Wiki Actu en

December 28, 2009

Elvish, Klingon and Na\’vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film

Elvish, Klingon and Na’vi: Constructed languages gain foothold in film

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, December 28, 2009

Film
Related articles
  • English actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93
  • The Wrecking Crew music documentary hits cinemas
  • French campaigning film director René Vautier dies
  • Manhattanʼs ‘Little Spain’ comes to big screen, documenting Hispanic immigration in New York City
  • Wikinews interviews Mario J. Lucero and Isabel Ruiz of Heaven Sent Gaming

Ingmar Bergman, 1957
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

The release of the movie Avatar, written and directed by James Cameron, has generated increased interest in the field of constructed language, also known as conlang. Cameron asked American linguistics professor Paul Frommer to develop a language spoken by the extraterrestrial people in the film known as the Na’vi.

Klingon language alphabet, from Klingon Language Institute
Image: Brian Ammon.

Author J. R. R. Tolkien developed Elvish languages for his literary series The Lord of the Rings. The Elvish language was featured in scenes of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson.

The Klingon language (tlhIngan Hol) was developed by linguist Marc Okrand, initially for use in the 1984 film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Okrand drew inspiration from Klingon lines spoken by actor James Doohan in the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Doohan portrayed character Montgomery Scott in the Star Trek series. A dictionary for Klingon developed by Okrand, The Klingon Dictionary sold over 300,000 copies.

Cquote1.svg You know your alien language has taken off when a German guy translates rap songs into it. Cquote2.svg

National Public Radio on Klenginem

Klingon became quite popular and has developed a usage among Star Trek fans. The Klingon Terran Research Ensemble in the Netherlands created an opera in Klingon. The play Hamlet by William Shakespeare was translated into Klingon. A German Trekkie who goes by the moniker Klenginem posted videos to YouTube where he raps songs he translated into Klingon by musician Eminem. Klenginem has been cited recently in pieces on constructed language in The New York Times, ABC News Nightline, and National Public Radio. “You know your alien language has taken off when a German guy translates rap songs into it,” said National Public Radio of Klenginem.

Linguistics professor Frommer received his PhD degree from the University of Southern California (USC), and subsequently shifted his focus into the business arena. He returned to USC to teach at the Marshall School of Business. Cameron tasked Frommer with creating an entire language for the Na’vi people.

In an interview with Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times, Frommer voiced hope that the language would continue to be used separate from the movie, as Klingon has. “I’m still working and I hope that the language will have a life of its own,” said Frommer. The Na’vi language created by Frommer contains over 1,000 words, as well as a structural system and rules format for usage. Frommer told Vanity Fair that the language was fairly developed, commenting, “It’s got a perfectly consistent sound system, and grammar, orthography, syntax”.

Cquote1.svg I hope that the language will have a life of its own. Cquote2.svg

Linguistics professor Paul Frommer

Frommer explained the direction given to him before creating the language, “Cameron wanted something melodious and musical, something that would sound strange and alien but smooth and appealing.” The Avatar writer-director provided Frommer with approximately three dozen words of the Na’vi language he used in his scriptment for the film. “That was the starting point. Probably the most exotic thing I added were ejectives, which are these sorts of popping sounds that are found in different languages from around the world. It’s found in Native American languages and in parts of Africa and in Central Asia, the Caucasus,” explained Frommer. Cameron and Frommer worked together for four years developing the language.

The linguistics professor relied on inspiration provided by Cameron, and avoided drawing upon influences from Elvish, Klingon, and the international auxiliary language Esperanto. Sample words in the Na’vi language include “Uniltìrantokx” (oo-neel-tih-RAHN-tokx), meaning “Avatar”, and “tireaioang” (tee-REH-ah-ee-o-ahng), which means “spirit animal”. Maclean’s reported that fans of Avatar were anxious for more instructive material from professor Frommer about the language in order to learn how to speak it with others that appreciated the film. “The response has been quite remarkable and totally unexpected. I never thought there’d be this level of interest. But I really don’t think of Na’vi as a competitor to Klingon. If it does develop a following, that would be quite wonderful,” said Frommer of the response to the language from Avatar fans.

Cquote1.svg We wanted to ‘out-Klingon’ Klingon. Cquote2.svg

Avatar writer-director James Cameron

The Na’vi language is itself a minor plot point in the film Avatar. The character Jake Sully portrayed by Sam Worthington endeavors to learn the language while living on Pandora. A botanist portrayed by actress Sigourney Weaver instructs a scientist played by actor Joel David Moore on how to become conversational in the language.

Zoe Saldaña, the actress behind warrior princess Neytiri in Avatar, picked up the Na’vi language faster than her fellow cast members. “Zoe owned the language and everyone had to match her, even her accent,” said Cameron. Saldaña remarked that the most difficult part about acting in the film was speaking in English with the accent of the Na’vi people. Cameron touted the rich nature of the Na’vi language in publicity for his film. “We wanted to ‘out-Klingon’ Klingon. The best sci-fi movies immerse the audience in that world until it doesn’t seem alien to them,” said Cameron to USA Today.



Related news

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Na’vi language
  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Constructed language
  • Wiktionary-logo.svg Appendix:Na’vi

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 8, 2008

Wikinews at Toronto film fest party, with Diddy

Wikinews at Toronto film fest party, with Diddy

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, September 8, 2008

Diddy was the featured performer at the eTalk Festival Party.

Toronto residents are abuzz as the stars walk among them, during the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. The capital of and largest city in Ontario, Canada has been playing host to the premieres of major motion pictures, up-and-coming indy films, and international films alike. Over the last few years, the festival has become one of the most popular in the world.

On September 5, Wikinews sent freelance photographer Richard Burdett to the eTalk Festival Party, held by television broadcaster CTV. Described as a celebration of Canadian and international film and filmmakers, the party was held at CTV’s festival headquarters, the former CHUM-City Building. The red carpet extended into the parking lot stage area meaning celebrity guests were interviewed in the same spot where Diddy performed. DJ Samantha Ronson spun well into the night for revelers, as Lindsay Lohan hid from prying eyes inside the building.

Hosted by Ben Mulroney and Tayna Kim of CTV’s eTalk program, the party was broadcast live for an hour on Startv.



Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 13, 2007

Russian polar submarine TV footage faked

Russian polar submarine TV footage faked

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, August 13, 2007

Part of the video footage of the Russian submarines (MIR 1 and 2) planting a flag on the sea bed at the North pole, shown by Russian state TV channel Rossiya and re-broadcasted by Reuters, included shots from the James Cameron film Titanic, according to a Finnish newspaper.

The inclusion of the Titanic fragment was spotted by a 13-year-old Finnish boy, Waltteri Seretin, who compared Reuters’ pictures with his own DVD version of the Titanic film. He alerted the Finnish tabloid paper Ilta-Sanomat. Screen grabs form the Rossiya footage were shown on web sites and newspapers around the world.

The two MIR submarines used in the Russian expedition were designed in Russia but actually made in Finland, and were indeed used in the Titanic film. However The Guardian reports that the shots used by Rossiya were in fact models shot in the studio. The Russian channel broadcast the pictures before the pole was reached and claimed it was using it in the same spirit as library footage. However Reuters gave the impression that it was actual footage of the expedition. Reuters published an apology, but only admitted that the pictures were from the Atlantic, not the Arctic, and not admitting that the footage showed a studio model.

NTV channel, who sent their correspondent on icebreacker, broadcast the actual videos, filmed from inside the submarine.[1]



Related news

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

March 22, 2005

Creationist sentiments affect Imax business strategy

Creationist sentiments affect Imax business strategy

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, March 22, 2005 Imax cinemas in several southern US states have begun to refuse screening of films that deal with evolution and the big bang, fearing they will drive away customers. This step follows pressure from customers claiming such films are blasphemous to the Christian religion and are counter to biblical teachings which fundamentalists take to be the literal word of God.

Some of the affected cinemas are located in science museums often visited by families. Carol Murray, the marketing director of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History in Texas, commented that trial customers complained, “I really hate it when the theory of evolution is presented as fact,” a view reflected by several others. Conversely, a producer of an Imax film entitled Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, James Cameron, said that he was “surprised and somewhat offended” at some of the reactions.

Films suppressed by this controversy include Cosmic Voyage (which deals with the big bang), Galapagos (dealing with the development of evolutionary theory by Darwin) and Volcanoes of the Deep Sea (about deep-sea thermophiles).

Although this move only affects about a dozen Southern US cinemas, it has proved significant due to the manner in which Imax operates. Imax presentations are filmed and projected using specialized equipment in specially adapted theatres. Imax films also have tight production and marketing budgets. At any one time, an Imax film may be shown at only two dozen locations. As such, profits may be significantly reduced if just a few locations refuse to show a given film, swaying producers to avoid producing films on contentious subjects which may be construed by Christian fundamentalists as blasphemous.

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress