Author Topic: Translation help - for a school paper  (Read 1965 times)

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kar768

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Translation help - for a school paper
« on: June 09, 2013, 11:12:21 am »
Hey guys -

I'm writing a paper about case and agreement in Dothraki for a linguistics class in school, and I was wondering if you could help me out. I'm stuck puzzling over a particular piece of data that just doesn't make sense. Here's the sentence:

Hash   yer      vineseri                      dothrakh   ataki              kishi
do       2SG.NOM   remember.2SG.PRES   ride.ACC   first.SG.GEN  1PL.GEN
‘Do you remember our first ride?’

It's from episode ten of season one when Daenerys is speaking to Drogo. Essentially, I can't figure out the agreement mismatch between the noun 'dothrakh' (ride) and the adjective 'ataki' (first). Everything I've read about agreement between nouns and adjectives suggests that 'ataki' should be in the form 'ataka', since it's agreeing with a non-nominative noun (source for this conclusion: http://wiki.dothraki.org/dothraki/Adjectives).

So, I'm thinking there could be three possibilities. The first is that the adjective is agreeing with the possessor 'kishi' for some reason. The second is that the adjective is surfacing with default agreement for some reason. The third is that this is mis-glossed.

I have reason to suspect the third one not only because the others would be odd syntactically, but because of how other non-animate nouns agree with their adjectives. Non-animate nouns don't decline for singular or plural versions, right? But when they're in the plural, their adjectives still mark plural agreement, with an -i suffix. Is it possible that 'our first ride' should really be 'our first rides'?

I'd much appreciate any insights anyone has to this. Feel free to ask me to clarify things if anything doesn't make sense! Thanks in advance!

kar768

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Re: Translation help - for a school paper
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2013, 11:15:57 am »
Alternatively, any ideas on how to contact David Peterson?

ingsve

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Re: Translation help - for a school paper
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2013, 02:52:13 pm »
The reason for your confusion is that in Dothraki ordinals are not adjectves but instead they are nouns and using them is a bit different than using the adjective ordinals found in English.

Check out this post on the blog where David explains it; http://www.dothraki.com/2011/10/numbers-numbers-everywhere/

As for contacting David there are several ways. You can ask questions in the comments section on his blog. You can find him on twitter as @dedalvs. His tumblr (which apparently is one of the top 5 most visited tumblr sites ) is http://dedalvs.tumblr.com/ and if you want to ask him something in private you can e-mail him at dave@dothraki.com
"I just need to rest, that’s all, to rest and sleep some, and maybe die a little" – Samwell Tarly

kar768

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Re: Translation help - for a school paper
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2013, 07:25:14 pm »
Thank you so much! This really helps in solving my problem. I think I was definitely confused because I was assuming that ordinals were adjectives in Dothraki as well as English, and I hadn't considered that they might be classified as something else. The resource you provided has been very helpful--thanks again!

Najahho

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Re: Translation help - for a school paper
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2013, 07:11:16 pm »
Also note that stating that "hash" means "do" is very confusing for a paper, I suggest you amend that.

Cheers
Athhajar vidrie anna ayyey

ingsve

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Re: Translation help - for a school paper
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 07:16:33 pm »
Also note that stating that "hash" means "do" is very confusing for a paper, I suggest you amend that.

Cheers

Yes, good point. Hash does not simply mean "do" but instead it is a general question word for yes or no questions and would be translated differently into English depending on the question.

For example:

Hash yer dothrae chek? would translate as Are you riding well?
"I just need to rest, that’s all, to rest and sleep some, and maybe die a little" – Samwell Tarly

Najahho

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Re: Translation help - for a school paper
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 07:45:15 pm »
Yes, I think you should clarify that's the Question particle in your paper. Otherwise it may be confusing.
Athhajar vidrie anna ayyey