Author Topic: The Na'vi don't write, do they?  (Read 10627 times)

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Offline Pam (P.A.'li makto)

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The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« on: March 17, 2012, 06:52:43 am »
If the Na'vi don't write than what the heck is this?

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Offline Puvomun

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 09:44:05 am »
The first four characters look Chinese or Japanese to me. The rest is too dark. Good catch!
Perhaps the building is created from spare parts of wood from Hell's Gate?
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Kamean

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 10:47:15 am »
Good catch ma Pam! :)
Quote
The first four characters look Chinese or Japanese to me.
For me too. Like Japanese Katakana & Hiragana.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 10:49:21 am by Kamean »
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Offline Pam (P.A.'li makto)

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 10:56:38 am »
The first four characters look Chinese or Japanese to me. The rest is too dark. Good catch!
Perhaps the building is created from spare parts of wood from Hell's Gate?
Interesting idea.  :) And why did they put it there? And why Japanese...?
 For me it's hard to imagine that anything lacks a purpose on that school's walls. It's so richly packed with details: the poster of the Na'vi and the human body, the board with written numbers and geometrical shapes... Although you might be right, who knows.  :-\
I'm interested in other points of view too.  :)
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 10:59:02 am by P.A.'li makto »

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Offline Blue Elf

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 01:34:18 pm »
Really you have good menari -one can see Avatar many times and always there's something new !
My opinion: as school was built by sawtute, it probably can't be something created by Na'vi (it is not written on blackboard, so it was not written by Na'vi children). It even doesn't look as a learning material. IMHO it can be roll-blind. That graphic doesn't appears to me as text, but some hieroglyphs. Maybe they learned about old Egypt?
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Offline Yawne Zize’ite

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2012, 01:56:29 pm »
The images definitely aren't Chinese or Japanese; the structure is all wrong. The only one my eyes can see as Japanese is the sixth from the left, the one that's just a smudge, which my eyes want to interpret as the obsolete katakana wi. They don't really look like classic hieroglyphs either, but they might be hieratic or something.

They look like some type of icon used for branding or simple instructions (think icons used on road signs). Maybe that plank had various corporate logos on it and was reused for the school?

Offline Kamean

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2012, 02:02:55 pm »
Or is it a new alphabet? :-\
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Offline Puvomun

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2012, 02:25:27 pm »
Mayhaps it are just some doodles the Na'vi children made.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Pam (P.A.'li makto)

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2012, 03:00:19 pm »
Mayhaps it are just some doodles the Na'vi children made.
Up to now this is the most probable version for me.  :-\ I can imagine the children liking the idea of writing and trying to create their own signs...
Anyway what I can't imagine is that the Na'vi never tried to write their words in a way or another. I know it is stated but why?  ???

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Offline Puvomun

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2012, 03:10:05 pm »
Mayhaps it are just some doodles the Na'vi children made.
Up to now this is the most probable version for me.  :-\ I can imagine the children liking the idea of writing and trying to create their own signs...
Anyway what I can't imagine is that the Na'vi never tried to write their words in a way or another. I know it is stated but why?  ???

There are many tribes in South America and Africa, and probably even in other places of the world (Australian Aboriginals?), where people have not developed a form of writing. They all have their songs, stories and poems that go from generation to generation. Imagine the Inuit / Eskimos. They have nothing to write on (they use everything from the animals they catch). Also, even in Europe in the Dark Ages, most people did not read or write, and had to rely on the songs and tales from the bards and troubadours.
Krr a lì'fya lam sraw, may' frivìp utralit.

Ngopyu ayvurä.

Offline Kamean

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2012, 04:24:34 pm »
On my second forum, we tried to slightly improve the situation: :D

Default picture.


More brightness.


Then tried to make the inscription more clearly in two versions a little darker and lighter




The inscription below characters appear in English. If this is the board of the dismantled  boxes - can be a marks for the stevedores?
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Offline Blue Elf

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2012, 04:44:14 pm »
the fifth from the left is copyright sign (c), I'd say. Other marks are hard to explain, first and sixth looks like tree outline. I can't believe that some of them mean "this side up" or "handle carefully" :)
Oe lu skxawng skxakep. Slä oe nerume mi.
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Offline Yawne Zize’ite

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2012, 05:28:43 pm »
They could be branding marks, or indeed marks for the stevedores showing what the box contains or who owns the contents; a similar system (but with colored shapes) is known from New Orleans in the early 20th century when many of the stevedores were illiterate. I assume a 22nd-century stevedore is literate, but he might not be literate in the same script as the senders. However, children's doodles is more plausible.

Regarding writing, true writing has only developed independently 3-5 times (depending on your opinion on whether hieroglyphs and the Indus Valley script were inspired by cuneiform). Pictographs have been independently invented frequently and a few systems are complex enough to use for ad hoc records and love letters.
All true writing was developed by incipient states needing a way to keep accounts and record rituals. Once invented, writing spreads readily to any society in direct contact organized enough to support schools, which might not be a society sufficiently centralized and complex to invent writing (see: Arabic, Cherokee). Early writing was the preserve of scribes; the idea of teaching everyone to write would be as foreign as teaching everyone how to smith. Later writing became common enough that many urban dwellers knew their letters and could scribble graffiti on walls. But truly universal literacy requires cheap writing and reading materials, along with a strong cultural push; the Bible being too large to memorize (unlike the Qur'an) did more for literacy before 1900 than any number of campaigners.

tl;dr - Na'vi pictographs are perfectly plausible, true writing is not.

An off-topic thought on writing: if the school is shut down for good, the Omatikaya are likely to lapse into illiteracy again. A common problem with literacy programs in Africa and India is that they have no trouble teaching children to read and write, but the children lose the skill because there's nothing in the village to read and no need to write.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 05:41:23 pm by Yawne Zize’ite »

Offline Human No More

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2012, 07:13:47 pm »
It doesn't quite look like a copyright sign, more of a spiral; actually reminds me of the Debian logo with the outside part tighter so it is making a circle :P

They might represent things, for learning of words. Not sure how good that is as a strategy, but it seems like it might work for teaching many people a language at once.
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Offline Seze Mune

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2012, 08:38:10 pm »

Could they possibly be pictographs for the children's names, perhaps made by the children?

Offline Puvomun

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2012, 01:17:07 am »

Could they possibly be pictographs for the children's names, perhaps made by the children?

The markings look too "printed" for that, to me, with the enhanced images Kamean supplied.

Also, now the sixth character from the left looks quite Chinese to me. It reminds me of the character for 'hand':

or 'ox':

or a combination or so, as the upper stroke on the original appears to have a small tick-mark on the left, like ox, but it has 3 strokes like in hand. Damn, my Chinese is rusty...
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Offline Reykoveyzä te Werufalä Haflak'ite

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2012, 07:36:22 am »


Could they possibly be pictographs for the children's names, perhaps made by the children?

I like that idea. I remember reading somewhere that name signs are quite common - sometimes Na'vi craftsmen brand their work, or mated (or betrothed) pairs make each other gifts, bearing a prominent name mark so others can see who the wearer belongs to. So the idea of name signs isn't new.

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Offline Ateyo Te Syaksyuk

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2012, 05:37:51 pm »
I like the idea of name signstoo.  One 'eveng could have been copying random logos from boxes. The sign that Puvomun was describing could have been the Boise Cascade logo.  I like the concept of copying stevedores inscriptions from the recycled lumber, (though lumber from "rrta would have been VERY scarce at that point in history.

BACK TO THE SCHOOL ROOM:  There is a mobile depicting a solar system.  Should it not include TWO SUNS being that they are from the binary star system, Alpha Centauri A and B?

In Chapter 127 of my story*, Ateyo is presented with this mobile, which is salvaged from the wreckage of the old school house.  Ateyo is also busying herself creating a galactic dioroma using fruit and exclaims. "HEY WHO ATE MY SUN!"
*fanfiction/ ATEYO TE SYAKSYUK:TSULFATU
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Offline Pam (P.A.'li makto)

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2012, 04:24:14 am »
BACK TO THE SCHOOL ROOM:  There is a mobile depicting a solar system.  Should it not include TWO SUNS being that they are from the binary star system, Alpha Centauri A and B?
Um... I'm afraid it isn't a solar system, it's the Polyphemus system with the planet and its 14 moons. We are just making it!

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Offline Human No More

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Re: The Na'vi don't write, do they?
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2012, 06:31:55 pm »
As it is, Alpha Centauri B would appear bright (much brighter than Venus from Earth), but not at anywhere near the same relative magnitude and still only during the night since A is so much closer.
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