Author Topic: A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today  (Read 206 times)

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Offline Wllìm

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A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today
« on: May 22, 2020, 03:34:45 pm »
A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today

http://naviteri.org/2020/05/a-very-quick-heads-up-paul-and-navi-on-the-bbc-today/

Posted on May 22, 2020 by Pawl

Kxì ma frapo,

I just found out that the half-hour BBC radio show on how a language begins, for which I was interviewed a couple weeks ago, is about to be broadcast. Thought you might be interested.

It’s scheduled to air today, Fri. 22 May, at 20:32 UK time, which is 21:32 in Germany, and in North America: 3:32 PM EDT, 2:32 PM CDT, and 12:32 PM PDT. It’s available here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cszv5n

I don’t know if it’ll be possible to hear it live in every location, but right after broadcast it should be available for a while at that site.

There’s also a brief clip for social media that’s exclusively devoted to Na’vi, in which you’ll be able to hear several Na’vi speakers:

https://we.tl/t-fwR5Jsswri

I’m rarely entirely pleased with how I perform in these situations, thinking in retrospect how much more cogently I could have responded. So I can’t vouch for how this turned out. I don’t think my segment will be more than 5 minutes, so I hope the producer took the best of what I said and left the rest. Fingers crossed. 😊

ta P.
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Offline Wllìm

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Re: A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 03:38:07 pm »
You can listen the interview back here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3cszv5n
Or you can read the transcript below.

For context, this was the last part of the program, about 5 minutes long. Before this segment they were talking about how Nicaraguan sign language naturally evolved.

Quote
Presenter: So languages can come about slowly over decades of isolation or they can form rapidly when people are thrown together. Either way both of these processes occur naturally without any conscious planning. But some new languages are created in a completely different way.

Neytiri: Trro aetrìp pa'lil alu Lilu, ilut alu Luli rolun.

Presenter: The poetry you're hearing now is in a language that didn't exist before 2005.

Neytiri: San ngari kifkeyt, rutxe, livawk --

Pawl: Okay. My name is Paul Frommer. And for the past few years I've been involved in language creation and in particular, creaton of the Na'vi language for James Cameron's Avatar.

Presenter: Avatar is the second-highest grossing movie of all time, after inflation. But if you haven't seen it, it's a sci-fi film from 2009, that features beautiful blue aliens from another world, called the Na'vi. The whole of the Na'vi language, from its sounds to its vocabulary and its grammar, was devised by Paul. He was trying to do something on his own that normally takes generations, and this gives us an insight into just how complex a language really has to be.

Pawl: The way a linguist -- would construct a language is essentially to start with a sound, and once you get the basic sounds, then you want to think about syllables, what kinds of sounds can fit at the end of the syllable, that enables you to put them together and construct words, and from words you create phrases and from phrases you create sentences. And that sort of hierarchical structure is common to all human language. And that allows you to put things in different orders and to change things around and to use those finite elements to create really an infinite number -- for all practical purposes, an infinite number of messages.

Presenter: So, because you were kind of free to create a totally new language --

Pawl: Yeah.

Presenter: -- in some ways you could do whatever you wanted. But in other ways you had to be constrained and you had to be limited by rules that would make the language kind of consistent with what we know about what languages have to do. So what are some of those things that you had to kind of limit -- or, or, you had to impose on the language.

Pawl: Yeah. There are quite a few constraints that the language was in fact learnable by human beings. Anyone could construct grammatical rules that are logical but so bizarre that no human being would ever be able to process it in any sort of, normal, automatic way. For example I could say that, um... in order to ask a question you simply say the entire sentence backwards. Now that could work logically, a computer might be able to handle it, but no human would be able to handle it spontaneously.

Presenter: Okay. And could you just give us an sentence. Just -- so just think about anything you like, and just say it to us.

Pawl: Oh, let's see. Um... kxetse sì mikyun kop plltxe. Which means, the tail and the ears also speak. If you want to really understand what someone is saying, you can't just listen to the words, but you have to look at the body language as well.

Presenter: Along with other constructed languages from fiction, like Klingon from Star Trek, or Dothraki from Game of Thrones, Na'vi is a fully-working language you can learn to speak for yourself. Which, it turns out, plenty of people have. Because after all, even though there are thousands and thousands of languages on Earth, what connects them all, is that they connect us to each other.

Pawl: Uhm, we have a community of fans of the movie and of the language, who have embraced Na'vi to the point where the actually use it for real communication. There are people who are speaking it among themselves, and really having --

Presenter: No way.

Pawl: -- having quite a lot of fun with it. At this point perhaps we have a core group of perhaps 50 people who use the language on a pretty regular basis. And many of them actually speak it more fluently and write it more gracefully than I do.

Presenter: Wow, I was gonna ask you actually, if you have been surpassed by some of these people.

Pawl: Absolutely, absolutely! It's not -- not an inappropriate question for someone to ask, why would anyone want to devote so much energy and effort and time to learn, essentially, a created language, rather than learning a language like, I don't know, Spanish or Persian or Japanese or whatever. And a number of answers to that: one is, community that people have come together online with this one interest, and have found friends. We've actually had two people come together online, because of their shared interest in Na'vi, and um... they have actually gotten married. I have made lifelong friends through the people that have embraced the language. And it's been really a wonderful experience.

Presenter: All that's left now is the credits, please, which would only be proper for us to hear in Na'vi.

Pawl: Furia yune fìtìpängkxoti a yaìlä, irayo. Txo livu ayngaru tìpawm [...]
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 04:34:49 pm by Wllìm »
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Offline Toliman

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Re: A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 03:58:09 pm »
Eltur tìtxen si nìngay :) Irayo for posting!

Offline archaic

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Re: A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 03:59:00 pm »
Irayo for sharing!
 :D  :D

Pasha, an Avatar story, my current fanfic, Avatar related.

The Dragon Affair my last fanfic, non Avatar related.

Offline Wllìm

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Re: A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 04:31:02 pm »
(Pawl just added the following to the post:)

ADDENDUM

Well, I just listened to the broadcast, and I guess my part of it wasn’t too terrible. I thought they put together an interesting half hour, and I learned some new things myself.

If you have a chance, though, do listen to the brief clip in the second link above. You’ll hear a lot more voices from our lì’fyaolo’.

And if you’re wondering about the closing credits in Na’vi, which were partially cut off at the end of the broadcast, this is the complete version:

Furia yune fìtìpängkxoti a ya’ìlä, irayo.
Txo livu ayngaru tìpawm, tsat fpe’ ayoer,
tsakrr fmayi ayoeyä pongu ’iveyng.


‘Thank you for listening to this audio show.
If you have a question, send it in,
and the team will try to answer it.’

As you see, for ‘audio show’ I used tìpängkxo a ya’ìlä—a discussion through the air.  😊
Reykunyu (dictionary website)Noun declensionsVerb infixes •  Weather forecasts in Na'viKDE nìNa'viMy Na'vi blog
Seykxel sì nitram! Ngal rolun fì'upxaret aketsuktse'a! :D

Offline Toliman

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Re: A very quick heads-up: Paul and Na’vi on the BBC today
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 05:01:38 pm »
Quote
As you see, for ‘audio show’ I used tìpängkxo a ya’ìlä—a discussion through the air.  😊
Tìralpeng a eltur tìtxen si, sunu oeru :)

 

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