Learn Dothraki and Valyrian

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Hrakkar on December 13, 2012, 10:34:26 pm

Title: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: Hrakkar on December 13, 2012, 10:34:26 pm
Here is my attempt to translate the most ubiquitous and universal of all Christmas songs: 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas'!

Last Monday night during the IRC chat, we worked out the chorus, for which David Peterson gave us a word we can use for celebrations, such as Christmas (which the Dothraki very likely do not celebrate!), namely vitteyqoyi So for that we have the following translation:

[Za-LAK VI-tey-qoi DA-vra (qoth sen) We wish you a merry Christmas 3X
Ma fi-re-sof sa-sha la-ya-fa And a happy new year. (layafa is a new word from layafat 'to be happy'.)

These are 'blessed'. But now, we need verses, or at least the first verse. Here is my first try:

Nesikh davra(i) fich kisha Good tidings we bring
Ha yeraan ma yeri okeo(es) To you and your kin
neshikh davra qisi vitteyqoy Good tidings of Christmas
Ma fi-re-sof sa-sha la-ya-fa And a happy new year!

I had to truncate a couple of suffixes to make this reasonably singable. Those are the parts above in parenthesis.
Comments? Ma Qvaak, rip and tear!
Title: Re: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: Najahho on December 14, 2012, 07:11:51 am
I coined that!  ;D hehe sanctioned, of course, by Movek David.

Also, didn't he give a translation for "happy new year"? Or is that it?
Title: Re: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: ingsve on December 14, 2012, 07:51:54 am
Was vitteyqoyi specifically christmas or any type of holiday?
Title: Re: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: Najahho on December 14, 2012, 08:24:28 am
I think it could be applied for any important religious feast. As it is a compound of "feast, celebration" and "blood"
Title: Re: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: ingsve on December 14, 2012, 11:46:20 am
I think it could be applied for any important religious feast. As it is a compound of "feast, celebration" and "blood"

I thought perhaps the word blood was chosen because of the connection with the birth of jesus on christmas.
Title: Re: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: Najahho on December 14, 2012, 01:18:50 pm
Lol! When I suggested the word it was clearly pun intended. I mean... "blood" is mostly used in mystic, magic things, which quite clearly suits the holiness involved, but it is funny that the blood also hints at Christ's blood. So it is a pun, absolutely. But you can argue that a "bleeding star" is not more related to actual blood than the "blood-feast", and that the connection is only about the mystic, magical aspect of it.
Title: Re: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: Hrakkar on December 15, 2012, 09:05:23 pm
I'm debating whether or not to add Vitteyqoyi to the dictionary, and if so, what to use as a definition. I have also been thinking for some time of adding a section to the dictionary for Dothraki words that apply 'out of world', as have been created here and there for some time.

Otherwise, is that a reasonable translation of the verse?
Title: Re: Dothraki Christmas song
Post by: Qvaak on December 16, 2012, 11:35:26 am
Sorry for the wait. This takes me time sometimes.

Zalak vitteyqoi davra
I think this should be work relatively well as Zalak vitteyqoy davra. It's something like "Want for myself an useful blood-feast," if interpeted in the usual manner. The full unmolested "We wish you an useful blood-feast" would be more like Kisha zalaki vitteyqoyi davra yeraan. Or if that didn't work, you might go with even longer Kisha zalaki mevitteyqoyi adavrae yeraan, "We wish that the blood-feast will be useful to you."

While generally not allowed, dropping the person pronoun from the start should work fine for a song. Changing from "(we) wish" to "(I) wish" is quite normal translation liberty.

As I've gathered from David's explanations, the core meaning of zalat is "to want". "To wish", "to hope" is an extension thereof. If you jam a straight object after zalat, that's usually interpreted as "I want" in very basic sense "I want to have" or "I want for myself". A surefire solution to step from "to want" to "to wish" is to construct a separate clause with me-, but I'm sure there are subtler ways, and perhaps eg. "topical" genitive might work. Nevertheless, this is all intepretational nuances, so the right meaning can be taken from zalak vitteyqoy davra, I think, and that might be good enough for a song lyrics. Songs tend to use a bit weird wordings, which are then just interpreted generously.

ma firesof sasha layafa
This is meant to be a continuation to the line above, and as the standard syntax goes, I think the whole should go "Zalak ma vitteyqoy davra ma firesof sasha layafa". Dothraki tend to put conjunction words in front of both arguments. Think of it as "We wish you both a merry Christmas and a happy New Year." It should not be disastrous to skip the first ma, but it certainly makes it seem like the ma you have is a sentence level conjunction, so this sound like "We wish you a merry Christmas and a New Year is happy."

Other than that the syntax works, firesof is in accusative and sash and layaf agree with the accusative (non-nominative, that is) with /-a/ suffix (note that they actually are not in verb form, if this is a continuation to the previous line and "happy New Year" is an object of wishing). However, the two adjectives both modify firesof, on quite equal grounds. It's an adjective list like "a big brown wet ball". I'm pretty sure that this works, as such, but have an inkling that this might not be the neatest argument structure in Dothraki. There's also a minute shift in meaning: you are not wishing for "happy New Year", but "happy new year". In finnish we compound a lot, so we make distinction between uusivuosi (the New Year) and uusi vuosi (the new year), but when we wish for "a merry Christmas and a happy New Year", we usually say "Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta" ("usually" because the expressions are so close to each other that we seem a bit confused, what we're supposed to be saying), so we actually have chosen to wish happiness for the whole year rather than for the festival alone. Dothraki too compound a lot, so I would think they'd likely make the same distinction between firesofsash (or firesofesash? ...no, I think fs-compound is allowed) and firesof sash, and perhaps you might take the Finnish route and use firesof sash anyway.

Nesikh davra(i) fich kisha
That would be Nesikh davra fichaki kisha. Vowel ending adjectives don't show any agreement, and davra is not in verb form. If you want to cut syllabes and keep the adresser consistent, you might try fichak anha.
The word order as such is pretty good, IMO. It's the old VSO with fronted object.

Ha yeraan ma yeri okeo(es)
I'd go with Ha ma yeraan ma okeosea yeri. Here I'm not sure if the first ma is needed or even allowed, but I'd bet on it. You could go with just (ma) yeraan ma okeosea yeri, as I'm almost sure fichat does not require ha for marking the recipient relation (though fichat is not listed in our verb classes page's recipient class, so who knows).
Rotating okeosea yeri to yeri okeosea should not work, or is at least rather non-standard wording. Allative is certainly the natural case for okeo, but at least with a leading ma you might say yeraan already sets the relation, and perhaps it might make a morsel of sense to allow okeo to go in nominative. It's also "a friend", not "friends", but that does not sound like a big change.

neshikh davra qisi vitteyqoy
Qisi assigns nominative, so this should be nesikh qisi vitteyqoyi, though I guess dropping vitteyqoyi into "accusative" is one of the more harmless allowances, if you're just trying to save syllabes.

OK. Not sure if I managed to keep my head straight, but at least that's a start.