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Dothraki memrise courses

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I was excited to see that recently two Dothraki courses have sprung up on Memrise. I registered to Memrise right away and I am very satisfied with how the site helps you remember words. But I have a problem with the courses. The words that I am learning are words that I will never use or at least they are not something that I think I should be learning right at the beginning. Also, I want to learn so I can speak Dothraki with my girlfriend and words like gorat(charge), ildo(sword strike) and irvosa(distance of approximately one fourth mile) are of little use to me.

For this reason I was thinking of starting my own course on Memrise. A course that starts you out with useful words that you might want to learn in the beginning. Words like "yes", "no", "maybe", "hi", ...
I was wondering what your guys think and also if anyone would want to join me, since I'm a beginner and definitely not an authority on the Dothraki language.

EDIT: The Dothraki for Beginners course in now live!

The idea has considerable merit, but you will have to generate your own word list and maintain it. Luckily for you, we are not getting a lot of new vocabulary right now, so this might be easier than it sounds.

My biggest beef with Memrise is its tendency to begin at the beginning of the alphabet where all the confusing /A/ words are!

I don't have much interest in Dothraki memrise courses myself, because I'm more into framework than into being able to use the language. I'm good at being a grammar nazi, but not so good at remembering words or managing the pronunciation, and that suits me fine. I've good experience on Memrise course on Toki Pona, though. Memrise is in my experience good for a really limited thing, for expanding vocabulary, but that at least it does relatively well.

Go for it. I'll help, if you have something to ask about. Our knowledge of conversational Dothraki is limited, as is our knowledge of Dothraki in general, but we do know some stuff.

Hear me on this, though: I don't know, how hardcore you are planning to get on grammatical side (or on phonetical side for that matter), but leave room at least. Dothraki words are not generally just unmutable units. Knowing that "dog" is jano or "to wait" is ayolat is almost useless, if you don't also know that jano is inanimate and in ayolat the stem ends in consonant and the infinite suffix is just the /-at/.

I don't think Memrise is a good tool for learning a language but I do think that it's an exceptional tool for learning words. With that in mind, the intention of the course would be to help people learn a bunch of words easily, and they can later use this knowledge to learn to speak with the help of the wiki and other lessons.


--- Quote ---I don't think Memrise is a good tool for learning a language but I do think that it's an exceptional tool for learning words.
--- End quote ---
Ya. That's what I was trying to say.

I think we're on a same page, but let me make sure:
Words are not just one sequence of sounds, they can have metadata. In English this is only relevant in irregularities (to know the word mouse you need to know that the plural is mice; to know the word bite you need to know that the past simple is bit and past participle is bitten), but on many languages the metadata is much more crucial. This is not about grammar, really, this is about what the words are.
How words have multiple meanings and none of them are usually exactly same as the meanings in other language is yet another big kettle of fish, but when it comes to memrise course, I'd waive that away as much as possible.

How about this:
For nouns all else can IMO be waived, but animacy should be indicated. You'll need to learn some irregular accusatives later, but knowing animacy you'll be able to use the words at least almost correctly. Since you need to be able to submit correct Dothraki words, it's inconvenient to attach metadata on Dothraki words, but it should be fine to add that to English, like:
jano - dog (inanimate)

For verbs the problem is the infinite ending, and infinitive is unuseful conjugation anyway. The past singular we use to accompany infinite isn't good either, because of epenthesis issues (it's good when accompanied with infinite precisely because of epethesis issues it shows, but won't stand on it's own). You might offer the verbs in third person singular - that's informative and useful. I would however suggest dealing with bare stems:
ayol - wait (verb stem)
There's one really cool advantage to this: you can offer all adjectives as verb stems and thus sneak-feed one cool characteristic of Dothraki language to your brain right from beginning:
thelis - blue (verb stem)
This would offer very few problems - considering all the other issues that must be waived, practically no issues at all - and would feel very streamlined.

For pronouns I'd just ask all declinations individually:
anni - me (I in accusative)
anhoon - from me (I in ablative)
yerea - to you (you in plural allative)
Though I don't much like using declined English pronouns, so I'd be tempted to go:
anni - 1SG accusative
anhoon - 1SG ablative
yerea - 2PL allative
because of course the cases do not correspond that well to English cases, but using techical terms is unappealing.

What do you think? Are you already building the course?


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