Author Topic: Na'vi "I am what I am" poem  (Read 863 times)

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Offline Uniltsamsiyu

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Na'vi "I am what I am" poem
« on: February 11, 2010, 01:38:40 pm »
Kaltxí ma aytsmuktu. I have been researching the Na'vi language for alittle over a month now. My friend and I are completely obsessed with Avatar and the language. She is actually doing a multi-genre writing project on the whole universe of Avatar for school. One part of the project had her write a short poem called an "I am what I am poem", which she a short poem on Neytiri. She wanted to me help her with the translation of it for an example of the Na'vi language. This being my first real attempt at an English-to-Na'vi translation, I would like to share it with you and hopefully get some feedback on anything I could improve upon as far as grammar, structure, or any other general feedback and improvements. First with the English version:

I am daughter, to Mo'at
I am hunter, but killing is sad
I am connected to the forest, she is very strong
I am Omatikaya, we are strong and connected, and we are hunted by the Sky People
I am prisoner, bound to teach this moron dreamwalker (Avatar).
I communicate with Eywa. The People understand the spirits and the signs she gives us.
   My name is Neytiri
   and I am Na'vi.

and my translation:

Oe 'ite lu, ma Mo'at ilä
Oe taronyu lu, slä tspang längu
Oel na'rìngit tsaheylu, poeri txur nìteng
Oe Omaticaya lu, ayoeng txur sì 'awsiteng leiu, ulte Tawtutel ayoengit tarontu
Oe spe'etu lu, fi'skxawnga uniltìrantokxur oe sänume si
Oel hu Eywati tireapängkxo. Tslam si Eywayä ayaungia sì aytirea Na'vir.
   Oeru syaw Neytiri
   ulte oe Na'vi lu.

Irayo in advance for any help or feedback!  ;D
   Eywa ngahu!


« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 02:23:34 pm by Ikran Tswayonyu »

Offline konieckropka

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Re: Na'vi "I am what I am" poem
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 01:46:25 pm »
I like it ;) 
Quite nice;]

Offline Lance R. Casey

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Re: Na'vi "I am what I am" poem
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 02:51:37 pm »
Here are some comments and suggestions (in blue):

Oe 'ite lu, ma Mo'at ilä

Ma is only used with direct address, and I expect ìlä to be primarily spatial in nature. I'd use a simple Mo'at'ite daughter of Mo'at after the comma.

Oe taronyu lu, slä tspang längu

Tspang is a verb, so you need to nominalize it (turn it into a noun) to use lu, and the pejorative infix cannot convey the "is sad" meaning by itself:

slä tìtspang kelefpom längu

Oel na'rìngit tsaheylu, poeri txur nìteng

Tsaheylu is a noun, but it can (presumably) be made into a compound verb with si, in which case na'rìng must be in the dative (or topicalized) because compound verbs are intransitive. As for the second clause, there is no need for the topic there, the copula is missing, and I think you've mistaken nìteng for nìtxan.

Oe na'rìngur tsaheylu si, poe txur lu nìtxan

Oe Omaticaya lu, ayoeng txur sì 'awsiteng leiu, ulte Tawtutel ayoengit tarontu

Saying "I am Omatikaya" in Na'vi to me signifies that you're equating yourself with the clan as a whole, whereas the intended meaning is probably "I am of the Omatikaya", in which case I'd use hapxì together with the genitive. Ayoeng is the inclusive "we", and using it implies that the person addressed is also a clan member; 'awsìteng is an adverb. Tawtute is the singular form ("human"), and *tarontu is not attested, but would likely be a noun referring to something or someone that is hunted.

Oe Omatikayayä hapxì lu, ayoe txur leiu 'awsìteng, ulte Sawtutel ayoeti taron
I am part of the Omatikaya, we are strong together, and the Sky People hunt us


Oe spe'etu lu, fi'skxawnga uniltìrantokxur oe sanume si

"This moron(ic) dreamwalker" would need an adjectival derivation and the demonstrative affixed to the head noun, and to include the obligation we could have:

oe zene fìuniltìranyur leskxawng sänume sivi

(uniltìrantokx refers to the actual avatar body)

Oel hu Eywati tireapängkxo. Tslam si Eywayä ayaungia sì aytirea Na'vir.

No accusative on Eywa, and therefore no ergative on oe; the adposition is enough. The second line needs some work:

Na'vil tslam (ay)sireat sì ayaungiat a poel tìng ayoeru
people-ERG understand PL-spirit-ACC and PL-sign-ACC SBRD she-ERG give 1PL.EXCL-DAT
The people understand the spirits and the signs that she gives us


   Oeru syaw Neytiri
   ulte oe Na'vi lu.

You're missing the indefinite pronoun fko, and then there's that thing about "being the people" (which may or may not be OK, but my feeling is that it's not, given how they speak around it in the movie).
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 03:57:25 am by Lance R. Casey »

// Lance R. Casey

Offline Uniltsamsiyu

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Re: Na'vi "I am what I am" poem
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 04:02:49 pm »
thank you very much for your comment! it was extremely helpful, i still have much to learn it seems, but i am determined!

 

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