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Messages - Qvaak

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Dothraki Language Updates / Re: The dothraki language wiki site.
« on: June 23, 2011, 04:15:17 pm »
Kash qoy qoyi thira disse was a phrase that the producers lifted from when Qotho says it and gave it to some random people, probably because they thought it sounded cool.
Oh. I, too, had wondered about that. A conundrum, alright. All the uses have an air of an apparent threat, and maybe also specifically of people restraining themselves from (serious) violence. Maybe something like
"(I'd effin' kill you, but) as long as the blood of my blood lives (we're on a same team and serve the same goals, so I'll let you off easy.)"

In the Idiom section, in the wiki, shoud be added "ador[..] shiqethi" (iron chair) for "throne"
Idiom .. throne? Are you sure?
Is there some external information suggesting all thrones are referred to with ador shiqethi? If not, I'm not even sure, if I would call ador shiqethi for "Iron Throne" an idiom, but I guess that's just nitpicking. More stuff on the wiki does not hurt.

Introductions / Re: hey all!
« on: June 22, 2011, 04:41:50 pm »
Hiya. Welcome.

Stroll around and you'll find the starting points. Everything is new, everything is growing. It's a good time to be interested in this conlang.

HBO: Game of Thrones / Re: Dothraki dialogue from the TV series.
« on: June 22, 2011, 04:25:58 pm »
Whooooo! That's cool.

Now just to remove all the parentheses.... that might take some time.

Dothraki Language Updates / Re: Things not yet known.
« on: June 21, 2011, 07:16:51 pm »
Some interesting questions. The only one I think I have an answer to is wether the imperative also agrees with negation. It seems that it does. In episode 8 Drogo says Os! to Qotho which David translates as "Don't move!". I'm guessing this is the negative imperative of elat.

Sweet. And he even drops the vos off. When I originally watched the episode, I thought he said "path", like in "give me path" or "get out of my way", but that makes even more sense.

How about future imperatives? Those would be funny.
 - Anha vek ashefasaan silokh.
 - Es ajjalan, vosma vos vos silokh.
HA! Does any language really have future imperatives? I could imagine a lot of meanings such a structure might convey.

Dothraki Language Updates / Re: Things not yet known.
« on: June 21, 2011, 05:46:42 pm »
This post deserves some follow-ups. I always ponder about this and that unknown detail. This should be the very place for all the little doubts.

The more we know the clearer the holes in our knowledge seem to get. We seem to have pretty decent understanding of verbs already. I have paid some thought on them lately, so let me start there.

 - Zalat and vrelat seem to be consonant-style conjugating (zal/-at/, vrel/-at/). Is there any logic by which you can tell the difference between l-ending verbs and vowel-ending verbs by their infinite form, or is this just a thing you must know?

 - O's of the negative seem to be still at least a bit fuzzy.1  Are those negative first person present suffixes assuredly the only place where suffixe changes the vowel before the /-lat/? Are we even assured that there are no first vowel changes in the future negative (I think we are, but still have a little bit of doubt floating around)? How about imperatives? Do they agree to negative, might it even go as far as "vos dothros"?

 - How analogous is the use of tenses with english tenses? I have said before that I intuit the use of past tense to be wider than with the english counterpart 2. Is there a pluperfect? Does perfect see a lot of use? Do zero copula past and future expressions bear any specific connotations or uses or are they just part of the tenses?

 - Dothraki is non-pro-drop language and seems to have rather strict transitivity classes. Are there verbs that do not react to transitivity change? Can you at least add extra arguments without worries ('I cut the cake' -> 'I cut the cake with a knife')? Are there avalent verbs, and if there are, how do they work?

1/-ok/ and /-oki/ even suggest that the whole vowel ending stem stuff might be better understood as consonant ending stems with conjugation suffixes /-Vlat/, /-Vk/, /-Vki/...etc. That would be rather uncomfortable, but I think it would follow more closely the common idea of 'stem'.

2 Mainly because Peterson has usually just listed past, present and future and because perfect structure seems more like an expression than fully fledged tense. hehh. English past, present and future tenses are, I think, actually quite similar looking to dothraki ones. Many languages seem much more complex.

I'm sure there are a couple of things I've just missed or forgotten, but I'd think most of these are real unknowns.

Announcements / Re: IRC Chats with David Peterson
« on: June 21, 2011, 03:13:53 pm »
No discussion last week?

Beginners / Re: Sentence Attempts
« on: June 18, 2011, 04:37:36 pm »
Can you please help me? Before i lose my mind, lol.

With pleasure. Trying to puzzle out other's attempts is nearly as good training as creating one's own attempts. Ingsve will probably tell you anyway, what I corrected wrong :)

Adjectives follow nouns and possessives follow them, so the word order would be somewhat different for both parts.

There are two words for beautiful, lain and zheana. The former is reserved for inanimate nouns (to highligh the difference, you might think of it as "aesthetic" rather than "beautiful", I think) and the latter for animate. Generally inanimate nouns are for stuff like a shovel or a cupboard. Humans are usually described by animate nouns, and khaleesi is indeed quite assuredly an animate noun.

A long sidenote:
However, I can't fault you, if you really did some research and thought otherwise. We have marked khaleesi just a noun (I'm adding the animate mark now). Animacy of many nouns has not been certain, and we know there are lots of exeptions to the general rule that living running things in general and humans in particular are denoted to with animate nouns. We learn more and more, but updates are often dragging slightly behind (this is not very big community and everything that is done must be done by someone).

We have some rules for determining animacy:,72.0/topicseen.html. I'm not entirely sure, how well they'll work in practice, but as they're from Peterson, they should be essentially correct.

Two of the rules actually suggest khaleesi might be an inanimate noun. 1) Diminutives are supposed to be inanimate and marked by /-i/. Unfortunately dothraki use /-i/ for myriad different things. It seems some nouns end with 'i' just to follow the trend. 2) Khaleesi has a background of compound noun. Peterson has said it is derived from khal+yesi. Compounds seem to be consistently inanimate, but this isn't really a dothraki-modern compound, just has an etymology of one, so this is not a strong clue.

Of course you can often determine animacy based on how the word declines and how other words around it function:
Lekhi ha khaleesisaan? <- HA! Animate noun, because inanimate allative would be khaleesaan.
Zhey chiori zheana! <- HA! Use of zheana means chiori is an animate noun.
...ast chiori fini zirisse oggoes dorvoon... uhh. I think "fini" should be for inanimate nouns and "fin" for animate. But hey, my understanding is still rather limited.

Back to the topic:

I think
Khaleesi zheana anni, chiori erin anni.
would be pretty much what you were looking for.

Nearly all words inflect in dothraki, so usually you would not get them right by just picking them from dictionary. These are all in dictionary form, so if you didn't check further, you were lucky or chose a cleverly easy text for a first try.

Nouns inflect, but mostly as plurals and objects. Here the dictionary form, nominative, is just right. Adjectives inflect, but to my knowledge just for plurals, so they are right too. Pronomines are actually inflected as they should be (anni instead of nominative anha), but you'll find some person pronouns redily inflected on the dictionary. Had you wanted to say eg. "Khal's beautiful khaleesi..." knowing, how to decline khal would have been paramount:
Khaleesi zheana khali, chiori erin khali.

Of course it kinda helped, that the text wasn't yet a full sentence. But then again, remove the comma and you have a full sentence:
Khaleesi zheana anni chiori erin anni. "My beautiful khaleesi is my kind woman."
This is of course the special dothraki zero copula sentence, X-NOM Y-NOM - "X is Y" (Lets call it just "NOM NOM"?). I think the existence of this structure might push the meaning of your sentence ever so slightly off. Because of the confusing similarity the dothraki might not recognize your structure of concurrent arguments. They might just ignore the comma and go with a fact statement. The distinction isn't big, but nevertheless it exists... dunno. For example should you address your girlfriend by
Zhey khaleesi zheana anni, chiori erin anni.
Or should you try something like
Zhey khaleesi zheana anni, zhey chiori erin anni.


Beginners / Re: Sentence Attempts
« on: June 14, 2011, 03:33:46 am »
I'm not sure if the Dothraki would even use a term like that to refer to a son or daughter. It's pretty much used for expressing the special relationship between a Khal and his bloodriders. Sort of like a blood oath.

Ya. I think 'blood brother' would be quite close approximation:

Beginners / Re: Sentence Attempts
« on: June 09, 2011, 11:53:30 am »
Izzi ast ki:
Anha zalak nesak kifinosi astak "my name is Izzi" she lekh Dothraki.
A challenge! In how many ways that might be both idiomatic and grammatically correct can you express the idea of "My name is X."

Hake anni Qvaak. / Qvaak hake anni.
My name is Qvaak. / Qvaak is my name.
I guess the former of these two is more probable, but the latter doesn't seem particulary wrong either.

Anha Qvaak. / Qvaak Anha.
I'm Qvaak. / Qvaak is me.
The Tarzan way is not a bad way, but now the latter variation might seem a bit too existential.

Anha nem hake ma Qvaak.
I'm named Qvaak.*
Hakelat + ma -> NOM? is stolen from Dany's speech.

Astos anni ki Qvaak.
Speak of me by saying Qvaak.
a bit more creative solution, just to try the boundaries of quote-introducing ki

*Sidenote: Even with ray serving as a way to introduce a perfect, I can't help but wonder, if dothraki imperfects should sometimes be translated into perfect or even present in english. I have an ill-informed inkling that in general different languages use tenses rather differently (english and modern finnish use them rather similarily, so this must be based in some vague hearsay).
Maybe Peterson has already said something clarifying on the matter? From what I read, the regular past tense is commonly used - story telling seems to be consistently in imperfect. [Should the tense even be called imperfect, or is it better called just past tense ('general past tense')? Verb conjugation page never mentions imperfect. I'm not sure if Peterson ever does either.]
Man, I'm good at vague doubts.

Ingsve ast ki:
I think David said that using verb classes to express something comes higher on the priority list than using a preposition. I'll have to look that up from his talk.
LCC4 paper has that tidbit:
Hierarchy: Canonical case role >> noncanonical case role >> object of preposition >> subordinate clause.
Use a subordinate clause only if nothing else really works; use a preposition only if the case system falls short. I'm not entirely sure about canonical/noncanonical distinction.

..Aaand some further comments on my past writing attempt:
Graddakh! Zhey chiftik! Hash yer vifoneri, hash torga anni vos nira!
Chakas, zhey ifak! Anha addriv mawizzi.
Mawizzi! Yer vos davrae anhaan. Kishi agarvoki silokh.
Vosecchi. Anha addriv mawizzi vezhveni. Hash yer emi anhaan?
Mawizzi vezhveni? Anha sekke emak yeraan!
We know now it should be vo(s) niro and vo(s) davrao.

I don't think we know, if there are verbs that can't be used without object. To my knowledge nirat might easily be a verb for being full of something, and to be just generally full would need something else, a different derivation maybe.

I should have (but failed to) put a couple of mawizzi into accusative: Anha addriv mawizze (or is it mawiz? Don't we know all the irregular nouns we know?). I think I copied from "Ogi loy mawizzi.". Dunno if that's just a mistake. More likely loy or ogat assigns - or can assign - a genitive.

I wonder how tightly dothraki hold on to their subject pronouns. When the verb suffix reveals the subject, finns often drop the pronoun away. The text might be more natural and fluid as:

Graddakh! Zhey chiftik! Hash yer vifoneri, hash torga anni vos niro!
Chakas, zhey ifak! Anha addriv mawizze.
Mawizzi! Yer vo davrao anhaan. Agarvoki silokh.
Vosecchi. Anha addriv mawizze vezhveni. Hash yer emi anhaan?
Mawizzi vezhveni? Sekke emak yeraan!

I just got through Mawizzi Fin Zal Kemolat ma Yesisoon. It's been a long time since this was current, yes. I don't use time in a linear fashion like some boring human being. I wonder on which decade I find myself when I've read the series' dialogue through.

Some funny notions:
Ver seems to be a noun for 'wolf'. So verven, 'violent', would literally be 'wolf-like'. Nice.

Ven, 'like', seems to function not just as a suffix, but as a separate word too. It seems to even have very nice and dothraki-like structure for compairing the sameness of things: ven (the first thing to compare) ven (the second thing). And you can derive other words from it, too. Venikh is apparently a resultative of ven and seems quite logically to mean 'likeness' or 'form'.

I can't get my head around that nemo structure. Does it have something to do with passive? Does it have somethig to do with negative? I'm sure I don't know.

Dothraki Language Updates / Re: The Dictionary Thread
« on: June 06, 2011, 05:00:02 pm »
Cool. Still, I wish vocabulary took a little more precedence. I think I can see many good reasons for keeping a separate dictionary, wiki vocab being by it's nature fluid and non-definite thing with no autoritative manager (sure, you can retcon changes and lock the whole page, but that's hardly what the page was meant for).

In practice, though, I feel the vocabulary is much more useful tool. I don't need to load new versions - the vocab is always as updated as it is, when I open the page; I don't need to struggle with a bit unwieldy pdf-file, I can use the browser fuctionality I'm comfortable with; wiki functionality even offers some great extra tricks - if you'd updated the vocabulary, I'd just click the "show differences" funtion and wouldn't need to gloss through entire text to see, what has changed.

..aaand OT: I wisited the pages looking for dictionary change log. I rarely go farther than wiki and forum, but I'm guessing many potential language fanciers visit there first, and thus it's nice to see the pages aren't nearly as dead looking than they were some time ago.
A couple of notes, though
 - in the recourses list the dictionary update date is may 23rd, not terribly historic date, but not the right one either.
 - Staff page still has "Currently, is run by a skeleton crew (since the HBO series ship hasn’t sailed yet.)"

constructive criticism FTW

Dothraki Language Updates / Re: The Dictionary Thread
« on: June 03, 2011, 09:48:54 am »
That is, I think, an artefact from times when we knew less about verb conjugations. The verb is in infinite frakhat (you'll find it in the dictionary). Ofrakhi is a negative of second person singular future: frakhat -> frakhi -> afrakhi ->ofrakhi. It has been snatched from Peterson's short Dothraki lesson published at Making of Game of Thrones thingie at HBO website.

The interesting thing for me is, that it seems vos is not needed:

Certain other adverbs commonly occur directly after the verb. one such is the emphatic negative “vosecchi,” as shown below (first without, then with):

Yer ofrakhi sajoes mae.
“You will not touch her steed.”

Yer ofrakhi vosecchi sajoes mae!
“You will NEVER touch her steed!”

I hadn't noticed that before and did indeed think vos was always necessary for turning a verb into negative.

Beginners / Re: Sentence Attempts
« on: May 28, 2011, 10:24:23 pm »
Well, emat means "to smile (at?)" and "to approve" and by the way it is expressed, giving is implied. Though actual cultural connotations may wary, the expression has a warmer feel than english "to approve". Within the context of my text I felt "like" wasn' t too far fetched translation. I took some liberties, yes.
Hash yer emi anhaan? is, I think, if we go for a strict translation, Do you approve of me?.
If the sentence were Hash yer vemi anhaan? I guess even the more concrete translation scheme Will you smile at me? might work.

Beginners / Re: Sentence Attempts
« on: May 28, 2011, 06:02:09 pm »
Graddakh! Zhey chiftik! Hash yer vifoneri, hash torga anni vos nira!
Chakas, zhey ifak! Anha addriv mawizzi.
Mawizzi! Yer vos davrae anhaan. Kishi agarvoki silokh.
Vosecchi. Anha addriv mawizzi vezhveni. Hash yer emi anhaan?
Mawizzi vezhveni? Anha sekke emak yeraan!

I had ingsve already offer some constructive critisism, so this is better than what I could come up with. There are still many dubious thingies. This is, after all, an attempt thread, not success thread.

It should roughly translate as:
Bloody hell! You little s**t! While you roam the land hunting, my stomach goes empty.
Shut up, bastard! I killed a rabbit.
A Rabbit! You are useless. Tomorrow we'll be hungry.
Nuh-huh. I killed some honking big rabbits. Do you like me now?
Big rabbits! I like you greatly!

...and the joke of course is (or was meant to be) that the way the word rabbit was introduced, it did not tell us if there was just one or many lovely bunnies brutally slaughtered. With the adjective vezhveni the speaker did not just reveal that the rabbits were big, but also that there were multiple.

Dothraki Language Updates / Re: The dothraki language wiki site.
« on: May 26, 2011, 02:09:51 pm »
People were asking for a place to go to learn Dothraki so I have started a page on the wiki that is meant to serve as a starting hub that links to all the various other pages.
This is really good improvement. I have been meaning to ask for many little improvements and I think this dealt with all the most important ones. It seems a whole lot of grammar pages are getting updated too. Looks great.

One suggestion comes to mind browsing through new and updated pages: How about having, at each page where relevant, maybe before the references, a section Thing We Don't Know Yet? That would be much clearer than just dropping notes and implications. I feel communicating, what is not known is quite important and we should not shy from admitting our occasional ignorance.

Plural nominative for animate nouns? Cases for other pronouns than personal?
I don't know much about what we don't know, but I'm sure there are still unknowns at the most areas.

Oh, and should these discussions migrate to the wiki? I feel more at ease commenting here, but the wiki does have those discussion pages.

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