AMC recently aired the first episode of a series by James Cameron entitled “The Story of Science Fiction”. The episode was about alien contact and speculation on how we could communicate with them. Our own Paul Frommer was featured with some insights on language and how it can define how we think and build our cultures (the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis). The episode can be viewed on the AMC app, and there is an excellent post on the AMC Blog.
Q: People now speak Avatar‘s Na’vi all over the world. What’s that like for you?
A: The thing that has really astonished and delighted me is that people in different parts of the world have embraced the language to the point where they use it for real communication. As I’ve often told people, I get emails written to me that are entirely in Na’vi. I have a blog where people can ask questions and comment and offer suggestions, very often entirely in the language. The fact that it’s not just a curiosity but also a tool people use to communicate has blown me away and made me very proud.
Q: Language is constantly changing. Has Na’vi been molded by the fans in the past ten years that people have been using it?
A: At this point, there’s a core group of people who have embraced the language to the point where they know it extremely well — and so it is continuing to evolve. The most obvious place is that the vocabulary continues to grow. I don’t know exactly how many words we have at this point – I think it’s probably around 2,500 or so — which is not huge, by any means. As native speakers of English, we probably have a passive vocabulary of something like 40,000 words. …But, people want to be able to use the language in all sorts of different contexts, some of which have nothing to do with Pandora. So, for instance, people want to know how to say “download,” how to say “blog,” “telephone,” “computer.” [Laughs] So we are constantly coming up with new vocabulary. It’s not just specialized stuff, but also basic words for everyday activities. It’s an evolving process, so to that extent the language continues to grow.
AvatarMeet 2017 is now history, but it certainly created a lot of memories. From learning Na’vi in Pandora, to visiting the Kennedy Space Center, to volunteering at a local nature preserve, it was a week of fun and camaraderie for old friends and new. And the good news is that nobody got kicked out of the hotel for being too loud playing Cards Against Humanity at midnight!
Attendees were treated to a trip to Pandora, courtesy of Alpha Centauri Expeditions.
Disney and Lightstorm Entertainment have created the amazing experience of traveling to Pandora at the Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. Experiencing this should be on the bucket list for every fan of Avatar!
With the filming of the Avatar sequels due to start in September, how would you like to get involved in sending a video message to James Cameron, his cast and crew to let them know we are still here and wishing them well? Deadline for submitting your contribution is August 13, 2017, so don’t delay!
See [this post] in the forums for more info!
UPDATE: Here is the video that was created!
Lightstorm Entertainment and Disney have graciously invited representatives from LearnNavi.org to attend the Global Media Event and opening of the long – awaited experience of Pandora – The World of Avatar at the Disney Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. The creators of Avatar have been great friends and amazingly supportive of the Na’vi Language Community, so a resounding IRAYO to them for this opportunity!
The Na’vi language is used extensively throughout the new Disney attraction and we hope many people will want to learn more about it after their experience. If you have found LearnNavi.org after visiting Disney’s Pandora, welcome! Here you will find just about everything you need to learn the Na’vi language, from a library of tutorials and dictionaries, to interactive and group learning sessions via Skype, Discord and Webex, to a large and helpful fan community that can assist you in your journey to learn the language of the Na’vi!
To follow updates and photos from the event, check out the Forum Topic here!
Selected events at AvatarMeet 2016 will be presented live on the Learnnavi.org WebEx server for up to 50 participants. Check out the information on the forum for details!
June 26th Update: The Na’vi language class had 9 participants on WebEx. The class was also honored by the attendance of some of our friends at Cirque du Soleil!