AVATAR: How to Learn Na'vi

Jake arrives on Pandora AVATAR fans like to casually use phrases from Na'vi (kaltxì for hello, oel ngati kameie for "I see you"), but there's lots more to the language than just the niceties of saying "hi" or "goodbye." James Cameron commissioned USC communications professor Paul Frommer to construct an entire, grammatically consistent language for Avatar's Na'vi to speak, then teach it to seven of the film's actors, as Frommer told USC News. The fan community has picked that language up with remarkable speed.

Consider that it took many years for Klingon to become popular and well-resourced (the Times of London notes an iPhone app, a language institute and even a Klingon version of Hamlet). Na'vi resources, in contrast, sprang up almost overnight, and today the most popular spot for Na'vi on the Web is Learn Na'vi, which includes links to both a concise Na'vi-English dictionary (PDF but also available as an iPhone app) and Na'vi in a Nutshell (also PDF).

Nutshell can look intimidating at first, but start reading it and you quickly discover some simple distinctions; tsmuk is the word for "sibling," but give it the masculine "an" ending and you get tsmukan or "brother." Similarly, the feminine "e" ending gives you tsmuke or "sister."

Sound good so far? Then you might want to proceed to the Learn Na'vi Forums and especially the Introductions board, where a remarkably well-organized group will get you started reading, writing and speaking Na'vi. There's even an activity book (PDF).

Speaking of speaking, you can begin listening to the language now at Tirea Radio as an aid to your practice, including chats among Tirea members, spoken-words by Paul Frommer, and music from the film. For a 16-second clip of Na'vi dialogue that centers on encountering a giant carnivorous plant, see the New York Times.

As they say on Pandora, Ke zene win säpivi. ’Ivong nìk’ong—Take your time, don't rush; slow is fine.

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Have you tried to learn Na'vi? And what's your favorite phrase?



I would love to learn the language! Teach me more!

Vered Gluska

ha... have I tried to learn NA'VI..... I've already downloaded the whole dictionary....


I would like to learn more Na'vi as mine is very bad. My vocabulary is limited and I'm sure my pronouciation sucks!

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I have always want learn more other language.bur i want to learn Na'vi learn.

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Txonä Rolyu

Kaltxì ma frapo, oeru syaw Txonä Rolyu. Leiu oe karyu lì'fyayä leNa'vi ulte oe tsun ayngaru srung sivi :) Aynga tsun tsive'a oeyä aysänumvi fìtseng: http://www.tree-of-souls.com/navi_language/4273-ays%E4numvi_lenavi_navi_lessons.html#post147282 ulte txo lu sìpawm, aynga tsun oeru piveng fìtseng mì 'Type Pad' :) Aysänumvi oeyä lu ngim a fì'ut oel omum slä txopu rä'ä si, Inan ulte nume win na fwa aynga 'efu tsyafe :)

Hello everyone, I am Txonä Rolyu (Singer of the Night). I am a Na'vi teacher and I can help you all :) You can see my Na'vi lessons here (click link) and if you have questions you can ask me here on Type Pad :) My lessons are long, I know, but fear not. Read and learn as fast as you feel comfortable with :)

-Txonä Rolyu

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