Author Topic: Greetings!  (Read 620 times)

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Offline Tsyosami

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Greetings!
« on: June 12, 2017, 12:11:51 pm »
Hey everyone! My name is Joe, I'm 28, and I live in New Jersey. I've always been interested in foreign and constructed languages, and I remember reading somewhere a while ago that Disney would be incorporating the Na'vi language into Pandora (not sure if they actually did), so ever since then I've been itching to learn Na'vi. I decided a few days ago to finally take the plunge, due in part to the fact that my wife and I are planning a trip to Disney within the next few months. I do have one small confession to make, though: I've never seen Avatar.

I've looked at the resources on the main website here, and I'm starting with the Phonetics page, to get a feel for how Na'vi sounds and teaching myself to pronounce the sounds English doesn't have. I do have one question, however: what should be my next step after I learn the pronunciation? Are there any lessons available, or any book-like learning materials to learn from? Any help would be appreciated, and thanks for taking the time to read my post!

Offline Wllìm

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2017, 03:44:26 pm »
Kaltxì ma Tsyosami!

After you have the pronunciation down (good that you're starting with that!) the main things you need to learn are grammar and vocabulary. There are many learning materials available for both, depending on what kind of learning style you like :)

For vocabulary, I myself really like Memrise. That is a vocab-learning website; you make an account there and it tracks your progress and such.

If you want to learn to actually speak Na'vi (as opposed to just writing) I highly recommend you practice speaking and listening, for example on Discord (see here), where you can have voice chats with others in Na'vi.

Anyway, hope to see you around! :D
Stress practiceNoun declensionsVerb infixes •  Weather forecasts in Na'viKDE nìNa'viMy Na'vi blog
Seykxel sì nitram! Ngal rolun fì'upxaret aketsuktse'a! :D

Offline Kawnu

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 05:11:08 pm »
I'd definitely recommend joining the Discord. It's not just for speaking, you'll learn a lot faster there

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Offline Tsyosami

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 05:50:00 pm »
I hope you don't mind, but I took your Na'vi version of my username as my own; it sounded so nice (from what I know so far)! I've never used Memrise before, but I'll definitely download the app once I'm comfortable with the letters and sounds. Also, thank you both for the suggestion about the Discord, as my end goal is to be able to speak and read the language fluently. I hope to be able to talk with and learn from you all for a long time!

Offline Toliman

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 10:19:10 am »
Kaltxì ulte zola'u nìprrte' ma Tsyosami :)

Nice to see new people here :)

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2017, 03:59:04 pm »
Kaltxì, ma tsyosami. Seykxel sì nitram!

Since you are already familiar with linguistics from your previous studies, you may also find the Na'vi reference grammar a useful resource: http://www.learnnavi.org/docs/horen-lenavi.pdf

Yawey ngahu!
pamrel si ro [email protected]

Offline Tsyosami

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 09:43:43 pm »
Thank you both for the warm welcome! The reference grammar you linked to, `Eylan Ayfalulukanä, is perfect for the way I like to learn. I'll be studying the full pronunciation section of it tomorrow since I've just gotten the alphabet and sounds memorized.

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 03:44:27 pm »
Thank you both for the warm welcome! The reference grammar you linked to, `Eylan Ayfalulukanä, is perfect for the way I like to learn. I'll be studying the full pronunciation section of it tomorrow since I've just gotten the alphabet and sounds memorized.

Its interesting you mentioned that you like the reference grammar. Based on what you wrote in your intro, I kind of thought you would. What we have found is that most folks are intimidated by documents like the reference grammar. A number of smuk, Tirea Aean in particular, have pioneered a learning method that is more 'pick it up in context' in nature, and this is what most of the sucessful learners have used, especially those without any linguistic background. But a few of us-- you and I included-- are more comfortable learning language the traditional way, by studying grammar, phonology, syntax, etc., and picking up vocabulary along the way. This may also be related to a couple of other factors. First, I am an engineer with a scientific background, and tend to learn more in a structured environment. Second, Iam told that there are three types of learners-- visual learners (the majority), aural learners, and book/reading learners (the minority). I find I am very much a book learner. Things like learning videos slow me down considerably unless what is to be learned has has actions that can be shown better than described.

In any case, seeing we approach language the same way, do you find your learning methods to be similar to what I experience? Or dofferent?

Yawey ngahu!
pamrel si ro [email protected]

Offline Tsyosami

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 07:19:07 pm »
Our learning methods seem similar for sure, even though I don't have any scientific or technical background like you. I have, however, used some videos and other media successfully, but programs such as Rosetta Stone, which teach through an immersion method, frustrate me to no end. I need to know more than just the how of a language ("How do you say...? or What's the word for...?"); I need to know the why as well.

I enjoy learning vocabulary just like anyone else that's learning a language does, but once I know a few words my mind immediately wants to learn (slowly, but in as much detail as possible) the framework for building these words into phrases, sentences, etc. while also learning more words like you said. Pictures, audio, and video clips only work for me if they're accompanied by some form of detailed instruction - grammar notes, IPA transcription, etc.

If I could conjure up the perfect Na'vi coursebook for myself, it would probably be an inverted version of normal language courses. Each lesson would start with vocabulary (or an additional review of previous vocabulary), then pages of grammar notes (starting with simple things and becoming increasingly difficult, with ample exercises and reviews), then finally two or more dialogues or readings - the first few containing mainly new words, and the last few with a mix of everything, so I could practice recognizing words and phrases "in the wild".

Sorry for the long reply, and for basically talking only about myself!

Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2017, 06:55:05 pm »
No, I enjoyed your long reply. And we really do think a lot alike despite different backgrounds. Knowing why something works, be it a language, a videotape machine, a biochemical reaction or a particle accelerator has always been important to me.

There was a project that was worked on a few years back to build a Na'vi language book, that had at its core, the immersive language learning experience. Look up some of the posts by Taronyu Leioiae, who was heavily involved in this project. I was encouraging him (in a series of offline discussions, that, unfortunately are not available pubically here) to add sidebars to explain linguistic terminology and principles, and to add some additional, more challenging vocabulary learning material, so the book would serve a wider audience. There are also people here who use linguistic lingo, as there are times that this is the quickest, most effective way to describe things. I think it is worth the while of people who are more than casual learners, to take the time to learn what these terms mean, and understand how they apply to Na'vi. Even if they are immersive learners, there are times when understanding a concept makes things that were poorly understood suddenly perfectly clear. This has happened to me a number of times in my walk with the Na'vi language.

BTW, I do not get on Discord very often because it tends to stop everything else I am doing. I also tend to do a fair amount of participation here from my workplace, and I cannot let a busy social site distract me from what I need to be doing. Also, Saturdays tend to be very busy for me, and time spent in the afternoon on a mostly-social site simply does not exist for me.

In any case, thanks for carrying on the conversation! Pangkxori, irayo fpi ferlltxe oe hu nga (Note the odd use of lenition in that sentence.)

Yawey ngahu!
pamrel si ro [email protected]

Offline Tsyosami

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2017, 11:04:32 pm »
I'll definitely look for those posts, thanks. I agree with your statement that immersive and more than casual learners can benefit from learning a bit about linguistics, especially (IMO) the IPA. I would highly recommend learning, at the bare minimum, how to read the sounds of your target language in IPA notation to anyone who is wanting more than just a phrasebook-ish knowledge of any language. Not only will you know what exact sound(s) each letter stands for, but you'll also be able to read any good dictionary's entry for any word and know how to say that word almost perfectly, if not exactly (one second, I have to get down from my soap box now).

Anyhoo, I also think it would be great if a Na'vi coursebook was ever completed, even if it was based on an immersion learning method. I haven't joined the Discord yet, mainly because I've been busier recently and wanted to make sure I was relatively comfortable pronouncing the sounds of Na'vi before moving on to learning my first words, which were for parts of the head (ftxì, kxa, flawm, etc.), but I'll join once I know how to properly say at least one or two sentences.

As with the past two days, it's been nice chatting with you! Languages and linguistics are a passion of mine, and though I still have much to learn about these topics, it's been great being able to talk with someone who is interested in linguistics as well.

Offline Kawnu

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2017, 09:27:41 am »
"wanted to make sure I was relatively comfortable pronouncing the sounds of Na'vi before moving on to learning my first words, which were for parts of the head (ftxì, kxa, flawm, etc.), but I'll join once I know how to properly say at least one or two sentences."

But why though? There's a great introductory pronunciation course on the Discord, that's really what it's best at. There's no reason to wait until you're moderately proficient to join the Discord, that really wouldn't be using it to its full potential.

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Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2017, 11:10:39 am »
Hi there Joe! Welcome to the Learn Na'vi forums! :D

I find it fascinating to see a Language-enthusiast join us, despite having never seen the film! I do recommend you watch it at some point; it was really good.

The language is quite straightforward as I'm sure you'll find, since you seem to have a lot of prior experience with other languages.  I think you'll really like this one.  It's unique and exotic, yet relatively simple overall.

Our site and forums contain any tools you may like to use on your quest to master the language on your own. But if you have any questions or want to chat or practice, we're here and on Discord. :)

:ikran: 8)

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Offline Tsyosami

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2017, 04:51:37 pm »
Irayo Tirea Aean! I joined the Discord yesterday and enjoyed talking to and practicing my pronunciation with Pamìrìk, Kawnu, EanaUnil, and a few others.

As I was telling them (in a much shorter way), my first introduction to a conlang was Klingon in high school. A few years after I graduated high school Avatar came out and I heard about Na'vi. I tossed around the idea of learning it, but never took the plunge until this week, after my wife and I planned a trip to Disney and learned more about Pandora.

I've thoroughly enjoyed learning every bit of Na'vi I know so far, and I hope that with everyone's help and friendship I can become fluent in Na'vi and be a positive member of this community for many years to come!

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2017, 07:26:12 pm »
Irayo Tirea Aean! I joined the Discord yesterday and enjoyed talking to and practicing my pronunciation with Pamìrìk, Kawnu, EanaUnil, and a few others.

Txantsan! That's awesome. I wish I could have been there to welcome you to our Discord as well.

Quote
As I was telling them (in a much shorter way), my first introduction to a conlang was Klingon in high school. A few years after I graduated high school Avatar came out and I heard about Na'vi. I tossed around the idea of learning it, but never took the plunge until this week, after my wife and I planned a trip to Disney and learned more about Pandora.

This is really cool. We are having our annual AvatarMeet (avatarmeet.com) there at the Disney Pandora in November this year. I can't wait! :D

Quote
I've thoroughly enjoyed learning every bit of Na'vi I know so far, and I hope that with everyone's help and friendship I can become fluent in Na'vi and be a positive member of this community for many years to come!

That's wonderful to hear! I'm glad.  With this kind of attitude and drive, coupled with your experience and understanding of how Language works and specialized linguistic terms, you will be conversationally fluent in no time. The only bottleneck is our a priori lexicon of about 2K+ roots and their affixed forms. (Luckily, our affixes are more or less highly regular when productive) :)

:ikran: 8)

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Offline `Eylan Ayfalulukanä

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2017, 10:16:46 pm »
There's also an excellent video by Ftìafpi that goes over pronunciation. I know it is still available, I just don't know where it is.

Yawey ngahu!
pamrel si ro [email protected]

Offline Tsyosami

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Re: Greetings!
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2017, 10:45:41 am »
Irayo, 'Eylan Ayfalulukanä; I'll look for it later this evening. My two main issues with pronunciation are ng (if I don't concentrate hard enough I say /ŋg/ instead of just /ŋ/) and e word finally (I tend to make it /e/ instead of /ɛ/), but every day is slightly better than the last!

 

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