Author Topic: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)  (Read 1175 times)

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Ezy Ryder

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Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« on: December 05, 2013, 01:45:45 pm »
There's a forum for language learners, where every year (since 2007) there's a tradition of the TAC. Basically, you can choose to participate individually, or in a team, as long as you study the language, and document your progress in a log you hold on the forum. So, would anyone be interested in participating with Na'vi? If there were enough of us, perhaps they'd even make team Omatikaya just for us :)
Well, anyway, it's free, and studying with others, seeing their progress and struggles can boost your motivation for studying, so - what can you lose?
Here's an example study plan:
1.: From my most recent calculation, there are 1794 general words in Na'vi (not counting flora, fauna proper nouns and loan-words. That makes mere 4,91 words per day, to learn the whole language in just one year. So, study just ~6 words a day. That way we won't burn out from overworking, and still learn every word even if we were to skip every fifth day (and I doubt many of us will study as planned, 365 days in a row - life tends to happen/get in the way).
2.: As for the order, I doubt the frequency dictionary will be available by January 1st, so I think the best option will be the dictionary. However, I would recommend using the English-Na'vi dictionary, because otherwise, you'll learn more similar-sounding words at a time, while the English definition alphabetical order should result in words easier to distinguish. Also, don't make themed lists to study from. There has been some research showing negative effect of semantic similarity on long-term vocabulary retention (it also goes for learning opposites, it's better to space learning "hot", "long" and "old" from "cold", "short" and "young/new". Also it takes less time to just take the next ten words from a dictionary, than to think of a topic for a list, and then think of each word you could put in it, and look it up in the dictionary.
3.: We're going to need repetition. There's a phenomenon called the "Spacing Effect", well illustrated by the "Forgetting Curve". Basically, it's "use it, or lose it". Thankfully there's some great spaced repetition software available on the internet, like Anki (free for PC, Linux, Ubuntu, Solaris and Android, a small fee for iOS; IIRC), Memrise (last time I checked free, but not sure how easy/hard it is to make a course of your own, for your own use), Mnemosyne, Supermemo... This software will estimate when you're likely to start forgetting a particular word, and that's when it'll show it to you.
4.: As for the format of cards, it depends whether you'll want to work on your receptive or productive abilities (it is possible to end up being able to use more words, than recognize when hearing or reading them). Here's how I'm gonna do it: In Anki, each note (one per word) will have three fields, here are the names of the fields, and examples of what I'll put in them:
Word (just the word in Na'vi-Tìsraw seyki
Definition (a definition in a language I know already, has to have information on the type of the word, like: transitive verb, adjective, etc...)-(vtr)Hurt (someone or something)
Pronunciation (Remember words in Na'vi have unpredictable stress!)-tìsraw seyki
And I'll have two types of cards (so, two cards per note/word):
Receptive:
Front: Word
Back: Definition, Pronunciation (I guess you could put the pronunciation in the Front section, but that way I'll be able to nitpick others mistakes! :) )

Productive:
Front: Definition
Back: Word, Pronunciation
Anki also allows you to record a pronunciation sample for each word, which could help with getting used to hearing these words, but that's just optional.

As for grammar, there are seven sections, ~48 subsections and even more sub-subsections in Horen Lì'fyayä leNa'vi. They usually aren't very long, so a pace of 1 sub-section per week should suffice.


So - whaddaya think?

EDIT: Perhaps a link to the forum would be in place:) http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=37422&PN=1&TPN=1
EDIT2: Also, some people have complained about Anki being a bit not intuitive, so I could also make a video tutorial on how to do it (from downloading Anki, through creating the deck, adjusting its settings and adding new notes to actually using it to learn vocabulary).
EDIT3: I've already posted there to sign up. It's the 126th message of the thread, if you'd like to see it. Hope to see some of you post there (or here) soon too!
EDIT4: Corrected miscalculation.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 12:14:30 pm by Ezy Ryder »

Ezy Ryder

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2013, 12:32:36 pm »
Sorry for a double post, but I've realized I miscalculated something. The number of entries in the English-Na'vi dictionary doesn't equal the number of words in Na'vi, as some words with multiple wordings of the definition are listed multiple times, each time starting with a different phrasing.
So instead I went to the Na'vi-English dictionary, searched for "[", subtracted the number of occurrences before the first word from the number of the occurrence on the last word, then counted "allomorph", subtracted the number of occurrences before the first word from the number of the occurrence on the last word (had to add 1, because "'upe" didn't have information about it's allomorph), divided it by two and subtracted the result from the previous result. And now finally, Na'vi has (probably about) 1794 general words. Which means that to learn the whole lexicon next year, it requires learning only ~4.91 words a day. And taking into account 20% of days in which you'll not be capable of - or just won't feel like - studying, it means you can easily learn all the vocabulary as a new year's revolution by learning only 6 words a day.
And the number above is the number of lemmas, not word families, remember that some words are based (often in a predictable way) on other words, like: nìwotx is nì+wotx; 'ekxinum is 'ekxin+um; etc... So some of the words, you practically get for free, thus it'll be actually slightly less than 6 words a day.

You still have two weeks to sign-up (free). And if there are 5+ participants in total, we can have a team for ourselves.

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2013, 03:28:12 pm »
The two biggest weaknesses I have as a Na'vi speaker is 1. Trying to remember all the little exceptions to the basic grammar/syntax rules, and 2.) Only partial mastery of the vocabulary. This kind of project (especially the vocabulary part) would be interesting to me, with the caveat that life easily sidetracks me. However, being part of a team would be an incentive to learning. If I can get the vocabulary down hard (and this is a good time to learn vocabulary, as the languages' development has slowed down a fair bit), I might actually be able to honestly be a 'Na'vi master' ;)


Anki is readily available for Linux platforms, so that's a step in the right direction.

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2013, 09:08:30 pm »
Basically, it's "use it, or lose it".

Totally agree.

This whole idea seems like a great idea. Normally I would jump to join something like this but I still need at least about another year before all my major time sucks are cleaned up (major license exam and hopefully a house purchase).

Regardless, this sounds like a fun and exciting way to learn some Na'vi and spend some time with other speakers.

If you were to do this I would recommend meeting every day regardless of wither everyone can make it or not. I would also do it over something like IRC or teamspeak. That way it's a service that a lot of people already use, is easy to setup, and could allow lots of group learning. Group flashcards would be a great way to learn together and would really help for many people I'm sure.

I'll definitely be paying attention to this. If there's some interest I'll probably try to help you out by posting this on the LearnNavi facebook page and elsewhere.

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2013, 12:09:56 am »
Is this project still a possibility? If so, I would love to join in. I think this is a great idea. 

Ezy Ryder

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 05:57:31 am »
As far as I know, people still can join. I think sometimes it was even possible to sign-up during the challenge, so you're not late.

Offline 阿波

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2014, 08:04:56 am »
Last year I seem to have been the only one that has participated. How about this time? The registration for TAC'15 is open now. Clicky

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2015, 02:13:21 am »
is this still running??
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Offline 阿波

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2015, 05:50:12 am »
Yes, every challenge lasts a whole year.

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2015, 06:09:23 am »
is it too late to join??

if it is, i'll just join next year
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Offline 阿波

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2015, 08:49:54 am »
The newest person joined on March 18th. So it might be a matter of the team captain's acceptance. I guess Na'vi would belong to the "Rare Languages" team (go here first), if you get accepted, make an appropriate note in the sign up thread (here).

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2015, 10:19:28 am »
One can always... just use Memrise or Anki and keep a log with their friends here. (either in thread or PMs or emails or FB Group mesasges, etc.) Kefyak?

Even if TAC is closed for this challenge, of course anyone at any time can choose to learn a language in 365 days. We can even make threads on our forum for this. (In fact, I believe that this was already a thing here at one point, just not in teams >2 peaple)

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2015, 11:19:23 am »
I remember suggesting something similar once.

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2015, 05:49:17 pm »
i myself, I believe I would need another person to do this with me, because there's a lot of theory and linguistics and grammar and such that I still don't get. So I would need someone there to be able to explain it to me.. I've downloaded memrise on my phone, but I can't get past the second list. I could continue, but for me I want to get each list 100% correct before I move on, so I keep repeating.
I'm hoping to get a new phone, soon so I can download all the Na'vi apps available. If I can't join the destruction challenge, I will begin a personal challenge after I graduate. as it stands now, I don't generally have much time but I put anything I have into learning the Na'vi language, as I have been during school until quite recently.

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Offline 阿波

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2015, 05:57:25 pm »
You don't need to get everything 100% right on your first go. Nor second. Not even third. It's better to know 70% of a 100, than 100% of 69.

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2015, 08:01:40 pm »
true, but for me, I need to know everything in one set before I move onto the next. so I do it over and over again till I memorise them. maybe it's just be, but I'm stubborn as Eywa knows what
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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2015, 09:04:13 am »
true, but for me, I need to know everything in one set before I move onto the next. so I do it over and over again till I memorise them. maybe it's just be, but I'm stubborn as Eywa knows what

Which is not at all a terrible method; it's just slower. And being slower and more thorough isn't really bad. It's just the same result, but achieved in more time.

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Re: Learn Na'vi in a year (aka Total Annihilation Challenge 2014)
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2015, 10:15:22 pm »
I agree. Irayo ma Tirea
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