Author Topic: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki  (Read 4946 times)

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KingAlanI

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Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« on: January 08, 2014, 06:14:17 pm »
Sometimes I've wanted to translate a word that's not in the Dothraki dictionary. Here are some examples and what I've come up with. Is the word actually in the dictionary in some form. Does anybody have any ideas for a better substitute?

Conjugations of Allayafat (to please) - ‘thank you’
Nayat (girl) – Maiden
Movee (3rd person singular of to make by hand, to create) – Smith *
Khaleen (crones, the ‘dosh’ in ‘dosh khaleen’ means ‘council’) – Crone, how do I depluralize?
Athdrivar (death) - Stranger *
title of regnant followed by kemak (spouse), mahrazhkem (husband) or chiorikem (wife) – Consort
Lajak Andahli (Andal warrior) - Knight

* Maker and Death wouldn't be good general translations for Smith and Stranger, but they fill similar roles in the Faith Of The Seven. (Am I guilty of blaspheming the Great Stallion for discussing this? ;))

Qvaak

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 12:14:31 am »
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Conjugations of Allayafat (to please) - ‘thank you’
"Thank you" is quite famously an expression that has no equivalent in Dothraki. This, however, is a half-truth at best. We have a Dothraki phrase for "Thank you." The acceptable use is much more limited than in English, but where an expression of "Thank you" is acceptable, Yer chomoe anna. is the phrase to use. Literally that means "You do honor to me."

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Nayat (girl) – Maiden
Ya. That should work. "Maiden" is so culturally loaded expression that you should not expect to get a close translation. I guess Dothraki must have some kind of word for virgin - and might have a cartload of words for woman's social status, "unmarried adult woman" easily among them. DJP does not like to develop Dothraki culture too far as books are yet to be written and seasons are yet to be produced. He wants to be able to develop cultural vocabulary according to canonized aspects of the Dothraki culture.

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Movee (3rd person singular of to make by hand, to create) – Smith
Movee is a very very unlikely noun, though word etymologies can take strange turns, so it's not impossible. The link to movelat could even be a coincidence :) If you want to make a noun out of a verb, you need to nominalize it in some way or another. We know how to make an agent nominalization, similar to english /-er/ (dancer/maker/singer), but unfortunately that's already in use: movek means "warlock", and thus has a nasty ring to it. I'm sure there's a word for smith, we just don't know it. Would marik, which should mean ~ "constructer" be close enough?

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Khaleen (crones, the ‘dosh’ in ‘dosh khaleen’ means ‘council’) – Crone, how do I depluralize?
Hehh. There's a good chance that the translation is not literal at all. Of course there's a strong link to khal and khaleesi, so perhaps something roundabout khaleen really would translate roughly to "crone". I'm pretty sure khaleen is not visibly in plural (not in modern plural anyway - in theory it could be old fossilized stuff), but it might be in truncated allative.

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Athdrivar (death) - Stranger
Using athdrivar as an animate noun would be really cool way to push for the god status and differentiate from general idea of death. If someone is just explaining Westeros religion to Dothraki, I'd go with vojjor compounding like vojjor athdrivari*.

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title of regnant followed by kemak (spouse), mahrazhkem (husband) or chiorikem (wife) – Consort
I guess?

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Lajak Andahli (Andal warrior) - Knight
Sounds good to me, though mahrazhis fini ondee khogar shiqethi is kinda canon :P


* Or how about this: vojjor haji avesoon, vojjor haji maisoon, vojjor haji nayatoon, vojjor haji kristasofoon, vojjor haji lajakoon, vojjor haji marikoon, vojjor haji athdrivaroon
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 12:31:33 am by Qvaak »
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KingAlanI

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 01:08:29 am »
I like how my inexperience with the language is in-character for novice speakers and perhaps natives simplifying for outsiders. :P

I figured some of these had to exist even though David Peterson hasn’t made a word for them. Good point about him not wanting to end up contradicting later books/episodes.

Yer chomoe anna is a good one. Just the kind of information I was looking for. :)

I admit trying to make a verb a noun was awkward. madaktawaki seems to mean sewing metal, which seems to fit with 'steel dress' as the word for 'armor'.

Yeah, breaking down dosh khaleen seems close but not quite for me too. It does seem similar to allative.

vojjor X for god of X does seem interesting in general. I wonder why you seem to pluralize death.

I came up with the consort one to distinguish Daenerys' second husband from Dothraki-specific meanings of khal.

mahrazhis fini ondee khogar shiqethi, men who wear iron suits, from Drogo's epic S1E8 rant, might be great for disparaging use. :)

Hrakkar

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 01:57:57 pm »
Here's a couple of additional thoughts.

For 'smith', you might consider something like shiqethi idak - 'iron striker', or perhaps more generically, tawak idak - 'metal striker'. A term for 'smith', though is a good candidate for a future word, seeing how valuable a skill this was in those days.

I would be careful messing with dosh khaleen, though. This is a proper noun, and is one of the original GRRM words. Its meaning or derivability may not be quite what we expect. This would be a very interesting question for the IRC chat.
Don't tell Khal Drogo I am here ;)

KingAlanI

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 03:29:34 pm »
I just saw Qvaak's edit this afternoon.

I get the 'god of', but what's with the ablative case?

Kristasof, grandmother, for Crone seems like a good way to get around issues with Khaleen.

Koalakeesi, female healer, proves that -eesi is an ending for the female form of words besides khal

I like marik, constructor, as catchier than madaktawaki or something-idak

Speaking of idak: I like Vaes Vizhadi Idaki, City Of Silversmiths, for White Harbor, as a way around Dothraki's lack of nautical words like Harbor.

Qvaak

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 09:46:36 pm »
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I get the 'god of', but what's with the ablative case?
Ablative does not mean much anything. It's just grammatically sound way to say what is said. All prepositions assign one case or another to the noun they precede. Some may have different meanings with different cases, but some work always with some specific case. See http://wiki.dothraki.org/Prepositions. Why do haji and ma ("with") assign ablative? There's probably a good etymological explanation, but now it's just a slightly bizarre curiosity.
I use haji, because it's vague and generic. I did not want any "god for mothers", "god owned by mothers" or somesuch notion. On our wiki haji is translated as "because of", but AFAIK "pertaining to" would be almost as good a translation.

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Speaking of idak: I like Vaes Vizhadi Idaki, City Of Silversmiths, for White Harbor, as a way around Dothraki's lack of nautical words like Harbor.
Speaking of idak... the word for striking is ildat, so "striker" would be ildak. Modifiers come pretty much always after the noun they modify, so eg. "silver striker" would be something like ildak vizhadi.
Eh, Hrakkar?
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KingAlanI

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 10:34:34 pm »
I thought ablative was mainly for past tense (and allative for future tense)

as for idak/ildak, I was just following what is apparently a typo by Hrakkar.

Ah, so the word order is reversed there?

Hrakkar

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 12:36:28 am »
The missing /l/ in ildak is definitely a typo.  :-[ The word order bit I was not aware of, but it makes sense.
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Qvaak

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 01:33:32 am »
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I thought ablative was mainly for past tense (and allative for future tense)
Nope. The most basic meaning is to (allative) and from (ablative).
Anha azh halahes nayataan. - I gave the girl a flower.
Anha dothrak vaesoon. - I ride from the city.
That's the kind of use that's close to the core meaning of the cases, but there are many of extensions from that meaning. The future and past stuff is for zero-copula sentences, so as long as your sentences have verbs, that's not an issue.

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Ah, so the word order is reversed there?
Depends on what you mean by "reversed". The word order is the usual Dothraki word order, so in that sense it's not reversed. When it comes to complex noun phrases, the words are mostly in exact reversed order compared to English, so "my red hat" would be ordered "hat red my". This ordering is maintained even in compound words, so if a word "smith" was build as "metalbeater", it would most likely be ordered as "beatermetal".
On the other hand the most rudimentary word order (subject, verb, object) happens to be the same as in English, so "I burned hats." would be ordered the same, and "I burned my red hat." would be ordered "I burned hat red my."
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KingAlanI

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 12:05:24 pm »
I noticed Dothraki had the same basic subject-verb-object word order as English so I thought the word order was similar in general. Apparently compound nouns are the opposite of the English order.

KingAlanI

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 09:12:51 pm »
assolak okrenegwin - castellan

assolat (to command) --> assolak (commander)

I understand Dothraki already uses that other word, stone tent/house, to mean castle.

commander of castle would call for accusative case of castle, but inanimate nouns ending in a consonant aren't changed for accusative case anyway.

I would decline 'assolak' as an animate noun, right?

Also, okre (tent) as a metaphor for camp. vimitherrat (to camp) and derivatives don't seem appropriate for describing the physical camp itself. okre's noun type isn't given, so I don't know how to decline it.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 10:25:25 pm by KingAlanI »

Qvaak

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2014, 01:27:21 am »
Ya. Assolak would be animate. See http://wiki.dothraki.org/Derivational_morphology#Agentive.

Accusative is the only case I just can't see working on the castle. Ablative would be a fairly confident no too, but following my thoughts on king, it shouldn't be impossible. Nominative feels awkward and problematic and on that train of though I'd just try to compound. It should be possible, though, because we have examples of a few constructs of that kind. Allative would make sense. Genitive would be the most natural choice. Going to prepositions, of course, is also always a possibility. Accusative, however, seems completely limited to sentence syntactic use.

While you're trying to create words (and word compounds), it might be worth looking through http://www.dothraki.com/2012/02/just-for-fun/ and http://www.dothraki.com/2012/02/modern-terminology/. There's info on compounding and you'll see Peterson's take on some fan-made stuff, which should give a better intuition on how things might go.
There's also at least http://www.dothraki.com/2012/07/dothraki-ice-cream/. Less informative but similar.

Okrenegwin should denote to any shabby stonehut. If you wanted to make it more pronouncedly castle, going okrenegwinof would be a surefire option.
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KingAlanI

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 09:05:49 am »
-of seems to be a greatness ending, as in vezh (stallion) to Vezhof (Great Stallion). yeah, that improves the word for castle.

thinking of castle as the object of commander is where I got the idea to use accusative case. genitive on castle as in castle's commander makes sense. since okrenegwinof ends in a consonant, that would just add an -i, right?

To use them in a sentence:
Ma Balon m’ Aggo assolakea okrenegwinofi – Balon and Aggo will be castellans
Ma Balon m’ Aggo assolakea okri – Balon and Aggo will be camp commanders

KingAlanI

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2014, 04:56:31 pm »
lajak eveth (water warrior) - sailor (military)
jerak eveth (water trader) - sailor (civilian)

both based on rhaggat eveth (water cart) for ship

shiqethiyol - ironborn

Qvaak

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Re: Some substitutes for words not in Dothraki
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2014, 09:58:34 pm »
Sounds good to me  :D
Game of Thrones is not The Song of Ice and Fire, sweetling. You'll learn that one day to your sorrow.