Thousands of Avatar Fans Learning Na'vi

Educational website even has study guides

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 25, 2010 11:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you’ve already mastered Klingon, you might want to turn your language learning talents onto Na’vi next. Yes, obsessive Avatar fans are learning the fictional language, most notably at the appropriately named learnnavi.org, where 4,300 people have already contributed to the discussion forums. One commenter, during a discussion with creator of the Na’vi language Paul Frommer, managed to compose an entire—grammatically correct—paragraph in the tongue just 24 hours after Avatar premiered, Slate reports.

How is such a thing possible, with no complete lexicon? Frommer developed a system of rules for his language, and simply by paying attention to the film's dialogue, viewers can figure out those rules. Not all films go to such lengths when creating languages…but not all fan bases would go to the lengths the Na’vi learners have, producing their own study guides and word lists—and signing a petition (3,868 signatures strong so far) asking Frommer for a complete dictionary and grammar rules.

Bummed you can't communicate with Neytiri? Check out the Learn Na'vi website.
Bummed you can't communicate with Neytiri? Check out the Learn Na'vi website.   (AP Photo/20th Century Fox)
A Center for Orangutan Protection activist dressed as a figure from James Cameron's Avatar participates in a protest against replacing forests with palm oil plantations in Indonesia, Feb. 24, 2010.
A Center for Orangutan Protection activist dressed as a figure from James Cameron's "Avatar" participates in a protest against replacing forests with palm oil plantations in Indonesia, Feb. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
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