The Na'vi language is the constructed language of the indigenous Na'vi used in the Avatar film and games. It was created by Paul Frommer, a professor at the Marshall School of Business with a doctorate in linguistics. He designed the language according to fit it to some of James Cameron's ideas of how the language should sound. Beside this, the only constraint was that it had to be learnable and pronounceable by the actors.
The Na'vi have a tribal communal culture. Their history is passed down by oral tradition through stories. Humans, in order to document it, use most English alphabet letters, plus two diacritics (ä, ì), digraphs to represent the three ejectives (px, tx, kx), and an apostrophe as a glottal stop.
There is some evidence for a Na'vi written script, seen most frequently in relation to the Tawkami Clan—a clan known for their sharing of lore. There are a few examples associated with other clans, such as the presence of written symbols in the Old School House, where children of the Omaticaya were educated. These symbols seem largely pictographic or ideographic. The weapons of the Anurai Clan have also been engraved with runes.
No definitive lexicon or guide on this written script has been released, while some media denies the existence of any written system. For example, a Disney product developer of a Na'vi language/pronunciation learning toy for Pandora: The World of Avatar mentioned a lack of a written language on Pandora despite prior hints in previous works. Na'vi made signage in the park reflects that, with totems used to signify where rides are.
- https://dict-navi.com/ (searchable, multi-language database)
- https://reykunyu.wimiso.nl (also a multi-language database)
Behind the scenes
The Na’vi language was created by Paul Frommer, a professor at the Marshall School of Business with a doctorate in linguistics. The Na'vi language is heavily based on the Maori language, which is one of the three official languages of New Zealand.
- The Nintendo DS game has signs which are readable in Na'vi villages