Author Topic: Pronounciation help  (Read 8852 times)

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Pronounciation help
« on: August 06, 2016, 09:29:29 pm »
To preface this, one of my favorite lines in Dothraki is when Dany says, "Tonight I would look upon your face". I've looked up this quote on the wiki and it spells out as this: Ajjalan anha zalat vitiherat yer hatif.

I've crossreferenced this line to the show, but what Dany says sounds nothing like how I would think to pronounce it.

So, how exactly do you pronounce this phrase?


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Re: Pronounciation help
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 02:16:30 pm »
Zhey Enth,
    The gold standard, of course, is how David Peterson pronounces it. When he speaks Dothraki, the whole demeanor of his voice changes, and becomes somewhat middle eastern. If you can get him to pronounce it for you, that would be the best.
    In general though, there is a modest amount of wiggle room in how things get pronounced, and no two people who have not spent much time talking Dothraki to each other are going to pronounce it exactly the same. Your best bet is to look on the wiki, where there is a section on sounds and pronunciation. The really important things are:

1. Pay attention to syllable boundaries. In particular, note that doubled vowels are two syllables, one part of the preceeding/following syllable and the next standing by itself. An interesting example though, to point out what I mentioned above is the very common word 'khaleesi'. The canonical way of pronouncing it is kha-le-e-si (Note that syllabification rules follow the 'maximal onset' principle). However, it is almost always pronounced kha-lee-si, with the /ee/ sound being long.
2. Stress is very simple: Words that end on a consonant have the stress on the first syllable. Words that end on a vowel have their stress on the final syllable, unless the syllable before is 'heavy'. The stress will then be on that heavy syllable. An exammple of this is 'Tolorro'.
3. R's are trilled if they occur as the first letter of a word with a vowel following, or the last letter, or if doubled. It took me a long time to get this to sound right.
4. The letters D, N, L and T are pronounced with the tongue briefly touching the teeth. This, more than anything else, creates the characteristic Dothraki sound. It is also challenging to learn to do (at least for me).

Here is a link to the phonotactic part of the wiki:
Here is a link to the phonology part of the wiki:

Of course, if you can pick up David's book on learning Dothraki (or the online course), the CD included will help you a lot! The book and online course compliment each other and are best used together.

Don't tell Khal Drogo I am here ;)