Na'vi language from Avatar: Lessons for language learners

Those of you who have seen James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar will know that Na’vi is the constructed language spoken by the fictional indigenous race (the Na’vi) on Pandora. Slates calls Na’vi the new Klingon. Aspiring Pandorans are flocking to learn Na’vi in droves.

The Na’vi language was created by Paul Frommer, a professor at USC with a doctorate in linguistics. Frommer has now launched a website to

share the Na’vi language with everyone.

Paul Frommer- creator of the Avatar language

Frommer spent years working on the Na’vi language, eventually teaching it to

all of the principal actors who have to speak it, and making recordings for them to listen to on their iPods.

Later, he worked on the set during shooting, coaching actors on pronunciation between takes, and even writing the occasional extra line when Cameron decided a scene needed tweaking.

Frommer recalls a moment during the filming of Avatar: “Jim Cameron and Sam Worthington came up to me and said, ‘We’ve decided that the character Jake is going to be recounting an incident he had where

he was bitten in his big blue butt — so how do you say ‘big blue butt?’ … I had ‘big’ and I had ‘blue,’ but I didn’t have ‘butt.’ ”

At last count, there were 165,000 posts by 4,400 people on Frommer’s Learn Na’vi site —passionate Pandorans who spend time translating and discussing Na’vi words, encouraging novices who have never even studied a foreign language.

Whilst we do not wish to discourage the many aspiring Pandorans; instead of spending hours learning the invented language spoken on a fictional alien planet, why not sign up for some Spanish classes at your local language school? It’s a lot easier to get to Chile than to Pandora.

Classes in FrenchGermanItalianPortugueseSpanishChinese (Mandarin)Japanese and Korean start 26 April. Fasttrack intensive courses start after Easter. Euroasia is taking enrolments now for courses in Auckland and Christchurch.

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A Pain in the Ass – French Movie

The other day I went along to the preview of this brilliant movie “A Pain

in the Ass” (L'Emmerdeur) by French writer-director FRANCIS VEBER, the guy behind The Valet, The Dinner Game and The Closet. This summary from Flicks: Francois Pignon (Patrick Timsit), whose wife (Virginie Ledoyen) has just left him for a shrink, checks into the same Nice hotel as hitman Ralf (Richard Berry). Ralf is there to stake out a key witness in a major corruption trial, while Pignon plans

to hang himself in the bathroom. Their adjoining rooms bring them together; the perfect killer and the perfect pest. Complications cement their relationship as Pignon’s fondness for the cold-as-ice assassin grows stronger.

If you think you've met people who are a pain in the ass, wait till you meet Pignon!

This movie is coming out 15 October at your local cinema. Go check it out.

Should you wish to be able to watch French movies one day without looking at the English subtitles, you know who to call for French lessons.

p/s: Thanks Christine and Frederic from Evian for asking me along. Also met this guy who runs a water concept store. Yes they only sell water. Aquadeli on Mt Eden Road. They've been around for a while, but I've yet to go check them out. Have to visit sometime soon.

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Hong Kong Film Festival coming up Sept 09

I grew up on a staple of Hong Kong films. Hong Kong movie directors are particularly adept at making action movies and thrillers; the stuff I like. I may be biased but I find these Hong Kong movies to be so much better than the standard Hollywood fare.

One of my all-time favourites is the Infernal Affairs series. If you haven't seen this, you really don't know what you're missing. The first one came out in 2002, directed by Andrew Lau and Alan Mak. It tells the story of a police officer who infiltrates the crime gang, and a police mole secretly working for the same gang. If that sounds like the storyline of The Departed, that's because The Departed is a 2006 remake of Infernal Affairs. Yes, as in The Departed that won four Academy Awards including Best Picture, and a Best Director win for Martin what is better viagra or levitra Scorsese; with a star-studded cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen etc.

I think it's amazing that the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association has taken the initiative to put together the 2009 Hong Kong Kong Film Festival. At Euroasia, we often encourage our clients to see foreign language films to get a better feel of the language and culture they are studying.  Seeing films of people interacting in a foreign language allows us to vicariously experience diverse cultural environments.  I learn a lot from movies. I can genuinely say it's “professional development” time.

It does look like the five films selected by my friend, filmmaker Alex Lee of Asia NZ Film Foundation, are truly excellent. I recommend that you go check them out at Rialto Newmarket 17-20 September.

Thur 17th Sept

True Women for Sale — 6.30pm

Protégé — 8.30pm

Fri 18th Sept

Three Kingdoms — 6.30pm

Beast Stalker — 8.30pm

Sat 19th Sept

Protégé — 1.45pm

The Way We Are — 4.30pm

Beast Stalker — 6.15pm

The Three Kingdoms — 8.30pm

Sun 20th Sept

The Three Kingdoms — 1.45pm

The Way We Are — 4.30pm

Protégé —


True Women for Sale — 8.30pm

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