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Topics - Hrakkar

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Announcements / Latest outage
« on: August 26, 2012, 05:01:45 pm »
There is a saying that goes 'To err is human, to really mess things up, it takes a computer...' And so it goes.

It seems that in the super-duper new Learnnavi server, they put such a fast SATA II RAID controller that, if loaded to capacity, it was faster then the motherboard of the computer. Marki (the Learnnavi system administrator, and a first-class nice guy) didn't know about this until he tried to add some additional disk storage. Well, cloning the RAID turned out to be one of those things that 'maxed out' the disk controller, and overloaded the motherboard.

These kinds ofproblems usually result in the hair and blood of the sysadmin being found on the floor of the server room (trust me, its happened to me, too!) In any case, it took a few days to puzzle this out. The ultimate solution was to use the motherboard's SATA controller rather than the accessory card. The system is now slightly slower overall, but it is stable. And not one byte of data was lost, due to the much improved backup strategy.

Its hard to fault anyone for this problem, because the system was a gift from a member of Learnnavi, and is a much better server than the one that was destroyed back in May. Who would have ever known about this problem? modern computer hardware is pretty much 'plug and play'. But demanding maximum performance out of hardware can bring out unknown 'gotchas' like this.

Right now, I am in Chicago, getting ready for Worldcon. But first, there will be a couple of days spent with the Klingon folks. Although Klingon is high on my list to learn, and I am slowly progressing, Na'vi and Dothraki have the priority. And two languages at once are enough!

HBO: Game of Thrones / Technical stuff on the production of GoT
« on: April 11, 2012, 11:29:32 pm »
Here's a very interesting article explaining how the images are captured and manipulated for HBO's 'Game of Thrones' series. Most importantly, it explains how they have moved away from videotape, to a pure file-based production workflow. (Not too many years ago, they would have used film, and many producers still do.)

Next week, I will be at the National Association of Broadcasters convention. I expect to see a lot of this kind of equipment firsthand. And I bet I will see GoT playing in some vendor's booths! (I will give a report if there is any material worthy of a report.)

Dothraki Language Updates / Minor error in wiki
« on: February 06, 2012, 12:25:03 am »
I noticed while I was working on a new version of declension and conjugation tables, a minor error in the verb conjugation example table in the wiki.  The example for the formal imperative, negative grade of fatilat is given as vos fato Based on the text, and on the actual conjugation table, it should be vos fati.

Dothraki Language Updates / athahhaqar and ogat
« on: February 05, 2012, 01:08:00 am »
I noticed as I was updating the dictionary this evening, that the wiki entry for the IPA of  athahhaqar has the wrong 'a' following the 'q'.

I also noticed that the definition of ogat 'slaughter' was updated. A second definition was added, which reads, 'to kill brutally as if slaughtering an animal'. These definitions are inconsistent with each other as described. Normally, when you are slaughtering an animal for meat or other body parts, you try to make as quick and clean a kill as possible. While any kind of killing is generally unpleasant, slaughtering an animal is hardly 'brutal'. However, the term 'slaughter' is also used to describe killing brutally or senselessly, often in a war setting. I think the definition should be modified to simply say 'to slaughter an animal, to kill brutally'.

Dothraki Language Updates / ivezhofa
« on: January 20, 2012, 01:15:47 pm »
Am I correct in asuming ivezhofa is a new word? I can't seem to build it by inflecting existing words.

Beginners / Gemination question
« on: December 14, 2011, 12:47:26 pm »
The Geminate ss is understood to be a letter S followed by another letter S.
Is the geminate or geminate-like ssh equivalent to an S followed by an SH, or an SH followed by an SH? Are there any exceptions to this rule? Would the same rules/exceptions hold for zzh, kkh, cch or tth?

Beginners / Vocabulary learrning screensaver
« on: November 21, 2011, 11:09:51 pm »
Announcing a new tool for learning Dothraki!

One really easy way to learn the vocabulary of a language is to have the words constantly flashed at you by your computer. This screensaver and desktop window program does just that for you. When using your computer, words are flashed at you in a box you can position on the screen. This box is always on top of whatever happens to be on the screen in that area. When not using your computer, a full-screen window flashes words at you. (The program also includes some beautiful pictures to go under the words. You can add your own pictures if you wish.) This software, called 'Virtual Teacher'. It is easy to use and easy to create new vocabulary for. (It includes tools for building new vocabulary.)

I have been using this tool to help learn Na'vi, and now I have created it for Dothraki.

The bad news? The program will cost you $20 (and I don't get anything for promoting it). But you can try it for 30 days without paying for it. I have found it is well worth the modest cost, and it has done more to boost my vocabulary than anything else.

This software, as far as I know, is for Windows platforms only.

This software can be downloaded here:

I am currently maintaining the Dothraki-English vocabulary for this tool. I am looking for someone to do the English-Dothraki part, as I currently do not have time to do both. I try to update the vocabulary lists about once a month.

There are two sets of files available here. VTDB files are designed to to be plugged directly into Virtual Teacher without having to import from text. They are modifiable, but only with the program's tools. These files also contain notes that I have added to each file as I revise them. Text files are easy to edit, (and are updated pretty much every time I update the dictionary), but they must be imported into the program. This is simple to do, but you will probably need to do it a few times before you are comfortable with how it works. They also do not contain any explanatory notes, but you can add them during the import process.

01-20-2012 -  Everything updated to match Lajaki's Dictionary ver 3.022 (01-16-2012)
01-21-2013 -  Everything updated to match Lajaki's Dictionary ver 3.067 (01-21-2012)
The text files are almost always up to date. Hopefully, I will update the VTDB files more often than oce a year!

VTDB files (plug and play)

Basic vocabulary (includes proper nouns)
Base vocaabulary (does not include proper nouns)

Text files (easiest to modify to your own needs)

Basic vocabulary (includes proper nouns)
Base vocaabulary (does not include proper nouns)

If you are interested in the Na'vi version of the screensaver, the details can be found here.

Dothraki Language Updates / Javrathat
« on: November 15, 2011, 01:45:11 pm »
In the process of working on the dictionary, I ran across a word with a ambiguous definition. The word is javrathat, which is defined as a verb meaning 'to rein'. I noticed a couple other places where there were words that weren't quite perfect English translations (but still clearly understandable), and wonder if this is another one that is a little more unclear. A strong case can be made for either interpretation.

The first case is for as the definition is written: 'to rein'. Since the Dothraki are horse people, this would make a lot of sense. It is just an odd way to describe controlling a horse by ita reins. (It is interesting to note that there aren't a whole lot of terms for tack yet in the language.)

The second possible interpretation is 'to reign'. Since the storyline that spawned this language deals with leaders, having a word for 'reign' makes perfect sense.

Can anyone shed any light on what is the right meaning?

Announcements / Dothraki in the news (in French)
« on: November 15, 2011, 01:25:02 pm »
Here's an interesting article that is apparently from a French periodical. It addresses conlangs in general, and specifically mentions Dothraki, Klingon, Na'vi, Sindarin and Quenya. Examples of each languages are given. I can only understand bits of it, as I do not know much French.

Beginners / Guttural and other sounds in Dothraki
« on: November 10, 2011, 12:41:10 am »
This is a continuation of a discussion started in an introduction thread for Shmosh. The question was, what guttural sounds exist in DOthraki, and how can they be best pronounced? There was discussion about 'kh' and 'q'. Your thoughts and ideas are most welcome!

Beginners / Critically important vocabulary for beginners
« on: November 02, 2011, 01:52:56 pm »
David Peterson has just placed in his blog, a very important new entry containing a variety of common phrases, along with (canonical!) audio examples of how to properly say them. Learning a new language that has no learning aids is a tremendous challenge. Having some ready-made stock phrases can give you some immediate working vocabulary, along with important keys to pronunciation and grammar. Time taken to learn and memorize these phrases will take you a long way on your journey to learn Dothraki!


Announcements / IRC chats among ourselves
« on: September 13, 2011, 01:21:07 pm »
There has been some discussion about doing some IRC chats among ourselves (but David Peterson is always welcome to join us!). So, rather than clutter up the 'IRC with DP thread', I started this one so that we can freely discuss this topic and get some chats organized.

Beginners / Pronunciation questions
« on: September 09, 2011, 12:30:25 am »
While creating IPA for a whole list of Dothraki words this evening, I got quite an education on how things should sound. But I did see a couple things that raised some questions.

Some vowels have different sounds after a Q. There are also a couple of cases where an intervening w does not affect the change in the vowel sound. So, the e would sound the same in qe and qwe. Is the same thing true of other vowels, such as qa/qwa ?

How rough is the kh sound supposed to be? Mild, like the 'Bach' example given, or really rough like H sound in Klingon?

The more I play around with Dothraki, the more beautiful and awesome this language is becoming to me!

Announcements / David Peterson in Reno!
« on: August 14, 2011, 12:53:40 am »
David Peterson will be in Reno, Nevada this week for the World Science Fiction convention!

Although I haven't looked at the program yet, I have been told he is giving a number of presentations, most of them on Dothraki. One of these is supposedly a workshop on the Dothraki language! I plan to attend as many of these as I can, and I will report back here what I have learned.

So at Worldcon, I will be dabbling in Na`vi, Klingon and Dothraki (and who knows what else!). Looks like it is going to be an intense week!

Beginners / Hrakka vs Hrakkar
« on: May 18, 2011, 04:47:23 pm »
I just got back from a train trip to/from Denver, Colorado (train broke down in the middle of nowhere-- both engines failed! Stock without power for 11 hours, until we were towed into Elko, NV by a freight engine.) I used this time to read GoT cover-to-cover, so now I can more fully understand what is discussed here.

One question though-- The word for 'white lion' given in the dictionary is hrakka The word in the book (2 places) is hrakkar. What is the difference? (no clue on the grammar page) Is one word right over the other? Should my user name be Hrakkar instead of Hrakka?

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