New Words for the New Year

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New Words for the New Year
Release date January 9, 2012
Source Naviteri
Link: 1

Kaltxì, ma frapo. Sìlpey oe, ayngari zìsìt amip sngilvä'i nì'o' nì'aw.

Here's some new vocabulary for the start of 2012, in no particular order. Thanks as always to the Vocabulary Committee and others for some excellent suggestions.


  • wo (vtr.) ‘reach for'
1 ngal new a tsa'ut rä'ä wivo, ma 'evi. Don't reach for what you want, child. Ask for it. 1

  • yawo (vin., ya.WO—inf. 2, 2) ‘take off, launch'
2 Fwa yawo ftu kllte to fwa tswayon ftu 'awkx lu ngäzìk. Taking off from the ground is harder than flying off a cliff. 2
3 'Uol ikranit txopu sleykolatsu, taluna po tsìk yawo. Something must have frightened the banshee, because it suddenly took to the air. 3
  • tsìk (adv.) ‘suddenly, without warning'
  • kllwo (vin., kll.WO—inf. 2, 2) ‘alight, land (process)'
4 Tompa 'eko nìhawng, ha zene awnga kllwivo. The rain is too strong, so we must land. 4

Note: Kllwo expresses the process of landing (“reaching for the ground”) before actual touch-down is achieved. To talk about the completed act, a different verb is used:

  • kllpä (vin., kll.PÄ—inf. 2, 2) ‘land, reach the ground'
5 Maw sätswayon ayol ayoe kllpolä tayo a lu rofa kilvan. After a short flight we landed in a field beside the river. 5
  • sätswayon (n., sä.TSWA.yon) ‘flight (= an instance of flying)'


  • rawn (vtr.) ‘replace, substitute'

The syntax for “replace A with B” or “substitute B for A” is: rawn A-ti fa B.

6 Rolawn oel pa'lit fa ikran, ulte makto set ikranit frakrr. I replaced my direhorse with a banshee, and now I ride a banshee all the time. 6

Rolawn oel pa'lit fa ikran, ulte makto set ikranit frakrr. ‘I replaced my direhorse with a banshee, and now I ride a banshee all the time.'

  • tìrawn (n., tì.RAWN) ‘replacement, act of replacing'
7 Navi:New Words for the New Year/7 He is tired and very much needs to be replaced. 7

Po 'efu ngeyn ulte kin tìrawnit nìtxan. ‘He is tired and very much needs to be replaced.'

Note: An alternative way to express this thought is: . . . ulte kin nìtxan futa fkol pot rivawn.'

  • särawn (n., sä.RAWN) ‘replacement, substitute, something that replaces something else'
8 Navi:New Words for the New Year/8 It won't be easy to find a satisfactory replacement for this musician. 8

Fìpamtseoturi ke layu ftue fwa run fkol särawnit a tam. ‘It won't be easy to find a satisfactory replacement for this musician.'

Pick up[edit]

  • kxeltek (vtr., KXEL.tek—inf. 1,2) ‘pick up, lift'
9 Navi:New Words for the New Year/9 Pick up your crossbow right now! 9
10 Navi:New Words for the New Year/10 One person alone can't lift that heavy rock. 10

Pxiset ngeyä tskalepit kxeltek! ‘Pick up your crossbow right now!'

Ke tsun tute a'aw tsatskxeti aku'up kxiveltek nì'awtu. ‘One person alone can't lift that heavy rock.'


  • fngo' (vtr.) ‘require, demand'

Fol fte ayspe'etut livonu fngo' 'upet? ‘What are they demanding in order for them to release the captives?'

Fìfnetìfkeytokìl fngo' futa kem sivi fko pxiye'rìn. ‘This kind of situation requires immediate action.'

Karyul fngolo' futa aynumeyu pivate ye'krr. ‘The teacher required the students to arrive early.'

Note: To express the idea in the previous sentence, English gives you two choices: ‘required the students to arrive early' or ‘required that the students arrive early.' In Na'vi only the equivalent of the latter is possible. (Question: How would you say, “The students were required to arrive early” if you wanted to begin the sentence with “students”?)

  • säfngo' (n., sä.FNGO') ‘requirement, demand'

Ngeyä faysäfngo'ìl nìwotx steykerängi oeti nìhawng. ‘All these demands of yours are making me exceedingly angry.'


Fìslärmì tsun fko stivawm ngamit apxay. ‘You can hear a lot of echoes in this cave.'


Melì'u alu mungwrr sì nìfkrr ngampam si. ‘The words mungwrr and nìfkrr rhyme.'

Note: Ngampam si can also be used metaphorically, in the sense of fitting together well:

New Rini sì Ralu muntxa slivu, slä tì'efumì oeyä, ngampam ke si. ‘Rini and Ralu want to marry, but I feel they're not compatible.'

Fìwayri hìnoa renut ngampamä ke tsängun oe tslivam. ‘I'm afraid I can't understand the intricate rhyme scheme of this poem.'

Smooth and Rough[edit]

  • faoi (adj., FA.o.i) ‘smooth'
  • ekxtxu (adj., ekx.TXU) ‘rough'

Ta'leng prrnenä lu faoi, pum koaktuä ekxtxu. ‘A baby's skin is smooth, an old person's is rough.'

Note: These words refer to physical characteristics and are not generally used metaphorically, as the corresponding words can be in English: “Hope everything goes smoothly” or “That was a rough meeting, wasn't it.” Also, make sure you pronounce faoi in three distinct syllables that glide together—don't let it become fawi except in very fast speech.


  • yo' (vin.) ‘be perfect, flawless'
Tìhawl lesngä'i lu tìkangkemvi skxawngä, slä pum alu fì'u yo' nì'aw.

‘The original plan was the work of an idiot, but this one is just perfect.'

A: Ultxa sivi oeng sìn ramtsyìp txon'ongay. ‘Let's meet on the hill tomorrow at nightfall.' B: Yeio'! Tsakrrvay ko! ‘Perfect! See you then.'

Riniri nikre yängo' nìtut. ‘Rini's hair is always perfect. (I “hate” her. OR: I wish mine were perfect too!)'

Fìstxelit fol txerula fpi olo'eyktan. Zene yivo' luke kxeyeyo kaw'it. ‘They're constructing this gift for the chief. It must be perfect without a single flaw.'

  • nìyo' (adv., nì.YO') ‘perfectly, flawlessly'

Txo ke nìyo' tsakrr nìyol. [Proverb] ‘If you can't be flawless, at least be brief.'

  • tìyo' (n., tì.YO') ‘perfection'

Fìtseori ke tsun kawtu pivähem tìyo'ne; tsranten tìpähemä tìfmi nì'aw. ‘In this art it's impossible to arrive at perfection; the only thing that matters is the attempt to arrive there.'

  • tìfmi (n., tì.FMI) ‘attempt'



The root word for humor is the adjective 'ipu:

  • 'ipu (adj., 'I.pu) ‘humorous, funny, amusing'

Kawkrr ke lu peyä ayvur 'ipu kaw'it. ‘His stories are never a bit amusing.'

Srake tsun nga rivun fìtìfkeytokmì a tì'iput? ‘Can you find the humor in this situation?'

In general, anything humorous is a sä'ipu:

  • sä'ipu (n., sä.I.pu) ‘something humorous'

Oeru txoa livu, ma 'eylan. Rä'ä stivi. Lu hì'ia sä'ipu nì'aw. ‘I'm sorry, friend. Don't be angry. It was just a small bit of humor.'

More specifically, there are different kinds of sä'ipu. One is a joke—that is, a story meant to be evoke laughter (for example, “A man walks into a bar . . .” in American culture)—is a hangvur:

  • hangvur (n., HANG.vur) ‘joke, funny story'

Poleng Neytiril hangvurit a frapot heykangham. ‘Neytiri told a joke that made everyone laugh.'

Another kind of sä'ipu is lì'uvan, humor based on language or word-play. Puns fall into this category.

  • lì'uvan (n., LÌ.'u.van) ‘pun, word-play'

Aylì'uvan aswey lu 'ipu, lu sìlronsem. ‘The best puns are both funny and clever.'

That's it for now. Hayalovay!