Author Topic: How to say "become familiar"?  (Read 1432 times)

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Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

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How to say "become familiar"?
« on: June 14, 2014, 10:04:50 pm »
I'm sure this question applies to all the "description verbs" like sti and hek...

I want to say this:
You must become familiar with the language.

I can't think of a way to go about saying that.
"Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2014, 10:20:15 pm »
Lì'fya zene ngaru sngivä'i smivon.
The language must begin to be familiar to you.

The issue here though is a conceptual disagreement. In Na'vi, the idea is, something is familiar to you; you don't get or become familiar with something. (same goes for sunu and others) So it's hard to translate this as is. You may have to reword your original sentence in a way that is logically equivalent and understandable by a Na'vi. This is an example of a time where direct translation is impossible and you have to alter your mind to think in the Na'vi language using their known concepts and models.

Is your meaning the same as You must learn/understand/be more good at the language? (Or does my original answer suffice?)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 10:25:18 pm by Tirea Aean »

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Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2014, 11:16:58 pm »
Lì'fya zene ngaru sngivä'i smivon.
The language must begin to be familiar to you.

The issue here though is a conceptual disagreement. In Na'vi, the idea is, something is familiar to you; you don't get or become familiar with something. (same goes for sunu and others) So it's hard to translate this as is. You may have to reword your original sentence in a way that is logically equivalent and understandable by a Na'vi. This is an example of a time where direct translation is impossible and you have to alter your mind to think in the Na'vi language using their known concepts and models.

Is your meaning the same as You must learn/understand/be more good at the language? (Or does my original answer suffice?)
Thank you for your translation. I see you used a "chained <iv>" there to connect them.

And yes, this is what I intend to say, however strange it may sound nìNa’vi. I'm referring to "knowing something" (being familiar with something) in the way you are familiar with a person: Say, you know their usual daily schedule, the things they like to eat, etc. Or, of an object, not necessarily how it works, but in a more personal way that, say, it has a scratch here, this part was broken a while back, it only works after you hit it with the phone book a few times, and so forth...
So I guess you could call it a metaphor. I am personifying it.

In reference to the language, I am referring to the way things are usually said, and I don't mean grammatical correctness. It's possible to say things in Na’vi that are grammatically correct, but are still not the way the Na’vi would say it. (I suppose this very sentence would be an ironic example of that.) For example, with names, it's grammatically correct (and could be understood) to say this:
Oe-yä tstxo lu Kame-Ayyo’koti.
My name is Kame-Ayyo’koti.

When the Na’vi tell their names, they use Oeru syaw (fko) ..., not the above. Another example of what I'm referring to would be the use of idioms and their meanings. I can't think of a Na’vi one off the top of my head (←there's an English idiom), but I know for example to be blue nì’Ìnglìsì means to be sad, while nìToitsye it means to be drunk. (While on Pandora I guess it means......to be Na’vi. ;D) The meaning of these phrases is not logical and cannot be guessed—you must be familiar with them.

I'm not trying to argue that the meaning of omum or smon should be changed, and I'm sure omum covers these sorts of things as well. But since omum has a more black-and-white, logical slant (yes vs no, correct vs incorrect, right vs wrong) rather than a getting-to-know-you connotation, I wanted to use smon.
"Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2014, 11:45:55 pm »
And also perhaps I am emphasizing that learning the "facts" of Na’vi won't allow you to speak nìNa’vi. It's only by hearing it and reading it enough that you get a feel for it, and this is a subconscious process.
"Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart give yourself to it."

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2014, 12:03:51 am »
Yeah true, knowing it is a constructed language for the highest grossing film in world history and it features a tripartite and ejectives and is missing the letters j, q, c, and d won't aid in actually using it to accomplish communication. You really do kinda need to spend some personal time with it giving it a try and getting to know it deeper by practice. I totally understand. So I guess the closest we'll get to your original sentiment is my initial proposal for a translation. Edit: unless of course someone has thought of something better I didn't think of

Double edit: what's cool and interesting is, even though you are the one doing all the work studying and attempting sentences, in the Na'vi perspective, it's like the /language/ is still the one getting familiar with /you/ and is revealing itself to you as you go on. 8)
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 12:10:50 am by Tirea Aean »

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2014, 05:44:09 am »
And also perhaps I am emphasizing that learning the "facts" of Na’vi won't allow you to speak nìNa’vi. It's only by hearing it and reading it enough that you get a feel for it, and this is a subconscious process.
Well, I'd say that by learning, you get to a level where you can communicate and/or understand the gist. But it's through acquisition, that we really get to know the language and understand its nuances. So, I partly agree.
The problem is with the quantity of material in Na'vi. I think we should start working on growing the "Na'vi library." Some people could suggest ideas for stories, some people could try writing them (a couple thousand words, or so), and then, the more proficient speakers could correct them (or participate in the former steps, too, if they wish so).

Offline Plumps

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2014, 05:46:26 am »
I came across the same problem when I wrote a blog post of mine in which I wanted to say “he gets to know/becomes familiar with her”. I ended up creating *smonslu after the model of zoslu and tsunslu. Maybe that’s a good one for the LEP to think about. Could be another word completely.

You are right in that the difficulty with smon in Na’vi is that it is a verb, otherwise we could just combine it with slu. I think Tirea’s approach is the best we have right now to come close to the meaning.

Offline Kame Ayyo’koti

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2014, 12:20:25 am »
I read one of Karyu Pawl's posts, and he gives something that I think would help clarify my meaning with that sentence:

Fko zene zivet lì’fyati pxel tute; (pum?) zene fkoru sngivä'i smivon.
One must treat the language like a person; it must become familiar to one.
(The post I'm referring to.)

I would probably add something like this as well, "You must know the way it chooses to use words and phrases, like the way you know someone's habits," or something to that effect.

"Ya can't just omum Na’vi, ya gotta smon Na’vi."
(Or I suppose: "...Na’vi's gotta smon you." But that sounds very dirty. :-X :P)


As for the need for more reading (and listening) material, I agree. I've changed my methods to focusing on input as much as possible, and the lack of material has been my biggest problem. The MCB cards I make help solve it, but there's only so much you can learn from a few sentences. I'd like to make extra decks with more and more varied sentences that serve as examples of proper Na’vi usage, but I'm too timid to do this until I have a better feel for the language.

Besides that, more reading material would be great. I've been thinking about writing things (but I can't think of good or interesting stories), or translating public-domain books.

(This topic should probably have it's own thread. We've been really bad about thread-hijacking lately, haven't we? :-[)
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: How to say "become familiar"?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2014, 01:30:06 am »
In that Na'viteri post is a colloquial example,

          Pol zeret oeti pxel tute a ke inan pot.
          He’s treating me like I don’t know him.
          (Literally: He’s treating me like a person who doesn’t read him.)


The idea of "become familiar" is, to know something, without using omum there.
So, my idea:

          Nga zene sngivä'i ivinan lì'fyat.
          You must start to know/gain knowledge from sensory input by the language.

OR

          Lì'fyari nga zene sngivä'i ivinan (tsat).
          As for the language you must start to know/gain knowledge from sensory input by (it).

Improvements are welcome. :)



As for the need for more reading (and listening) material, I agree. I've changed my methods to focusing on input as much as possible, and the lack of material has been my biggest problem. The MCB cards I make help solve it, but there's only so much you can learn from a few sentences. I'd like to make extra decks with more and more varied sentences that serve as examples of proper Na’vi usage, but I'm too timid to do this until I have a better feel for the language.

Besides that, more reading material would be great. I've been thinking about writing things (but I can't think of good or interesting stories), or translating public-domain books.

(This topic should probably have it's own thread. We've been really bad about thread-hijacking lately, haven't we? :-[)
I learned a lot of stuff by creating learning materials. :)
(btw, I derailed MUCH more threads. ;D :P :P :-X :-[ This one isn't a problem, so don't worry :))
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 03:02:40 am by Tìtstewan »

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