Avatar director James Cameron has long boasted about hiring University of Southern California linguist Paul Frommer to invent a mother tongue for the film's towering blue Na'vi tribespeople. Now that the film's a billion-dollar hit, fankids are embracing Frommer's dialect, consulting Na'vi-English dictionaries on Wiki websites and following the learn-to-speak video lessons cropping up on YouTube. It's becoming "the new Klingon," says Arika Okrent in Slate — a reference to the lingua franca among Star Trek buffs. Still, given the history of language, "the odds are against the Na’vi tongue spreading like a virus," says Mark Peters at Good. "If it does, well...I promise to finally see the goddamn movie." Watch a video lesson for Na'vi below:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What political elites don't understand about Scotland's push for independence
- Why gay people of color are still losing
- Do you need to be crazy to be the best?
- In defense of family dinner
- Is 'feminism' just another word for 'liberalism'?
Subscribe to the Week