Author Topic: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)  (Read 20666 times)

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Offline wm.annis

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #100 on: February 09, 2010, 06:12:06 pm »
(less embarrassingly than needing to chisanbop leNa'vi with my pinkies tucked in every time a number comes up.

Oh, wow.  I learned chisanbop in junior high, and have made use of it ever since (excellent for computing domino scores).  This is a brilliant adaptation!
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Offline Plumps

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #101 on: February 09, 2010, 06:40:44 pm »
(less embarrassingly than needing to chisanbop leNa'vi with my pinkies tucked in every time a number comes up.

Oh, wow.  I learned chisanbop in junior high, and have made use of it ever since (excellent for computing domino scores).  This is a brilliant adaptation!

I've never heard of that but I think it's quite amazing :) and am thinking whether one could adapt that for Na'vi - you can either leave out the little finger or the thumb completely (right would be 'aw to kinä; left would be all the vol, mevol...)

Just a wild idea :P

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #102 on: February 09, 2010, 10:40:53 pm »
ultimately the thing that I'm whining about IS CONVERSION during an interpretation process

I KNOW this is a challenge for me because I struggle (always) with any number in Japanese over 10 million. And as a complicating factor PALES in comparison to the octal approach.  ;)

You know, I thought about this very thing later on.  I think the answer is probably pretty simple.  But first, an important note for anyone reading the thread and thinking about Na'vi numbers as octal versus decimal:

DON'T.

In particular, don't fall into the trap of thinking "Well, mevomun is in base eight with two in the eights place and two in the ones place, so that's 22 octal, which is 18 decimal."  Here's the thing: mevomun isn't 22 octal, because the Na'vi don't write their numbers down.  "Mevomun" isn't anything but mevomun.  Literally, mevomun means two eights and two.  A human would have to translate that into one ten and eight, and if they were a toktor they might write it down as "18".  But the written numerals are meaningless to the Na'vi, and not just because they're in human script or in base ten.  Even if the human transcribed it as "22" in an attempt to capture the idea of "two (eights) and two", it still would be meaningless.  We write transcriptions of the sounds of Na'vi words; we do not write the Na'vi language, because the Na'vi do not write.

You may think this is a trivial point.  I maintain it is profound and deserving of further reflection.

Anyway, back to translating numbers.  Here again, my advice is: DON'T.  At least, not literally, not often.  Why not?  Because I sincerely doubt the Na'vi do an awful lot of counting.

Consider zamvolaw: octal 111, ( 1 * 64 ) + ( 1 * 8 ) + 1 = 73 decimal.  I'd bet my next food ration that no Na'vi has ever said the word "zamvolaw" in his life.  Why would he?  What has he got to count that requires such range and precision?  In fact, I'll bet the existence of words for non-approximate numbers higher than tsivol (four eights = 32 decimal) is a linguistic curiosity, something that technically any Na'vi could say and count to but practically nobody ever does except for some aylì'utseotu (word artists, poets) who are trying to make some crazy kind of point (you know how artists are).

So when your outpost commander tells you to tell the locals that he's got three hundred and fifty men waiting to come and bulldoze their sacred trees, don't bother converting it to 536 octal, because saying "mrrzam pxevofu" will only get you a funny look.  Just say "pxezam".  Three "hundred", and never mind that "hundred" really means "sixty-four", because both words really mean "more than you can easily count, but not so much that you'll get lost trying."

And if some goober scientist tells you to tell the Eyktan he needs to collect fifteen samples of tree sap, tell him "vol fu mevol".  And if the goober scientist asks you what you said, tell him "ten or twenty".  And if some idiot bureaucrat tells you to tell the tribe that their continued resistance is costing the company hundreds of thousands of dollars per day, just deck him and leave his sorry ass outside.  Maybe give him a breather mask if you're feeling nice.

So.  Think in Na'vi.  Count in Na'vi.  Don't count too much or too high, don't translate precisely, and don't allow the parties you are translating for to assume that their counterparty has implied or understood precision where no such implication or understanding exists.

  - Eri
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 10:50:14 pm by Erimeyz »

Offline Tsu'roen

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #103 on: February 09, 2010, 11:27:58 pm »
FINALLY! Somebody who sees the bigger picture.
Na'vi are a stoneage culture and their need for counting is fairly limited. My guess is that in general 8 (all fingers of both hands) is the highest number used in daily life. Maybe 2 x 8 or 4 x 8 are used once in a while. And maybe if a Na'vi get's all silly (after too much Kava) he might count all the way up to 8 x 8.
But most likely anything above 2 x 8 is just "many"
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Offline roger

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #104 on: February 10, 2010, 02:03:20 am »
Here's the thing: mevomun isn't 22 octal, because the Na'vi don't write their numbers down.

I agree that it's unlikely the Na'vi would often count beyond mevol. In fact, is more or less says that in the SG. I was assuming this discussion was for humans who want to speak Na'vi, and many of them will want to be able to use larger numbers, just as they want to be able to write it despite the "fact" that the Na'vi don't.

Nonetheless, mevomun is octal. Whether it's written is irrelevant: it's a base 8 number system. Our decimal written number system merely reflects the fact that our spoken system is decimal. The Na'vi even went so far, when they extended their system, to create a new unit, zam, for *vovol, which clinches it as an octal system.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 02:08:02 am by roger »

Offline Tsu'roen

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #105 on: February 10, 2010, 02:22:15 am »
Here's the thing: mevomun isn't 22 octal, because the Na'vi don't write their numbers down.
... I was assuming this discussion was for humans who want to speak Na'vi, and many of them will want to be able to use larger numbers, just as they want to be able to write it despite the "fact" that the Na'vi don't. ...

Hmm ... if a Na'vi can't make sense of it it's pretty much pointless using it.
In that case you may as well use the decimal system with English names for the numbers and save yourself a lot of hassle and funny looks from the locals.  
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Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #106 on: February 10, 2010, 08:56:48 am »
I was assuming this discussion was for humans who want to speak Na'vi, and many of them will want to be able to use larger numbers, just as they want to be able to write it despite the "fact" that the Na'vi don't.

That's true, and a valid point.  However, my advice to those humans (and it really is nothing more than my advice) is still: don't do it.  This is obviously a philosophical matter (or possibly religious), but in my view, using large numbers in Na'vi is like translating a mechanic's auto repair manual into Na'vi; it may be possible, but why would you want to?  That's not what the language is for.  Unlike natural languages, Na'vi was created for a purpose; it fulfills that purpose very well, and does poorly elsewise.  To me, using Na'vi outside of its intended context is an aesthetic train wreck, and I'm inclined to avoid it.

Na'vi is a bit different than Klingon in that regard.  Klingon had words for transporter and warp drive and so forth, but not "table".  That's because, like Frommer, Okrand only created vocabulary as needed for the scripts.  But Klingons are a modern culture (futuristic, even... "postmodern"?  but I digress) and would be expected to have words for everything we 21st century humans want to talk about, even if nobody's gotten around to actually inventing those words yet.  Na'vi, on the other hand, is limited both by Frommer's capacity for word creation and the constraints of their fictional culture.  There's never going to be a Na'vi word for "computer", or "book", or "wheel", nor should there be.  And while we can use loan words, at some point you've got to ask yourself - if all your conversations are peppered with all these English words... why aren't you just speaking English?

Large, precise numbers fall into the same category for me.  Yes, the Na'vi could use them, but they almost certainly don't.  Why would you?

(Again, just my viewpoint, and if anyone sees it differently, well, that's fine by me, and I'd love to hear about it.)

  - Eri

Offline Letxuma Swizaw

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #107 on: February 11, 2010, 08:33:09 pm »
Words for "first" are strange in many, many languages, so I don't know if we can extend the use of -ve this way.
I don't know. Na'vi seems remarkably regular thus far. No irregular verbs, no funky pluralizations (cf. English man/men), etc.

you could consider lenition funky plurals i supose.
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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #108 on: February 12, 2010, 12:02:13 am »
It's great to see that Frommer cares about the 3,000+ members of LearnNavi. Knowing that when something "erupts" in the language, we'll know almost instantly.
My uncle's dog came over a little less than one week ago. I stupidly left the computer plug on the floor. That night, his dog chewed it up. So, the next morning, I go looking for the plug and I find a chewed up piece of metal. I sadly cannot purchase a new plug right now, and my computer's battery is out. I'm at my public library.

Also, I discovered this promising "small business" film company called Mirror Entertainment. It looks really promising: http://www.mirrorente

Offline Tsu'roen

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #109 on: February 12, 2010, 02:57:05 am »
Words for "first" are strange in many, many languages, so I don't know if we can extend the use of -ve this way.
I don't know. Na'vi seems remarkably regular thus far. No irregular verbs, no funky pluralizations (cf. English man/men), etc.
Well English isn't a "normal" language - in fact it's the most screwed up language I know of. It started by merging the languages of the Angles and Saxons that invaded and occupied Britain after the Roman retreat. Their resulting language was Anglo-Saxon, a Germanic language with some Norse influences.

Then in 1066 came with the Norman invasion Anglo-Norman (a French dialect) and with it some Latin into the mix.

To make the mix-up complete the English language was fixed in it's written form during the great vowel shift. That is the reason that an English vowel is in general pretty variable in it's pronunciation depending in which word it is used.
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Offline Ayzìsìt Alenantang

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #110 on: February 12, 2010, 11:29:41 am »
Maybe 66 (octal 102) would be "Zam sì mune"? That would make a whole lot of sense.
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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #111 on: February 13, 2010, 04:11:59 pm »
Frommer has given us the rules for large numbers. 66dec (102oct) is zamun.


Or were you refering to the etymological form (in which case you're probably correct).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 11:46:28 am by tìkawngä mungeyu »
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Offline pnz_punisher

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #112 on: February 21, 2010, 05:24:13 am »
Why is this number generator Navi does not work in Internet Explorer?

(Translated into English by google translator)

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Offline roger

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #113 on: February 21, 2010, 07:21:36 am »
Frommer has given us the rules for large number. 66dec (102oct) is zamun.

Where was that? I must have missed it.

Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #114 on: February 22, 2010, 11:46:02 am »
Read the OP.  ;)

102  = 100 + 2

100 = zam

2 (when combining) = -mun

zam-mun -> zamun
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Offline roger

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #115 on: February 22, 2010, 05:54:43 pm »
Read the OP.  ;)

Sorry, what's the OP? Online Post? He didn't cover numbers between zam and mezam. We're only assuming they are each a single word; AFAIK Frommer himself has not said that.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 05:56:34 pm by roger »

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #116 on: February 22, 2010, 07:41:56 pm »
Read the OP.  ;)

Sorry, what's the OP? Online Post? He didn't cover numbers between zam and mezam. We're only assuming they are each a single word; AFAIK Frommer himself has not said that.

OP stands for Original Post, or the first item on page 1 of this thread.


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Offline kewnya txamew'itan

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #117 on: February 23, 2010, 01:24:42 pm »
Read the OP.  ;)

Sorry, what's the OP? Online Post? He didn't cover numbers between zam and mezam. We're only assuming they are each a single word; AFAIK Frommer himself has not said that.

That's a point. The table is only derived using a tiny bit of extrapolation though and is almost certainly OK.
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Offline Tsawke'ong

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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #118 on: February 25, 2010, 01:28:22 am »
I thought I'd start out in an easy area and learn counting to 10. OY! Was I WRONG! This is probably the most complicated thread I've ever read. I just have to say here, to all of you who understand it, WOW! You are amazing. :)
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Re: Email from Frommer re: Numbers (or: The full number chart!)
« Reply #119 on: February 25, 2010, 12:41:04 pm »
Sweet! (starts memorizing) lol. ;D. Irayo tsmukan!

 

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