Creator of Avatar's Na'vi language will speak at Iowa State Feb. 3

AMES, Iowa -- Linguist Paul Frommer, who developed the Na'vi language for James Cameron's movie, "Avatar," will speak at Iowa State University on Thursday, Feb. 3. "Giving Avatar its Voice: Creating the Na'vi Language," will be at 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. Frommer is the opening speaker for Iowa State's National Affairs Series on Innovation. His presentation is free and open to the public.

Frommer spent four years creating the fictional language spoken by the characters on the planet Pandora. He developed more than 1,000 words for Na'vi, a mixture of Polynesian and African dialects, as well as the rules and structure of the language. He worked with the actors to perfect Na'vi pronunciation and handled all translations, from script to song lyrics, and dialogue for video games related to the film.

Frommer is a professor at the School of Business, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles. He is the linguistic consultant for a prominent Hollywood film production company, and created the Martian language for the Disney film, "John Carter of Mars." From 2005 to 2008, he served as director of USC's Center for Management Communication.

Frommer's presentation also is the Quentin Johnson Lecture in Linguistics. It is cosponsored by the Intensive English and Orientation Program, Interdisciplinary Linguistics Program, National Affairs and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by the Government of the Student Body. More information on ISU lectures is available at, or by calling 515-294-9935.