Author Topic: Distances  (Read 950 times)

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Offline Wllìm

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Distances
« on: August 30, 2016, 11:05:39 am »
I am working on a Na'vi voice for navigation devices. I know this was done before, but that one was for Garmin devices (at home we have a TomTom device, and those voices are not compatible), and it was made a long time ago (so the new words like yak si were not known yet).

There are many words that have no Na'vi equivalent, such as roundabout. However, we can just say yo'ko and it will probably be clear enough. Same with highway (fya'o apxa) and ferry (uran). So I was able to translate most of the instructions in a sensible way. (Here is a list of all English texts, if you're curious :D)

There is one set of instructions that I have problems with, though: the distance indications. Does anyone have an idea how to render instructions like, after 200 meters, turn left? Of course I can use maw °304a meter, yak si nìftär, but that is not really nice.

So I was thinking about this yesterday and had a chat with Tanri about this... We came up with the idea of using distances familiar to the Na'vi. Like using venu for (length of a) foot; if we assume Na'vi feet are about 50 centimeters (I have no idea actually), 100 meters would nicely be about pxezama venu. Or maybe use the length of a Kelutral (about 150 m according to Avatar Wiki), or the length of how far one can shoot an arrow (~ 100 m???).

Does anyone have ideas how to handle these distance instructions? :)
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Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Distances
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 04:44:17 pm »
Actually this would be a job for Karyu Pawl and James Cameron.
It's 100% sure that the Na'vi are not using the metric system. The Tawtute have not assimilated the Na'vi enough to get to that point, and probably they wouldn't use the evil's measurements. ;) It might be possible that they use some parts of their (leader's?) body as length references and maybe nature elements. In that case the creators would also have to give us more information. You could disregard that and use the ''human anatomy system'', but I would try to avoid humanizing the Na'vi language.

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Distances
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 06:14:58 pm »
Distances and measurements are still a gap we must suffer until we learn more from Cameron. Until then, might as well loan the metric words. Though in the US, NO one (for some extremely stupid reason) uses metric system.

Nice work tho so far. Its always interesting challenge to try to use Na'vi for something that is pretty much exclusively an Earth thing.

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Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Distances
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 06:41:28 pm »
Suggestion:
mitrr - meter
vozakmitrr - kilometer
mayl - mile

Offline Tirea Aean

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Re: Distances
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2016, 09:45:40 am »
Another thing about these GPS devices is the decimal numbers. The Na'vi equivalent will always be WAY more syllables. Another hard if not impossible problem to solve in this quest. Hmm.. :-\

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Offline Toliman

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Re: Distances
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2016, 03:05:28 pm »
Interesting ideas  :)

It's 100% sure that the Na'vi are not using the metric system. The Tawtute have not assimilated the Na'vi enough to get to that point, and probably they wouldn't use the evil's measurements. ;) It might be possible that they use some parts of their (leader's?) body as length references and maybe nature elements. In that case the creators would also have to give us more information. You could disregard that and use the ''human anatomy system'', but I would try to avoid humanizing the Na'vi language.
I completely agree with this.
Idea that they probably use body as length references is good and logical.

vozakmitrr - kilometer
Interesting idea

Offline Wllìm

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Re: Distances
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2016, 04:48:48 pm »
I think loaning meter is not the best way to go, since as Tirea said: then you need to use enormous Na'vi numbers to tell how many meters it is. Yeah, normally I would then use zam, mezam, pxezam, ... instead of zamtsìvosìng hundred, pxezamvol two hundred, tsìzamrrvosìng three hundred, ... But since we cannot reprogram the navigation device, we cannot change the distances where it announces the instructions.

I was thinking more that if we use, for example, swizaw for hundred meters (assuming that the Na'vi can shoot an arrow about 100 meters far) then 200, 300, ... meters would just be munea, pxeya, ... swizaw.
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Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Distances
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 04:55:21 pm »
But do we officially know they can shoot 100 meters away from their prey? Nice ideas, but no certainty. :(

Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Distances
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 07:02:45 pm »
In human history, the most common length were foot, inch, ell etc (mostly bodyparts) but also things like the length of the ell of an important person (in old egypt, for example: lenght of the ell of the Pharao).
The metric system is compared to the old length systems extremely new. Regarding telling the Na'vi what a meter is, I am not sure how to explain that ... one meter is 1/299792458 of the speed of light in a second? There will be a lot of "peu?"...

Quote
I was thinking more that if we use, for example, swizaw for hundred meters (assuming that the Na'vi can shoot an arrow about 100 meters far) then 200, 300, ... meters would just be munea, pxeya, ... swizaw.
I think, this would be too variable.

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Offline archaic

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Re: Distances
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2016, 08:43:45 am »
I am inspired to right a ultra micro 'fic.

Conversation between Stan and Ralu .....
Ralu "So how exactly do you define a Meter?"
Stan "Well, err ..... "looks it up on his hand held viewscreen " ..... here we go, it's one, two hundred ninety nine million, seven hundred ninety seven thousand four hundred fifty eighth the distance light will travel in a vacuum in one second. Or, if you prefer one, 9 quadrillion four hundred sixty trillion seven hundred thirty trillion four hundred seven two million five hundred eighty thousand eight hundredth of one light year."
Ralu "that's an Earth year?"
Stan "Err, yeah."
Ralu "So a meter is defined as a specific fraction of a distance light will travel in a 'year'."
Stan "Yeah."
Ralu "A year, a unit of time that is 'a' specific to your home world and 'b' constantly getting very slightly longer as Earth drift very gradually further away from your sun?"
Stan "Err, yeah, that's about the size of it."
Ralu "And because time runs more slowly on Earth due to the higher local gravity, a meter is fractionally shorter here as it is there?"
Stan "Well, technically, I guess."
Ralu "Thinking about it, SI units are all supposed to follow the same rules and be inter related."
Stan "They are, and they do."
Ralu "With time, you use things like milliseconds, nanoseconds, atto, zepto and even yoctoseconds."
Stan "Yeah?"
Ralu "But not kiloseconds, megaseconds, gigaseconds, et al?"
Stan "No, we use minutes, hours, and years."
Ralu "And that fits with the SI rules?"
Stan "Err."
Ralu "OK, here's one for you, what's the base unit for mass?"
Stan "The kilogram."
Ralu "And what is one thousandth of a kilogram?"
Stan "A gram."
Ralu "And a thousand kilograms?"
Stan "A tonne."
Ralu "Shouldn't they be a milikilogram and a kilokilogram?"
Stan "No."
Ralu "A gram and a megagram then?"
Stan "What are you getting at?"
Ralu "That your scientifically derived system of absolute measurements is in reality a half assed mess?"
Stan "No it isn't, it may not be perfect, but it's the de facto universal system of measurment ."
Ralu "As used by one species, that evolved on one single world, and by no other beings anywhere else  in the universe?"
Stan "No one likes a wise ass."
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Distances
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2016, 09:42:08 am »
Just some more thoughts about the idea.
Na'vi height: 2.5-3.9 meters (average 3 meters)

If we stick to the avarage 3m we get:


So, one Na'vi ell would be about 0.85m, from knee to foot a bit more than 1m. :)

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Offline Toliman

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Re: Distances
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2016, 09:54:34 am »
The metric system is compared to the old length systems extremely new. Regarding telling the Na'vi what a meter is, I am not sure how to explain that ... one meter is 1/299792458 of the speed of light in a second? There will be a lot of "peu?"...
Nìngay  ;D

Just some more thoughts about the idea.
Na'vi height: 2.5-3.9 meters (average 3 meters)

If we stick to the avarage 3m we get:

So, one Na'vi ell would be about 0.85m, from knee to foot a bit more than 1m. :)
Interesting ideas  :)

I am inspired to right a ultra micro 'fic.
;D sunu oeru

Offline archaic

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Re: Distances
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2016, 05:00:02 pm »
The ell is a very variable unit of length, in France, the 'Aune' is approximately 137.2 cm (54 inches), where as in Iceland, the 'Ell' is approximately 49.2 cm (19.4 inches) with a wide variety of measurements in between occurring in different areas.
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Offline Wllìm

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Re: Distances
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2016, 02:26:00 am »
The word pxuntil could be used for ell, but then there is the problem of huge Na'vi numbers again... :(

This is hard...

I am inspired to right a ultra micro 'fic.

Conversation between Stan and Ralu .....

Just wait until he starts explaining the US system of measurements... the metric system will suddenly look completely consistent and logical ::)
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Offline Blue Elf

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Re: Distances
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2016, 03:31:11 pm »
Well, distances are problem in Na'vi. Safely we can use feets (venu) and some of their multiplies, like mezama venu -> ~100 feets (128 exactly), vozama venu -> ~ 500 feets (512 exactly) etc.
Some inspiration you can get in original Satnav thread, although many words looks like strangely invented.
Related to number, I'd try to be exact, IMO mezam = 100 or vozam = 500 is good simplification (or you can try to use vol like tens, zam like hundreds and vozam like thousands). But when you choose, stay consistent :)
I'd avoid loan words like *mitrr or *mayl.
That's all I can offer, units like tìran trro or tul ta trr'ong vay txon'ong are too big for common use  ;D
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Offline archaic

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Re: Distances
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2016, 04:45:22 pm »
How about a 'pace'?
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Offline Vawmataw

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Re: Distances
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2016, 04:57:55 pm »
I suggest to use the time, even though we only have hìkrr as an useful word.

Offline Wllìm

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Re: Distances
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2016, 05:10:48 pm »
I am done translating all sentences. To not derail this thread, I opened a new thread.

Blue Elf: ah, nice to see the translations from the original navigation voice. It is unfortunate that many of them are not really usable anymore because our knowledge of Na'vi has increased... Venu could work...

How about a 'pace'?

I don't think there is a Na'vi word for that :(

I suggest to use the time, even though we only have hìkrr as an useful word.

An issue with that is that on the highway, 300 meters would be much shorter than on a minor road. Still, this may be the best solution.
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Offline Tanri

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Re: Distances
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2016, 01:30:41 pm »
Here comes an idea - if the arm of the Na’vi is approx. one meter in length,
one can say a "kilometer" as *mevozampxun. Even the syllables count the same. ;D
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Offline Toliman

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Re: Distances
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2016, 04:04:18 pm »
Here comes an idea - if the arm of the Na’vi is approx. one meter in length,
one can say a "kilometer" as *mevozampxun. Even the syllables count the same. ;D
Interesting idea  :)
Sound quite good

 

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