‘trap image.’

Syaw oer rutxe trray fa spulmokri.
‘Please phone me tomorrow.’

Finally, a trio of idiomatic expressions:

ka wotx ‘generally, for the most part’ (literally: across the totality)

Hufwa rolun oel ’a’awa kxeyeyti, fìtìkangkemvi lu txantsan ka wotx.
‘Although I found a few errors, this piece of work is generally excellent.’

Pefya nga fpìl? ‘What do you think?’

(Notice that in Na’vi you actually say, “How do you think?” This is the case in many earth languages, although not in English.)

Pefya nga fpìl? Oeng sweylu txo kivä fuke?
‘What do you think? Should we go or not?’

(Note that fuke can be used for general “or not” questions, as it is here. In such cases there’s no need for srake/srak.)

sre fwa sngap zize’ ‘as quickly as possible’ (literally: before the hellfire wasp stings)

So the Na’vi equivalent of ASAP is SFSZ.  :-)

That’s all for now. Hope I’ll see some of you in Seattle soon!


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Meetings, Waterfalls, and More

Today’s vocabulary includes additional terms for the natural environment along with a few new words for social interaction. Some are recent, others are from my backlog of submitted ideas. Thanks as always to the LEP contributors for the stimulating and creative suggestions. Ayngal fpe’ oer a aysäfpìl eltur tìtxen si frakrr ulte srung si nìtxan!

First, some compounds with ultxa ‘meeting’:

tsawlultxa (n., tsawl.ul.TXA) ‘large gathering, conference’

(Note that the stress on the final element of compounds with ultxa is a minority pattern.)

Tsatsawlultxari alu SETIkon a2ve, nolume oe nìtxan teri tìtsunslu tìreyä a hifkeymì alahe.
‘At the SETIcon II conference I learned a lot about the possibility of life on other worlds.’

tìtsunslu (n., tì.TSUN.slu) ‘possibility’

numultxa (n., nu.mul.TXA) ‘class (for instruction)’

This word derives from nume ‘learn’ + ultxa, i.e., a ‘learn-meeting.’

Mì Siätll a numultxari lì’fyayä leNa’vi, sìlpey oe slìyevu nga numultxatu!
‘I hope you’ll participate in the upcoming Na’vi class in Seattle!’

numultxatu (n., nu.mul.TXA.tu) ‘classmate, member of a class’

snanumultxa (n., sna.nu.mul.TXA) ‘course’

A course, of course, is a collection of classes. :)

‘depend on’

English ‘depend on’ has two different senses that are kept separate in Na’vi.

To express the idea that “X depends on Y” in the sense that you need to know Y to determine what X is, Na’vi uses the expression latem ìlä, literally ‘changes according to.’ These are words you already know.

Tìflä latem ìlä seynga ftxey fkol sänumet livek fuke.
‘Success depends on whether or not one follows instructions.’

tìflä (n., tì.FLÄ) ‘success (in general)’

säflä (n., sä.FLÄ) ‘success (an instance of succeeding)’

Recall that ìlä is ADP+, so it causes teynga to become seynga. By the way, ìlä can be used by itself to mean ‘according to’:

Ìlä Feyral, muntxa soli Ralu sì Newey nìwan mesrram.
‘According to Peyral, Ralu and Newey were secretly married the day before yesterday.’

mesrram (n., adv., me.srr.AM) ‘the day before yesterday, two days ago’
mesrray (n., adv., me.srr.AY) ‘the day after tomorrow, two days from now’
pxesrram (n., adv., pxe.srr.AM) ‘three days ago’
pxesrray (n., adv., pxe.srr.AY) ‘three days from now’

The other sense of ‘depend on’ is ‘rely on for one’s safety, sustenance, etc.’ That’s mong:

mong (vtr.) ‘depend on, rely on, trust for protection’

Mong prrnenìl futa sa’nul verewng nìtut.
‘The infant depends on her Mommy to look after her constantly.’

Tsun nga oet mivong.
‘You can rely on me.’

sru’ (vtr.) ‘crush, trample’

Weynflitit ’angtsìkìl srolu’ tspang.
‘Wainfleet was crushed and killed by a hammerhead.’

‘tight’ and ‘loose’

’ekxin (adj., ’e.KXIN) ‘tight’

um (adj.) ‘loose’

Fìraspu’ ’ekxin lu nìhawng. Ke tsun oe yivemstokx.
‘These leggings are too tight. I can’t wear them.’

’ekxinum (n., ’e.KXI.num) ‘tightness/looseness’

pekxinum / ’ekxinumpe (Q., pe.KXI.num / ’e.KXI.num.pe) ‘how tight/loose?’

Pekxinum comes, of course, from pe + ’ekxinum. Since pe causes lenition, the glottal stop drops, and the resulting ee simplies to e, since doubled vowels always simplify to single ones in Na’vi. No further lenition takes place—the kx ejective does not become k.

Ngal molay’ pxawpxunit Loakä a krr pekxinum?
When you tried on Loak’s armband, how tight was it?’

And now for the promised nature words:

zeswa (n., ZE.swa) ‘grass’

zeswavi (n., ZE.swa.vi) ‘blade of grass’

lezeswa (adj., le.ZE.swa) ‘grassy’

Palukanit tsole’a, yerik lopx hifwo kxamlä zeswa.
‘Spotting a thanator, the hexapede panicked and escaped through the grass.’

lopx (vin.) ‘panic’

hifwo (vin., HI.fwo – inf. 1,2) ‘flee, escape’

Some more weather terms:

yrrap (n., YRR.ap) ‘storm’

This word is derived from ya ‘air’ + hrrap ‘danger.’

Frapo ne mìfa! Lerok yrrap apxa!
‘Everybody inside! A big storm is approaching!’

’rrpxom (n., ’RR.pxom) ‘thunder’

rawm (n.) ‘lightning (general term)’

atanzaw (n., a.TAN.zaw) ‘forked lightning’ (derived from atan ‘light’ and swizaw ‘arrow’)

rawmpxom (n., RAWM.pxom) ‘thunder and lightning’

And finally, some words for pay azusup, ‘falling water.’

Na’vi doesn’t have a single word for ‘waterfall’; rather, it distinguishes five different kinds of falling and running water:

se’ayl (n., se.’AYL) ‘an individual tall, thin waterfall that pours down a sheer high cliff or off of a floating mountain’ (countable)

(n.) ‘a wall or bank of powerful falls noted for its deafening roar and deadly force’ (countable, but only rarely)

(n., SYA.nan) ‘a single drop or series of smaller falls occurring sequentially along a stream or series of pools’ (countable)

(n., ru.RUR) ‘water that is aerated while flowing among the rocks of a very gradually sloping stream’ (non-countable)

(n., TSEL.tsul) ‘whitewater rapids’ (countable, but only rarely)


I hope all the Americans in the lì’fyaolo’ had a Fourth of July that was ’o’ nì’aw!

And with that, I’ll leave you until the next time.

Edit 19 July: ’e.KXIN.um –> ’e.KXI.num

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