I finally got round to seeing Avatar this week and really enjoyed it. Na’vi, the constructed language used in the film was devised by Paul Frommer, sounds intriguing and there seems to be quite a bit of interest in it. Here are some websites where you can find out more:

Learn Na’vi contains Na’vi-English dictionary, and notes on pronunciation and grammar

Talk Na’vi has videos of the language being used in the film, and about the creation of the language.

Some highlights of Na’vi on language log.

– On YouTube there are a number of videos with details of the language.

– and there’s a page about Na’vi on Wikipedia.

If anyone feels inspired to put together a collection of phrases in Na’vi for Omniglot, please feel free to do so. Here are a few:

Kaltxì – Hello
Ngaru lu fpom srak? – How are you?
Oel ngati kameie – I see you (greeting)
Tsun oe ngahu nìNa’vi pivängkxo a fì’u oeru prrte’ lu – It’s a pleasure to be able to chat with you in Na’vi
Fìskxawngìri tsap’alute sengi oe – I apologise for this moron
Irayo – thank you
Uniltìrantokx – Avatar

5 thoughts on “Na’vi

  1. Thank you Simon for this information. I’ll tell my daughter: she’s an avatar fan…. (and since last week end “Lovely bones”…)

  2. I was reading about Frommer’s work creating Na’vi, and I was reminded of a big, simple idea: that languages constructed for movies have to be both alien and accessible. In other words, the language has to be non-human and yet learnable (audible, pronounceable?) for humans, the characters in the story and the actors playing those roles.

    Anyone who enjoyed the story and language of Avatar might also enjoy Mary Doria Russell’s novel The Sparrow, about a Jesuit linguist who travels to another planet.

  3. I wonder how long it will take before someone posts a writing system for the language – ignoring the fact that in the movies there isn’t a single reference to Na’vi artwork (therefor: what exactly would you base the design of the script on?)

  4. I really like the Avatar 3D movie, particularly the story line, not only it brings a completely new sensation but eye opening thoughts of humanity. I heard the New Avatar 2 is comming soon, can’t wait to see it again…!

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