Author Topic: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook  (Read 1072 times)

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Offline ruseya atan txonyä

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Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« on: January 09, 2010, 02:22:31 pm »
Kaltì ma smuktu!

I've been trying hard to learn Na'vi for some time now, but it has proven very difficult (and sometimes a little discouraging) with the existing guides/worksheets/vocabulary lists. (I'm not saying they are bad, they helped me tremendously, and irayo for them!) So I thought back to when I first started learning French (which is the only language learning process I could compare to it, because I started with English when I was in 3rd grade, and the methods of learning are a lot different then) and looked over my old stuff. Every unit in the book is composed of a short, easy story, with corresponding vocabulary in the back, then some grammar explanation, then exercises and some more vocabulary for that. I noticed that for Na'vi, nobody has written any real easy story yet, so I thought maybe we could change that.

I was thinking of all of us making an additional pdf, which has a few short stories in it, plus the corresponding vocabulary in the back. Adding little grammar lessons might also be possible, so that you don't get overwhelmed by the information in the guides when you learn. That way, it will be much easier to learn a little bit each day/week/whatever time interval you choose and also see how the grammar is applied in the language. I haven't really worked out any specific details yet, but if I get a generally postive response I will try to.

I'm not sure if this was already proposed somewhere or what you think of the idea, I just thought I would share it with you and maybe some of you might like it.

Everyone who wants to would be able to write a story for it. Maybe we could work out the general outline and what we would like to teach in each chapter first and then write and discuss an easy story for it. The stories should generally talk about Avatars, Na'vi and life on Pandora, I think. As I'm usually at the receiving end of textbooks (I'm still a student) I think we should try to work that out together and I would appreciate any help or advice you might be able to give me.

Eywa ayngahu!

Offline swizaw

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2010, 02:36:18 pm »
I remember doing something similar to this in kindergarten when I was forced to take spanish (I was highly against it, and because of that particular school I'm a bit against spanish... /endsidenote), there were books with short illustrated stories (really simple, like a red weird shape made to look like a chicken...) and those helped me a lot. This is a good idea! *thumbsup* If only I could write/read/understand well enough to contribute...

Offline Nume fpi sänume

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2010, 03:04:25 pm »
Spearhead it. Try to write your own short basic story to give people something to look at and work off of :)

Offline ruseya atan txonyä

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2010, 05:32:49 pm »
Thats what I did before I even posted the idea. Just to see if it might work. I put it into the beginner's forum though to get it corrected before I post it here. My Na'vi is pretty horrible, I guess. :-[

Anyway, it's probably a story for the second or third lesson, not the first. And I guess I overused the topic marker, maybe it shouldn't be introduced at all at this point in the learning process.

Here's the link to the thread: http://forum.learnnavi.org/index.php?topic=1507.0

Offline Nume fpi sänume

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2010, 12:17:49 am »
Dont feel bad, my Na'vi is probably worse :P My grammar has been....lacking is putting it nicely. I like the story idea :) If this gets some support for it and some progress gets done I'll add it to the projects database.

Offline ruseya atan txonyä

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2010, 08:11:43 am »
As this doesn't seem to be too popular yet, I'm trying to give it another little push.

I thought about the curriculum and came up with these thoughts:

It doesn't need to include pronunciation&orthography, as these chapters are discussed appropriately in many of the already existing documents.
The fundamental grammatical knowledge (that should be treated in the first text) is, or at least that's my view of things, if you think differently I would appreciate feedback:
    - several pronouns (without the concept of clusivity)
    - intransitive verbs
    - simple transitive verb constructions (with -l and -ti) (I think its impossible to construct a story without any transitive verbs...)
    - simple questions (probably just srak-questions) (for simple dialogs)
The grammatical features we should introduce step by step would be
    - Pronouns
    -- Clusivity
    -- Formal
    - Nouns
    -- Number distinction prefixes (incl. lenition)
    -- Gender distinction suffixes
    - Adpositions
    - Adjectives
    -- Attributive marker
    -- Predicative adjectives
    - Verbs (Infixes)
    -- Tenses
    -- Mood
    -- Aspect
    -- Participles
    -- Subjuctive
    - Negation
    - Questions (demonstratives)
    - Changing parts of speech
    -- Nouns to others
    -- Others to nouns
    -- -tu/-yu suffixes (as they are important for everyone, especially for understanding names/professions)
    - Genetive case
    - Dative case
    - Topic markers

Now, we would just have to sort&group these. I'll give it a try:

Unit 1
- several pronouns (without the concept of clusivity)
- intransitive verbs
- simple transitive verb constructions (with -l and -ti) (I think its impossible to construct a story without any transitive verbs...)
- simple questions (probably just srak-questions) (for simple dialogs)
Most likely a story from the 3rd person perspective (in order to get around clusivity). Maybe with some lines of dialog, just to introduce 'oe' and 'nga' and to deal with the simplest questions. Setting: Pandora, maybe within a Na'vi clan. One hunter is walking about the forest and meets a second one.

Unit 2
- Pronouns including clusivity
- Verbs: pejorative/laudative aspect
- Negation
If i continue with what I started with, this would be an extended dialog between the two hunters. They talk about what they like and dislike about the Forest/hunting/the "aliens"). We get to know that the humans are destroying the forest. This time we use a first person perspective.

Unit 3
- Nouns: number distinction prefixes (incl. lenition)
- several Adpositions (especially directional: over, in front of, in back, under, etc...)
- Adjectives: attributive marker
- Genetive case
Not sure about the story, maybe another 3rd person perspective story. Our hunter describes the forest and the animals living in it.

Unit 4
- Verbs: Past tenses (both past and recent)
- Changing parts of speech: -tu/-yu-suffixes
- Questions: demonstratives
- Nouns: male/female suffixes
The hunter goes back to his clan and tells others about his experiences. They question him about details. Likely another dialog.

Unit 5
- Topic marker
- Verbs: aspect (perfective, imperfective), participles?
- Changing parts of speech: nouns to others
- Predicative adjectives
I'm running out of ideas here. This seems like a kind of difficult mix.
Maybe: Introduction of the members of the avatar program (narrative text including little pieces of dialog), kind of like my first short story with a little more talking.

Unit 6
- Formal pronouns
- Tenses: future (both immediate and distant)
- Adpositions (all the ones not introduced yet)
- Dative case
The avatars meet the Na'vi clan. More peaceful than in the movie, but not really friendly.

Unit 7
- Subjunctive aspect (different uses)
- Changing parts of speech: others to nouns
This can be a really long one. By now, most of the grammar and words should be known, so here creativity is the only boundary. ;)

I guess that looks pretty intimidating now. These are just my very first ideas, and still need a lot of reworking. It would be great to get any kind of feedback from all of you guys, I bet there's folks here who have much more knowledge about learning a language and creating textbooks than I have, and obviously there's people with much more knowledge of Na'vi grammar and its difficulties. If we all work together and everyone contributes, we can get this going.

Eywa ayngahu!

Offline Tsufätu Ayioangä

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2010, 10:46:44 am »
I love this idea.  I started learning French in nineth grade and I agree.  That's how I learned also.

Offline Kiliyä

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 07:29:59 am »
Kind of a "see the nantang run" thing?  Fun!
Peu sa'nokyä ayoengyä?  Pefya ayoeng poeru kìte'e sayi?
Pefya ayoengìl poeti hayawnu, na poel ayoengit hawnu?

What of our mother?  How shall we serve her?  How shall we protect her as she protects us?

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2010, 09:36:20 am »
I think this is an exceptionally good idea.  I hope you keep it up, and I'll be following your progress.

I'm also working on a beginners' guide and have been thinking about how to structure it into lesson groups, similar to the way you're doing.  I intend to mercilessly steal all your best ideas. :)

Seriously, please keep working on this and share it with the rest of us as you go.  I'll keep working on mine, and post what I have as I go as well.  We can all learn from each other.

  - Eri

Offline ruseya atan txonyä

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2010, 10:14:33 am »
Irayo frapo! :)

The first story is almost ready, I only have to get it to sound a little less ridiculously stupid.  ;D It's harder than one would think to write a fairly simple story using as few different words that sounds good and has some content.

If anyone wants to try writing a story himself, I would be thrilled, as I didn't intend to do this all by myself. The important thing is to keep the grammar simple, and therefore to keep the Na'vi grammar in mind when writing the initial English text. I hope you'll see what I mean when my first story is ready.

I'm also working on a beginners' guide and have been thinking about how to structure it into lesson groups, similar to the way you're doing.  I intend to mercilessly steal all your best ideas. :)

Go ahead with the idea stealing. That's why I put this up. If you come up with a better curriculum, tell me. I think it might still need some reworking.

Offline Erimeyz

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2010, 11:03:20 am »
I think you're on a good path here.  The first one or two stories will be the hardest and most important.  They should have the simplest grammar and the smallest vocabulary, which of course makes it hard to write a good "story".  I think the elements you've chosen for the first two stories are a good set - complex enough to be useful, but simple enough for a beginner to grasp.  I'm less certain about what should come after that - not because I think your choices are wrong, but because I think it will be hard to know what to do until after we've seen the first two stories.  Your list looks good, tentatively, but I suspect you may change your mind as you go.  That's a good thing.

My approach to a beginners' guide will be different from yours, particularly in which elements to introduce at what times.  I'm starting with very basic concepts and building on them for maximum comprehension and absorption, not to make useful sentences right away.  So, for example, I'm holding off on pronouns for quite a while, until after the student has a solid grasp of basic case endings and basic verb infixes.  I don't think my approach is better than yours, just different.  That's also a good thing.

I do recommend that when you write your stories you include a lot of sentences that are similar but contrasting.  "Paul sees the ikran.  The ikran sees Paul."  That kind of thing, so that the student gets used to applying the same set of markers to different words, and using the same set of words with different markers.  That will help reinforce the grammatical importance of markers while building vocabulary independently of the markers.

Also, give some thought to how to demonstrate independence of word order.  Maybe two or three sentences in a row that have the same grammatical structure but contrasting word order?  "Paul sees the ikran.  He the ikran attacks.  Strikes it the spear."  One SVO, one SOV, one VOS.

Looking forward to your stories!  I'll post my guide when I've got something worth posting - soon, I hope!

  - Eri

Offline Kiliyä

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2010, 02:55:16 pm »
Don't worry too much about getting them to sound good or have good content.  It's not important in kids' books (well, the early ones!).  Later that's fine, but simple stories about simple things are fine.  The Key Words Reading Scheme is a set of books that lay out some pretty basic ground rules, etc.  I've translated a few of them into Esperanto for my kids.
Peu sa'nokyä ayoengyä?  Pefya ayoeng poeru kìte'e sayi?
Pefya ayoengìl poeti hayawnu, na poel ayoengit hawnu?

What of our mother?  How shall we serve her?  How shall we protect her as she protects us?

Offline ruseya atan txonyä

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Re: Idea - Na'vi short story textbook
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2010, 03:36:15 pm »
Irayo for your helpful hints, ma Erimeyz.

I've finished the first story (or at least the main part of it, it desperately needs to get longer), read it here: http://forum.learnnavi.org/beginners/short-story/msg32752/#msg32752

It's up for your feedback and help!  :)

 

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