Picking your Na'vi name might seem like a daunting task, but there are a few tips that can guide you in the right direction.
How to pick your name
One of the most obvious ways to find a Na'vi name is to look in the English to Na'vi Dictionary and find a few words that interest you. These words can then be put together to mean something. An example of this is ikran makto (banshee rider).
Another way to find a Na'vi name is to to find the etymology of your name, or a word or phrase that you like, and translate it into Na'vi.
A third way of thinking of a Na'vi name is to think about what is unique about you and translating it to Na'vi. Everybody has a Na'vi name, so choosing something unique about yourself gives you a more unique name, and a name that will be less likely for someone else to already have.
A fourth way is simply to spell your own name using the Na'vi alphabet and phonetics. This may require some creativity on your part, because not every sound in English (or your native language, whatever it may be) is available in Na'vi. For example:
- "Sam" would be spelled Säm in Na'vi (Na'vi ä sounds like cat, Na'vi a sounds like father)
- "Mark" would be spelled Mark in Na'vi, but because Na'vi words can't end with "rk", you'd want to make it Markì or Marko or Marek, etc.
- "Bethany" is problematic, because Na'vi has no b sound and no th sound. But Na'vi p is close to b, and Na'vi t is close to th, so Petani is a pretty close Na'vi substitute.
A fifth way of creating a Na'vi name is to look at names of the Na'vi people and combine or edit them.
As a sixth way, an official name structure exists in Na'vi. This structure is as following:
- For the men: <first name> te <family name> <father's name>'itan. Example: Tsu'tey te Rongloa Ateyo'itan
- For the women: <first name> te <family name> <mother's name>'ite. Example: Neytiri te Tskaha Mo'at'ite
As a last resort, you can always fool around with an Avatar name generator such as this one. This is a good way to figure out what you like and to create a base for your name, but be aware that some name generators will either only give you a main character's name, or one that has no meaning.
Is my name grammatically correct?
A problem that many beginners have is that they want to make their Na'vi name before they learn the grammar of the language. To make sure that your name is grammatically correct, here are a few basic pointers. When using adjectives in Na'vi, you must put an a on the side of the adjective that the noun it modifies is on, for example: Tsawla Uniltìranyu OR Uniltìranyu Atsawl (tall dreamwalker). A detailed account of Na'vi grammar is available in the Na'vi in a Nutshell.
[Note: Not all Na'vi names 'have' to be 100% grammatically correct.]
If you have questions about making a Na'vi name, please go to the LearnNavi.org Forum, and post a question in the 'Beginner' section.