Avatar sets 2010 record for DVD sales in four days. Plus learning Na'vi in France

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nice, Avatar is doing extremely well just four days after a release of a very basic version (no special features) of the movie to DVD, selling 6.7 million copies during that time. I'm a big believer in positive peripheral effects from movies like this regarding overall interest in space exploration, and the more people out there watching movies about moons orbiting gas giants in nearby solar systems the better.

The movie itself was seen by about 300 million people though, so thus far this is no comparison.

In other news, apparently the second movie will feature more ocean scenes, so a slight change in plans from Cameron's original plan to have it take place in other parts of the solar system. That's probably a good idea as near the end of the movie we were introduced to some more Na'vi tribes from both the ocean and the plains, and they could use some more fleshing out. Including whether they have dialects, and to what extent.

And that brings us to this news report in French on people in France who are learning Na'vi, or at least to the extent that it can be learned without a full grammar and dictionary. The lack of those two is why I won't be learning it yet, as it's just not that pleasant an idea to learn something that could turn out to be quite different from the way the actual language is.

Avatar being such a success worldwide is interesting in an auxiliary language sense, because once a grammar and dictionary is published it will be able to function as one. Right now it technically kind of acts as one in that it is used between people that have different mother tongues, but in a more strict sense (focusing on the auxiliary = helpful, or aiding) part it isn't there yet, because to be a true auxiliary language a language has to be one that actually aids in communication between two or more people. In other words, it has to function for communication better than a natural language could in order for it to fulfill that need.

In the middle of these two definitions though we also have languages that are capable of being auxiliary languages, but haven't been used in that way yet. Sambahsa might be one, since all those that know it are better able to communicate using English or French, but if the need arose (a new user knowing only Hungarian for example) it could certainly have no problems taking on the role it was made for.

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