Author Topic: Kame and "see"  (Read 3307 times)

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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Kame and "see"
« on: June 28, 2012, 02:22:45 am »
As we all know, kame is usually translated "See" or "to see into". However, it is unclear whether the Na'vi consider kame to have anything to do with seeing with your eyes, i.e. tse'a. Do the Na'vi actually think of kame as a deeper/mental version of tse'a, or do they think of these two words as unrelated, treating kame as a different action related to a different sense than tse'a, the same way stawm is unrelated to tse'a?

In other words, if a Na'vi (with no exposure to Human culture) heard somebody say, Peyä menari ke tsun kivame would they think the sentence is gibberish, much like Peyä memikyun ke tsun tsive'a? Perhaps the Na'vi would rather say, Peyä eltu/tirea/vitra ke tsun kivame?

By the way, I have an in-universe theory about why kame came to be translated as "see". The humans collected samples of the Na'vi language, and found that people greet using the sentence Oel ngati kameie. They did not know about Na'vi culture at that time, and drew an analogue to human expressions like "I'm happy to see you again!", concluding the kame meant "to see"...
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 02:26:20 am by Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng »
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Offline Puvomun

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 03:20:47 am »
Do the Na'vi actually think of kame as a deeper/mental version of tse'a, or do they think of these two words as unrelated, treating kame as a different action related to a different sense than tse'a, the same way stawm is unrelated to tse'a?

I think you are correct with this. Most 'Rrta languages don't have a concept for this, so usually also no word. Cultures that are closer to their spirit (India, Native American, other countries where meditation etc. is common) will have those or something close to it.
Without wanting to sound harsh or judgmental, the fact that English-speaking people from a technological background arrived on Pandora first, makes for this wrong understanding of kame. They don't know it, so they translate it the best way they can. "It means something like 'I see into you'".
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 03:44:17 am »
So, technically, to be correct we shouldn't actually translate kame, hmm?

"Sky People cannot learn; they do not kame."  ;D

I don't think that Human cultures will have this word, at least not as part of a greeting. The Na'vi have a physical means for direct brain-to-brain connection ("remote tsaheylu" via places like ToV); therefore, they have a tangible example of the concept. A solely cultural concept of kame wouldn't help.
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

Name from my Sakaš conlang, from Sakasul Ältäbisäl Acarankïp

"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 03:55:43 am »
So, technically, to be correct we shouldn't actually translate kame, hmm?

"Sky People cannot learn; they do not kame."  ;D

To be technically correct we cannot even translate kame, as we don't  possess that ability. Best we can is interpret it as closely as possible.

I don't think that Human cultures will have this word, at least not as part of a greeting. The Na'vi have a physical means for direct brain-to-brain connection ("remote tsaheylu" via places like ToV); therefore, they have a tangible example of the concept. A solely cultural concept of kame wouldn't help.

Nìngay. Kame is something in their life. It is not in ours.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Eana Unil

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 04:06:27 am »
Tsaylì'u mengeyä oeyä eltur tìtxen seiyi.

Slä... I wouldn't go this far and say that we sawtute are not able to "kame" in our very own way. Some of us are able to do that. It might differ from the way the Na'vi "kame", but I refuse to say that we were unable to "kame".
That's one of the reasons I used Jake Sully's sentence for my signature. And I bet he said that because he would mllte ;P oehu. ;)

Geez, what gibberish, ngaytxoa. ^^
« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 04:39:43 am by Eana Unil »

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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 04:32:25 am »
Geez, what gibberish, ngaytxoa. ^^
hrh  :D

I'm not saying that we cannot kame. It is only that it is something acquired; there might be human cultures with a synonymous word, but probably not in greetings. We usually greet with basic things that even 3-year-olds can understand.

By the way, it is mlltxe not *mlltxe.
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"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 04:35:37 am »
To be technically correct we cannot even translate kame, as we don't  possess that ability. Best we can is interpret it as closely as possible.
"I sense you" would probably work...because whatever kame is, it is a sensory action!  :D
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

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"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 04:41:16 am »
To be technically correct we cannot even translate kame, as we don't  possess that ability. Best we can is interpret it as closely as possible.
"I sense you" would probably work...because whatever kame is, it is a sensory action!  :D

Or perhaps "I know you". After all, kame means you see/get to know someone in a very direct way.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2012, 07:14:07 am »
Geez, what gibberish, ngaytxoa. ^^
hrh  :D

I'm not saying that we cannot kame. It is only that it is something acquired; there might be human cultures with a synonymous word, but probably not in greetings. We usually greet with basic things that even 3-year-olds can understand.

By the way, it is mlltxe not *mlltxe.
I'm not sure if it depends just on culture. In Czech we have nice archaic word which perfectly fits to "kame" - it's "zřít". It can be translated into English as "behold" (it is also used as poetic or bookish word).
In movie Norm says something like: "kame" doesn't mean you see it before you, you see into it. Maybe we can propose to extend definition in the dictionary...
Oe lu skxawng skxakep. Slä oe nerume mi.
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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2012, 09:00:42 am »
Well, my POV is that "kame" is unrelated to (not an extension of) "tse'a", so a word translating as "behold" would probably not fill the mark  ;)

@Puvomun
Wouldn't that be nga smon oeru?
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Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2012, 10:23:06 am »
In Sanskrit there is the word namaste, accompanied by a gesture, much the same way the Na'vi will say oel ngati kameie and make the hand-forehead gesture.

From Wiki:    The gesture Namaste represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment of the soul in one by the soul in another. In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = namaste (Devnagari/Hindi: नमः + ते = नमस्ते) which means “I bow to you” - my greetings, salutations or prostration to you.

From Robert Heinlein, English now has the word 'grok': "To grok is to intimately and completely share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity. Author Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 1961 book Stranger in a Strange Land. In Heinlein's view, grokking is the intermingling of intelligence that necessarily affects both the observer and the observed. From the novel:

    "Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthling assumptions) as color means to a blind man."

And to nitpick a little as I see (smile) it (<---- case in point for English 'see' meaning something other than tse'a), there are probably times when the metaphysical experience of kame is augmented by the physical sense of tse'a.  Plus, there is nothing in the lexicon which states that kame is ofp in the sense that one can only kame another person.  Presumably one could kame the concept of love, the spirit of a palulukan, or the metaphysical sense of one's unity with All Life, for examples.

Offline Puvomun

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2012, 11:58:04 am »
@Puvomun
Wouldn't that be nga smon oeru?

smon would not go deep enough I think. You can be familiar with many people. I was thinking more of knowing someone from the inside. See, hard to describe if culture and language both have no proper context for it.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2012, 09:41:33 pm »
@Puvomun
Wouldn't that be nga smon oeru?

smon would not go deep enough I think. You can be familiar with many people. I was thinking more of knowing someone from the inside. See, hard to describe if culture and language both have no proper context for it.
To hack it in, ngeyä tirea smuyeion oeyä elturu.  ;D ;D

Heinlein's "grok" isn't usually used on people; it is more often used on concepts (Ramanujan "groks" continued fractions). Regarding to kame vs. tse'a, I did not claim that kame only applies to people. However, it is distinct from tse'a as I see it. It could just as easily be augmented by stawm...
Previously Ithisa Kīranem, Uniltìrantokx te Skxawng.

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"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2012, 03:04:16 pm »
@Puvomun
Wouldn't that be nga smon oeru?

smon would not go deep enough I think. You can be familiar with many people. I was thinking more of knowing someone from the inside. See, hard to describe if culture and language both have no proper context for it.
To hack it in, ngeyä tirea smuyeion oeyä elturu.  ;D ;D

Heinlein's "grok" isn't usually used on people; it is more often used on concepts (Ramanujan "groks" continued fractions). Regarding to kame vs. tse'a, I did not claim that kame only applies to people. However, it is distinct from tse'a as I see it. It could just as easily be augmented by stawm...

It is used on people, in the original sense of the word.  I grok Jill.  I grok God.  It is true that current vernacular hasn't used it as much in the way it was originally intended, yet it IS used so.  To grok means to understand and empathize with something or someone to the extent that the object or person becomes part of ones' sense self, becomes one with it - which is the way I understand kame.  I don't think one becomes 'one' with fractions, however much one claims to  understand them.

No, I realize you did not claim that kame applies only to people.  I said that it is unclear exactly what it may mean beyond 'understanding and empathizing with someone or someone to the extent that the person becomes part of ones' sense of self', but to my way of understanding it certainly means at least that.

And I agree it is distinct from tse'a.  One can obviously tse'a without any sense of kameOel tse'a Mo'ati doesn't mean you kame the tsahìk in any way.

I imagine that the sense of kame came from the ability to tsaheyl si and might be intimately (pun!) related to that. The sense of kame which may have developed that way took on a slightly different context.  What I think is interesting to speculate is how you can kame something that you cannot tsaheyl si...for example, you're not likely going to tsaheyl si your father, but you can kame him as well as tse'a him.

Then again, it's amusing that we're even trying to speculate on origins and meanings of things that really lie fundamentally only within the brain of James Cameron and nowhere else. 

Btw,if you haven't read it yet, I think you would find Strange in a Strange Land entertaining, amusing and perhaps even thought-provoking.  I doubt you can obtain it in China, though.

Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2012, 03:17:36 pm »
To hack it in, ngeyä tirea smuyeion oeyä elturu.  ;D ;D
just grammar note - you can put just one infix into one position (i.e. into 2nd position just one infix for this position), so combination of <uy>+<ei> is not allowed. The only exception is <äp>+<eyk>
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Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2012, 06:20:15 pm »
I imagine that the sense of kame came from the ability to tsaheyl si and might be intimately (pun!) related to that. The sense of kame which may have developed that way took on a slightly different context.  What I think is interesting to speculate is how you can kame something that you cannot tsaheyl si...for example, you're not likely going to tsaheyl si your father, but you can kame him as well as tse'a him.
Well, perhaps the Na'vi, at least at some point in their history, have a tradition of indirectly practicing tsaheylu for communication. It'd be obvious to a Na'vi that he/she could make phone calls through places like ToV to other Na'vi connected to similar trees.

Btw,if you haven't read it yet, I think you would find Strange in a Strange Land entertaining, amusing and perhaps even thought-provoking.  I doubt you can obtain it in China, though.
Amazon FTW!  ;D
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Offline Seze Mune

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2012, 09:18:07 pm »
I imagine that the sense of kame came from the ability to tsaheyl si and might be intimately (pun!) related to that. The sense of kame which may have developed that way took on a slightly different context.  What I think is interesting to speculate is how you can kame something that you cannot tsaheyl si...for example, you're not likely going to tsaheyl si your father, but you can kame him as well as tse'a him.
Well, perhaps the Na'vi, at least at some point in their history, have a tradition of indirectly practicing tsaheylu for communication. It'd be obvious to a Na'vi that he/she could make phone calls through places like ToV to other Na'vi connected to similar trees.


Exactly.  Which is exactly what I was thinking when I read this from Pandorapedia:

"Unlike human cultures on Earth, the Na’vi seem to have developed only one basic language, which is uniform on a planetary scale, despite wide distribution of population. All regions have their own distinct dialects, but they are unmistakably all variants of a common root. It is not currently understood how the Na’vi have developed on a planetary scale with only one root language. Xenolinguists and xenoanthropologists have hypothesized an exceptionally stable and rigorous oral culture, with the use of mnemonic Song Cords and ceremonial singing to hand down oral culture across many generations. Perhaps related to the phenomenon of a planetary verbal language is the fact that, despite having no written language, the Na’vi have an exceptionally clear and consistent oral history going back 18,000 years..."

Like I said, that Pandorapedia website needs a SERIOUS rework.  On a lot of subjects...

Offline Irtaviš Ačankif

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2012, 02:41:35 am »
Well, Pandora is small, and the Na'vi seem to have a uniform culture and a small population.

Now, with the Eywa lefngap of the Internet, it wouldn't be long before the Human language is some derivative of English ;D. Then some aliens come, and write in a notebook "It is not currently understood how the Humans have developed on a planetary scale with only one root language."
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"First name" is Ačankif, not Eltabiš! In Na'vi, Atsankip.

Offline Tsmuktengan

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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2012, 08:23:52 am »
To me, kame can be both applied to the vision from our eyes, physically, and the ability to understand an abstract issue or feeling communicated by someone else in some way, and what it can imply.

A French expression we use very often, more often than in English is "I see..." meaning "I understand what you say/communicate to me.". In the Na'vi language, it can be pushed to be a bit more than this.


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Re: Kame and "see"
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2012, 09:10:49 pm »
In trying to Grasp "Kame" and reflecting on the roots "behind who the Na'Vi "mirror (Cameron often speaks on Avatar as a Mirror story)
I see as expected a lot of very real native cultural-spiritual refrences, The second one sees "Moat" and her role in Na'Vi culture the finger points to "Shaman" if one looks at how a shaman "sees" and thats no easy task for one in our culture in trying to define what a shaman does
"a shaman is someone who is able to leave ordinary reality and navigate through altered states of consciousness for the purposes of healing and of restoring balance" they "see" and try and grasp our place in the world and connection to the web of life that binds the living world and humanity together, to look at a real world example "take a look at the film The Elder brothers warning by the Kogi and be patient as the film takes a while to get to this point it speaks of a strange stone with paths that don"t fit the area like a map to the Kogi it is indeed a map but one "we" can not "see" whats intresting is the trouble they went through through and just What is mapped on it ? (shown at 14:30 into the film) they explain how they "see" our world I think this by example helps explain "Kame" at least in part. The Kogi may also have a unique ability simply search on the term "Kogi heart sound" this is not proven but may be real Tsahaylu (without the queue of course)
While I think Quantum science could explain some of what the Kogi speak on the video example I had used did have a lot unproven theroy that made it a work of science fiction as well for now on both "kame" and our conection to the web of life is "beyond" what science can grasp  


  
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 06:13:35 pm by allrock123 »

 

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