Tomedes, the leader in professional translation services , publishes a rather linguistic prediction for the 2010 Oscar winner for the best picture award.
The movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” released in 1999 has outstanding rating scores of 97% from Rotten Tomatoes and 93% from Metacritic adorned with positive comments such as “Handsome, passionate and fun.” The New York Daily News claiming “It's everything we go to the movies for.”
In comparison the movie “Gladiator” released in the same year, received a poor rating score of 77% from Rotten Tomatoes and 64% from Metacritic.
In the 72nd Academy Awards ceremony held in 2000, both pictures were nominated for the best picture award. Astoundingly, the winner was “Gladiator”.
A reasonable explanation would be that the distinguished members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences prefer English over Chinese, though the latter is spoken by over 850 Million people worldwide (compared to 375 million who speak English).
Apart from the Chinese language film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, seven foreign language films have been nominated for the Best Picture throughout the history of the academy awards. Needless to say, none have taken the award.
Mr. Cameron, It's all about the language
James Cameron, writer and director of the now famous movie Avatar, decided that he wanted to invent a new language to be spoken by the fictional tribe of Na'vi who inhabit the lush moon Pandora. He has even ventured so far as to recruit the services of a USC linguistics professor to create the alien language.
Amazingly, Cameron did not even consider using one of almost 7,000 spoken languages we have on planet earth, 516 of them are nearly extinct. In fact, one language disappears from the face of our planet every 14 days. He preferred to construct a whole new language with the “amazing” vocabulary of 1000 words. Did you know that Shakespeare alone invented 1,700 English words? In Papua New Guinea alone there are 820 spoken languages! Mr. Cameron, couldn’t you pick one?
Mr. Cameron probably thought that the academy members would prefer a language invented by American people over a foreign language.
Will Na'vi out-Klingon Klingon?
What about another alien language – the Klingon language? Klingon, spoken by the Klingon aliens of Star Trek, includes twice the amount of words the Na’vi language does, and a history of over 30 years since the 1979 release of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture”. Cameroon himself said that the Na'vi language will “out-klingon Klingon” - It might, but if none of the eleven Star Trek movies made won the Oscar, why would Avatar do any better?
To conclude with one final thought, the meaning of the word “Na'vi” in Hebrew is “a prophet.” Lord Byron, the British poet, said that “The best prophet of the future is the past”. Judging on the past, Avatar just cannot win the Oscar . . . or could it?