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:
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Is Na'vi becoming a living language?
Earth-bound "Avatar" fankids aspire to speak her language.
March 26, 2010
of The Week magazine.