Everyone talks about the weather

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Everyone talks about the weather
Release date April 1, 2011
Source Naviteri
Link: 1

Here's the first of several posts about weather language. Thanks to the Vocabulary Committee for some great ideas!


To begin with, the subject of our discussion:

  • yafkeyk (n.: YA.fkeyk) ‘weather'

To understand the derivation of this word, note the following:

  • fkeytok (v. intr.: FKEY.tok, infixes 2, 2) ‘exist'
1 Ngal fwerew a tute ke fkeytok. The person you're looking for doesn't exist. 1

Ngal fwerew a tute ke fkeytok. ‘The person you're looking for doesn't exist.'

(Fkeytok comes from kifkeyti tok, ‘be in the world.')

Derived form[edit]

2 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/2 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/2 2
3 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/3 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/3 3

Tìfkeytok lefkrr lehrrap lu nìtxan. ‘The current situation is very dangerous.'

Kilvanä tìfkeytok lu fyape fìtrr? ‘What's the condition of the river today?'

Now phrases like kilvanä tìfkeytok were common, and these eventually developed into shortened forms such as kilvanfkeyk ‘condition of the river.' So while the above sentence is perfectly correct, the more usual way to say it in present-day Na'vi is:

4 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/4 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/4 4

Kilvanfkeyk lu fyape fìtrr? ‘What's the condition of the river today?'


In this way a new suffix developed, -fkeyk. It's widely productive. For example:

5 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/5 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/5 5

Sawtuteri ronsemfkeykit ke tsun kawtu tslivam. ‘No one can understand the state of mind of the Sky People.'

Some very common -fkeyk words have been lexicalized with special meanings, most notably yafkeyk, which originally meant ‘the state of the atmosphere' but is now used to mean ‘weather.'


To ask about the weather, use za'u:

6 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/6 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/6 6

Yafkeyk za'u fyape? / Yafkeyk za'u pefya? Etc. ‘How is the weather?'

(Note: Be sure to place the stress in the right place with fyape and pefya: FYA.pe and pe.FYA.)

In colloquial conversation, za'u may be omitted:

7 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/7 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/7 7

Yafkeyk pefya? ‘How's the weather?'

To answer this question, Na'vi breaks weather up into several categories. The one we'll discuss in this post is precipitation.


When things fall from the sky, Na'vi uses, naturally enough, the verb zup ‘fall':

8 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/8 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/8 8

Zerup tompa. It's raining.

Other Forms[edit]

Here are some other forms of precipitation:

  • tompameyp (n.: tom.pa.MEYP) ‘drizzle' [Comes from tompa ameyp ‘weak rain']
  • tskxaytsyìp (n.: TSKXAY.tsyìp) ‘hail' [Comes from tskxepay + tsyìp (diminutive): ‘little ice.']

Note: tskxepay (n.: TSKXE.pay) ‘ice' (literally: stone water)

  • herwì (n.: HER.wì) ‘snow'
  • tomperwì (n.: TOM.per.wì) ‘sleet' [Comes from tompa + herwì]


9 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/9 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/9 9

Herwì zereiup fìtrro nìwotx! ‘It's been snowing all day!' (Said by, for example, a skier.)


When precipitation is particularly bad, you can use the verb 'eko ‘attack.'

10 Navi:Everyone talks about the weather/10 Help:Everyone talks about the weather/10 10

Fìrewon tompameyp zarmup, slä set 'ìmeko nìtxan nang! ‘It was drizzling this morning, but it's really started coming down now!'

Related vocabulary[edit]

  • txanfwerwì (n.: txan.FWER.wì) ‘blizzard' [Comes from txan + hufwe + herwì ‘much wind (and) snow']
  • hermeyp (n.: her.MEYP) ‘snow flurry'
  • hertxayo (n:. HER.txa.yo) ‘field of snow'


  • ìlva (n. ÌL.va) ‘flake, drop, chip'

Note: When this word is used in compounds, the l drops. So:

  • txepìva (n. TXE.pì.va) ‘ash, cinder' (Don't confuse with txepvi ‘spark.')
  • payìva (n. PAY.ì.va) ‘drop of water'

And now you know what this means: Oeri aysompìva sìn re'o var zivup.

Next time: “steady state” weather terms, including temperature.

Hayalovay, ma eylan.

P.S.—I need to respond to some comments on the previous post. Zaya'u ye'rìn.