Science » Planet Earth
Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Russian Linguists Create Na'vi Language Dictionary

Russian amateur linguists made a dictionary of the fictitious language of the Na’vi tribe, the humanoid creatures living on planet Pandora, where the action of world’s most commercially successful film, Avatar, takes place.

The test version of the dictionary has been uploaded on the website of the association of lexicographers established under the aegis of ABBYY, the software maker, and the Union of Translators of Russia.

A message, released by ABBYY on April 1, said that the company was planning to license the Na’vi dictionary. An employee of the company’s press service said, though, that the intention of licensing was just a Fool’s Day joke. She added that the dictionary had been made indeed.

The Na’vi language was created by linguist Paul Frommer, a professor at the Marshall School of Business, to be used for James Cameron’s film. Frommer’s language is an agglutinating language, in which every grammatical meaning is conveyed by certain suffixes. The Na’vi language is similar to the Polynesian. The latter is very specific for its glottalized consonants and knacklauts.

The new language has a whole community of fans, who study the language and make dictionaries. Russian enthusiasts created the Russian-Na’vi and Na’vi-Russian dictionary, which was uploaded on the website of the association of lexicographers on March 18.

It is not the first time, when a created language finds a whole army of fans. It has already happened with J.R.R. Tolkien and his legendary work “The Lord of the Rings.”

The language of the Klingon race of the Star Trek series also found countless supporters in many countries. D’Armond Speers, a linguist, conducted an interesting experiment on his own son. He spoke only Klingon to him during the first three years of the boy’s life. The boy did not learn the language, because he saw that his father could understand English. The boy is now 15, and he is growing as a normal teenager, Speers said.

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