LearnNavi Community > Na'vi of the Week

NotW #1: Seabass / Payoang

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1. Who are you?
Hello World! My name is Sebastian Wolff and I'm a film major at the University of California, Santa Cruz. On the side, I make websites, both professionally and for fun. I'm a classically-trained pianist infatuated with music from movies and video games. I sometimes record piano sessions and share them on YouTube.

Linguistics etc: I grew up bilingually with German and English, and spent 6 years during middle- and high-school learning Spanish, most of which I've forgotten by now. My Na'vi is elementary at best, and chances are that yours is better than mine. :)

2. Why are you here?
Websites don't build themselves! My initial interest in Na'vi actually came from the soundtrack. I was trying to sing along to Jake's First Flight, and couldn't quite figure out what everyone was singing. Google research lead me to a few interviews with Frommer about the language, and shortly after I started constructing the website, his guest post on Language Log. As a webmaster/designer/coder/social entrepreneur, I try to live up to “see a need, fill a need,” so I made LearnNavi as an addition to the original yahoo mailing list (chances are you don't know/remember it). The design was originally drafted as a revision for my current personal website: http://sebastianwolff.info/

3. Where do your alias and profile pic come from?
My usual avatar is a dead fish. My usual handle around the internets is “GermanSeabass,” which dates way back to middle school, I believe. Seabass appears to be a standard nickname for all folks named Sebastian, and it was no different for me. The “German” prefix was just thrown in there since another Seabass already existed in an IRC chat I frequented. (I'm quite happy that Frommer coined a word for “fish;” it has become my new handle here: Payoang)

4. Srak nga tsun nìna'vi pivlltxe?
Srak what? I, um, no plltxe-- I need a tutor.

5. What's you favorite Na'vi word?
Pelun. I have no idea why, I just really like the sound of it.

6. In your opinion, what are the top three user-created content on the LN website?

* The Dictionary, updated nearly daily
* Learn Na'vi the Easy Way: Kaltxì Palulukan's Activity book. Priceless. Also, free. And awesome.
* Na'vi nì'aw: Total immersion into the language. I don't venture there yet, but am constantly amazed at everyone who posts there with any regularity.

7. Have you made any contributions to the LN community that you're particularly proud of?
Having spawned such an awesome community makes me incredibly proud. I don't think I've ever been part of a better online community. You all make my day, every day.

8. What is it that you liked/hated the most about Avatar?
I could write essays on this, but for tldr;'s sake, I'll be short. The technological advancement, the total immersion factor into Pandora's world, and JC's relentless perfectionism and focus on detail made the film awesome. I can't say I hated anything.

9. Has Avatar changed your life in any way?
LearnNavi is more than a full-time job now; I spend between 40-55 hours every week keeping the website in check. In terms of offline changes, I try to work out more, and eat smarter. While we don't have to paint ourselves blue to become more like the Na'vi, I think there's a lot most modern societies can learn from a fictional tribe in a fictional universe. Insert plug here for http://forum.learnnavi.org/environmental-conservation/.

10. If you could ask Frommer or Cameron three movie or language related questions what would they be?

* What is your biggest fear?
* What can fans expect for the sequel?
* Ideas/spoilers for Avatar 2 (“Na'vi”)?

11. What else do you do in you free time?
“Free time” isn't a concept I'm entirely familiar with. I tend to juggle school, 3-5 web/design/tech/geek jobs, and a life of music in delicate balance. Outside that, I make shirts, manage this place, bike/run, compose/arrange music, and make websites. I also just got hooked on Battlestar Galactica after watching the pilot a few nights ago... and this after getting over my Stargate addiction. I'm also in love with Pixar and Dreamworks and all forms of animation. (Wish me luck on my internship application!)

12. Name your top three favorite Earth animals from most favorite to least. Why those? What's the animal you're most terrified of?
Wolf, fox, cat. Wolf because of my last name, fox because Firefox rocks my world, and cat because I live on the internet. I don't think I get terrified of any animal.

13. Pirate, ninja, zombie, or robot?
Zombie Vampire Robots... from Space!

14. What three items would you take to a desert island and why?
Water, hammock, sunscreen. I don't think it requires much explanation~

15. If you could travel to anywhere in space and time (including fictional universes), where would you go and why?
Pandora. (Must I explain?)

16. If you were granted one single wish what would it be?
To be wise.

17. What is a question you'd ask yourself? How would you answer it?
"What's the road to success?" Know what you want, go after it without letting anyone stop you, work hard, and you'll reach your goal(s), guaranteed. Pardon the cliche.

18. True or false?*

* I am adopted
* I have seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show over 30 times
* I have met James Cameron

19. What is the funniest, weirdest, or most embarrassing Na'vi or Avatar related thing that has happened to you?
Explaining the concept of a language-specific movie fan-website to some of my less geeky friends... it merits amazing results. Try it some time!

20. If you could have the genius/inspiration/talent of any one musician (composer or performer, dead or alive) who would you choose and why?
Either Alan Silvestri or Hans Zimmer. It's hard to describe music with words, so I urge anyone to look up music by either of these composers anywhere (YouTube, iTunes, wherever). Chances are that you've heard their music in films already.

*Answers coming next Sunday!


I like your answer to #14, but do you really mean it? Would you be able to give up your wired, civilized life just like that? Wouldn't there be anything you'd miss?

As for the T/F part I think it is F/T/T. I find it unlikely that an adopted child would learn a language other that that of the country he lives in. And I know people who've seen the TRHPS 30 times. And you're certainly famous enough to meet Cameron (I'd meet you if I were him), and you live in/around LA, so it's quite possible.

(Thanks for everything! :D)

Nìwotxkrr Tìyawn:
I guess we all knew you would be the first NotW Seabass, I sorta expected more Na'vi from you but not all of us can be mini-Frommers lol.

I think being adopted and meeting JC are the false ones, if you really had met JC we would have berated you long ago and squeezed information out of you.

Good luck on your internship application!

Question #7 is awesome ! We have an awesome community and nothing could change that ! Thanks to you for this amazing website & forum. You made not just my day, you made my life ...

Oh, and the #15 is ... <3 ! :D


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