Navajo vs. Na’vi
I found a website and wiki dedicated to learning the Na’vi language. If you don’t know already the Na’vi are an indigenous population that inhabit the planet Pandora in the movie Avatar. The Na’vi language used throughout the scenes is an actual language that was created for the movie. Na’vi has its own vocabulary, pronunciation, syntax, word order, etc. Impressive, isn’t it?
But I am not blogging about how awesome the Na’vi language is, I’m blogging about how it is probably easier to learn Na’vi than Navajo. This does not mean that by nature the language is easier. I have no linguistic knowledge or experience to base such an assumption. What I can say is that there seems to be a vested learning community online; more than Navajo. The Na’vi speaking population is relatively small; however, I am somehow convinced a determined individual would learn Na’vi before mastering Navajo.
The fact that there is an organized Na’vi learning community online is advantageous. All resources are free and both the main and wiki sites are relatively easy to navigate. There are a number of documents that break down the language to facilitate learning. There is a Wiki section exclusively for beginners; these are the things you should learn first. There are articles on phonetics, dictionaries, and crash courses on linguistics. There are also online lounges to speak live with other individuals learning to speak or perfect their Na’vi.
As of now, I know of no Navajo equivalent. Thus is my reasoning that it would be easier to learn Na’vi than Navajo. There are more free online tools and supplements to facilitate learning the Na’vi language. Now, should you learn Na’vi? You could. That’s up to you, but this just reminds me of how little Navajo content and resources are available online.
What should we do about it?
I would like to see a wiki page where Navajos, fluent and novice, are contributing to Navajo language materials for everyone. We are in an amazing technological age where there are limitless possibilities for what we can share and learn online. The young Navajo population has access to internet. Why don’t we use this to our advantage?