So for some Friday fun this week, we thought we’d introduce you to a language gaining in popularity all the time…but entirely fictional! Game of Thrones fans will know that the series comes with its own tongue, a fictional language called Dothraki, and now the information and vocabulary available has been collated and released as a book teaching you how to speak it in conversation. It’s not the first time fans of a fictional language have learned a language, many of us will know someone who speaks a little Elvish or a little Cling On. (Or perhaps I just know one too many nerds.)
The language was developed for the TV series by the linguist David J. Peterson based on the Dothraki words and phrases in George R. R. Martin’s series of ‘Ice and Fire’ fantasy novels, which the TV show was based on. In a post for HBP, he explained the syntax of the language. Now, in conjunction with ‘Living Language’ he’s created an entire book.
“Like a traditional language course, users will learn vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and even cultural notes, which lay out context as well as dos and don’ts. For example, since horses are so central to Dothraki culture, many phrases have their roots in the equestrian. Whatever you do, never call a Dothraki warrior anifak (walker): the ultimate insult since it implies he can no longer ride his horse.”
You can find out more about the release of the book here. To get you started, ‘Athchomar chomakaan!’ is how you say hello to a non-Dothraki -which the majority of us are. And here are three beautiful phrases we loved:
Yer jalan atthirari anni: You are the moon of my life. (Used when addressing a beloved woman since the moon is seen as female)
Shekh ma shieraki anni: My sun and stars (Referring to a beloved man since the sun is the male counterpart to the moon)
Shieraki gori ha yeraan!: The stars are charging for you! (Said to someone who is going into battle. Peterson: “The Dothraki believe that when a warrior dies, he becomes a star in the sky mounted on a celestial steed.”)
And below, you’ll find a fan’s helpful introduction to the language. We have to admit however, we currently have no professional translators or interpreters qualified to carry out certified translations of the Dothraki language, luckily, there are no official birth certificates coming from the region as of yet either, so there probably won’t be too much demand for it.
Thanks to dothraki.org for the video.