Information - PLEASE READ (Karyu Pawl's email)

Started by Payoang, March 02, 2010, 10:06:44 PM

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Quote from: Paul Frommer
Kaltxì, ma oeyä eylan mì Oel ayngati kameie nìwotx.

Thank you all so much for your ongoing passion for Na'vi, which continues to be a source of astonishment and pride for me. I wish I could respond quickly and personally to all the e-mails I've received, but my teaching duties and other obligations have made that difficult. I hope to get to some of my backlog before too long, but in the meantime I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some steps I've been considering to address the two most pressing needs in the Na'vi community—expanding the vocabulary and putting out learning materials for beginners.


The fact that many of you have gotten to the point where you're now using Na'vi for real communication delights and gratifies me no end. But your efforts have only underscored the need to expand the Na'vi vocabulary. Our lexicon is still small, with large gaps that must be filled before the language can be used easily. Another 1,000 or so words will make a big difference to us all.

To get to that point, I'd like to ask you, ayhapxìtu lì'fyaolo'ä leNa'vi—the members of the Na'vi language community—for your help. Many of you know at least as well as I do, and probably better, what words you find most lacking—what gaps you'd most like to be filled so you can communicate more easily in a wider range of situations. Ayngeyä aysäfpìl oeru tsranteien nìtxan. Your ideas matter to me a lot. So I'd like to propose a Lexical Expansion program along the following lines:

  • You in the Community will generate a list of lexical items you feel you most need. The list will be divided into three tiers, A, B, and C, according to highest, medium, and lower priority.
  • Please provide not just a simple list of words but a range of meanings and contexts. For example, if you include "lay" in the list, explain the sense you have in mind: Lay a book on a table? Lay an egg? Lay a trap? Lay a floor? Proposals for terms that would be unique to Na'vi are welcome, just so long as you include clear explanations and examples of usage.
  • To eliminate as much bias as possible from any one language—in particular my own language, English—a wide range of members in our diverse, international community should participate. Examples from non-English languages will be very important.
  • As a practical matter, a small committee will need to be responsible for pulling together and organizing the final A, B, and C lists before they come to me. The committee should ideally be made up of international members who already have extensive experience dealing with your word lists and providing helpful feedback to me at the architectural level of the language. Any editing they will do will be in the interest of consolidating and clarifying the information to make my work easier and more efficient.
  • Time frame: As a personal request that would help fit my work schedule, I would like to receive the A and B lists by 12 March, with the C list to follow later.

Although I can't give you a firm schedule for getting back to you with new words, I assure you that I'll do all I can to match your effort with my own and respond as quickly as possible. Also, please understand that although I'll do my best, I may not be able adopt all of your suggestions as proposed. In particular, there may well be questions involving the culture and daily life of the Na'vi that I couldn't, or shouldn't, answer before consulting with James Cameron, who needless to say is a very busy man.

Thank you all in advance for your participation in the Lexicon Expansion project. I really am looking forward to seeing what you come up with.


I will soon be starting my own blog in which I intend to post progressive Na'vi lessons, starting from scratch, with dialogs, word lists, explanations, and clickable links so that learners can hear as well as see the words and sentences. I'll update you on this as soon as I have more information.

Thank you again for your effort and commitment to Na'vi, a language that now belongs to all of us.  

'Ivong Na'vi!

ta Pawl

Here's how it works: You create your own thread with a requested word / list of words and specify importance.